Where do we even begin when it comes to Vitamin C serums? It appears to be everyone’s favorite vitamin, it’s in numerous serums for the face now, and it’s so cool that even a pop singer in the 90s went by the name “Vitamin C.” Apparently naming yourself after nutrients gave you a lot of street cred back then. Well, Sesame street cred, perhaps. But in a way, Vitamin C is one tough cookie, and cookie starts with C. Darn you, Cookie Monster! That earworm has been with me since childhood. But I digress. Vitamin C (often called ascorbic acid or l ascorbic acid in the ingredient list) has many scientifically proven benefits, whether it’s being consumed through our favorite foods, in supplements, or applied topically. Vitamin C protects our bodies from problems like cardiovascular disease, immune system deficiencies, and contributes to our overall health – from the outer layers of our skin, all the way down to our bones.
So what does vitamin c do for your skin?
For our purposes here, let’s focus on the topical use of Vitamin C on the skin, and all the benefits it can bring. When applied topically, as in vitamin C serums, it can hydrate and brighten your skin. Vitamin C promotes collagen production, which is great for keeping skin looking firm, and can even help heal wounds. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?
Vitamin C is one of the more powerful antioxidants that protects skin cells. The way it works is Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals by readily donating electrons. And that’s a good thing, since free radicals cause inflammation and oxidative stress. In other words, they are bad little rascals that ravage your skin and rob it of its youthful appearance. Having an antioxidant like vitamin C in serum can help your skin because it reduces fine lines and wrinkles, as well as dark spots and acne. It works well with most skin types, too.
Now that you’ve had a short review of the benefits of Vitamin C, let’s talk about how to use a Vitamin C serum on your beautiful – about to be beautifuller – face. And no, beautifuller is not an actual word, yet, but people are always making things that aren’t a thing a thing, right?
Moving on…it’s time to take a look at this list of nine tips and tricks so you can get the best out of your serum:
1. Start with a clean canvas
It seems obvious, but it never hurts to have a reminder that your beauty products can perform much better if applied to a clean surface. So, before you begin smoothing on your serum, you’ll want to wash your face first. In addition, if you use toner, you’ll want to get that in there as well. Once you’ve completed those steps, you can break out your bottle of vitamin C serum and get going on your yellow brick road to youthful beauty.
2. Warm it up!
You may be so eager to get started with your new beauty regimen and the special addition of your vitamin C serum, that you just want to pour it on and swim all around in it. But wait! Don’t dive into the deep end yet. To better prepare the product for full absorption into the skin, you should warm it up slightly between your fingers. This way, it won’t sit on top of your skin, but will instead be better at working its way in. Some of you may already do this out of habit with all your beauty products, but if not, it is a good idea to do with a serum. Please do not take this to mean that warmer is better and definitely don’t think that microwaving or heating it would be even better, because that would be bad. We’ll get to why too much heat is no-no when it comes to Vitamin C, but for now just know that a few seconds on the fingertips is just fine (and there’s no need for anything more).
3. A little dab’ll do
Serums are generally formulated to be potent and concentrated. In other words, a little goes a long way. This is good news, too, because many serums can seem, and are indeed, rather pricey. It helps to know that the money you’re spending should last you several weeks. I know a lot of us like to be generous with our helpings of everything and think that more is more (because that seems like a logical statement, doesn’t it?). However, this is at least one time where you’ll want to hold back just a bit. Don’t go overboard. You want to apply just enough to cover the area, but not have an excess amount of serum that slides off into your hair or ends up on your hands only to be wiped off on that all purpose bathroom towel (that we all know should really be washed more often). Remember, it’s quality not quantity when it comes to serums.
4. Stippling: It’s right there at your fingertips
No, we’re not talking about pointillism or paintings of people on grassy knolls, though Georges Seurat really created some beautiful works of art, didn’t he? We’re talking about the technique of applying beauty products in a certain way. Similar to that kind of pinpoint appearance of pointillism, stippling does involve using the tips of your tool to apply the medium in which you’re working. In this case, your medium is a serum, and the tools are your fingertips.
Simply pump out a few drops on the tips of your fingers, and after gently rubbing them together, pat the pads of your fingers all across your face in quick succession, being careful not to apply too close to your eyes. This is a great way to stimulate blood flow, and increase circulation to wake up those skin cells. It’s also a great first step in getting the serum evenly spread across your face and neck, and feels great on sensitive skin.
5. Get into the groove
After you stipple the serum across your face, try using the length of your fingers to continue pressing it into your pores. Many of us overstretch our skin unnecessarily when we wash our face or apply moisturizer and makeup. When applying any of these products, it’s good to remember that less is more (okay, not always), and that goes for pressure, in this case. There’s no need to treat your face like a ball of pizza dough when you just want to make sure the serum will work and get absorbed appropriately. Simply press in the serum and gently pat until it seems to be all soaked in. Then you’re all set.
