Why You Should Want Vitamin C for Your Skin
You should want Vitamin C for your skin because of its many incredible benefits, which include giving you brighter, firmer skin while helping to both prevent and to heal those unpleasant signs of aging – fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. In this article, we answer all of your questions about vitamin C, as a topical treatment as well as a supplement to the foods you eat.
What Are 5 Benefits of Vitamin C?
- Probably the most important benefit of vitamin C for your skin is that it is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants fight free radicals which are unstable atoms that are missing one electron. Antioxidants like vitamin C can supply that missing electron to stop free radicals from inducing permanent harm to your skin and causing it to age prematurely. You see, without antioxidants like vitamin C, these unstable atoms would take electrons from otherwise stable atoms in your skin, damaging it and producing fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
Free radicals can be produced by your body’s metabolic processes as well as by environmental factors such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and UV exposure.
If these free radicals are not neutralized, they can lead to oxidative stress, which causes cell damage, and can lead to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Oxidative stress has also been linked to many chronic diseases.
Vitamin C’s ability to prevent oxidative stress through its antioxidant properties boosts your immune system and prevents damage to your skin cells, thus preventing the signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles.
- Vitamin C helps your skin produce collagen, which is a protein that occurs naturally in your skin and keeps it plump and firm. Free radicals break down collagen. Vitamin C reduces this breakdown by fighting the free radicals that attack your skin. Also, we lose collagen as we age, but vitamin C can help you in synthesizing new collagen. This helps slow the signs of aging – wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin.Also, vitamin C’s extra collagen production helps in wound healing.
- In addition, vitamin C for your skin can improve the appearance of the wrinkles you may already have. It does this by stimulating your collagen production, which causes your skin to be plumper and firmer and, therefore, smoother.
- Vitamin C reduces the appearance of dark spots, sun spots, and age spots, also known as hyperpigmentation. It does this by interfering with your body’s melanin-producing processes. Vitamin C blocks the enzyme tyrosinase, which is necessary for the synthesis of melanin. Without as much melanin production, the dark spots, sun spots, and age spots lighten.
- Vitamin C protects your skin from the harmful UV rays from the sun and can even repair sun-damaged skin. Yes, that means improving the look of fine lines and wrinkles. But, you must still always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 when using topical Vitamin C and going out into the sun.
Is It Good To Have Vitamin C Every Day?
Yes. Your skin and body both need vitamin C for numerous processes, but the human body cannot synthesize it on its own. What’s more, your body cannot store vitamin C. It is a water-soluble vitamin that your body will use as needed, then flush out any excess.
You must either apply it topically to your skin and/or get vitamin C from the foods you eat. You may also take a vitamin C supplement in addition to your topical skin treatments and dietary vitamin C.
Does Vitamin C Improve Skin?
Yes, most definitely. Using vitamin C for your skin will help prevent fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin by fighting free radicals and oxidative stress which break down the collagen in your skin that is necessary for plump, firm skin. Further, since it stimulates collagen production, vitamin C will help the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin C can also reduce hyperpigmentation, such as dark spots, sun spots, and age spots. And, it can help with wound healing which can be especially helpful in the case of acne. Not only that, but vitamin C reduces the inflammation associated with acne.
Further, vitamin C can repair photoaging – premature aging of the facial skin caused by UV exposure. So, not only does your skin benefit from the free radical fighting antioxidant powers of vitamin C when you’re exposed to the sun, but your skin can also be healed from direct UV damage. Again, you must understand topical vitamin C is NOT a substitute for sunscreen. You should always use it with a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
Can Vitamin C Lighten Skin?
Yes. Melanin is a pigment in your skin, eyes, and hair that makes them appear dark. Applied topically, vitamin C interferes with melanin production, naturally lightening your skin. This is how it lightens hyperpigmentation, but it also produces a lighter, brighter overall skin tone.
Can You Use Vitamin C Every Day on Your Face?
Yes, with some caveats. Before you try any new active ingredient, such as topical vitamin C, often in serum form, you should do a patch test on a small area of skin to make sure your skin can tolerate it. If all goes well, begin slowly, once or twice a week, and gradually work up to everyday use.
Also, you may wish to start with a lower concentration of vitamin C (the most active form being L-ascorbic acid) such as 10 percent, and slowly work up to 20 percent as your skin may tolerate.
If you tolerate it well, no problem. The following side effects are fairly common and should not last very long, tingling, burning, itching, and redness. However, if the burning doesn’t go away, or if there are any signs of an allergic reaction, such as a rash, hives, or swelling, the vitamin C serum must be immediately washed off. Seek medical attention for an allergic reaction.
This is a very important reason why a patch test should be done before you put any new active ingredient, such as an acid like vitamin C serum all over your face.
With that said, vitamin C serum is generally safe to use every day, even up to twice a day, if your skin can tolerate it.
Here’s how you apply it. Cleanse your face, apply vitamin C, moisturize, and then follow with a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
When Should I Use Vitamin C on My Face?
There are two schools of thought on this, and it may depend on what other skin care products you are using. The most prevalent answer is that you should use vitamin C during the day. This is so its free radical and UV ray fighting benefits can be employed to their utmost.
