It’s no secret that vitamin C can help boost your immunity and fine-tune your health, but did you know that it can also promote radiant and age-defying skin? This potent skin care ingredient is becoming increasingly popular among dermatologists as a recommendation to their patients - and rightfully so.
It offers immediate and long-term improvements in skin tone, texture, brightness, and firmness for a more radiant and younger-looking appearance.
At Taut, we’re big fans of this skin-loving ingredient for its collagen enhancing properties. Especially since, when used in combination with our best skin care products, vitamin C can rev-up collagen production in the skin.
Sound too good to be true? Let’s take a look at vitamin C skincare and how to incorporate it into your daily routine.
What Is Vitamin C?
Have you been noticing Vitamin C featured more and more by some of your favorite skincare brands? Probably because this powerhouse ingredient, also referred to as ‘ascorbic acid’ or ‘L-ascorbic acid,’ is an antioxidant that can work wonders to make your skin look its best. Consider this little antioxidant your own secret weapon to defend and protect your beautiful skin.
More helpful reading: Vitamin A benefits for skin by RenewSkin Inc.
Antioxidants Keep You Looking Your Best
Whether you’re looking to get more from your skincare routine or just wanting to try something new, antioxidants are a key ingredient for gorgeous, supple skin. After all, who doesn’t want a glowing and radiant complexion all-year round?
Let’s start with how antioxidants work (spoiler alert: they’re called ‘anti’-‘oxidants’ for a reason). When your body is exposed to certain environmental factors like ultraviolet (UV) radiation and environmental pollution, it creates oxidation and this then creates ‘free-radicals.’
You can think of free-radicals as the bad guys who are trying to take over the dermis layer of your skin. They cause damage by changing your cell’s DNA, which can affect the color and texture of your skin, and even lead to skin cancer. Fortunately, this is where antioxidants, like vitamin C and glutathione, step in to save the day! What is glutathione good for? Find out here.
Antioxidants have two superpowers: They’re able to slow down the oxidation process and prevent it from even starting. This means that they stop free radicals in their tracks and leave behind a healthy environment for your cells to live and thrive!
More helpful reading: Skin Care Tips
The Benefits of Vitamin C for Skin
So, what does vitamin C do for your skin? Well, the vitamin C skin benefits are many! Specifically, the properties of vitamin C products help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other forms of skin damage that come with environmental exposure.
As you age the amount of vitamin C that’s in your skin decreases. Unfortunately, your body can’t produce it on its own, which is why it’s so important to supplement your skin with it daily.
Although you can find this antioxidant in many fruits and vegetables like oranges and broccoli, the version that you find in serums penetrates the skin more efficiently to get straight to work on improving your complexion.
More helpful reading: How to detox your skin by RenewSkin Inc.
Whether you live in New York City and are trying to reverse the damage from unavoidable pollution, or you’ve spent a few too many summers under the sun, the vitamin C benefits for skin are endless! And, if you're following an anti-aging, anti-acne diet to help clear your skin, adding a form of vitamin C to your daily routine is essential to maintaining flawless skin. Learn more about collagen-boosting foods here.
The benefits of vitamin C serum include but are not limited to:
- Enhancing your complexion for a brighter skin tone
- Reducing wrinkles and fine lines
- Preventing free radical damage
- Increasing and protecting existing collagen
- Fading dark spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation
- Healing wounds and skin damage
- Reduce inflammation and redness
More helpful reading on the different types of skin blemish.
Different Types of Vitamin C
Just to make things unnecessarily complicated, there are many types of vitamin C: pure, stable, unstable, derivatives, and the list goes on and on. These different types all have pros and cons when it comes to how they interact with your skin.
Not to get too technical, but L-ascorbic acid is an unstable molecule when it's in its purest form. Basically, what this means for your skin is that it will work almost immediately when applied to your face and you’ll start to see results quickly.
Of course, like all good things, there are a few caveats. Pure vitamin C can be harsh when applied to the face, and not recommended to start out with - especially if you have a sensitive skin type.
Additionally, serums containing ascorbic acid can go bad and oxidize very quickly since they are sensitive to warm temperatures, light, and air. This is why you’ll often find serums packaged in a dropper bottle made of dark glass (to limit air and light exposure).
You can easily tell if your serum has oxidized. Normal serums should have a straw-like color. If they've gone bad, you’ll notice a deeper yellow or even brownish color and a change in consistency.
