Vitamin C is on every skincare brand’s list these days right next to Hyaluronic Acid. At least once a week I get a message or an email or a client asking why it is important and what it does. Most of all people want to know why they need Vitamin C in their skincare lineup. So here it is in super simple terms.
It makes your skin stronger and makes other ingredients work more efficiently.
Vitamin C has a tiny molecular structure so it absorbs fast into the skin. By applying it first it acts as a little tugboat to bring all the other serums and creams into the skin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that lifts, firms, brightens, reduces the appearance of dark spots, and helps with the efficacy of SPF. Basically, it is a super ingredient. BUT, here is the key, it MUST be paired with vitamin E.
Not all Vitamin C in skin care products is created equal. For one, there are two different formulations–either the L ascorbic acid or Ascorbyl Palmitate. What is the difference?
L ascorbic acid is a less expensive version of vitamin C so it has to have a higher concentration. It is also a bit less stable. But, because it is water-soluble it absorbs better into the skin. If you break out easily from Vitamin C products check if it is L ascorbic acid. It can be super stimulating. Try switching to an Ascorbyl palmitate version to see if it helps.
Ascorbyl Palmitate is fat-soluble rather than water-soluble. It is less irritating, more stable, and highly effective. But, it is more expensive due to the need to be blended with other ingredients carefully.
Ok, so there is the nitty-gritty.
Vitamin C in Skin Care:
CEO by Sunday Riley $85 p/oz – The texture of this serum is probably why I like it so much. It is a bit stimulating so I use a different version if my skin is hormonal. By the end of the first bottle, I noticed my skin had a more even appearance in color. (L ascorbic – 15%)
Cesta by Jan Marini $110 p/oz – This is by far the Vitamin C serum I use most often. When I am on vacation I use this and SPF and that is it! My skin GLOWS when I use it and it does not break me out. (Ascorbyl Palmitate) Use Esthetician code: 09323 for 10% off your first order + free shipping.
C POWER ANTIOXIDANT VITAMIN C SERUM $62 p/oz – This is one of my favorite serums. It absorbs so quickly, and isn’t sticky or stinky. It also has fast and noticeable results in brightening the skin. (Ascorbyl Phosphate)
Drunk Elephant $80 p/oz – I started using this serum after receiving it in a Popsugar box. The texture is light, quick absorbing, and not sticky. Plus, a little goes a long way so the bottle lasts forever. *Part of Sephora’s Clean Beauty Program (L ascorbic )