Their omnipresence on beauty/pharmacy counters and online feeds is almost enough to give us reasons to use Vitamin C serums on skin. FOMO aside though, I’m sharing my top 3 reasons why Vitamin C serums really work to give us better skin. With all the skincare trends in our faces all the time, discerning what’s gimmicky and what actually works on our faces can be confusing. So I hope this will be helpful information to consider on Vitamin C serums.
1. Improves Complexion
Topical application of Vitamin C is known to prevent/slow down the overproduction of melanin. This includes scars left behind by acne, sun spots, hyperpigmentation and melasma. Vitamin C works on these concentrated discolorations to fade them over time giving us more even skin tone. This doesn’t have a lightening effect on the rest of the skin where melanin production is even and normal. It also minimizes inflammation and redness to keep skin from looking patchy or uneven. These effects, plus the anti-oxidant nature of Vitamin C keeps our skin looking brighter and more vibrant.
2. Promotes Youthful Skin
Vitamin C stimulates collagen production within our skin – a function that gets reduced with age. Collagen is responsible for the elasticity and flexibility of skin. Enhancing it ensures that we keep our skin looking and feeling more plump. Again, along with its anti-oxidant benefits, Vitamin C helping boost collagen keeps us looking youthful by reducing the appearance of fine lines and increasing the toned structure of skin. So Vitamin C serums help us maintain firmer, younger skin.
3. Defends Against Sun Damage
We know the sun is one of the leading causes of skin damage and aging. Being an anti-oxidant, Vitamin C protects us from free radicals (explained here) that contribute to aging. It also boosts the efficacy of sunscreen when used under it. As Vitamin C is photosensitive, it’s highly advised to use sunscreen when using a Vitamin C serum. Otherwise, the sun will end up exacerbating dark spots that the Vitamin C is supposed to be working on in the first place. Honestly, sunscreen should be used daily regardless.
There are other products in the market that contain Vitamin C as an active ingredient – like moisturizers – but a serum is the best bet to get real results. Serums are formulated to be lighter in consistency than moisturizers. This enables them penetrate deeper into the skin to work internally and not just at face value (pun intended). This means they work faster and better. Serums are also treatments that target specific issues so the concentration/potency in a serum form is usually higher than in other products.
I’ve been using a Vitamin C serum by Radha Beauty for almost a year now and I can attest to how effective it has been in transforming my skin from dull and patchy to radiant and more even toned. You can hear about it in my skincare routine here. When I religiously incorporate it into my skincare, I see it fade my acne scars and hyperpigmentation significantly. It actually also reduced my breakouts when I used it daily. I also loved that the Radha Beauty serum included Hyaluronic Acid which I am a believer in (see my The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum review here). My skin looked and felt more supple, soft and bouncy! Using it and sunscreen were a big turnaround for me because my major hyperpigmentation areas around my mouth really improved.
I’ve enjoyed using this Radha Beauty brand of Vitamin C serum which I got from @BeautyBarKenya for KShs. 2,550 ($25.50). Now that it’s over I’m looking to try a different brand like The Ordinary or Mad Hippie that I’ve also seen good reviews on from trusted sources. I’m also very much interested in trying the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance serum (said to be 62 times more effective than Vitamin C) that I’ve seen work very well on Aysha Harun who’s skincare recommendations have never let me down.
- Always use a Vitamin C serum after cleansing and toning but before a Hyaluronic Acid and/or moisturizer or sunscreen so that it can get properly absorbed into the skin.
- Give it a few minutes (3-5) to penetrate the skin before going in with the next step in your skincare regimen.
- It works best when skin is exfoliated as dead skin build up can prevent it from getting absorbed into the skin to do its job. Just don’t over-exfoliate.
- If using Hydroxy Acids (AHAs and BHAs) or Retinols, it’s best to alternate the days/nights between them and Vitamin C. With Hydroxy Acids, using them together may cause irritation due to an overload of acids. In the case of Retinols, they work best at different pH levels and using them together could lower both their powers which is just wasting product, effort and money.
- Keep them away from direct sunlight and heat so as not to compromise their working power. Once they start changing scent or colour, they won’t be as effective.
- Always use sunscreen!