Alternatives to Pure Vitamin C Oil for Skin
Looking for ‘L-ascorbic acid’ on the back of the bottle of your vitamin C serum? Your ingredient list might not say “L-ascorbic acid” at all! In fact, many vitamin C products use what is called a ‘derivative.’
These forms of vitamin C usually work well (even on a sensitive skin type) without being irritating. Plus, derivatives are stable, less expensive, and less likely to oxidize.
So what makes them different from pure vitamin C? Well, derivatives are able to create a very secure package for ascorbic acid to get delivered to the deeper layers of the dermis without running into any issues along the way.
But, not all derivatives are created equal and they all can provide different benefits to the skin. Two of the most popular derivatives that you will find are magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
This ingredient is known for its brightening and hydrating capabilities. For this reason, it is commonly found in moisturizers. It's a great choice to pair with our Taut Hydrate Vegan Supplement to give you a hydrated and vibrant glow by plumping your skin from within.
Shop Taut Hydrate by RenewSkin Inc.:
Try saying that three times fast! This oil-soluble ingredient works to brighten the skin and lighten hyperpigmentation. Since it’s an oil-soluble fatty acid, it's able to penetrate deep into the dermis to promote collagen production. Overall, it’s a good choice for people who have dry skin, melasma or need a solution for pesky dark spots.
How to Start Using Vitamin C Daily
The question of when to apply vitamin C is a hot beauty podcast topic. Everyone seems to have their own opinion on how to get the best results.
We think that the best way to start incorporating a new vitamin C product into your daily routine is by narrowing down which aspect of your skin you would like to improve. For example, do you want to prevent fine lines and wrinkles? Or would you rather fade dark spots?
You might not think that the time at which you use vitamin C would matter much, but it's actually important to figure out in advance if you want to target specific skin imperfections. That's because factors like sun exposure can impact the benefits of this revitalizing antioxidant.
Morning or Night?
Some products are marketed to be used specifically in the morning or only at night. These recommendations are helpful when determining when to use your serum, but not necessarily a hard and fast rule.
If a vitamin C day serum is labeled for morning use, it generally means it contains a form of vitamin C that helps protect from the sun and prevent UV damage. Even if it doesn’t say ‘morning’ or ‘AM’, a treatment that touts its antioxidant properties may be a good option for you before you start your day.
We want what’s best for your skin, so, it’s important to note that any topical vitamin C serum or other skin care product should not be used to replace sunscreen. Instead, they should be used to complement one another. When vitamin C is paired with sunscreen, you’re more likely to avoid irritation, dryness, and damage from the sun.
On the other hand, if you love to soak up the sun and you’re looking to repair existing damage, try using your serum at night.
While you’re asleep, your skin goes through its repair and regeneration process. So, when a serum is applied at night it can focus its efforts on preventing fine lines and wrinkles from forming and healing surface damage, without being impacted by the sun or other factors.
A good nightly serum to start out with would be one that advertises itself as an ‘anti-aging treatment.’
Of course, if you want to get all of the wonderful benefits from L-ascorbic acid, you can always apply different forms of vitamin C twice a day. Plus, skin care products like sunscreen are safe to reapply throughout the day as needed.
Finding the Right Product For You
It’s hard enough to keep a consistent skin care routine, let alone adding new products to your current lineup. Luckily, you don’t need to completely change up your routine when adding vitamin C to your daily regimen.
These days, there are so many options to choose from. Although one of the most common ways of applying vitamin C is in the form of a serum, that is not the only way to get your daily dose of this revitalizing antioxidant. You can choose an ascorbic acid-containing moisturizer, sunscreen, face mask, exfoliant, or facial cleanser, and still receive all of the same benefits.
More helpful reading: Oily skin care routine by RenewSkin Inc.
One of the easiest ways to introduce vitamin C into your routine is in the form of a moisturizer. They are easy to apply and can simplify your routine by combining two steps into one product. You can find moisturizers for a wide variety of skin types from oily to dry and even for sensitive skin. Plus, certain types of derivatives are natural hydrators, so it's great for dry skin that needs an extra boost of moisture.
More helpful reading:
We’ve discussed how vitamin C protects from photodamage from the sun’s UV rays. So, if that's one of your primary concerns, finding a sunscreen with ascorbic acid is your best bet. Feel free to reapply throughout the day without worrying about irritating your skin. The more you reapply, the more protection you’ll get in return.
