Vitamin C & The Science Behind Skincare
Hearing your skincare fanatic friends obsessing over Vitamin C and wondering why? Here's everything you've ever wanted to know about topical Vitamin C, including which forms and percentages are most effective for the skin.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that is found in vegetables and fruits such as oranges, tomatoes, strawberries, bell peppers, and cantaloupe. Most animals and plants can make Vitamin C, but humans do not have this capability. You can get Vitamin C from a healthy diet by either consuming vitamin supplements or by applying it topically with skincare products. The pure form of Vitamin C is known as Ascorbic Acid or L-Ascorbic Acid.
What about topical Vitamin C found in skincare products?
Vitamin C has gained serious attention in the skincare world because of its ability to address signs of aging for the skin, encouraged by health-conscious consumers. But while your body can get Vitamin C from foods or supplements, your skin may not necessarily benefit the same way as it does with topical skincare products containing Vitamin C. That’s why a daily topical dose of Vitamin C is a vital component of any skin fitness regimen, especially since it is suitable for all skin types and ages.
What are the skin benefits of Vitamin C?
This reparative vitamin does a lot. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which protects skin cells and helps to fight the daily environmental aggressors we are exposed to, such as free radical damage caused by UV exposure. Since 90% of premature aging is caused by the sun's harmful rays, using Vitamin C partnered with sunscreen can minimize damage.
Without adequate amounts of Vitamin C, the body can’t form or store collagen. Studies show that Vitamin C supports and promotes healthy collagen, which in turn helps to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Most importantly, Vitamin C is known for its skin-brightening benefits, helping minimize dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
What type of Vitamin C is best for my skin?
Vitamin C is categorized in cosmetics as unstable or stable. L-Ascorbic Acid is a type of Vitamin C that is highly unstable, and it does not penetrate the skin’s natural water barrier easily. L-Ascorbic Acid can degrade when exposed to oxygen, which means it does a poor job of delivering antioxidants to the skin. L-Ascorbic Acid is also very acidic, making it more irritating and sensitizing when applied to the skin.
You should always seek stable forms of Vitamin C because they don't degrade when exposed to oxygen, meaning your skin actually benefits from Vitamin C's powerful antioxidants. Stable forms are also less irritating to the skin, are more potent and easily recognized by your skin. This makes stable Vitamin C more effective at brightening pigmentation, supporting healthy collagen, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Even better, stable forms of Vitamin C are ideal for sensitive skin types and are safe for all skin tones.
Typically, skincare companies will promote whether they use a stable form of Vitamin C or not. If you’re looking at one that doesn’t, you might have to investigate for yourself by looking at the ingredients listed on the box. Beneficial, stable forms of Vitamin C that have research demonstrating their efficacy in skincare include Vitamin C Ester, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, and 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, to name a few.
What are the best skincare products containing stable forms of Vitamin C?
When searching for Vitamin C in skincare products, don't be fooled by percentages. High percentages of active ingredients do not matter if they can't be delivered where they are the most helpful for your skin. Dermatologists at LaserAway Beauty have developed an Intelligent Delivery System to target and transport key ingredients where your skin needs them most, utilizing precision delivery to help them to absorb deeper into the skin.
LaserAway Beauty's Wake Me Up Vitamin C Firming Day Serum is not only formulated with a stable form of Vitamin C, but it is enriched with a Hyaluronic Acid Complex and skin firming Peptides that help to reduce and prevent signs of aging while revealing skin that is brighter, smoother and hydrated.
Camille Morgan is Director of Skincare at LaserAway. Have more questions about skincare or LaserAway Beauty products? Please reach out to Camille by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. 2017 Aug 12.
Telang, Pumori Saokar. “Vitamin C in dermatology.” Indian dermatology online journal vol. 4,2 2013.
Boyera, N et al. “Effect of Vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts.” International journal of cosmetic science vol. 20,3 1998.
“Health effects of UV Radiation”, SunSafety, EPA.gov.
“Vitamin C Ingredients Market Trend Analysis,” Future Market Insights, February 2, 2020.
“Act your age when it comes to skincare,” aad.org, November 1, 2016.