Vitamin C is one of the most popular skincare ingredients. Extremely beneficial for hyperpigmentation, dull skin and fighting free radicals. If not used well, understood well or stored well, the Vitamin C product may not work as well as expected. To understand how to pick the right Vitamin C product, we gathered some expert tips from our in-house Cosmetic Scientist Lalita Iyer.
The role of Vitamin C in the body
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a seasoned antioxidant that protects the body from toxic chemicals, pollutants, and free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules that could build up causing heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
Vitamin C is vital for the repair, growth, and development of our body tissues. Body functions facilitated by Vitamin C include the formation of collagen, maintenance of teeth, bones, and cartilage, absorption of iron, formation of collagen, and proper functioning of the immune system.
Vitamin C is also water-soluble and impossible for our bodies to store in the body. This means we should incorporate it into our diet frequently without exceeding 2,000 milligrams a day to avoid suffering diarrhoea and stomach upsets.
Pro tip – if you need to take more iron rich-food or supplements do this alongside Vitamin C to fast-track the absorption of iron in the body.
4 health benefits of Vitamin C
- Reduced stress levels
Vitamin C is sensitive to stress hence it’s not surprising that a deficiency is common in heavy smokers, alcoholics, and obese people for the most part. Keeping your Vitamin C levels at an optimum is great for reduced stress levels and overall health.
- Prevents premature ageing
The impact of Vitamin C on the cells is both on the inside and outside. This reduces the likelihood of the skin being dry and wrinkled which essentially prevents premature aging. Check out our Vitamin C sheet masks here to brighten dull and uneven skin within just 20 minutes for healthy, glowing skin.
- Reduces the risk of developing complications with colds and cases of flu
Vitamin C may not necessarily prevent you from catching a common cold but it will surely go out of its way to ensure that more serious complications such as lung infections or pneumonia are prevented.
- Low stroke risk
Having a good enough concentration of Vitamin C in the body is associated with a lower chance of developing strokes for the most part.
Here are the 6 ways to pick the right Vitamin C product:
- Choose the right concentration
Vitamin C is safe when used at a concentration of between 10% and 20%. Your best bet is to begin using it at a 10% concentration then work your way up to 15% and eventually 20%. This way you can monitor progress and only make your next move when your skin responds positively.
- Go with a serum
Serums deliver a high concentration of active ingredients into the skin making it the best way to deliver Vitamin C to the skin for maximum absorption fast! Here’s more expert guidance on how to build a skincare routine if you’re wondering why you need serums and at what point you should use a serum or any skincare product at all.
- Ensure the packaging is right
Vitamin C comes in two broad categories with one of them being water-based and the other containing no water. The water-based version is stable while the other isn’t making it light-sensitive. The unstable version is usually packed in opaque bottles. Whatever the case, always ensure that you store your Vitamin C in a dark cool place to ensure that it’s airtight. If it appears dark or cloudy that’s your cue that it’s oxidized.
- Pay attention to pH
How Vitamin C is absorbed into the skin is dependent on its pH level. If your skin is sensitive go with a pH level of 5 to 6 and 3.5 if you have normal skin for maximum absorption and impact.
- Understand your skin type
Vitamin C has different variations. Some work better for some skin types than others which is why it’s important that you both know and understand your skin type. If you have oily or normal skin L-ascorbic acid will work for you while magnesium ascorbyl phosphate works best for dry, sensitive skin. Check out our recently launched Baobab Glow-C if you experience discolouration and/or dull and uneven skin here no matter your skin type. Alternatively, take our skin quiz here to get to know your skin type, the perfect skincare routine for you, and recommended Uncover skincare products.
- Talk to an expert
It’s never too late to consult an expert for guidance on what you should be looking for and our in-house skincare therapist, Joyce Waiharo, is here for just that! Book a one-on-one consultation here to receive answers to all your skincare questions.