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Vitamin C for Face - An Overview

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Vitamin C contains antioxidants, substances that prevent damage to cells and tissues from free radicals. Also, it offers several skin benefits.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. V. Srikanth Reddy

Published At February 28, 2024
Reviewed AtFebruary 28, 2024

Introduction

Vitamin C is touted as one of the best ingredients in the market for pro-aging. All must have heard of vitamin C serums, as they are key maintainers of smooth, even, and glowy complexions. Although vitamin C has been an ingredient in the diet, there is no guarantee that it will go straight up to the skin. Using serums and topical application of vitamin C can only serve as a direct way to reap the benefits. Vitamin C offers an excellent safety profile. Mostly, even after extended use of vitamin C for the skin, it has no adverse effects. According to research conducted in 2017, a concentration of vitamin C above 20 percent may cause minor skin irritation, and because of this, the concentration is kept between 10 and 20 percent in skin care products.

What Are the Benefits of Using Vitamin C on the Face?

The use of vitamin C over the face has several benefits:

  • Antioxidant Protection: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals generated by environmental stressors like pollution and UV radiation. This can help prevent aging and skin damage.
  • Brightening: The production of melanin is inhibited by vitamin C. This leads to a more even skin tone and reduced dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and damage from the sun. It promotes a brighter complexion for youthful skin.
  • Collagen Production: Vitamin C plays an important role in collagen production, which helps maintain skin firmness and elasticity. Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Resulting in firmer and smoother skin.
  • Wound Healing: Vitamin C helps in the regeneration of the skin. Promotes faster healing and repair. It reduces inflammation and redness associated with acne and skin irritation.
  • Sun Protection: Vitamin C reduces the skin damage caused by UV (ultraviolet) rays.
  • Hydration: It improves the skin’s moisture barrier. Allows retention of obstacles more effectively, resulting in softer, smoother, and brighter skin.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Vitamin C benefits irritated skin as it possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Enhanced Product Absorption: Vitamin C helps absorb other skin care products. This allows penetration of different skin care products into the skin and maximizes the effects further.

How Should Vitamin C Be Incorporated Into Skincare Routine?

Incorporating vitamin C into the skincare routine is very straightforward. Firstly, the skin has to be cleansed. All the dirt, oil, and impurities have to be removed. Once the skin is cleaned, vitamin C absorption becomes very easy. After this, the vitamin C serum must be applied to the face, typically more concentrated than the creams and lotions. This makes them effective in delivering vitamin C to the face. After this, apply regular moisturizer to lock in the moisture, further nourishing the skin. Always finish the skincare routine in the morning with SPF (sun protection factor) 30 or higher. Vitamin C is most effective in the morning as a part of the daily skincare routine. If the skin tolerates the frequency of vitamin C, then the concentration can be increased slowly. Attention must always be paid to how the skin responds to vitamin C usage.

Can Vitamin C Be Used With Other Skincare Ingredients?

Vitamin C can be used with other skincare ingredients. When it is compacted with other ingredients, its effectiveness is enhanced. The common ingredients that can be used alongside vitamin C include:

  • Retinol (Vitamin A): Promotes cell turnover and collagen production. It improves the texture of the skin. It helps in hydrating and plumping the skin. It brightens the skin when used along with vitamin C.

  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): Comes with anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in improving the skin texture, tone, and color. It addresses multiple skin conditions when used along with vitamin C.

  • Hyaluronic Acid: Helps retain and attract the skin moisture. It hydrates the skin.

  • Ceramides: Helps maintain the skin barrier function. Prevents the loss of moisture.

  • Peptides: Supports the synthesis of collagen.

  • Antioxidants: Like vitamin E, green tea and ferulic acid can complement the activities of vitamin C.

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs): Help exfoliate the skin. Removes the dead cells and improves the skin tone and texture.

How Long Does It Take to See Results From Using Vitamin C on the Face?

The time taken varies depending on the individual skin type, the concentration of vitamin C used, and the consistency of application. The immediate effect is improved hydration, texture, and subtle brightening effects due to the antioxidant properties. Within a few weeks, short-term effects can be seen, like brightening of skin, radiance, improved skin tone, and reduced redness and inflammation. For a few months, noticeable improvement in skin texture, clarity, and evenness is noted. There is a reduction in dark spots and fine lines. The skin appears firmer, smoother, and youthful, with diminished signs of aging and even tone.

Is There a Best Time of Day to Use Vitamin C on the Face?

It has been recommended to use vitamin C in the morning as a part of the daily skincare routine. As this vitamin holds the properties of antioxidants, it helps in the neutralization of free radicals which are generated by environmental stressors like pollution and radiation. It can brighten the skin tone and even the complexion. In the morning, it can help provide radiance and glow to the skin, which can be maintained throughout the day. Optimal absorption occurs when vitamin C is applied to the dry skin, incorporating moisture into the skin.

Can a Person With Sensitive Skin Use Vitamin C?

Vitamin C can be used in people with sensitive skin. However, it is necessary to take certain precautions and go ahead by choosing products that are specifically designed to be used for such skin types. The concentration of vitamin C must be lower to reduce the risk of irritation. Before application, an individual should undergo a patch test on a small skin area to check for adverse skin reactions that can persist. The start must always be with a lower concentration. Choose a suitable formulation that is less likely to irritate. Avoid harsh ingredients, as this can exacerbate skin sensitivity when used along with vitamin C.

Conclusion

By being mindful and following tips one can safely incorporate vitamin C into a skincare routine, even if the skin is sensitive. Ultimately, the best time that has to be chosen for the use of vitamin C in the face depends on personal preferences, lifestyle, and skincare goals.

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Dr. V. Srikanth Reddy
Dr. V. Srikanth Reddy

Dermatology

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