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Efficacy and Use of Vitamin C Serum: A Guide to Achieving Radiant Skin


Jun 28, 2023

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that offers numerous benefits for the skin. It plays a vital role in collagen synthesis, neutralizes free radicals, and helps protect the skin against environmental damage. Incorporating vitamin C into your skincare routine can improve the overall health and appearance of your skin. In this article, we will explore what vitamin C is, its benefits, and how you can add it to your skincare routine.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that naturally occurs in various fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, and bell peppers. In skincare, vitamin C is used in topical formulations to deliver its antioxidant properties directly to the skin.

Benefits of Vitamin C for the Skin:

  • Collagen Production:

Vitamin C is a key component in collagen synthesis, a protein that provides structure and elasticity to the skin. By stimulating collagen production, vitamin C helps maintain skin firmness, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and promote a more youthful complexion.

  • Antioxidant Protection:

As a potent antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect the skin against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to the skin cells. This protection helps to prevent premature aging and counteract the effects of environmental pollutants and UV radiation.

  • Brightening and Even Skin Tone:

Vitamin C inhibits the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for dark spots and hyperpigmentation. By reducing melanin synthesis, vitamin C can help fade dark spots, promote a more even skin tone, and impart a radiant complexion.

  • Protection Against Sun Damage:

While vitamin C should not replace sunscreen, it can provide an additional layer of protection against UV damage. When used in conjunction with sunscreen, vitamin C can help minimize the harmful effects of sun exposure, such as sunburn and photoaging.

How to Add Vitamin C to Your Skincare Routine:

1.Choose a Stable Formulation: Vitamin C is available in various forms, including L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. Look for products with stable forms of vitamin C, such as L-ascorbic acid, as they are more effective and better able to penetrate the skin.

2.Start with a Low Concentration: If you are new to using vitamin C, start with a lower concentration (around 10% or less) to allow your skin to adjust. Gradually increase the concentration as your skin becomes accustomed to it.

3.Time of Application: Vitamin C can be applied in the morning or evening, depending on your preference. However, using it in the morning offers the added benefit of antioxidant protection throughout the day.

4.Cleanse and Tone: Begin your skincare routine by cleansing your face and follow it with a toner to ensure a clean canvas for the vitamin C product.

5.Apply Vitamin C Serum or Cream: After cleansing and toning, apply a few drops or a small amount of vitamin C serum or cream to your face and neck. Gently massage it into the skin using upward motions. Allow it to fully absorb before proceeding to the next step.

6.Follow with Moisturizer and Sunscreen: After applying vitamin C, continue with your regular moisturizer to lock in hydration. Finish your routine with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your skin from sun damage.

7.Be Consistent: Consistency is key when using vitamin C. Incorporate it into your daily skincare routine and use it regularly to maximize its benefits. However, if you experience any irritation or discomfort, reduce the frequency of use or discontinue use and consult a dermatologist.

How often should I apply vitamin C for best results?  

Beauty experts recommend that you should gradually introduce products that have concentrated vitamin C like face serums. This is because vitamin C contains ascorbic acid and could irritate your skin if you go overboard. Get your skin used to it by applying vitamin C every alternate day before moving on to applying it every day.  

As for products like face wash, moisturiser and sunscreens containing vitamin C, it can be applied every day and multiple times throughout the day since it is completely safe with no harsh side effects.  


There are some do’s and don’t’s that you should keep in mind when adding vitamin C to your skincare routine. If you use vitamin C products for your skin in the morning, wait a while before heading out in the sun so that its benefits are fully maximised.  

Store vitamin C in a cool area and see to it that it isn’t placed where direct sun rays may fall. Keep your products tightly closed so that they don’t get oxidised. Don’t combine vitamin C with retinol as there could be some side effects like redness and peelings. This is a given, but also do not use expired products, ever, it just is not worth it.  

Interactions with other ingredients 

Since vitamin C is an acid, after all, it will not react well with certain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or retinol. It can make vitamin C less potent and may even cause irritation. You can alternate between the products instead of simply skipping them. If you use vitamin C in the morning, move the benzoyl peroxide and retinol products to your nighttime routine.  

In summary, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that offers a wide range of benefits for the skin. By incorporating vitamin C into your skincare routine, you can enjoy its collagen-boosting, brightening, and protective effects. Choose stable formulations, start with a low concentration, and be consistent in your application. With regular use, vitamin C can help you achieve a healthier, more radiant complexion.

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