Available as serums, vitamin C has a range of benefits on the skin, such as balancing skin tone, reducing hyperpigmentation and minimising the signs of ageing. Skin care manufacturers package vitamin C into serums because thus higher vitamin C concentrations can be absorbed by the skin.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it reduces the damage that free radicals (particles that cause inflammation) may otherwise inflict on the skin. According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, antioxidant effects Vitamin C has on the skin include:
• reducing premature cell death
• reducing the release of cytokines, which are inflammatory compounds
• reducing damage resulting from exposure to UV light
But remember, sunscreen shouldn’t be replaced with topical vitamin C for skin protection!
Although vitamin C can’t reverse the appearance of wrinkles, it can help reduce premature ageing by protecting the skin from the skin wrinkles caused by sun exposure. It also helps reduce premature wrinkling by stimulating collagen growth. Thicker, collagen-rich skin is less likely to show wrinkling than thinner skin.
Researchers from Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University have indicated that vitamin C may help reduce melanin production (a pigment responsible for the darker appearance of hyper-pigmented areas). This is why vitamin C helps in treating hyperpigmentation.
Lasermed stocks a few vitamin C serums, one of which is from the Obagi range. These serums should be applied to clean skin, prior to applying moisturiser and sunscreen.
Please be aware that because vitamin C can be acidic, it may cause skin irritation in some people, particularly in high concentrations. When using a vitamin C serum for the first time, apply a thin layer every other day and gradually increase to daily applications.
Also, combining vitamin C with retinol has the potential to irritate the skin further. If using retinol in your skin care routine, you may wish to use vitamin C serum in the morning and retinol-based products at night. This method maximises the sun-protective effect of vitamin C while minimising retinol’s potential to increase sun sensitivity.