6. Store in a cool dry space
Similar to the reality show that Denise Richards had a while back, when it comes to the chemistry of Vitamin C: It’s Complicated. And like more than a few of us, vitamin C is unstable. In this case it means that vitamin C can interact with other oxidizing agents and break down, potentially rendering it useless, or worse, damaging to the skin. Similar to how a nail rusts when exposed to damp air, vitamin C also changes its chemistry and degrades when exposed to certain elements. It’s important to first find a quality product formulated by experts, and then it’s up to you to minimize exposure to excessive heat, light, or oxygen.
Since Vitamin C can begin to denature at temperatures even as low as 86° farenheit, keeping it cool is mission critical. One way to do this is to store it in your refrigerator. That checks the box for being a cool place, and since that little light goes off when you close the door, it’s dark as well. However, if that’s not an option because you have roommates who like to “share,” or because it might be confused with that gourmet truffle oil and end up on someone’s plate, then be sure to keep it in a room that has a stable, cool temperature. Unfortunately, bathrooms are really not the best since some of us like steamy showers or hot baths, which will cause the overall temperature to fluctuate. If you can, keep your Vitamin C serum in a different room, and just bring it into the bathroom for your application. Another option is to have a little mirror at your desk, or on your dresser where you can do at least that part of your beauty routine.
7. Being Opaque can be a good thing
We always talk about transparency being best, and when it comes to our businesses and institutions, we’re probably right, but when we’re speaking about packaging how to store your Vitamin C serum, opaque is where it’s at. An opaque bottle helps keep out the light much better than a clear one.
Also, depending on the size of the bottle in which your serum arrived, you may be able to split it into a couple separate containers in order to prolong the life of the product. Keep the unused portion in an opaque bottle in the fridge, for sure. The one that you’re using can be stored in the refrigerator as well, or another cool, dark place that’s more accessible. You can also opt to order your serum in smaller containers in the first place, but if you purchased more than you can put on your face in the next several weeks, then it’s a great idea to divvy it up and save some for later.
See Related: How to Make Your Own Moisturizing Spray
8. Keep a lid on it
No, we’re not saying you need to keep your brand new serum a secret, only that you should be sure to tighten the cap after every use. The more that Vitamin C serum comes into contact with the air and all the elements, the more it has a chance to oxidize and degrade. So pretend you’ve got a little genie in a bottle, baby, and you’re not to the part in the movie yet where you set him free.
9. Morning or Evening
Since we’ve covered a lot of the Hows and Whys, it seems to be time for a When. There are always questions about when in the day to apply the various beauty products and in what order. Well, as we mentioned above in #1, you should first wash your face and apply toner, if that’s part of your routine. Then, you can apply your serum and let it set before moving on to your moisturizer with SPF, or your night cream. You can use your serum at any time, but if you apply your vitamin c products in the evening, you can sleep easy knowing that your serum is working its magic while you dream. Whether you use it in the morning, at night, or both, your skin says thanks for the love.
In addition to the products we put on our face, it’s important to remember that there are also simple and effective treatments we often overlook, even though they’re literally at our fingertips. One idea is a do-it-yourself face-massage! Side effects may include a sense of overall relaxation, loss of headache, and sensation that you should have been doing this every day of your life. Massage can improve blood flow and stimulate the cells that help produce certain connective tissues like elastin and collagen, and as you probably already know, both of those aid in keeping the skin firm. It’s advice that’s actually easy to take.
Here’s a good example of one that focuses on the chin line and jowls – that area that becomes more of an issue as we age. And not that you need the reminder, but you’ll want to be sure your hands are clean before you go rubbing them all over your face. Find a time when you can relax for a few moments and treat yourself to this face lifting massage:
Now that you’ve read through the tips above, and your face feels like a bowl of jello from your DIY face massage, you’re all set and ready to go with your serum. Unless…you’re unhappy with your current stash or are still on your search. If you’re seeking a serum that will be your secret weapon against early signs of aging, Vivianne Woodard’s water-based cruelty-free serums are all top notch and natural skin care products. All of these serums support hydration of the skin, and help minimize fine lines and wrinkles. They are specially formulated for optimum absorption and feel like silk in serum form when you spread it on. The Best Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer: Vitamin C Restoring Serum packs a punch with the most powerful form of Vitamin C, and also contains hyaluronic acid, both of which boost the production of collagen and add to the skin’s elasticity and smooth texture. Plus, the ingredients serve to reduce irritation and provide the best results that cruelty-free skincare has to offer. So what are you waiting for? Add vitamin e to your skin care routine and get glowing, won’t you?
Keep Reading: When to Use Vitamin C Serum
For over 60 years, Viviane Woodard has represented “The Purity of Skincare”. We are the leading beauty brand for water-based skin care products and promote the importance of good skin hydration. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for skin care tips, product discounts and more.