11 Questions About Vitamin C Serum

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Vitamin C Serum

Why should I incorporate a Vitamin C serum into my skincare routine?

Vitamin C serum is essential to anyone’s skin care routine for many reasons. Not only is it a potent and active antioxidant when formulated correctly, it also fights free radicals, brightens skin tone, stimulates collagen production, and protects against sun and pigment damage.

Why does my Vitamin C serum tingle?

L-Ascorbic Acid or Vitamin C serums that are formulated at a very low pH can cause sensitivity to the skin. They are formulated at a low pH and high concentration to ensure it is able to penetrate and be absorbed by the skin, this can cause a little irritation. You could consider introducing a lower concentration with a slightly higher pH if you are starting out with Vitamin C.

Why do I need a Vitamin C serum if I am already protecting my skin with SPF?

Wearing SPF to protect your skin against UV rays is crucial. Did you know that by applying a Vitamin C serum, it is also very important for the protection of your skin’s cells against environmental factors? A Vitamin C serum at or above a 10% L-Ascorbic acid, does help to protect the skin from sun damage and pigmentation. By using a topical Vitamin C product, you are also neutralizing free radicals (a type of molecule in your body) that cause damage to your cells—but unlike other antioxidants, Vitamin C is very well studied and, in general, well tolerated at high potencies, allowing for maximum impact.

Should I apply Vitamin C once or twice a day?

At Concept Medical, we recommend only using Vitamin C once a day, during your morning skincare routine. Applying Vitamin C in the morning, will allow you to achieve the most protection and benefit from the product throughout the day. Of course, incorporating antioxidants before you sleep is also important, but Vitamin C during a nighttime routine is not essential.

Are there other products that I should not use while using a Vitamin C serum?

The one ingredient you should steer clear of when using a Vitamin C is Benzoyl Peroxide. This ingredient can oxidize the Vitamin C which in turn, makes it significantly less potent. You can still use your benzoyl peroxide products, just not during the same part of your skincare routine as your Vitamin C. What we would suggest is continuing the use of your Vitamin C serum during your morning routine and benzoyl peroxide during your evening routine.

At what step during my skincare routine should I apply my Vitamin C serum and how?

Vitamin C serums should always be applied on freshly cleansed skin. It is typically suggested to first cleanse, apply toner and then the next step would be Vitamin C serum – followed by other serums, moisturizer and SPF. One rule of thumb for skincare is to always apply in the order of fluidity (most fluid first).

What is the correct way to store Vitamin C?

L-Ascorbic acid is vulnerable to oxidation from light exposure. You will always want to ensure your bottle of Vitamin C serum is dark in colour (brown, blue or green), to stop the penetration of light and slow the oxidization of the product. It is recommended to store your vitamin C in a dark space such as a drawer or cabinet away from direct sunlight to extend the product life.

Oxygen can also break down Vitamin C. Always put the cap back on and make sure it is screwed on tight to keep air from seeping in.

High temperatures can degrade Vitamin C. It is therefore recommended to avoid extreme heat exposure. It is something to consider if you travel a lot and can’t always regulate product’s immediate climate. That being said, good manufacturers test their formulations under real-world conditions and so many can withstand formula integrity up to 30 degrees + for short periods of time. But it comes down to the manufacturer, so always check your product instructions to be on the safe side.

What should I look for when purchasing a Vitamin C serum?

Something very important when choosing your Vitamin C serum, is to ensure that there is also Ferulic acid formulated into the product. Ferulic acid is a plant-based antioxidant, which neutralizes free radicals and enhances the antioxidant benefits of vitamins C and E.

How do I know which Skinceuticals® Vitamin C is right for me?

At Concept Medical, there are four Skinceuticals® Vitamin C serums that we can recommend to our clients, based off of their specific skin type. You will notice, that although each Vitamin C variation has differentiating levels of the L-Ascorbic acid, they also all have a small percentage of Ferulic Acid. Those with oilier skin or with more extensive pigmentation issues to tackle, can handle higher concentrations of L-Ascorbic Acid. However, the effects of the Vitamin C begin to plateau after 20%, so there’s usually no need to go higher than that.

  • Serum-10 is traditionally recommended for very sensitive, reactive, dry skin types. With a lower concentration of 10% L-Ascorbic acid and 0.2% ferulic acid, it is very tolerable for this skin type without causing irritation to the skin.
  • C E Ferulic is what we recommend for combination to normal sky types. This Vitamin C has a formulation of 15% L-Ascorbic acid which can easily be tolerated by this skin type, as well as 1% alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E) and 0.5% ferulic acid.
  • Phloretin C F is the perfect vitamin C serum for an oily skin type, especially if pigmentation is an issue. This formulation is 10% L-Ascorbic acid, 2% Phloretin and 0.5% Ferulic Acid.
  • Silymarin is the perfect for anyone struggling with excessively oily or an acneic skin type. With a 15% L-Ascorbic acid, it also contains 0.5% silymarin (A plant-based antioxidant, ferulic acid neutralizes free radicals and enhances the antioxidant benefits of vitamins C and E), 0.5% ferulic acid and 0.5% salicylic acid.

What colour should my Vitamin C serum be?

Typically, a Vitamin C serum will be a light champagne or amber colour. This will darken ever so slightly as time goes on, which is a natural process, and this small amount of oxidization does not change the efficacy of the acids. If your Vitamin C serum is dark or cloudy in appearance, it may be that oxidization has already occurred.

How long should I wait after applying my Vitamin C serum before applying my next skincare product?

It is always recommended to allow time for proper product absorption, and with serums, 2 minutes is typically sufficient between steps.

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