Everything you need to know about vitamin C in skin care
For decades, vitamin C has been hailed by skin care experts for its anti-ageing and brightening benefits. But what exactly does this so-called wonder ingredient do, and can it really help your skin to look younger? We cut through the hype to get an expert’s view on the topic...
What are the skin care benefits of using vitamin C on your skin?
You may have heard about the brightening benefits of vitamin C in skin care, but the truth is that it’s also ideal for the firm-looking effect on the skin and protecting skin from damage. But first, it’s important to understand exactly which form of vitamin C has these benefits for the skin. Tracey Beeby, Ultraceuticals Global Education Ambassador explains. “When we are referring to vitamin C to aid in correcting specific skin concerns, we are referring to ascorbic acid - the only pure form of vitamin C. It has been shown in clinical studies*, to help maintain a healthy level of collagen. However, ascorbic acid is extremely unstable and difficult to absorb into the skin, so the actual formulation and delivery system of the product is vital in order for it to be effective. There are many other derivatives of vitamin C that do work as antioxidants.”
How should you incorporate vitamin C into your skin care routine?
Adding vitamin C into your skin care routine is simple - just pop it under your SPF in the morning and you’re good to go. “Generally, vitamin C can be used within your skin care regimen in the morning underneath your daily sun protection SPF 30 or 50+. I recommend using vitamin C ongoing, so it should always be incorporated into your morning routine,” says Tracey.
Are all vitamin C skin care products the same?
In short, no, and Tracey explains why: “There are many vitamin C derivatives [in skin care products] that work as antioxidants but do not necessarily provide the corrective anti-ageing benefits of ascorbic acid,” she says. “Another important factor to be aware of is that more in the way of [vitamin C] percentage is not necessarily better. It is all about the formulation, stability, pH of the product and the delivery system within the formulation.”
Can all skin types use vitamin C-based skin care products?
If you’ve got acne-prone skin, you should be cautious of adding vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) to your routine, Tracey advises. “The only time we do not suggest it to be used is for acne. This is due to the fact that it can stimulate natural oils in the skin that could potentially lead to further breakouts.”
Which vitamin C formula is right for you?
We love the new Ultraceuticals Ultra C23+ Firming Concentrate, which has 23 per cent pure vitamin C content. Tracey says that this ascorbic acid helps to target and fight the signs of ageing. “[In a study] Ultraceuticals Ultra C23+ Firming Concentrate showed a visible improvement in firmness and texture of the skin*. It can also reduce the appearance of photo damage, fine lines, and wrinkles,” she notes.
The formula also contains two peptides - MicroElastin and MicroCollagen - which help to maintain healthy levels of collagen and elastin within the skin. “They work by tricking the skin into thinking that it has recently lost collagen or elastin. This results in firmer and healthier-looking skin,” explains Tracey.
As a general guideline, Tracey suggests adding the Ultraceuticals Ultra C23+ Firming Concentrate into your morning routine on alternate days for one month, and then increase to daily use after this time. Using it on alternate days at first allows your skin to slowly adjust to the high potency of the formula. After prolonged use, Tracey says you should start seeing results in the firmness and lines in your skin. “The skin's firmness and clarity should improve, with a notable reduction of sagging. Some reduction in the appearance of fine lines should also be noted, as well as an improved healthy-looking skin and vitality.”
*Based on a three month panel test study (conducted by Ultraceuticals Research & Development scientific experts).
Do you use vitamin C in your skin care routine? Did you know that it has skin firming and brightening benefits?