We are always in search of viable and effective skincare solutions. These days, the market is flooded with many products derived from a variety of ingredients. One such is our personal favorite, Vitamin C, which is proven to be effectively beneficial for all skin types. From brightening the skin to fighting signs of aging and stimulating collagen production, Vitamin C does it all.
It is available in the form of facial serums, gels and even creams these days which can be incorporated into your daily skincare routine. Moreover, ingestion of Vitamin C is also effective along with topical application to achieve promising results.
We’ve answered all the burning questions going in your mind about Vitamin C serum, its benefits, side effects, types, what to mix & whatnot and much more. Check them out right here!
What is Vitamin C?
Starting with the most basic question: What’s Vitamin C? Well, it is a potent antioxidant that helps to fight the signs of aging, fine lines and wrinkles. It is also called L-ascorbic acid and is a water-soluble, lightweight vitamin that naturally occurs in various citrus fruits.
The human body and even animals are unable to naturally synthesize the vitamin and hence require supplements and topical application to reap its benefits. It is essential for the growth, development and repairing of the body tissues. One can derive it from their daily diet by intaking citric fruits or in the form of supplements. Other than that, many topical products have this ingredient in them and they are equally effective.
What are the benefits of Vitamin C serum?
Vitamin C serums have gained immense popularity over the years for their many benefits. All these benefits together, make it a potent choice for all skin types. Here are a few benefits which are universal to all skin types and can persuade you to include Vitamin C face serum in your skincare routine:
- Vitamin C face serums are mild and safe enough for most skin types. They are also suitable for use along with other soothing skincare ingredients such as Niacinamide, Vitamin E, and Hyaluronic acid
- It is extremely hydrating in the form of ascorbic acid and is absorbed thoroughly through topical application. It also helps to reduce transepidermal water loss or TEWL and helps the skin retain moisture better
- Vitamin C face serum helps to fade hyperpigmentation over time and eventually leaves it much brighter and even-toned
- When the correct formulation is used, it soothes irritated skin and reduces redness as it acts as an antioxidant. It also neutralizes the free radicals that lead to oxidative damage
- Vitamin C helps to reduce melanin production which in turn reduces hyperpigmentation. It contains an enzyme known as tyrosinase which is used for treating hyperpigmented spots
- Vitamin C promotes collagen production by accelerating collagen synthesis in the body. Over the years, the collagen synthesis slows down which leads to aging.
- When you pair Vitamin C with sunscreen in the daytime, its efficacy is increased and your skin is protected from sun damage
- Vitamin C serum when used as an eye cream can be proven highly beneficial in targeting fine lines, wrinkles, and other concerns
What are the side effects of Vitamin C?
Everything has a good and a bad side to it. Vitamin C is packed with many benefits but has a few side effects as well. It is a generally well-tolerated ingredient and considered safe for all skin types. It does not cause any side effects on most skin types but sensitive skin has always had its limitations.
Those with sensitive skin types often experience irritation, redness and itchiness when they are exposed to Vitamin C. However, it all comes down to the strength and composition of the Vitamin C face serum. High vitamin C concentration can be adverse for extremely sensitive skin when used incorrectly. Hence, it is important to always start with low concentrations and then make your way up to higher, more effective, and safe formulations.
Another side effect that many users complain about is the yellowing effect of the skin and other surfaces which it comes in contact with. It can cause stinging and dryness though these are extremely rare symptoms.
Caution should be taken especially when it is being used under the eyes. In short, the side effects are mostly witnessed in the sensitive skin type. By choosing the right variant and concentration of Vitamin C serum carefully for your skin, you can avoid these side effects.
How many different types of Vitamin C serums are there?
There are a few different forms of Vitamin C and they vary based on their composition. All these varieties are used in making various types of Vitamin C face serums. The following are the most common, different types of vitamin C that are used for making face serums:
#1 L-Ascorbic Acid
If you want to get the maximum benefits of Vitamin C, look for a serum that has L-Ascorbic Acid in its ingredients. Apart from being the purest form of Vitamin C, this ingredient is naturally found in our bodies and repairs body tissues.
However, if you go through the ingredient list of different vitamin C face serums available on the market, you will find L-ascorbic Acid as the primary ingredient in very few of them. Mainly because, even though it is the most potent and purest form of Vitamin C, it is a bit difficult to formulate given its intricacies. It is known to be one of the best and most effective forms however, the search for this type is not easy as not many brands make it.
