What does vitamin C do to the skin and why is everyone talking about it? This may be different from everything you've been told about skincare before but, after helping many people heal their skin and simplify their routines, we've heard so many horror stories with the effects of vitamin C on the skin. There was one customer in particular that came to us after having suffered a crazy on and off urticaria reaction because she used a bad vitamin C serum 4 YEARS AGO! 😱 Sounds awful, right?
Well, in order to understand why we don't really recommend using it, we need to start by understanding what does vitamin C do to the skin:
🍊 Vitamin C is usually recommended for skin brightening, even skin tone and anti-ageing. Its effects on the skin are a result of:
- its anti-oxidant effects, neutralises free radicals and inflammation that contribute to uneven skin tone and ageing
- its action as an acid. Acids are exfoliating ingredients that remove dead skin cells and helps to speed up cell turnover.
So vitamin C speeds up the removal of cells that contain melanin pigment, helping speed up hyperpigmentation.
This all sounds good, right? Well, the way vitamin C woks isn’t necessarily special. Many other acids (glycolic acid or salicylic acid) have exfoliating effects, as well as anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The main problem with vitamin C is that is much harder to formulate with and it’s highly unstable. Ascorbic acid degrades very quickly when you open the bottle, and worse it can have the opposite effect and act as an oxidiser (causing ageing and damage to the skin).
At the moment there are a few ways to go around the instability of Vitamin C but none that’s perfect. Moreover research shows that in order to benefit from Vit. C itself has to be formulated in high concentration, above 15%, which is a really high for a formulation.
High concentrations can also be quite irritating to the skin, specially if the skin barrier is compromised. Check out our best tip to protect and support the skin barrier
But, even if your skin is not sensitive and could tolerate vitamin C, we still wouldn’t recommend using it for supporting your skin’s antioxidant defenses.
We prefer using vitamin E with lower molecular weight and non-sensitising essential oils, which many of them contain a higher antioxidant content than vitamin C, any have a lot less risk to damage your skin so you can achieve the same effects of Vitamin C on the skin without the potential harm and high risk of oxidation.
If you'd like to learn more about about alternatives to vitamin C and treat your unique skin concerns, such as skin brightening and uneven skin tone, take our online skin quiz now and get a custom formula customised to cover ALL your skin needs at once.
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