7 Reasons to Add Vitamin C Serum to Your Skin Regimen
No matter how young or old you are, protecting your body’s largest organ is worth the effort. After all, the skin is a multi-functional organ that protects our bodies from all kinds of environmental assaults. For example, the skin shields us from mechanical and chemical damage, it keeps out pathogens, it helps neutralize UV radiation, it even helps us stay hydrated.
One nutrient that’s been shown repeatedly to benefit all skin types is vitamin C. Normal, healthy skin naturally contains high amounts of vitamin C. However, aging, excess exposure to UV light, pollution, along with other factors can decrease levels of vitamin C in the skin.
Vitamin C is arguably one of the best ingredients to include in your pro-aging regimen for a smooth, soft, even complexion. Not only is it important to consume plenty of vitamin C in your diet, but using serums or topical products that contain vitamin C can get the nutrient right to the source. And vitamin C has numerous benefits, from stimulating collagen to fighting free radical damage to supporting other antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E. 1
Here are a few of the benefits of adding vitamin C serum to your skincare regimen.
7 Reasons to Add Vitamin C Serum
1. Helps Decrease the Signs of Aging
There’s nothing wrong with wrinkles. They demonstrate the life you’ve lived and the activities you’ve embraced. That said, no one wants to look older than they are or age faster than they should, and vitamin C can help fight oxidative stress from sunlight, pollutants, and other environmental aggressors.
You see, vitamin C is essential in the formation of collagen. Collagen, as a reminder, is the most abundant protein in the body. It’s the glue that holds us together and the nutrient that prevents the skin from losing elasticity.
Aging, of course, is a natural part of life—and it’s certainly better than the alternative. But boosting collagen production with the help of vitamin C both in the diet and applying it topically may help slow the process. In fact, vitamin C applied topically has been shown to help rejuvenate the skin and increase collagen synthesis, so those lines and wrinkles are less noticeable and form more slowly. 1,2
2. Protects Against Sun Damage
One of the leading causes of cell damage over time is ultraviolet radiation (UV). Some daily sunlight is healthy for the skin, circadian rhythms, mood, immune system, and more. But it can be all too easy to get too much of a good thing, which can lead to free radicals that damage the skin. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that’s been shown to help limit that sun damage.
Keep using sunscreen to prevent sunburns and damage from extensive sunlight. But add vitamin C serums as well to help your skin rejuvenate and add another layer of protection from damaging ultraviolet rays.
If you do find you’ve spent too much time in the sun, resulting in a sunburn, vitamin C serum may help reduce redness, increase cell turnover, and help replace the damaged cells with healthy ones. It is, however, only mildly effective. 3 It’s always better to avoid the damage to begin with.
3. Helps Reduce Dark Spots
Vitamin C can restrict the enzymes that produce melanin in the skin. 1 This allows the vitamin to help lighten dark spots from overproduction of melanin caused by sun damage, certain medications, aging, and pregnancy.
Vitamin C has also been shown to help reduce dullness and fade excess pigmentation, so the skin looks more even, glowing, and bright. 1
4. Limits Inflammation and Redness
The skin can look red and inflamed due to sun damage, acne, rosacea or dermatitis, allergic reactions, and more. Fortunately, vitamin C can help support healthy levels of inflammation in the skin to help soothe the inflammation and calm any redness.
Vitamin C may even help reduce the appearance of circles under the eyes by decreasing inflammation, redness, and other discoloration. 4
5. Good for All Skin Types
Vitamin C serums work for any skin type, even those with oily skin. Because vitamin C serums are typically water-based, they absorb easily and are lightweight. They also don’t clog the pores, which can lead to breakouts.
Vitamin C also has a great safety profile and can be used by most folks without adverse reactions. 3 However, if you do currently have a skin condition, start with small amounts of vitamin C at lower concentrations (~10% and 20%) every other day or every third day, so the skin doesn’t become more irritated.
6. Helps the Skin Retain Moisture
When combined with a quality daily moisturizer, vitamin C serum can also help the skin retain moisture and thus stay hydrated. Use it as the first layer before applying your usual moisturizer and sunscreen to help the skin feel refreshed and prevent water loss. 5
7. Supports Skin Healing
Because vitamin C promotes the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, it’s been shown to support the skin’s ability to heal itself. Research has found, for example, that when vitamin C was topically applied on second-degree burns, they healed much faster. 6
What’s more, the easier your skin can heal, the less likely you are to experience complications, infections, or scarring. Again, this benefit appears to be because of vitamin C’s role in the formation of collagen.
How to Use Vitamin C Serums
You can find various serum formulations that contain vitamin C, such as BioTrust’s Ageless Glow®, which also provides other effective skin-enriching ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalene.
If you have sensitive skin, before adding vitamin C serum to your skin regimen, begin with a small patch test on your wrist or arm. Wait 24 hours to ensure there’s no reaction before using it on your face.
Then make sure your face and hands are clean and patted dry before applying your vitamin C serum. Then layer on your moisturizer. During the day, add a broad-spectrum sunscreen as well before facing the day. You can also use just vitamin C and a moisturizer at night.
While vitamin C serum can safely be used for long durations, if you do find that side effects—such as a rash or redness—appear, discontinue using the products.