Lucky for you, we have a Vitamin C serum that incorporates L-Ascorbic Acid that will take care of your stubborn scars and spots and help you achieve ever-lasting brighter skin! Foxtale’s C for Yourself Vitamin C Serum has pure L-ascorbic acid as the primary ingredient. It is the most well-known and researched form of Vitamin C and is also considered the most potent of all. Its pH is less than 4 and it has anti-aging benefits for normal skin types. This has a whopping 15% L-Ascorbic Acid which works along with 1% Vitamin E to reveal brighter, fresh, glowy, and well-protected skin (from sun damage).
If you have sensitive skin or are using Vitamin C for the very first time, the best way to incorporate it is to look for products with a 5% concentration of acid and get accustomed to it. Or you can just mix the Foxtale’s serum in your moisturizer for gentle yet effective results. Slowly and steadily increase the dosage to 15 to 20% as your skin starts getting used to it.
#2 Magnesium ascorbyl Phosphate
MAP is a very stable form of Vitamin C and is also known for delivering hydration. It can soothe the skin easily and has primarily anti-inflammatory properties. MAP is most suited for acne-prone skin types and is effective as a topical antioxidant. Furthermore, it helps to prevent and fade away acne scarring and balances the overall skin tone.
#3 Sodium Ascorbate
This is a form of mineral salt which is derived from ascorbic acid, the purest form of Vitamin C. It gives protection against free radicals and helps to fade discolouration. Moreover, sodium ascorbate changes to ascorbic acid when it comes in contact with the skin. It is more stable compared to ascorbic acid and can withstand exposure to sun and air to some extent.
At what age can I start using Vitamin C?
To be honest, there is exactly no right age where you can start using Vitamin C serum in your skincare routine. A teenager’s skin is a lot more different than an adult or aged person and it’s safe to say both can benefit from Vitamin C serums given their target concerns. If you feel the need to prevent sun damage or have acne scars that you want to fade, use a Vitamin C serum and you can easily benefit from it, be it at the age of 18 or 40!
How long does Vitamin C serum take to work?
Depending on the type of Vitamin C you are using, it can easily take around 1 to 4 months or 4 to 12 weeks for it to work and show results. While L-Ascorbic Acid works faster, other variants might take longer than that.
Consistency and concentration in using a product play an important role in efficacy. If you use high concentrations regularly, along with topping it off with a good sunscreen, it will take faster to show the results.
Other factors are Age and lifestyle that affect the results of a Vitamin C serum. Younger people with minimal issues will experience faster results than aged people with stubborn marks and damage. Also, if your lifestyle includes constant smoking, alcohol consumption, and a bad diet the results will be hampered.
How do I choose Vitamin C serum for my skin?
Based on your skin type, skin tolerance, preference of formulation, and skin concern, you can choose the best Vitamin C serum for your skin. For mostly all skin types, L-Ascorbic acid is great as it works faster, is pure, and is a potent formula. However, if you struggle with very sensitive skin, this might not be it for you.
If you are a beginner using Vitamin C serum and your skin cannot tolerate high concentrations, go for a serum that has no more than 5% concentration to start with. Similarly, if your skin is used to it and can tolerate a high percentage, go for 15-20% concentration as lower than that may not work for you.
If you have an oily skin type, opt for a serum that has a very light, and watery formulation. On the other hand, creamy, lotion-like formulations work best for dry, combination skin types a little more.
Moreover, skin concerns such as stubborn marks from the past few years on an aged person can only be treated with high concentrations of Vitamin C serum.
Should you put Vitamin C on wet skin?
Although it is always advisable to use your skincare products, especially hydrating serums on damp skin, Vitamin C serum or any other active such as AHA/BHA should never be used like that. Always use it on dry skin. For best results, use it when your skin is dried down right after washing your face. This is so because if you use it on wet skin, the acid will come in contact with water which will neutralize the action and make it weaker.
Should you use Vitamin C during the day or at night?
There is a lot of confusion on whether one should use Vitamin C serum during the daytime or nighttime. Those who use a lot of actives every day seem to believe that daytime is good enough and others find nighttime more comfortable. However, you should know that Vitamin C serum can be used both during the day and at night! To get the maximum benefits of it in the daytime, make sure to use sunscreen to fight free radicals and prevent sun damage. At night, use a good sodium hyaluronate based moisturizer along with the serum to balance it out.
Do I need a moisturizer and sunscreen after Vitamin C?
Yes, yes, and a 100% yes!! You must use a hydrating, barrier-repair moisturizer and a protective sunscreen later on, after applying your Vitamin C serum to get the most benefits and avoid any mishaps. The correct way to use a Vitamin C serum is:
- Firstly, wash your face properly with a gentle face wash like our Daily Duet Cleanser. It makes sure your skin is all ready to absorb in products applied afterwards.
- Next up, use a hydrating Vitamin C serum on a clean face.
