Vitamin C Serums 101: Its Benefits, Top Choices, How To Use and More

You have probably heard of Vitamin C, and it’s benefits for your body to maintain a healthy balance. But did you know that Vitamin C is additionally beneficial for your skin? Chances are you are curious about Vitamin C and the advantages of using this multi-purpose genius ingredient.

Here is the full scoop with a list of my favourite top-rated Vitamin C serums that I have used and researched.

What Is Vitamin C

Let’s break down what vitamin c is to have a decent understanding of it’s potential. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin with antioxidant advantages for the skin when applied topically and immune-boosting benefits when ingested. Vitamin C repairs tissue damage and boosts your immune system. Personally, I take vitamin c supplements every day in addition to the foods I eat.

Vitamin C Serum Benefits

Here is a list of its benefits:

Vitamin C is considered a skincare staple for so many because it’s not a one-stop-shop. When used correctly, it has multiple skin advantages – Maybe you’re wondering what vitamin c can do for your skin?

  • Dermatologists declare that vitamin c is one of the best anti-ageing ingredients found in nature.
  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that combats free radicals that cause ageing, such as pollution and harmful UV rays.
  • Vitamin C is a known brightener and can support evening the tones of your complexion while strengthening its vascular wall when used regularly.
  • L-ascorbic acid promotes radiance and stimulates collagen production and elastic fibres to build firmness.
  • It suppresses pigmentation lessens dark spots.
  • Vitamin C helps your skin repair damaged cells.

How To Use Vitamin C Serums

Step 1 – Wash your face
Step 2 – Apply a toner ( I like the feel and purpose of a toner so I always apply one)
Step 3 – Apply in an upward motion your vitamin c serum including your neck
Step 4 – Apply your moisturizer. Serums before moisturizers (always apply thinnest to thickest consistency)
Step 5 – Apply your eye cream with your ring finger to ensure the most gentle application
Step 6 – Apply your sunscreen every day, all. year. long.
Step 7 – Once dried apply your primer followed by your makeup.

Because Vitamin C helps protect your skin from ultraviolet light, free radicals, and pollution, so you’re going to want to use it in the morning rather than in the evening unless the serum specifies it. Sunscreen + Vitamin C serum is the ultimate protection for your skin. This is the great thing about vitamin c serums, you won’t feel sticky with the good ones.

How Much Should I Use

You should use vitamin c daily; Yes, you read correctly, every day! A vitamin c serum will provide better absorption oppose to a cream formulation and is an easy way to incorporate it into your skincare regimen. All you need is a few drops a day.

Serums are designed to always be used before your moisturizer, to amplify results. If you are an oily skin type, use a serum on its own and still receive all the benefits.

Important note for all is that any and all serums are most effective when your skin is properly exfoliated. Think of it as peeling an orange; you cannot get to the juicy inside unless you rid the peel. The build-up of dead skin cells can make it difficult for the serum to penetrate where needed, so be sure to exfoliate to indulge in all your skincare benefits.

Top Choice Exfoliators:

What Ingredients Do Not Mix Well With Vitamin C

Remember to avoid using your vitamin c in combination with AHA’s and BHA’s; instead, apply one in the morning and the other in the evening a couple times a week. Since they are chemical exfoliants, they can cause sensitivity.

If you are a Niacinamide fan, do not use it at the same time when using vitamin c serums. Research shows that this ingredient inactivates vitamin c if it is in a combined water-based product. Instead, use one in the morning and one in the evening.

What Strength Should I Begin With

It is essential to know that most skincare ingredients contain different concentrations to cater to your skin type. Seeking advice from a skincare expert on the strength that will be most beneficial for you will be helpful. Vitamin C typically ranges from 10-20% L-Ascorbic Acid. To get you started in the right place, look for a stable 10% L-ascorbic acid mixed with vitamin e – which will help with absorption. Vitamin E stabilizes vitamin c while supporting each other, so always look for this in your product choice ingredient list.

BAO LABORATORY – This Vitamin C serum is to be used at night instead of during the day. The ingredients are authentic – the scent gives it away. Which is a win!