If you also use other active skin care products, such as retinol, a vitamin A derivative, you’ll generally want to put them on at night. For instance, Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. So, the conventional wisdom is to use vitamin C in the morning and retinol at night. Other active ingredients don’t mix well with vitamin C. More on that later.
However, you can use both vitamin C and retinol at night if you don’t have particularly sensitive skin and your skin doesn’t rebel. But, you should already be used to both products before you attempt this, and, again, you should start slowly. If you do use them both, put the vitamin C on 30 minutes before the retinol. This gives your skin time to return to its normal state before you add another active ingredient.
Can Vitamin C Darken My Skin?
Yes, if it has oxidized. This can happen in one of two ways. Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, light, and air. That’s why you always want to purchase vitamin C serum in a dark bottle, keep it tightly closed and in a cool, dark place. If it changes to an orange/brown color, it has oxidized and will stain your face if you use it.
This happens because when ascorbic acid oxidizes it becomes erythrulose, an ingredient found in self-tanning products. Vitamin C serums will oxidize over time, about 3 months, so keep an eye on yours.
Another way this could happen is if the ascorbic acid actually oxidizes once you put it on your face. Then the same staining can occur as the vitamin C degrades into erythrulose. The most potent form of vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid, and, traditionally, it has been the most unstable, which might allow for such a phenomenon.
However, Beautystat Cosmetics has developed the world’s first serum containing 20 percent, stable, pure vitamin C that stays potent and never oxidizes or turns brown. So, it’s not going to oxidize on your face either.
What Should You NOT Mix With Vitamin C?
You should not mix vitamin C with niacinamide (vitamin B3). Both are antioxidants, but they can weaken each other’s potency or even cancel each other out when mixed. Also, the mixture can cause you to break out. If you do use them together, wait at least 10 minutes between each application. A better practice would be to use vitamin C in the morning and niacinamide at night.
Do not mix topical vitamin C with alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxyl acids (BHAs). Both are chemical exfoliants that are used to remove dead skin cells from your face. Some examples of AHAs and BHAs are glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid. And, since topical vitamin C, AHAs and BHAs are all acids, this can be too much for your skin. Again, the best mode of action would be to use vitamin C in the morning and your AHAS and BHAs at night.
Also, you don’t want to use topical vitamin C with benzoyl peroxide, it can oxidize the ascorbic acid which could at best render it useless and at worst stain your skin.
Finally, don’t mix vitamin C with retinol except as described above.
Can I Use Vitamin E and C at the Same Time?
Yes. They boost each other’s effectiveness. Both vitamin C and vitamin E are powerful antioxidants that protect your skin against free radicals, and therefore oxidative stress. These actions help to prevent premature aging of your skin. When you use both, they work together to give you even more protection against free radical damage and provide even more UV protection.
A study published by the National Center for Biotechnical information concluded that in swine skin vitamin C added to a UVB sunscreen helped protect against sunburn damage, while adding both vitamin C and vitamin E provided much more protection from UVB damage, with most of the protection being linked to vitamin E. But, vitamin C showed substantially better results as compared to vitamin E protecting against UVA damage in swine skin. And, even more protection against UVA damage was seen when both vitamin C and E were added to a UVA sunscreen. – effectiveness pub med
So, using both vitamin E and C topically is more effective in protecting your skin against photodamage (damage from the sun’s UV rays) than either topical vitamin just by itself. This, in turn, helps to prevent those fine lines and wrinkles that can be caused by photodamage.
Furthermore, vitamin E helps to stabilize vitamin C, which can be unstable in its most potent form, L-ascorbic acid.
Can Vitamin C Clog My Pores?
No, vitamin C for your skin does not clog your pores. It helps to heal acne with its anti-inflammatory action. However, a phenomenon called skin purging can occur in a couple of circumstances. The first is if you have acne-prone skin, and the second is if you go too fast in adding vitamin C to your skincare regimen or use too much of it.
Vitamin C encourages accelerated cell turnover to get rid of old, dead skin cells and reveal fresh, new, younger-looking skin. But in doing this, sometimes it causes all the dead skin cells and excess sebum already clogging your pores to rise to the surface. Sebum is a waxy, oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands in your skin.
This action of cell turnover can cause your face to become red, irritated, dry, and flaky, and can also cause blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, and even cysts. Purging will generally happen where you frequently break out.
Everyone is different, but skin purging can last from 4 to 6 weeks. If it goes on any longer you need to consult your dermatologist.
During this purging, you should continue using your vitamin C, but with a gentle regimen, such as a sulfate-free cleanser, a gentle moisturizer, and sunscreen. You also may want to add something like a hyaluronic acid serum to keep your skin hydrated during this time.
Also, avoid putting your hands on your face except during your skin care regimen.
Now, it may not be skin purging if you’re breaking out in places you don’t normally. This may be a reaction to the acid. Or if you see signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives or a rash. In both cases, you should stop using the product and consult with your dermatologist.
To decrease, or even avoid skin purging, start slowly with your applications of vitamin C for your skin. Begin with one application a week and build up to everyday use as your skin can tolerate. You may even want to start with a lower concentration of vitamin C as you are getting your skin accustomed to it. Also, don’t forget to do a patch test before you begin.
