Vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants. It is an essential nutrient that protects our skin against free radical damage and improves skin health by giving us the smooth, even, glowing complexion you are looking for.
It is to be noted that only some forms of vitamin C are stable and effective. Ethyl ascorbic acid is a highly potent and stable form of vitamin C. So if you are using a vitamin C-based product, then look for ethyl ascorbic acid in it.
What vitamin C does?
Dr Prerna Sikka, Dermatologist & Cosmetologist at Dr Karishma's Aesthetics, based in India, mentioned in a conversation with this scribe, "Vitamin C provides hydration, reduces pigmentation, brightens the skin, protects our skin from sun damage, promotes collagen production which makes our skin firm and tight, improves skin elasticity and texture, that makes you look young."
Although Vitamin C is well tolerated, you should always do a patch test to check for allergic reactions. Experts recommend this step before using any new ingredient or product on your skin. It will help you see whether your skin is comfortable with vitamin C.
If you are using a vitamin C serum, look for the colour of the serum. If it changes to brown or orange from yellow, it should not be used anymore.
Skin type and vitamin C
According to Dr Prerna, Vitamin C can be used for all skin types. But Vitamin C contains ascorbic acid, for which the pH level of acid is much lower than our skin's pH level.
People with allergies, rosacea, sensitive skin and other skin issues can face skin irritation or allergic reactions after applying vitamin C to their skin. Other than that, any skin type can use vitamin C regularly.
Way to get the maximum benefit from Vitamin C
One should only apply a product with proper knowledge or guidance about using the product to get the desired benefits. The same goes for Vitamin C.
"Try to use Vitamin C with 10-20 per cent concentration. Look for a serum-containing ethyl ascorbic acid, the most effective vitamin C form. If you are using a serum, apply the serum on a properly washed face for better penetration and always use a sunscreen with high SPF after applying vitamin C on your face if applied during the day," Dr Prerna said.
When should we avoid using a Vitamin C-based product?
Vitamin C is an ingredient which can be oxidized easily when it comes in contact with light and air. Only ethyl ascorbic acid can defend against oxidizing.
Dr Prerna suggested avoiding Vitamin C if your skin is very sensitive. If the serum changes colour, it should be avoided.
"You can use Vitamin C day or night, but it's usually recommended for daytime due to its free radical protection. Apply the vitamin C serum after cleansing the face with a face wash when the skin is slightly damp for better permeability. Take a few drops and massage the serum into the skin, followed by application of moisturizer and sunscreen," Dr Prerna added.
Dr Prerna concluded the conversation by mentioning vitamin C as an essential vitamin with antioxidant benefits, great for any skin type. It protects the skin from UV damage, suppresses pigmentation, and preserves the integrity of collagen and elastin fibres in the skin.
It works wonders when applied topically in its most potent and concentrated form. Consistency is the key to maximum benefit, so add it to your skincare routine.