Beauty

Why you should be using vitamin C in your skin-care routine

Why you should be using vitamin C in your skin-care routine

Vitamin C Image by: istock

Beauty

Why you should be using vitamin C in your skin-care routine

It’s time to add the anti-aging powerhouse vitamin C to your skin-care regimen.

Vitamin C isn’t an obscure ingredient. In fact, most of us are familiar with it thanks to our daily intake of fruit and vegetables. But skin-care researchers continue to uncover and understand the role that vitamin C has in the prevention of aging. The good news? If you’re already eating blueberries and acai regularly, you’re a step ahead. But, in terms of skin care, topical vitamin C is significantly more effective than consuming it, so it’s a good idea to add it to your skin-care routine, too, to protect against free-radical damage, increase microcirculation and build collagen. Here’s what you need to know.

What is vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the most potent antioxidants on the market. It’s found naturally in citrus fruit and berries, and vegetables such as red peppers and kale. Vitamin C can be derived from those natural ingredients, but skin-care scientists often tweak or create formulas in a lab to ensure a more stable product. The human body is not able to make vitamin C or store it in large amounts, but it’s essential for maintaining skin health, which is why you should add it to your routine, stat.

What does it do to the skin?

Many people are familiar with the notion that vitamin C has skin-brightening properties, but vitamin C’s main function is to build collagen. “The structure of the epidermis is made out of collagen,” says Jennifer Hirsch, beauty botanist for The Body Shop, “and vitamin C regulates collagen.” Collagen (think of it as the springs in a mattress) production slows down in our mid-20s, but vitamin C encourages its continued creation. The ingredient also protects our skin from the effects of free radicals (environmental aggressors responsible for 80 percent of the skin’s aging). “It increases the microcirculation in the skin,” says Regine Berthelot, director of spa education at Caudalie, “helping eliminate toxins and impurities” often caused by sun exposure, external stress and environmental pollution. 

Stability is key

Unfortunately, the most potent form of vitamin C is also the least stable. Brands have been perfecting their formulas to ensure that vitamin C is stable and, therefore, active. Vitamin C easily degrades over time—more swiftly when exposed to heat and light—so freshness is key. “What happens is that a couple of weeks after you open the bottle, the product becomes orange or brown; it becomes oxidized,” says Berthelot. “Knowing that the product is stabilized is very important to be able to make sure it keeps its potency.” Unstable vitamin C won’t damage your skin, but it also won’t work and can cause photosensitivity (which is a reaction to UV rays from sunlight and other light sources and in extreme cases can lead to rashes). 

Find your formula

When it comes to picking a product with vitamin C, Hirsch recommends opting for a formula that will stay on your skin, instead of being rinsed off. “You’re going to get the maximum benefit from something you leave on your skin for a period of time,” says Hirsch. Berthelot says products with 15 percent vitamin C work perfectly for the skin because they’re strong enough to be active. More than 25 percent isn’t advised, as your skin can’t absorb more than that at once. Alternatively, look for formulas that aren’t too acidic, with a pH level of three to four. 

Booster Club

These ingredients are the supporting case that allow vitamin C to shine.

Vitamin E: Vitamins C and E work better when paired together. They offer complementary support to ensure free-radical protection. 

Hyaluronic acid: The combination of antioxidant powerhouse vitamin C and hydrating wonder-molecule hyaluronic acid helps keep skin plump and radiant.

Peptides: Combining the ingredient with peptides, which tighten and lift,
gives vitamin C an extra dose of anti-aging benefits.

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Vitamin C is the star ingredient of these skin-care wonders

Caudalie

The antipollution cream also pumps and smooths with stabilized vitamin C to produce an even complexion.

VineActiv 3-in-1 Moisturizer, $53, caudalie.ca.

Vitamin C is the star ingredient of these skin-care wonders

Clinique

Pure powdered vitamin C isn't mixed with the soothing emulsion until you press the button to use this seven-day treatment. This keeps the vitamin C fresh and potent.

Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10%, $94, clinique.ca.

Vitamin C is the star ingredient of these skin-care wonders

Dr Gross Skincare

Vitamin C, ceramides and peptides help prevent the appearance of hyper-pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area.

C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Eye Cream, $85, sephora.ca.

Vitamin C is the star ingredient of these skin-care wonders

Jouviance

Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and 20 percent vitamin C combine to protect against free radicals and correct by rebuilding collagen.

Restructiv Vitamin C Night Serum, $65, jouviance.com.

Vitamin C is the star ingredient of these skin-care wonders

Kiehl's

Packed with L-ascrobic acid to boost collagen levels and protect skin from free radicals, this anti-wrinkle treatment improves the texture and tone of the skin.

Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, $79, kiehls.ca.

Vitamin C is the star ingredient of these skin-care wonders

Korres

The original wild-rose formula (with real wild-rose petals) from Korres is updated with super C (a stablized vitamin C) for radiant glowing skin.

Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil, $75, beautyboutique.ca.

Vitamin C is the star ingredient of these skin-care wonders

Miracle 10

Mix this 100 percent vitamin C powder into any gel or cream skin-care product (in a ratio of 1:4) to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other skin damage.

Super C, $92, miracle10.com.

Vitamin C is the star ingredient of these skin-care wonders

MyChelle

The high concentration of L-ascorbic acid in the market (at 25 percent) is found in this proprietary powerhouse serum from MyChelle Dermaceuticals.

Perfect C Pro Serum 25%, $65, beautyboutique.ca.

Vitamin C is the star ingredient of these skin-care wonders

SkinCeuticals

This serum is the ultimate combination of vitamin C (15 percent), vitamin E (1 percent), and ferulic acid (0.5 percent). Together, the ingredients work to fight signs of aging and environmental damage.

C E Ferulic, $170, skinceuticals.ca.

Vitamin C is the star ingredient of these skin-care wonders

The Body Shop

Vitamin C-rich camu camu combines with aloe vera to refresh and brighten tired skin.

Vitamin C Energising Face Mist, $20, thebodyshop.ca.

 

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Why you should be using vitamin C in your skin-care routine

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