It’s difficult to find one ingredient that can solve for multiple issues, but vitamin C is the superstar your skin has been craving all your life.
Not only does vitamin C brighten and even tone, it also fights inflammations, stimulates collagen production, and regenerates skin after harmful effect of UV-rays. But how does the world’s most Googled skincare ingredient really work? Nataliia Derkach, MD, PhD, and a founder of Swiss skincare brand Instytutum breaks it down.
Why is vitamin C important?
First and foremost, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps the skin remain healthy, neutralizes the negative impact of the polluted air and UV, regenerates and rejuvenates skin, boosts collagen production, and fights aging signs.
Second, it inhibits the production of melanin, which is responsible for pigmentation. If applied regularly, vitamin C-containing products can efficiently brighten and even out skin tone, fight photoaging signs, and increase protective features of skin.
Third, vitamin C has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. It also makes blood vessel walls stronger, and therefore, it is extremely suitable for skin with couperosis and rosacea (however, as these are medical issues, one must always consult with a doctor before treatment).
What is the difference between old generation vitamin C and new generation vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a wow-component has been used in cosmetology for quite a long time now. But at the same time, out of 100 companies that add vitamin C to their products, only three-five use formulas really work. Why so?
Usually, companies choose the unstable water-soluble form of vitamin C – the ascorbic acid, which acts only on the skin’s surface. Only recently, the liposoluble form of vitamin C, called vitamin C THD, has been developed — and it is 50 times stronger than the water-soluble form, and is able to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. The matter is that the skin is protected with the hydrolipidic membrane, a protective barrier that does not let water through and, respectively, dissolves the ascorbic acid already on the surface. Therefore, when you choose products, you should not only choose ones containing vitamin C, but also get interested in the form. Liposoluble one is marked as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate or THD.
How does one choose vitamin C-based products correctly?
The first thing that should be considered while choosing a vitamin C product is its concentration and form. Brands sometimes play dishonestly: they take the component that has proved itself, but add the minimal concentration, just in order to score the legal right to print “Contains vitamin C” on the packaging. Once you start investigating though, it’s clear to see that the concentration is often minimal, therefore inefficient. The optimal concentration of vitamin C is 15%, which lets it penetrates deep layers of the skin and not cause any irritations. Attention should be also paid to other components of the product: the best result is achieved when combining vitamin C with vitamin E.
Second, one must look at the packaging. Vitamin C is oxidized and decomposes quickly. When the ingredient is unstable, it is inefficient and can cause irritation and redness. Only opaque bottles with a pump do not let vitamin C get oxidized. And if you’ve chosen cream with vitamin C in a standard round jar, it can be used no longer than six months after its opening.
Who is vitamin C best used for?
Vitamin C is a wonderful component for all types of skin at any age, since it offers antioxidant protection, premature aging prevention, and skin glow. At Instytutum, we include our anti-wrinkle brightening C-erum with 15% of vitamin С THD into protocols for patients with:
— normal skin
— sensitive skin, couperosis and barrier dysfunction;
— age-related changes
— uneven skin texture, inflammations and post-acne
Clinical research also shows impressive results.
What is the best way to use vitamin C products?
Products containing vitamin C can be used daily, twice a day — in the morning and in the evening. And it is even more effective to use vitamin C in the morning, and to add retinoids to your evening routine. They work marvels together.
However, please take into account that vitamin C can trigger an individual reaction. Before application, it is recommended to test it on a small area of skin in order to make sure that you do not have an individual intolerance. Light tingling or reddening in the first minutes is normal, but that is all.
Remember: you must use SPF 50 sunscreens before leaving home while using such products, since vitamin C increases skin UV-sensitivity and can cause pigmentation on unprotected skin.