Based On My Skin Type, How Do I Decide

L-ascorbic acid is the most potent form of vitamin c; therefore, the most beneficial for oily or normal skin types. For dry and sensitive skin, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, a water-soluble vitamin c, is typically less irritating. When you use this serum, it is the most bioavailable, which means it immediately absorbs the skin and starts working.

A note to be aware of is a sheer sign you may be using too much is you could break out or see blackheads on the top layer of your skin. If this happens, take a break from the serum and try again using a smaller amount. If, after 4 weeks, your skin does not adapt, then it is time to explore another formula that works best with your skin type.

My Advice Always

As always, do a patch test when introducing a new product into your skin regimen. To maintain happy skin, take a slow approach when adding vitamin c to your regimen. Start with once a day, every other day, for a week or two and then gradually increase to applying daily. Remember, it takes several weeks of regular use to see skin tone improvement.

This price point can’t be beat, and I love that it has a smooth gel-like consistency that dries super quickly.

Be Aware Of Ingredients

Some products that say vitamin c on the packaging do not contain pure ingredients. For example, with the research I’ve completed, vitamin c derivative, ascorbyl palmitate, will not provide the same protection as you would from a pure vitamin c.

How To Store My Vitamin C

In my research to cover all the essential points fo you, there are two general categories of vitamin c serums:

  • Water-based
  • Anhydrous(without water)

The water-based tend to be more unstable and light-sensitive, which means it is usually stored in opaque or amber coloured bottles for this reason. Your anhydrous types tend to be more stable, even in sunlight.

However, both types must be stored in a cool dark place and kept in an airtight bottle to avoid oxidization. Be aware, if the colour becomes dark or cloudy, it has already oxidized and will not be effective – so time to toss it.

My preference is to purchase an airtight pump package to ensure the potency is not affected by air or light.

What Does Vitamin C That Is Unstable Mean

Vitamin C is water-soluble and breaks down when exposed to oxygen; this places it in a unstable category. Vitamin C contained products can be tricky to formulate when maintaining potency once the bottle has been opened. The reason being is it degrades and oxidizes quickly when it comes into contact with water,even if a formula is made with heavy-duty preservatives. And while oxidized vitamin C isn’t bad for your skin, it has lost its ability to deliver results.

To keep your products as stable as possible, store at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. There should also be a date listed on the packaging to let you know how long the formulation will be effective for once opened. Typically, some formulations last one month, and others can last up to three months; always remember to pay attention to your serum’s colour when purchased and if it changes.

Does A Higher Price Point For Vitamin C Equal Better Results

Not necessarily. Brands spend time and money working with vitamin c due to its instability. They perform studies and conduct research to ensure their products are shelf-stable and that your skin will absorb and see results. Unfortunately, to compensate for this cost, it shows in the price of your purchase. Formulations with scientific evidence tend to have a slightly higher price point.

Seeking recommendations is the best route to take as well as researching any product you are considering purchasing. Hopefully my lists will help with your selection. Second to this advice, be patient with your product; it can take two to four weeks with daily usage before seeing substantial results.

Which Vitamin C Works Best? My Top Choices – Shop Now

How To Use Vitamin C And Hyaluronic Acid

Suppose you are not sure how to use your vitamin c and hyaluronic acid serums together. In that case, the answer is – go from thinnest to thickest consistency. My hyaluronic acid serum has a thinner consistency, so I apply it before and allow it to dry before applying my vitamin c serum. Layering serums is a-ok! Since Vitamin C serums can be drying at times, this combo is a perfect match.

Another great combo product if you want one serum as a double threat! Vitamin C with Hyaluronic Acid is your choice every time!

How To Use Vitamin C and Retinol

Now here you have two amazingly powerful skincare ingredients, as good as they are, be cautious when using them simultaneously. The two active ingredients can cause irritation to your skin because of how effective they are. In a perfect world, you should separate your vitamin c and retinol serums’ application and use them at different times of the day, using your vitamin c serum in the morning and retinol in the evening.

On occasion, some people can use both at the same time without experiencing sensitivity. Suppose you want to go this route – I advise waiting 30 minutes in between application so that the vitamin c completely absorbs into your skin. It should also be applied before your retinol.

Was this helpful for you if you are learning about Vitamin C? Do you have a favorite serum that I have not listed? If yes, please share in the comments.

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. If you use these links to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. As always, I only recommend products that I truly love and would use myself.


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