Your body is always thankful for the nutritional vitamin C in the glass of orange juice you drink or the piece of grapefruit you eat, so why wouldn’t your skin want some of that citrus-loving? Especially considering the oral intake of vitamin C does not adequately fulfill its bioavailability in the skin. The importance of a vitamin C serum has created a cult following in skincare – and for all the right reasons too. We take a look at how topical application of vitamin C benefits your skin in more ways than you imagined.
What are skin serums?
First thing first – we want the deets on serums, right? Serums are lightweight skincare formulas containing concentrated actives without extra ingredients like heavy oils or sun protection. They have a water-like consistency and absorb into the skin faster. They are also fast-acting. Serums can hydrate, brighten, and fight signs of ageing. Vitamin C serums are powered by l-ascorbic acid, vitamin E, vitamin B, hyaluronic acid, and ferulic acid. L-ascorbic acid is the most active vitamin C derivative.
Importance of vitamin C serums
From being the most potent antioxidant to stimulating collagen production, vitamin C plays many roles in your skincare routine.
Slows down signs of aging
Vitamin C stimulates the production of youth-retaining matrix molecules, such as collagen and elastin. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in our body responsible for the firmness and plumpness of skin. However, it depletes over time, causing skin sagginess. Lower levels of collagen lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen synthesis can’t happen without vitamin C. Vitamin C is the main booster of collagen production. Vitamin C also helps neutralise free radicals that cause oxidative stress to the skin. Oxidative damage from environmental stressors leads to premature skin ageing.
Brightens skin and promotes a healthy glow
Studies show that using vitamin C on the skin inhibits melanin production. Magnesium phosophate ascorbyl derivative in vitamin C decreases melanin synthesis. This process helps lighten dark spots, age spots, and hyperpigmentation. Dark spots are a result of the overproduction of melanin, sometimes triggered by sun damage or ageing. Anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C reduce redness and even out skin tone. You will have brighter skin and a supercharged glow.
Safe for sensitive skin
While vitamin C serums are safe for all skin types, using magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, a water-soluble vitamin C, is less irritating for sensitive and dry skin. A patch test will usually help you determine your skin's tolerance to the serum. You can also start by using lower concentrations, starting from10% and increasing to 15% or 20%. The absorption of vitamin C serum depends on its pH level. Normal skin absorbs low pH values better, like 3.5pH. Sensitive skin works safely with pH values of 5-6, the skin's natural pH levels that do not usually cause skin irritation.
Protects against sun damage
Vitamin C has the ability to protect the skin against harmful UV rays and speeds up the healing from sunburn and damage. Sunscreens are only partially effective in blocking free radicals produced by UV exposure. Vitamin C has been shown to prevent collagen damage, wrinkles, and elastin accumulation. When vitamin C serums are layered underneath broad-spectrum UVA/UVB coverage, they protect the skin even further.
Vitamin C also accelerates cell turnover by replacing damaged skin cells with healthy new ones. The topical application of vitamin C, in conjunction with vitamin E and other compounds, plays a role in skin healing. It can reduce UV irradiation (sunburn) and inflammation due to UV exposure.
Helps treat acne prone skin
The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C help reduce the redness and swelling that come with acne. The soothing properties heal acne wounds much faster. It helps heal post-inflammatory scars and skin damage. Vitamin C also minimises acne-related hyperpigmentation.
Acne-prone skin is aggravated by free radicals. The role of vitamin C as a powerful antioxidant protects the skin from free radical damage. It can prevent breakouts and improve skin health.
Hydrates your skin
The vitamin C derivative, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, has a hydrating effect on the skin. According to a 2022 study, it decreases transepidermal water loss, allowing the skin to retain moisture better. Treatment of dry skin involves the maintenance of the lipid barrier. The topical application of vitamin C enhances the production of barrier lipids in the skin to protect itself from water loss.
Vitamin C is the mainstay of a solid skincare routine. From brightening a dull complexion to preventing free radical damage, it is one of the hardest-working ingredients that improve skin health. A vitamin C serum is a concentrated dose of this powerful active. It works more efficiently and effectively to give you healthier and brighter skin. Shop for a range of vitamin C serums at essentials.lk and discover original international brands for affordable prices in Sri Lanka.