What does Vitamin C do for the skin?


Catie Koraleski

March 18, 2024

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radical damage, brightens the skin, stimulates collage production, and encourages healthy skin. 

What are free radicals?

Free radicals are unstable atoms that can cause damage to the cell when oxygen is metabolized. Environmental factors like sun exposure, pollution, smoking, tanning, etc., create these free radicals that begin breaking down our skin. With extended exposure, we begin to see early signs of aging. This can include dullness, uneven skin tone, dark spots, and sagging skin. Antioxidants address this damage by preventing the formation of free radicals, scavenging them, and breaking them down. 

Vitamin C is the most well known antioxidant 

Vitmain C is a powerhouse ingredient that provides many benefits for the skin. It penetrates into the top layers of the skin where it begins working. It is a tyrosinase inhibitor. This means that it prevents the formation of hyperpigmentation (think dark spots, sun spots, and aging spot). It works to treat hyperpigmentation already on the skin and brightens them with continued use.

Vitamin C has been shown to stimulate fibroblast cells deep in the skin. Fibroblasts are responsible for our collagen elastin. These are important components of our skin that make up the structure of our skin. As we age or experience environmental damage, our levels of collagen and elastin deplete. We begin to see sagging, fine lines and wrinkles, and laxity in the skin. Vitamin C is an incredible ingredient for stimulating these fibroblast cells to produce fresh collagen and elastin to make the skin plump and smooth out lines. However, it can be difficult to find a good product.

How to choose a Vitamin C

It’s particularly difficult to find a great Vitamin C product because this ingredient is very unstable in it’s original form. It can cause irritation and sensitivity for many people. L-Ascorbic Acid is usually the culprit of this. It’s instability means that it’s extremely important to be picky when choosing your product. It needs to be in an airtight, opaque bottle. An airless pump is necessary to prevent oxidation. Vitamin C needs to be stabilized with other ingredients or contain newer forms of Vitamin C that are much more stable, too. Look for ingredients like Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate or Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. These are much more stable and easier to formulate.

My recommendations for Vitamin C

Hands down, my favorite line for Vitamin C is Lira Clinical. The vast majority of their products contain at least one form of it along with other powerful brighteners along with other nourishing ingredients. You’ll get the maximum results without the irritation and sensitivity. My favorite products from this line are the BIO Hydra C Serum, the PRO Lite Serum, and the PRO Brite Plus Serum. These products nourish and moisturize the skin while also brightening, healing, and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. You can purchase these products here.

Undoubtedly, Vitamin C is a fantastic ingredient when formulated and used correctly. Ultimately, it’s safe to use with other ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Beta Hydroxy Acids, and Retinoids. With this in mind, I typically opt to use my Vitamin C in the morning and these ingredients in the evening, but working with an esthetician will help guide you on how to use them together.

Don’t have an esthetician who can help? I would love to work with you! I offer both in person treatments in Omaha, Nebraska, or virtual services so we can work together wherever you are. Click here to schedule your appointment with me! You can also learn more about my services here.

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