Vitamin C is one of those all-star ingredients that has a place in every skincare regimen. Studies have shown it can reduce sun damage, brighten skin and even out skin tone and texture. No wonder it's such a prominent ingredient in facial serums.
Skin Benefits and Uses
Vitamin C is essential to producing collagen, the substance that binds cells together. Stable collagen production is key to healthy, radiant, younger looking skin—it fights wrinkles and promotes evenness in the skin's tone and texture. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties to protect the skin from damaging free radicals as well. It also strengthens the skin' barrier and thickens the dermis, speeds up wound healing and reduces inflammation. In high concentrations, it can reduce the appearance of skin discoloration.
Dermatologists often use vitamin-C products to enhance the effects of cosmetic treatments like microdermabrasion and chemical peels.
All vitamins oxidize when used topically, meaning that the vitamins lose their potency (sometimes drastically) when exposed to air. Scientists have had to develop ways to incorporate vitamins into skin-care products without the risk of degradation, so that the nutrients can be as effective as possible. Vitamin C is included in skincare products in the form of its derivatives, including L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, which make it possible to reap the vitamin's benefits when applied topically.
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Facial Serums Versus Moisturizers
A facial serum is not the same as a facial moisturizer, and many cosmetic skincare lines offer (and recommend) both. Serums are lighter and thinner in consistency compared to moisturizer. They have targeted functions, such as anti-aging or free-radical protection, and boast high concentrations of active ingredients that are able to penetrate deep into the skin's layers. Moisturizers address only the superficial surface tissue. A serum is best applied to the face after cleansing and before the moisturizer.
Serums With Vitamin C
A facial serum with vitamin C is a potent skincare treatment. In one of its derivative forms, vitamin C penetrates the surface layers of the skin to stimulate collagen production and protect from damaging environmental factors, like ultraviolet rays.
While vitamin C provides sun-protection benefits, it's not a substitute for sunscreen. Apply a moisturizer with an SPF or a separate SPF lotion daily.
Isobel Washington has been a freelance journalist since 2007. Washington's work first surfaced in Europe, where she served as a restaurant critic and journalist for "LifeStyles" magazine. Her love of travel and culture inspired her first novel, which is currently underway. Washington has a 10-year career in marketing communication and holds a Bachelor of Science degree.