Cleansers and Exfoliants
When you want to give your face a fresh start, use a cleanser or an exfoliant. Ascorbic acid works to chemically remove old, dead cells and regenerate new and healthy ones. Although these products are washed off almost immediately, the antioxidant will linger on your face and start getting to work right away.
Sheet masks are another great way to let the benefits of ascorbic acid sink deep into the dermis layer of your skin. One of the most effective vitamin C treatments is our Taut Collagen Mask. It contains vitamin C and collagen along with other complementary, free-radical fighting ingredients to heal, hydrate, and brighten while combating signs of aging.
Although they are normally pricier, vitamin C serum benefits the skin because it allows the antioxidants to fully penetrate the skin. They often work well for all skin types and you’ll only need a drop or two daily for them to be effective. They are also easy to layer with other products, such as a vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, or ferulic acid serum.
More helpful reading: Best serums.
Choosing the Right Product
Nowadays, we are even more accustomed to getting what we want, when we want it (right now). But, just because a serum promises quick results and a high percentage of vitamin C, doesn’t necessarily make it the best option for you.
Most people who are just starting out will want to choose a serum with a low concentration - unless otherwise instructed by a board-certified dermatologist.
A low concentration would be considered anywhere below 5% and up to 10% of vitamin C. Once you have adapted and can tolerate this amount, you should increase to a higher concentration. The next step would be to work your way up to vitamin C levels of anywhere from 10% to 15% and then 15% to 30%.
Vitamin C loves to work with its BFFs, which include other antioxidants like vitamin E. Vitamins C and E support each other to keep your skin looking beautiful. While shopping for a new product, you’ll undoubtedly run across many variations of similar formulas containing ascorbic acid, vitamin E, and ferulic acid.
Although vitamin C gets along with most other products, there is one, in particular, that should be avoided: Benzoyl peroxide. If you are already using a spot treatment or wash with this ingredient, you’ll want to avoid using it in combination with your vitamin C serum.
The two ingredients together will not cause a negative reaction when used simultaneously, however, benzoyl peroxide will oxidize ascorbic acid, making it ineffective.
But, this doesn’t mean that you will have to stop using benzoyl peroxide. To get around this issue, you can use the two products at different times of the day.
More helpful reading:
How to Use Vitamin C
Naturally, it can be exciting to try out a new serum that you know has a long list of benefits. However, before you start slathering vitamin C all over your skin, make sure to do a patch test. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin. After all, you wouldn’t step into a hot shower without testing the water out first, right?
To do a patch test, simply apply a small amount of product to your face, wait a few minutes (or a few hours) and see how you react to it. If you have a reaction, you’ll notice irritation, redness, or other signs of inflammation. If not, you're good to go!
Incorporating Vitamin C Into Your Routine
Now, don't reach for the serum bottle just yet. Let’s come up with a plan so you can maximize its benefits.
Start by breaking your skincare routine into steps. As a general rule, you want to layer your products from thinnest to thickest consistency. This means that if you have a vitamin C serum, it’s best to apply it before your moisturizer. Then, once your moisturizer is in place, you can follow up with a prescription or over-the-counter treatment.
Vitamin C and Collagen: A Match Made in Heaven
Want an easy and effective way to add vitamin C to your skincare routine? If so, try out our Taut Intense Transformation Program. This bundle contains 3 boxes of our Taut Collagen Advanced Formula to replenish your natural collagen from the inside out.
You can enjoy the benefits of smoother, more radiant skin as this unique formula works to tighten loose skin, promote collagen and elastin production, and reduce wrinkles. Better yet, you can transform your look in as little as 21 days and enjoy longer-lasting results.
How, you ask? Our Taut Collagen Advanced Formula combines a whopping 13,000mg dose of marine hydrolyzed collagen from wild-caught Red Snapper with elastin peptides and hyaluronic acid to support skin elasticity while deeply hydrating and strengthening your epidermis.
And, to top it all off, we added a 300mg dose of vitamin C to stimulate your body's natural collagen production and help with wound healing. What you're left with is a beauty-boosting elixir that will keep your skin looking plump, supple, and blemish free for years to come!
Learn more about this program or how to maximize your skin care regimen with collagen and vitamin C by contacting our team today. It would be our pleasure to answer any questions you may have about our collagen supplements, essential skin care products, or program bundles.