If you’ve read some of our earlier articles, then you know we’re big fans of vitamin C. It helps your body fight off free radicals and sun damage while also stimulating collagen production to keep your skin taut and supple. It can even reduce the appearance of healed acne marks and dark spots caused by the sun. With so many good things to offer, it’s easy to see why manufacturers often include vitamin C in their skincare products. Good formulas can be difficult to find, though, and there are important practices you need to follow to achieve the best results, so read on to learn how to get the most out of your topical vitamin C product.
The world would be a far better place if every product actually lived up to the claims listed on its label. Take pain relievers, for example. You can buy aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen to treat a headache, but you’ll need a prescription strength product to tackle a migraine. All those products work, but the dosage to results ratio varies greatly. Skincare is no different. Vitamin C, while found in everything from cleansers to creams, needs to be formulated effectively and protected as well. Studies show that L-ascorbic acid works best in a 10%–20% concentration; anything higher can potentially irritate the skin. Since it’s also incredibly unstable, it needs to be packaged properly, preferably in an opaque or dark colored bottle to preserve its effectiveness since light can reduce its potency. This is where medical grade skincare really shines. When you purchase a product from us or from a dermatologist, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. Try finding the percentage of vitamin C on a bottle in your local drug store, and you’ll see that skincare companies aren’t always transparent when it comes to their products.
The Ins and Outs of Using Vitamin C
Whenever you decide to add a new product to your skincare routine, do so with caution. We know it’s tempting to use a new product every day, but the best way to avoid irritation is to try using it every other evening as part of your nighttime routine, so you can see how your skin reacts. According to Dermatologist Amy Paul, “Vitamin C is usually well tolerated and non-irritating, but you should start slowly as you introduce it into your skincare regimen.” If you’re using a serum, such as Citrix CRS 15% L-Ascorbic Acid Serum 15%, make sure to apply it after cleansing and thoroughly patting your face dry because vitamin C can sting if your skin is still damp. Tip: If you’re still using a harsh cleanser or one with a high pH level, switch to something more balanced, so your skin will be at the proper pH level when you apply your serum. Just like potency, pH also matters.
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Armed with all this information, and possibly a fresh bottle of vitamin C serum, here’s one more piece of advice to take to heart—use sunscreen. With all the effort you’re putting toward taking care of your skin, it would be a shame to ruin it by venturing outdoors without sunscreen. Vitamin C fights free radicals, but it can’t do it alone. To prevent further damage, apply broad spectrum SPF to your skin whenever you plan to be outside. Yes, it’s an extra step, but it’s still the best thing you can do to prevent skin aging. And please reach out to us if you have questions or need guidance. That’s what we’re here for, after all.
Wishing you good skin days,
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