Vitamin C For Your Skin: What You Should Know

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What Does Vitamin C Do For Your Skin

The beloved vitamin we use to help boost our immune system during the cold and flu season can also do wonders for our complexion. Vitamin C is one of the most promising, researched-backed ingredients in skincare.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It helps neutralize skin damaging free radicals – the same free radicals that can cause many chronic diseases and accelerate the aging process (stop right there free radicals!).  Vitamin C is also critical in the formation of collagen, a building block of skin elasticity.  When collagen breaks down, skin becomes thin, fragile and wrinkles become visible. Using a Vitamin C serum treatment on your skin directly can be 20 times more effective in enhancing your complexion, than if taken orally. That’s why topical vitamin C serums play a crucial part in an effective skin care regimen.


Vitamin C Skin Benefits: The Ultimate Glow-Getter

Vitamin C in skincare is prized for its glow-inducing effect. When applied topically, vitamin C has three main skin benefits:

1. Vitamin C protects skin from environmental damage. Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It neutralizes free radicals ( a result of UVA and UVB exposure), in turn, helping to protect against skin damage. It also assists with minimizing the appearance of existing damage.

2. Vitamin C reduces wrinkles and fine lines. Vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen. This helps to reduce the look of fine lines, wrinkles and increases firmness.

3. Vitamin C reduces dark spots. Vitamin C is a melanin inhibiter, helping to brighten skin, fade hyperpigmentation and age spots, promoting a more even skin tone.


Vitamin C For Glowing Skin


L-Ascorbic Acid: The Common Vitamin C For Your Skin

The most common form of vitamin C used in skincare is L-ascorbic acid. This form is typically manufactured from genetically engineered corn sugars that are hydrogenated and processed with acetone. L-ascorbic acid can be found in natural and organic skin care products. It should be noted that it is the most researched and well-documented form of vitamin C for skincare. L-ascorbic is also the most cost-effective form of vitamin C to formulate with, but extremely difficult to get right. L-ascorbic acid is sensitive to light, air and water. It also requires a low pH formula for optimal stability, which can be irritating to skin. Because L-ascorbic acid and other water-soluble forms of vitamin C are highly susceptible to oxidation, they can become inactive and potentially harmful over time.


Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: The Best Vitamin C For Your Skin

A highly prized form of vitamin C is tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. This is a high-quality, oil-soluble form of vitamin C. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is not only sought after for its superior stability, but also greater ability to penetrate the skin. Peer-reviewed studies show that it is able to penetrate the uppermost layer of skin (epidermis) and deepest layer of skin (dermis). Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is also a gentle vitamin C form, generally tolerated by sensitive skin, unlike many other forms.


The Truly Organic Vitamin C For Your Skin

Some of the natural sources of vitamin C we use here at Root Science come in the form rosehip, hibiscus and orange peel. We source these 100% certified organic and unrefined, which means they not only contain vitamin C but also bioflavanoids, phytonutrients, enzymes and antioxidants.


How To Choose The Best Vitamin C Serum For Your Skin

When searching for the best vitamin C serum, consider what your skin needs, first and foremost. Pretty packaging and pleasing scents are fun, however, do nothing for your complexion. As a matter of fact, they can do more harm than good.

The Best Vitamin C Serums Contain:

1. Stable Vitamin C Form: Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate or Sodium Ascorbyl Palmitate
2. Concentration: 10-20% Vitamin C
3. Complimentary Ingredients: Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid, Astaxanthin
4. Protective Packaging: Light Blocking Glass + Pump


What You Don’t Want In Your Vitamin C Serum

When there’s too many options to sift through, finding the best Vitamin C serum can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. However, having basic knowledge on what to look for and avoid, will help you navigate the vast sea of products. Finding a formula that excludes ingredients that may interact or negate the benefits of a vitamin C serum is vital. You also need to check that the formula has been packaged properly, as that will play a major role in keeping your vitamin C serum active. Good vitamin C serum packaging should protect the formula from light and air – as they degrade antioxidants. Avoid plastic, clear bottles and droppers. Instead, opt for pumps and dark glass bottles.

When deciding to include active ingredients in your skin routine, such as Vitamin C, avoid formulas that contain:

– Parabens
– Fragrance/Parfume or Essential Oils
– Synthetic Colorants
– Petrochemical Ingredients like Mineral Oil and Butylparaben
– Ingredients with PEG in the name


Skincare Ingredients Not Compatible With Vitamin C

Certain active ingredients in skincare do not play well together. Layering too many products on your skin or buying a formula with these ingredients combined in a formula (companies do make formulation mistakes now and then) can render them inactive or even worse, cause you major skin irritation. Here is a list of skincare ingredients you should not mix with vitamin C:

– Niacinamide
– Retinol
– Chemical Exfoliants AHA’s, BHA’s, Lactic Acid,
– Benzoyl Peroxide
– Hydroquinone


When To Use A Vitamin C Serum In A Skin Care Routine

The general rule of thumb is to apply your products in order of lightest to heaviest. Apply leave on products to freshly cleansed skin. When using a vitamin C serum, apply after cleansing and toning, before your final moisturizer (preferably a facial oil/serum).


How To Use A Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C serums can typically be used daily. However this will vary depending on the strength. If you’re using other active ingredients in your skin care routine, such as retinol or an alternative like Bakuchiol, we recommend giving each active its own day. Using too many actives on the same day or at the same time can overstimulate your barrier and cause irritation.


How Long Does It Take For A Vitamin C Serum To Work?

On average, it takes skin 4-8 weeks to begin demonstrating visible results from a Vitamin C serum. This will vary depending on the strength of the Vitamin C serum. In addition to that, factors such as age, the health of your skin, degree of skin damage/hyperpigmentation, as well as the root cause for certain skin issues, affect how long it takes to see results. Some forms of hyperpigmentation are caused by internal factors and unless those are addressed, topical treatments will have an uphill battle. As with all skincare treatments, visible results get better with time. A healthy dose of patience is is essential when starting a new skincare treatment. And remember, don’t give up too quickly, use your treatment for a minimum of 3-6 months.

At Root Science, we pride ourselves on using only the highest quality ingredients in our products.

Start getting your weekly dose of topical vitamin C today by using our Reborn Face Mask and Polish Face Exfoliant. Your skin will “eat it up”!


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  • Polish

    Superfood Facial Exfoliant
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  • Reborn

    Rejuvenating Mineral Mask
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Your skin protects you, and at the end of the day, you too should protect your skin.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are based on personal opinion and experience accumulated over the numerous years of being the in the natural skin care industry. The intent of this site is to present information and advice based on personal opinion and experience, and may differ with the experience of those reading this blog. The views and products expressed are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Image Sources: Orange Water on Cling Film via Annie Spratt / Three Women via Anna Shvets

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