We sat down with Christine Fader, master aesthetician, to learn about this ‘ingredient darling’ of the skincare world. If you want to understand the vitamin C basics, how to add it to your routine and find the perfect match for your skin type….read on.
Vitamin C – The Free Radical Buster
Before we can talk about vitamin C – we need to understand what free radicals are and how they damage the skin. So, let’s dig into the science. Environmental free radicals caused bypollution and UV rays are atoms that are missing an electron. They ‘steal’ an electron from a healthy skin atom that damages the skin cell – this is called the‘free radical theory of ageing,’ which was discovered in 1956 by Denham Harman, M.D., Ph.D.
“Think of a brand-new car; over time, it is constantly exposed to pollution, and the paint becomes oxidized and looks muted and drab. Our skin is fighting the same battle. As we grow, our body’s ability to fight free radicals decreases. But antioxidants are your secret line of defence against free radicals. They give an electron to these rogue atoms, leaving your skin cells healthy and intact.”
“The gold standard when it comes to Vitamin C is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic,” says Fader. “Not only does it shield skin from prematurely ageing, but it also protects against precancerous changes caused by UV exposure. It is clinically proven to reduce combined oxidative damage from free radicals generated by UV, Ozone, and Diesel Exhaust by up to 41% – which is huge.” (U.S. Patent No. 7,179,841)
What are the benefits of Vitamin C?
It offers antioxidant protection, but it is also packed with other skin healing properties. It is a natural skin brightener, and it can inhibit your skin’s melanin production, which triggers dark spots to appear. Vitamin C’s acidic nature also kick starts the skin’s healing process and increasing collagen and elastin production, helping prevent premature ageing and keeps skin plump and firm.
How and when should you add vitamin C to your skincare routine?
“Everyone should be using vitamin C, and the earlier you use it, the more you will benefit from its preventative benefits,” says Fader. “When you are protecting your body from daily damage, it has time to heal and regenerate itself. Just like applying sunscreen, vitamin C is an important part of your long-term skin health plan.”
In terms of adding it to your routine, follow these three steps:
In the morning, gently cleanse your face.
Apply 4-5 drops on your palms and gently press into the face, neck, and chest area.
After the serum soaks in, apply your moisturizer and sunscreen as usual.
How do you pick the best vitamin C for your skin type?
Vitamin C is the holy grail of ingredients, but formulating serums can be tricky due to its unstable nature. Aestheticians and dermatologists recommend looking for serums that contain L-ascorbic acid – the most active form of vitamin C recognized by the skin. The amounts of L-ascorbic acid can vary from 10 to 15 percent, so it is essential to understand your skin type and find the right fit for you.
“If this is your first time using vitamin C, it’s important to know that the serum won’t smell like oranges. Essential oils are stripped out of the ingredient to avoid irritating the skin. The award-winning and beauty editor favourite SkinCeuticals C E Ferulicsmells a bit like bacon, so don’t be concerned when you first apply it,” says Fader.
To find the best SkinCeuticals vitamin C serum for your skin type – check out the cheat sheet below.
Normal to Dry Skin + Fine Lines
If your skin is normal to dry and shows moderate to advanced signs of ageing, then C E Ferulic is your match. It provides 8x skin’s environmental protection and mitigates DNA damage and oxidative stress while helping stimulate the skin’s collagen production.
Skin with Dark Spots/Hyperpigmentation + Early Signs of Aging
If you are struggling with treating hyperpigmentation and early signs of ageing, Phloretin CF is your antioxidant match made in heaven. It provides environmental protection and regulates melanin productions to stop new dark spots from appearing and fade the look of existing spots.
For those with oily skin, Silymarin CF, SkinCeuticals newest antioxidant, is designed for you. This vitamin C serum helps protect and reduces excess oil and visibly improves skin texture and fine lines. Silymarin is an antioxidant derived from the milk thistle plant shown to prevent oil oxidation that may contribute to blemishes.
Serum 10 AOX is an excellent introductory vitamin C serum to start in your 20’s and if you have sensitive skin or prone to rosacea. It is slightly less concentrated with 10% L-ascorbic acid. It provides environmental protection that will mitigate DNA damage early and improves skin tone and texture.