Skincare Ingredients

Vitamin C: Your Skincare’s Rockstar Ingredient

April 2023, South Africa – Dubbed the rockstar ingredient in skincare, Vitamin C not only brightens the skin, it is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from damaging free radicals, reduces dark spots and redness, and prevents premature ageing. This active ingredient is the popular kid in skincare, but do we know why? Almost all Dermatologists rave about the magical powers Vitamin C harnesses for the skin and recommended you become an early adopter of Vitamin C.

The low-down on Vitamin C

Natasha Davel from Fundamentals Skincare, a leading affordable and quality skincare company in South Africa explained that: “Topical vitamin C is a multipurpose workhorse that can protect, repair, and enhance your skin. Research suggests that when vitamin C penetrates the skin, it protects and improves it in various ways. It excels in neutralising damaging molecules called free radicals, which accelerate signs of ageing.”

Proven benefits:

  • reduces wrinkles
  • protects collagen and increases production
  • aids wound healing
  • helps protect against sun damage
  • reduces hyperpigmentation by inhibiting an enzyme called tyrosinase that causes skin discoloration
  • evens skin tone
  • brightens complexion
  • acts like armour against pollution and other free radicals
  • may also help protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays when used in combination with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Using a powerful and stable vitamin C serum consistently over time (for 12 weeks and longer) can help smooth out the appearance of your skin and promote a healthier appearance.

How to choose yours

When choosing to incorporate this ingredient into your skincare routine, it is important to note the below:

  • Look for products that not only have vitamin C but also throw in some vitamin E and ferulic acid. These ingredients can team up to boost stability and penetration.
  • If you have sensitive skin or rosacea, you might want to opt for the gentler vitamin C options, like tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.

How to use your Vitamin C serum

It’s important not to layer Vitamin C products with peptides as layering these two ingredients one after the other can cause chelation. Wash your face: Always start with clean skin so your vitamin C serum doesn’t mix with impurities.

  • Use a toner or essence to balance skin’s pH: Avoid toners with other acids and exfoliants.
  • Apply vitamin C to the face, neck, and chest:
  • Moisturise to form a protective seal around skin: Avoid layering retinol directly after vitamin c as this can over stimulate the skin.
  • Apply sunscreen. Vitamin C serums may increase skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.

This month Fundamentals Skincare releases their new Vitamin C series that offers:

  • 5% Ascorbic Acid – which is the strongest and most abundant anti-oxidant in our skin. Proven to saturate ascorbic acid levels in the skin after three days so consistent use is key. Ascorbic Acid increases collagen synthesis. Formulated with Ferulic Acid to stabilise the formulation.
  • 10% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate – A gentle yet effective Vitamin C that doesn’t irritate the skin but delivers powerful anti-oxidant protection, formulated in a deeply hydrating oil base.

Frequently asked questions

Is L-ascorbic acid the same as vitamin C? L-ascorbic acid is a form of vitamin C. It’s naturally derived and found in human skin.

Are there any side effects of using Vitamin C serums? It’s important to note that vitamin C increases the cell turnover of the skin which can lead to breakouts in the first few weeks of use High concentration vitamin C serums can cause irritation. Vitamin C can cause reactions when mixed with certain active ingredients, such as retinol and other acids. It can also increase photosensitivity or sensitivity to sunlight, so always apply sunscreen after using a vitamin C serum.

Should I use vitamin C serum in the morning or at night? You can use vitamin C serum at any time of the day. It’s common to use vitamin C in the morning and retinol or exfoliants at night since they shouldn’t be mixed in the same routine. If you go this route, just make sure to use SPF when using vitamin C during the day.

The order of your skin care products depends on the molecule size. A vitamin C serum has smaller molecules than a moisturiser, so it should be used first. A moisturiser can then seal in the vitamin C serum.