Vitamin C Serum: Benefits, Use and Side Effects
If you are aware of skincare, you must have an idea about Vitamin C serum.
The popular 10 step Korean skincare routine does not include a separate Vitamin C serum step but you can incorporate it well into the same routine.
Vitamin C serum brightens your face, reduces hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.
This article discusses the use and benefits of Vitamin C Serum. Learn about it in detail below.
What is a Vitamin C Serum?
You may have heard about Vitamin C present in oranges.Though a Vitamin C serum is present in a liquid or gel form.
It is applied as a topical cream or most probably as a liquid serum on your face or any part of the skin.
One reason why Vitamin C serums are so popular is that Vitamin C (essentially ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant.
This means that it prevents free radicals.
These free radicals break down collagen and elastin in our body.
Hence, they result in aging as well as cell damage.
Therefore, vitamin C holds off free radicals and prevents sun damage and environmental damage to the skin.
So you are saved from aging, diseases, and illness.
But why is there a specific need for vitamin C serum?
Vitamin C benefits the body and skin but applying oranges to your face or eating food rich in Vitamin C does not have the same benefits as applying it directly to the skin.
Fruits and vegetables like broccoli, oranges and pineapples contain Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is essential for our body as it prevents free radicals and forms tissues.
It promotes collagen in the skin, protects against Ultraviolet rays damage and releases antioxidants.
However, Ascorbic acid is available only in a small amount in foods.
Moreover, there are no blood vessels in the epidermis to transfer nutrients to skin cells.
Hence, when you eat or take supplements of Vitamin C it does not have the same effect as applying it to your skin.
Therefore, it is better to apply it topically to your skin in the form of vitamin C serums to gain all the benefits.
And what are those?
Keep reading to know about them.
Vitamin C Serum Benefits
You can start using Vitamin C serum if you face problems like sunburn, hyperpigmentation, aging skin and wrinkles.Though it is for everyone and suits different skin types.
Hence, there is a rare chance of irritation only in cases of hypersensitive skin, acne prone skin, sensitive skin, and mixing the wrong ingredients.
Protection and Cure
Vitamin C serum prevents, cures and protects.
It prevents sun damage and aging and it cures existing issues like hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.
It also rejuvenates the skin by boosting collagen and elastin production (it can act like collagen supplements for the skin).
This helps to cure problematic areas while antioxidants prevent aging and helps protect the skin damage from ultraviolet rays.
Brightens and Even Outs Your Skin Tone
Vitamin C is known for curing hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation areas are the ones that are darker than the rest of your skin tone.
These dark spots form because of sun damage or changes in hormones with growth.
Another reason is that certain parts of the skin have more melanin production.
This results in age spots, melasma, and acne scars after acne healing.
Vitamin C serum helps to restrict melanin production which helps to not worsen existing hyperpigmentation.
Therefore this evens out your skin moreover it helps to reduce the dullness in your skin.
Henceforth, your skin becomes even and glowy with a toned complexion and brightening skin.
Stopping Signs of Aging
When we say Vitamin C serum treats wrinkles we do not mean that it will completely reverse preexisting wrinkles that develop with age on your face.
However, it can protect yourself from wrinkles caused by sun damage and work as an anti aging product.
Sun exposure leads to premature aging and untimely or early wrinkles.
It can also treat premature or early wrinkles by stimulating collagen production and giving your skin a collagen boost.
In fact 5 percent of Vitamin C solution over 6 months makes skin thicker and firmer than serums with no active ingredients.
Sagging is also a sign of aging skin and is due to reduced collagen in skin.
Hence, your skin is no longer firm and tights and it sags.
As Vitamin C increases collagen production, your skin tightens and stops sagging.
Sun Damage Protection
We are constantly exposed to harmful Ultra Violet rays outdoors.
Therefore, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and aestheticians recommend that you should wear sunscreen at all times.
However, Vitamin C serums are also useful in combating sun damage.
They contain anti oxidants which give an electron to the free radicals to prevent any harm such as inflammation and sun damage to the skin cells.
Therefore, Vitamin C decreases cell death by free radicals, controls skin damage by UV radiations and decreases cytokines production that causes inflammation and redness.
It also replaces damaged cells with healthy cells resulting in a cell turnover.
This reduces the appearance of sun burns and less redness gives you even complexion.
