While vitamin C is a golden ingredient that many skincare experts praise, it stands to be a tricky product to master for beginners.
Vitamin C, a.k.a L-ascorbic acid, has been a necessary in the skincare industry for its anti-aging and brightening advantages. However, when used wrongly, it can irritate and even make your skin more sensitive. I struggle with dark spots and when I heard that vitamin C can cure all of these worries away, I immediately jumped in on the trend. Little did I know that it needs more finesse when using it for the first time. I had to learn the hard way by going through breakouts before fully reaping the benefits of the magical ingredient.
Here’s how to effectively introduce vitamin C products to your skincare regimen:
KNOW THE BENEFITS
A powerful antioxidant with the main advantage of brightening and lightening discoloration, it diminishes the appearance of dark spots by minimizing the formation of excess melanin in the layers of our skin. It is also very effective when it comes to building collagen and elastin. These are the components responsible for reducing fine lines and sagging for youthful skin. Another one of its many benefits is that it fights against free radicals commonly contained in pollution. Free radicals can speed up the aging and cause ashy, dry, and dull skin.
READ THE LABEL
Vitamin C is a water-soluble ingredient, which means it can penetrate the skin deeper. Our skin is already slightly acidic on its own, so the trick here is to choose a product that’s pH level is around 3.5. This level is the safest but most effective for vitamin C. Look for products that are combined with vitamin E, ferulic Acid, vitamin B, and hyaluronic acid. These other ingredients works well with vitamin C to neutralize its potent nature.
A good example is Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate paired with their Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing & Dark Circle-Diminishing Vitamin C Eye Serum, which are products that contain pure vitamin C, but is balanced through a tri-peptide complex formula with an addition of hyaluronic acid. Their products have the full potential of vitamin C but it’s stabilized enough to be healthy for the skin. The products counteracts the visible effects of dark eyes and puffiness while giving an instant boost of radiance and smoothness.
The rule of thumb when it comes to using active ingredients in your routine is to cleanse, pat on active ingredients, moisturize then apply sunscreen.
In a daytime routine, your goal is to protect your skin from harmful environmental factors throughout the day. For its active ingredients, you can use multi-ingredient vitamin C that can shield your skin and give it that extra glow. Skip on any exfoliating acids immediately after applying the skin-care ingredient such as niacinamide or glycolic acid to avoid deactivating the vitamin C. The last step for a routine with active ingredients should be sunscreen. The active products can make our skin sensitive to the sun and can cause damage when our skin isn’t protected from it.
STORAGE IS KEY
If your vitamin C serum changes color, it’s time to replace it. A fresh and effective vitamin C product should have a smooth and golden color. When it starts turning into a murky brown, this signals that the product has oxidized and it isn’t safe for the skin anymore. Don’t waste any of your vitamin C products by storing it in a cool and dark place. Place it inside the drawer of your vanity and double-check that the cap of the product is always tightly closed.