Can I Mix Vitamin C With Moisturizer?
Yes. You can mix your vitamin C serum with moisturizer to dilute it or use a moisturizer that already has vitamin C in it as a way to get your skin used to it more easily. Whenever you use topical vitamin C, it is recommended that you use a moisturizer afterward, and then follow up with a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
Which Serum Is Best for Glowing Skin?
Actually, there are three serums that are all good for healthy glowing skin and can be used in conjunction with each other. Vitamin C, of course, promotes cell turnover for a fresh, youthful glow, and it brightens and firms the face. Vitamin E, like C, reduces sun damage, hydrates the skin, and also plays a role in cell regeneration, so you will have dewy, glowing skin. And these two serums can be used together for even greater benefits for your skin.
The third is vitamin B3 (niacinamide) which should not be mixed with vitamin C, so you should use your vitamin C in the morning and niacinamide at night. Vitamin B3 keeps your skin glowing by keeping it hydrated and smooth and even helping to fade hyperpigmentation.
How Long Does It Take for Vitamin C To Work on Your Skin?
When you apply vitamin C to your skin consistently, you will begin to see results as early as 4 weeks, but it may take up to 12 weeks to see the full benefits of the treatments.
In a double-blind study, it was found that using topical vitamin C (10 percent ascorbic acid) for 12 weeks produced a “clinically visible and statistically significant improvement” in facial wrinkling. The subjects were tested at 4 and 8 weeks as well and all through the study they showed a decrease in photoaging, improvement in the hydration of their periorbital areas (tissues around the eyes), an overall improvement on the side of the face which had been treated as well as an increase in the production of collagen.
You too can experience amazing eye benefits with Beautystat Cosmetics’ Universal C Eye Perfector. It contains 5 percent pure, stable ascorbic acid and hyaluronic acid to be gentle on the tender skin around your eyes. Some of the many benefits you will see will be brighter eyes and reduced dark circles, crow’s feet, and puffiness.
Why Does Vitamin C Burn My Face?
There are a few reasons why this may be happening. First off, it’s normal to feel a slight burning or tingling when you apply an exfoliating acid such as vitamin C to your skin. This just means it’s working.
But, before you use a product such as ascorbic acid, don’t forget the patch test. You want to make sure the sting isn’t something more, like a reaction to the vitamin C product.
Second, if you’re getting burned, you may be using a concentration that is too strong for your skin to start with. Try a low-concentration serum first, until your skin becomes accustomed to it, then work your way up to higher concentrations as your skin can tolerate.
Third, you may be using your vitamin C serum too often. Not everyone can use ascorbic acid every day, and certainly not twice a day.
However, if you should have signs of an allergic reaction at any time, such as swelling or hives, wash off the serum right away and seek medical attention.
What Are Vitamin C Pills Good For?
Vitamin C supplements have many benefits. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin. This means that our bodies cannot produce it and we have to get it from the foods that we eat and/or from supplements.
Just like with the serum vitamin C for your skin, the vitamin C in a supplement is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and can reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to many chronic diseases, so having more vitamin C in your bodily system can help reduce your risk of getting a chronic disease, including aging and cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron.
We need vitamin C to form healthy bones and blood vessels, among other structures. And, of course, it is needed to help produce collagen which the body uses not only for its skin but for its connective tissues as well.
Vitamin C helps boost your immune system. While it won’t cure a cold, it does support certain types of immune cells. And we already know vitamin C helps in wound healing.
This powerhouse vitamin also helps in preventing gout, a painful form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood which crystallized and is deposited in the joints, causing severe bouts of pain. Vitamin C lowers the levels of uric acid in the blood.
Further, seriously low levels of vitamin C in your body could lead to you getting scurvy, the ailment sailors used to get long ago before they knew about vitamin C.
Is It Good To Take a Vitamin C Pill?
Yes. While it’s best to get your vitamin C requirements from the whole fruits and vegetables you eat, sometimes that’s just not enough. Vitamin C supplements are a good way to get this important nutrient in the amounts we need and want.
Is It Okay To Take Vitamin C Tablets Every Day?
Yes, so long as you don’t take excessive amounts. The maximum you can take in a day without causing yourself harm is 2000 mg for adults. This does not mean you can take this much every day without harming yourself.
And, it’s way beyond what you actually need. Furthermore, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and the human body does not store it up. Instead, it uses what it needs and flushes out the rest every day. But the evidence is strong that taking 500 mg a day is safe.
How Much Vitamin C Should I Take Daily?
The recommended daily amount of vitamin C per day for adult women is 75 mg. For adult men, the recommended amount is 90 mg. Pregnant women should get 85 mg per day, and breastfeeding women should get 120 mg. And, if you smoke, you should add 35 mg to these figures because smoking depletes your vitamin C levels.
Again, there is strong evidence that taking 500 mg per day is safe and even beneficial. But you should always check with your doctor before starting any new supplement, especially if you are on other medications.
And, taking too much vitamin C can cause unwanted side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and even kidney stones.