- Then, use a skin barrier repair moisturizer like our Ceramide Supercream as a protective layer.
- Follow it up with a sunscreen that has an SPF of 50+ and PA++++! When you use the C For Yourself serum & Cover-Up Sunscreen together, you are actually double-protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays. This powerful duo is known to enhance each other’s efficiency and it works best on fading dark spots as well as premature aging.
What happens if you use Vitamin C without sunscreen?
‘Magical duo’ is the word that comes to our mind when we think about pairing Vitamin C with Sunscreen and we are here to tell you not to miss out on this opportunity! When you are using a Vitamin C serum, it is to combat issues like hyperpigmentation or dark spots, it works by lifting the pigment, and revealing fresh and new skin. And this is why using sunscreen makes the process a lot easier by further protecting your fresh skin from UV rays. If you do not use them together, it is only going to make the situation worse. It will make the spots even more pigmented.
Should you refrigerate your Vitamin C serum?
When it comes to storing your Vitamin C serum, the best way to do it is to keep it in a dark, cool place to ensure it doesn’t come in contact with sunlight. If your serum comes in contact with sunlight (for longer duration), it may get oxidized and it will have an adverse impact on your skin as it has gone bad.
Packaging of a Vitamin C serum plays an important role with respect to storage. If the serum is well packed in an opaque bottle, you can keep it at room temperature as it is already pretty safe from the sunlight. However, glass, transparent bottles may need to be stored in the refrigerator.
How do you know if Vitamin C serum is oxidized?
You can easily figure out if your Vitamin C serum is oxidized by looking at its color and smell. The original color of the Vitamin C serum is usually transparent but when it is oxidized, its color is changed to yellow or brown (darker). Also, if your Vitamin C serum starts to smell repugnant or unpleasant after a few months, you should know that it is oxidized and cannot be used anymore.
What can you do to stop Vitamin C serum from oxidizing?
There are two important things that you need to take care of if you don’t want your Vitamin C serum to oxidize. The first one is storing it in a cool, dark place and away from sunlight as much as possible. And the second one is buying a serum that has opaque packaging.
The Foxtale’s C For Yourself Vitamin C serum is all those things that you would expect from a good Vitamin C serum. It has an opaque packaging that doesn’t oxidize, lasts longer, and makes sure you fully use up its goodness.
What serums can you use with Vitamin C serum?
To get the maximum benefits of Vitamin C serum, you must know its do’s and don'ts. Here are some serums that you can mix with your Vitamin C:
#1 Vitamin C and Vitamin E
Vitamin C and Vitamin E separately benefit your skin immensely but when used together, this combination can help you fight various skin issues. They have been proven effective in preventing sun damage, fighting free radicals, increasing collagen production, and protecting your skin against UV rays.
Our C For Yourself Vitamin C serum includes 15% L-Ascorbic acid and 1% Vitamin E which work together to shield your skin against harsh environmental factors such as pollution, blue light, and dirt and make your skin radiant like you always wished for!
#2 Vitamin C and Ferulic acid
Both Vitamin C and Ferulic acid are great to fight free radicals and signs of premature aging. Ferulic acid is a plant-based antioxidant that enhances the potency of Vitamin C. These two together, are excellent for someone who wants brighter and youthful-looking skin.
#3 Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid
Everyone can vouch for the benefits that Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid provide for your skin individually. But did you know when you combine these two, it becomes a powerhouse for your skin? This superior combination delivers intense hydration and works to reduce hyperpigmentation and sunburn as well. It brightens up your skin like no other and gives you glowing, radiant skin. If you are using them one by one in serum form, use Vitamin C serum first on dry skin and then apply your Hyaluronic acid serum.
What can you not mix with Vitamin C?
Here are some of the ingredients that you should avoid mixing with your Vitamin C:
#1 Vitamin C and AHA’s and BHA’s
AHA’s and BHA’s can be a game-changer for your skin. While the former works on the surface area of your skin and improves skin texture, acne marks, etc, the latter works deep into your pores and clears out pimples, blackheads, etc. However, when applied along with Vitamin C serum, they can irritate as all these actives are acidic in nature. It is better to use them on alternate days only.
#2 Vitamin C and Retinol
Retinol is another such ingredient that we highly recommend avoiding using with Vitamin C serum. This combination is only advisable to use under the supervision of experts or dermatologists. They are used as strong chemical peels and you will experience redness and irritation afterwards.
#3 Vitamin C and Benzoyl peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is another treatment product that shouldn’t be mixed with Vitamin C as it can counteract each other’s effects and make it useless. The former has also been seen to oxidize the latter which clearly isn’t a good sign!