Do I need Vitamin C in my skin care routine?

You might be missing out on this skin care powerhouse!
By Beauty Coach Alex

There’s a reason why everyone’s hooked on Vitamin C. Long touted as a legendary skin care ingredient, it’s capable of addressing a slew of complexion concerns—from hyperpigmentation and acne scars to dullness, roughness, and even fine lines. But what exactly makes vitamin C such a skin care powerhouse?

First things first: It’s an ultra powerful antioxidant. This means that it works to prevent “oxidation” or the damage caused by free radicals, a.k.a. unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to external aggressors (i.e. pollution and the sun). By doing so, Vitamin C helps keep your skin healthier by boosting natural repair and regeneration.

Even better: It also delivers multiple skin care benefits. Check them out!

Anti-aging. By neutralizing free radicals, it primarily protects skin from UV damage, which, as we all know, is the main cause of premature aging. With vitamin C, you can lessen and delay the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as dark spots and the loss of elasticity.

Skin cancer protection. UV exposure can cause precancerous changes in the skin, and Vitamin C helps inhibit those. FYI, though: Your sunblock should still be your first line of defense!

Plumping and firming effects. This skin saver improves skin repair by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, the natural proteins that are responsible for keeping skin taut and firm. Consequently, this also helps keep you young-looking by making skin less susceptible to wrinkles and sagging.

Brightening. Vitamin C contains properties that inhibit skin’s melanin production, resulting in the treatment of skin problems such as dark spots and an uneven skin tone. With regular use, it helps brighten the skin over time, giving you a more radiant complexion.

Clearly, adding a Vitamin C product to your routine can do your skin wonders—that is, unless you have very sensitive skin. Because of the vitamin's potency (it's still an acid, FYI), it can cause irritation or redness in those with sensitivities. So make sure you consult a derma first and start with the mildest formats so you don't shock your skin at the get-go.

How to use Vitamin C

While we can’t argue with the fact that the best way to get your vitamins is by consuming natural sources, such as citrus fruits and leafy greens, topical application—through your skin care products—has long been proven to be highly effective especially when used consistently and in tandem with a good skin care routine.

Most experts agree though that the best Vitamin C product to use is a serum. Known to be more potent than creams and toners, they offer a higher concentration of active ingredients while being lightweight and easy to apply. Look for the term ascorbic acid (or L-ascorbic acid) as it’s known to be the most stable form of Vitamin C in skin care.

Moreover, higher concentration Vitamin C products are obviously more effective than lower concentration products, but can cause stinging. It’s best to start with a low concentration, then gradually work your way up as your skin becomes more used to the ingredient. You may also encounter other forms of Vitamin C, such as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and methylsilanol ascorbate. The Ordinary offers a good selection of Vitamin C products to suit your needs. We've listed them here, from the most potent to the more gentle. Take your pick!

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, P549
This water-free suspension has high potency, which means there may be a tingling sensation for the first few days or weeks of usage. You can use this in the a.m. and p.m.

 


The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone, P549
This heavy serum is also very potent, but offers a smoother finish thanks to the silicone component. To minimize stinging, you may dilute with other serums or creams, preferably one that is antioxidant-rich, too—like a Vitamin E moisturizer.

 

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F, P1,199
This oil format is formulated with Vitamin F, also known as essential fatty acids, to help nourish skin, too.

 

The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%, P699
This light cream emulsion has moderate potency and offers little to no stinging—perfect for those who are a bit on the sensitive side.

 

The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution, P1,099
Another gentle format, this light oil has is highly potent but is comfortable to apply.


You can also try adding these other Vitamin C-infused products to level up your routine! Just remember: Vitamin C can make your skin a bit more sensitive to the sun, so don’t forget to slather on your sunscreen every day before heading out.

 

Soo'Ae Nature Collagen Essence Mask Vitamin, P119
Soothe, moisturize, and brighten skin with this nourishing mask from Korean brand Soo’ae.

W7 Peel-Off Face Mask - Vitamin C, P99
This easy-peel mask with Vitamin C is formulated to gently remove dead skin cells and environmental debris from skin. 

 

BYS All Day Wear Foundation, P799
Vitamin-infused makeup? Yes, please! This high-coverage foundation is infused with Vitamin C to improve your skin tone, as well as Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to soften and moisturize skin.

 

Shop more skin essentials here.

Got a beauty question?

Send in your most pressing beauty concerns by emailing them to editor@beautybeat.ph with the subject line: ASK ALEX. You can also message us through Facebook and Instagram. Our resident beauty coach, Alex, is ready to help!

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