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Vitamin C: Why It's Good For Your Skin and How To Use It

Vitamin C is an ingredient splashed across ad campaigns, skincare, and healthcare packaging wherever you are. We know we can ingest a good dose of it if we eat lots of citrus, tomatoes, bell peppers, and strawberries. If we start to get sick, we should probably get as much of it as possible. We also know that vitamin C is good for our skin, but do we know why? Join us as we learn more about vitamin C in all its different forms, which kinds of skincare products we can get it from, and why it's so good for us.

What is vitamin C and what does it do?

Vitamin C, otherwise most commonly known as ascorbic acid, is an essential, water-soluble vitamin that the human body needs in order to develop and function well. Vitamin C keeps the common cold at bay, prevents deficiency diseases like Scurvy, and is one of the skincare world’s most beloved heroes due to its ability to help create an even skin tone and reduce some of the visible effects of aging. This multi-talented little vitamin helps fight free-radical damage and is also connected to the level of elasticity found in your skin. There are a number of different kinds of vitamin C that can help with skin care, each of which functions slightly differently.

Vitamin C in skincare

Vitamin C can be found as an ingredient in all kinds of skincare products, from facial serum to oil and moisturizer. Vitamin C is so beloved because of its powerful antioxidant properties, which offer a plethora of solutions and preventative care for many skin types. Every anti-aging regime contains vitamin C in one form or another because it helps minimize and prevent the formation of dark spots (hyperpigmentation) and assists dull skin in appearing fresher and more vital. 

Here are some detailed benefits:

  • Neutralizes free radicals with antioxidant protection before they can accumulate. This helps minimize the creation of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Minimizes the premature appearance and creation of dark spots, which are caused by a disruption in the skin’s production of melanin.
  • Maintains hydration and luminosity by protecting the skin against water loss.
  • Addresses anti-aging around the eye area, which is often too delicate for other harsher ingredients.

Types of vitamin C in skincare

Ascorbic Acid. This is the most well-known type of vitamin C and the most used in skincare because it's best at penetrating the skin barrier. Many face serums that offer brightening properties will contain this form of our favorite vitamin.

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. This version of vitamin C is slightly less potent and works topically, but still incredibly helpful. Choose this form of vitamin C if you have particularly sensitive skin.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate. MAP is the most stable form of this vitamin used in skincare products. It is extremely water-soluble, so it can be found in many water-based products.

Sodium Ascorbate. Technically, this form falls under the category of mineral salts and helps to lighten dark spots.

Calcium Ascorbate. Often known as ester C, this form helps with collagen synthesis, promotes collagen production, and helps with tissue and wound repair.

Ascorbyl Palmitate. This fat-soluble version of vitamin C is particularly non-irritating, so it is perfect for sensitive skin types.

Which vitamin C skincare products should you use?

The world of skincare is wide, and there are a lot of products out there that contain different kinds of vitamin C. So, which ones should you choose when you’re skincare shopping with vitamin C in mind as your primary ingredient?

Face Oils: A deeply hydrating vitamin C oil will be an excellent choice if you have dry skin. Add this to your routine after cleansing and before serum. Let the product sink into your skin before moving on to the next step. The Body Shop’s Vitamin C serum is a recommended option if you want to achieve a bright and radiant complexion.

Face Serums: Products with a thinner consistency, like serum, are better regarding vitamin C delivery. These products sink easily into the skin and deliver the vitamin C where you need it most.

Face Masks: Forms of vitamin C that are best applied topically will work well when in masks left on your skin for long periods, around once a week. Fresh’s Vitamin C Nectar Glow Face Mask is an excellent choice for an exfoliating brightening mask, as it’s filled with citrus fruit including oranges, lemons and revitalizing minerals and vitamins extract for an ultra glowy result.

Powder: Surprisingly, vitamin C skincare also comes in powder form. If you have a particularly oily skin type, this is a good call: mix the powder with a little water-based moisturizer or serum and rub it in gently.

Vitamin C goes above and beyond the call of duty and acts as a multifunctional skincare hero, which we could all use in our lives. Remember to eat as much vitamin C in food form as you can, but don't forget that the vitamin C that works hard to help your skin is best received in skincare form. Choose your skincare fighter and apply your vitamin C products consistently (remember that they work best in the morning); you’ll be amazed at the results you see.