Everything you need to know about adding Vitamin C serum to your skincare routine.
By: Carla Snuggs
Lately there has been a lot of buzz surrounding skincare and Vitamin C serums. I’ve been using a Vitamin C serum and it has really made a positive difference in my complexion. So, what can vitamin c serum do for your skin and how do you add them to your skincare regimen? Endless Beauty had a chat with Richard F. Eisen, M.D., board certified dermatologist at South Shore Skin Center and Spa . In our interview, Dr. Eisen takes the guesswork out of vitamin C serums.
What is Vitamin C serum and what are the benefits of using a Vitamin C Serum?
Dr. Eisen: Vitamin C serum is an antioxidant preparation that prevents the formation of free radicals in the skin, and reduces oxidative stress, caused by exposure to ultraviolet, visible and infrared radiation. Oxygen-free radicals modify and damage nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids. This eventually leads to photoaging of the skin and skin cancer. In addition to a good sunscreen, an antioxidant preparation helps to prevent damage to the cells in the skin.
Does Vitamin C Serum treat existing conditions or does it prevent new problems?
Dr. Eisen: It primarily prevents damage.
If I decide to include Vitamin C serum into my routine where do I begin?
Dr. Eisen: Pick a product from a reputable company with 20% L-ascorbic acid. Ascorbyl-Palmitate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate in some products promoted as Vitamin C serum, do not penetrate into the skin in amounts sufficient to have a therapeutic effect. Use the product in the morning, under makeup or sunscreen.
What are some inexpensive brands of Vitamin C serum to try?
Dr. Eisen: Vitamin C&E ferulic by SkinCeuticals is one of the best brands. It was developed by Sheldon Pinnell, MD. Dr. Pinnell researched the beneficial effects of L-ascorbic acid for many years and developed the first Vitamin C serum. Dr. Pinnell discovered through his extensive research that the optimal pH of L-ascorbic acid is 2.0 and the optimal concentration is 20%. Using this concentration and pH results in achievement of maximum levels of ascorbic acid in the skin. Dr. Pinnell added Vitamin E and ferulic acid, a derivative found in cactus plants, to increase the effectiveness of the preparation. Ferulic acid is an antioxidant and it increases L-ascorbic acid stability. Vitamin E protects cell membranes and works in concert with Vitamin C.
How and when do I apply vitamin C serum (before what or after what products) and how often?
Dr. Eisen: Once a day in the morning, after washing, and before applying sunscreen or makeup.
Endless Beauty’s Favorite Vitamin C Serums:
Best Inexpensive Vitamin C Serum: The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost (The Body Shop, $26)
Best Daytime Vitamin C Serum: OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Serum® Collagen Booster (Sephora, $48)
Best Night Time Vitamin C Serum: BeautyRx Protective Vitamin C Rescue Serum (BeautyRx, $85)