It Gives Your Skin Hydration
You may have heard about hydration with respect to hyaluronic aid and moisturizers in skincare.
However, Vitamin C is also known to give your skin enough hydration.
Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate reduces transepidermal loss of water.
It is a derivative of vitamin C and this keeps the skin hydrated by retaining moisture.
You can combine vitamin C and hyaluronic acid in certain skin regimes for extra hydration and work as a brightening serum.
Decreases Under Eye Circles
As it is hydrating, it also plumps the under eye area.
Therefore you can use to smoothen your fine lines across the under eye area.
However, you may also want the use an eye cream because it may discolor your very sensitive under eye circles.
Or also try home remedies like green tea bags for under eyes.
Speeds Wound Healing
As Vitamin C cures sunburn it can also help in healing wounds.
It quickens the wound healing process and protects you at large from infection, inflammation and scarring.
Therefore Vitamin C serum has innumerable benefits for your skin but you also need to know the correct application and use of the serum.
How To Use Vitamin C Serum?
Ascorbic acid is Vitamin C’s purest form however, it does not blend well with other solutions.Moreover, Vitamin C breaks down quickly when exposed to heat, light and air.
Therefore, there are some challenges while making and using Vitamin C serum.
Though it is usually applied after a toner and before a moisturizer.
These serums are water or oil-based and are present in dark bottles with a dropper to minimize skin air, water and light exposure.Moreover, they combine vitamin C with other ingredients that make it more effective and quickly absorb in your skin.
Ingredients to look forward to in a Vitamin C serum are as follows:
- L-ascorbic acid
Make sure that the Vitamin C form in your serum is L-ascorbic acid and not any other as it is the most effective form of Vitamin C.
Therefore, it should be right there at the top in the ingredients list.
An ideal concentration is about 10 to 20 percent though it should not go below 8 percent and more than 20 percent will cause you irritation.
Therefore, it should not be highly concentrated.
Ascorbic acid and vitamin C go hand in hand as it is the purest form so don’t miss that out.
- Other ingredients
For best results, your Vitamin C serum may have some other key ingredients that help absorption, are similar antioxidants and make for a good solution.
They can work more effectively together and reduce signs of aging.
These include Vitamin E, L-ascorbic acid and tocopherol.
Vitamin E is a key ingredient as it helps to stabilize Vitamin C as it also acts as an antioxidant.
Another important ingredient is ferulic acid. Your skin absorbs better when it has a low pH and ferulic acid has a pH of 3.5 for better absorption of the vitamin.
- Exposure to heat, water and air
A brand that produces Vitamin C serum must be well aware that Vitamin C oxidizes if exposed to light, water and air.
Therefore most Vitamin C serums come in a dark glass bottle.
These glass bottles contain a dropper to get the solution without any air contact.
The serum will usually be yellow in color however, if it turns orange and orange-brown then it is time to throw it.
It indicates that it has already oxidized and will be of no use.
You can also refrigerate your serum to make it last longer if that is what the instructions say.
Application Do’s and Dont’s
You should apply the serum after you have thoroughly cleansed your face.
Use an oil cleanser and a water cleanser to remove all the dirt in your skin.
Follow it with a toner to prep your skin.
Then you can use a few drops of Vitamin C serum on your face. However, start with a thin layer.
This serum can cause irritation in a few people therefore use it scarcely in the beginning and then increase your application.
Next, apply a moisturizer to lock all the ingredients and moisture, followed by the mandatory sunscreen.
However, you should always do a patch test to see if the product irritates your skin.
Apply a few drops on your forearm and wait for a day.
If you see nothing then it is okay to use though, if you have vitamin C serum side effects such as redness, irritation, rash or even hives then immediately discontinue use.
You should not use Vitamin C with retinol and niacinamide.
These two are popular ingredients used in other skincare steps.
Niacinamide reduces the effectiveness of Vitamin C serum and retinol can irritate the skin.
Hence you should either avoid or use one at day time (preferably Vitamin C) and the other at night.
You can recognize any side effects if you have a tingling burning sensation when you apply it and it’s followed by rash, redness and hives.
A Vitamin C serum not only helps to reduce hyperpigmentation but also signs of aging, sun damage and much more.
Therefore, it should become an essential step in your skincare routine.
However, you should use it moderately as it is a strong ingredient and do a patch test before to be sure there are no side effects.