Maybe you’ve seen yourself staring back at you recently on a Zoom work meeting, or that HouseParty call with your cousins, and you thought, that face could use a little lift…a little zhuzhing. Well, first off, whoever invented that front-facing camera was not considering what the close-up does to our delicate egos. Secondly, don’t fret, because there is much you can do daily to give your face what it needs to brighten and tighten and take it up a notch.
One not-so-secret weapon for beautiful skin is Vitamin C serum. Also known as ascorbic acid or l ascorbic acid, vitamin C has several skin care benefits. It fights against free radicals and also brightens and evens out skin tone. Free radicals are atoms with a missing electron that go around like little thieves trying to lift electrons from other atoms, thereby causing degeneration and deterioration of cells and causing disease. We usually tend to think of free as fabulous (who doesn’t love free stuff, right?), but not for those rascally radicals! Be gone and stop damaging our dermis! The reduction of free radicals allows for and actually encourages collagen synthesis, which is a major factor in skin elasticity, and that general feeling of firmness.
Vitamin C products also fight the inflammation that can cause the production of excess melanin, which can lead to spots and discoloration on your skin. Reducing inflammation also means you’ll have better results in fighting breakouts and blemishes.
Maybe right about now you’re saying, “sold!” or “Get that vitamin C in my belly!” While we love the enthusiasm, we’re talking about vitamin C in serum that is topically applied to the skin so that all the nutrients and nourishing effects are directed right where they are needed. Of course, ingesting vitamin C is critical for overall health as well, and can be found in many foods. Fruits like oranges and strawberries, as well as sweet potatoes, and bell peppers all contain vitamin C. But for now our focus is on the topical application, and how and when to use it in your skin care routine to see the benefits.
Read our seven tips that you need to know below on when and why to use Vitamin C serum and you’ll be Benjamin Buttoning your way back to your face from a few years ago.
1. To start your day the right way
Since vitamin C acts like a superhero’s shield when it comes to environmental villains like ultraviolet rays and pollution, you might not want to leave home without it. Starting off with a serum in the morning that’s formulated with vitamin C is a super idea. If you don’t know how to layer your different skin care products for the best results, it’s generally a good idea to go from thin to thick. You want to apply products that are more lightweight first so they don’t have to break through the barrier of heavy gels or creams. It’s best to allow for each layer to be sufficiently absorbed before moving onto the next, so have patience, please. If not, you may notice some pilling, meaning those little bits of product that ball up like the fuzz on your old sweaters. Layering products correctly and allowing time for absorption should help you avoid those little buggers.
Of course, make sure to start with a clean, recently exfoliated surface layer so that all the goodness in each of your products can be absorbed. Washing your face with a gentle cleanser or scrub while you wash away the sleep from your eyes is a wonderful way to start the day. Then you can apply your sprays, serums, and creams to your heart’s content. When you’re done with that vitamin serum C, store it in a cool dry place, since it is not the most stable of ingredients. Vitamin c products may degrade with too much light or heat, so it’s a bright idea to keep it in the dark.
2. To deal with discoloration and spots on your skin
When there is an overproduction of melanin in the skin it leads to hyper-pigmentation, which includes age spots, sun spots and melasma. Acne scars can also often become discolored. Once again, here comes vitamin C to the rescue! The application of a vitamin C serum to the skin has been shown to inhibit the excess production of melanin. Over time, if you apply a vitamin C serum to the skin, you will see that your complexion has a more even tone. Dark spots, brown spots, and acne scars can slowly fade, so you are likely to see an improvement in evenness of tone if vitamin C serum is used regularly.
Of course, vitamin C is not like a white board eraser that magically removes all unwanted marks from your skin. However, there is science and medical advice that back up the claims above, and who isn’t looking for a more even appearance and overall healthier skin? It’s also fairly rare for people, even with sensitive skin, to have a negative reaction to vitamin C, so that’s an added bonus. Though if you haven’t used it before you will want to test a small patch of skin first to see if there’s any irritation before making it your new best buddy. Follow the advice of experts, do what your dermatologist says, and whether you’re using it two times a week or as part of your daily skin care routine, you’re sure to see less of those dark spots and some real beauty benefits.
If you’re looking for some more information on the science behind the beauty-enhancing benefits of vitamin C, check out this video:
3. As an essential ingredient in an at-home face mask
Just like cereal brands always say they are part of a complete breakfast, vitamin C serum can be part of a complete DIY at-home face mask. On a side note, how do the makers of cereal know what else we’re having for breakfast to be so confident that it will be made complete by their product? What if I’m having a fried egg on top of leftover pizza and a mimosa; does adding cereal make it “complete” or isn’t that just a tad bit over the top? I’m not one to say no to cereal, but sometimes it makes you question those claims. Perhaps these are the questions for another time, and maybe that time is never. So let’s just get back to this rejuvenating and healing overnight face mask!
Mix one tablespoon rose water with one tablespoon aloe vera gel in a bowl, then stir in one teaspoon of vitamin C (ascorbic acid powder). Transfer this marvelous magical potion into a colored bottle to protect against oxidation. You’ll want to apply this mixture to your face after you cleanse it in the evening, and leave it on overnight. In the morning you’ll rinse it off and say, “Hey vitamin C, you complete me…better than a bowl of cereal.” Well, maybe you won’t use those exact words, but your skin will surely feel refreshed.
If you’re used to using your vitamin C serum during the day, you can take a break since it’s been on your skin all night. You can return to your regular usage later that evening.
4. When you have a boo-boo that needs beautifying and a little TLC
Considering what we’ve learned about the wonders of vitamin C, it makes sense that this type of serum would be effective in encouraging the healing of wounds on the skin. Evidence suggests that vitamin C leads to an increase in dermal fibroblasts, which are functions within the skin that are essential to wound healing. Vitamin C is also involved with cell survival and remodelling of tissue and has been shown to repair damage caused by oxidation.
Vitamin C’s ability to help heal wounds also means that there is a reduced risk of infection, inflammation, and scarring. So take care of scratches and scars, and think about using some C to help heal those wounded areas.
5. Anytime you need to exfoliate
If you haven’t been using your serum regularly in your skin care routine, you can always use it as a one-off option for refreshing your face. If you’re working from home and hit a wall, take a short break and apply four to five drops of vitamin C serum and spread it over your face, neck, and decolletage. So even if you aren’t being productive, it’s a wonderful way to feel like at least some work is getting done. That vitamin C making its way into your skin and working wonders while you take a power nap, or head to the kitchen for a cold glass of water to wake you up.
Since vitamin C serums are acidic, it means they aid in sloughing off dead skin cells, which in turn enhances the skin’s ability to regenerate new cells. This also accelerates the production of elastin and collagen. As you may already know, collagen is made up of protein fibers that help to make skin look plump and more taut. Elastin is similar and, as the name would suggest, helps with skin’s elasticity and ability to bounce back. It’s basically like vitamin C flips the switch on a beautifying butterfly effect.
6. Address those under-eye circles
“You look tired” is one of those phrases like “when are you due?” (when you’re not even expecting) that should just be permanently retired from our vernacular. Maybe you are tired, or maybe you have the type of skin that can’t hide even a slight loss of sleep. Perhaps it doesn’t depend how much sleep you get at all. Any which way, it’s still something we don’t want to be called out on. We all have our quirks and quandaries and not everyone is spared the tendency to develop dark under-eye circles. If this rings true for you, don’t despair. Many people have found that in addition to reducing redness overall, vitamin C serum also helps decrease darkness under the eyes.
It may only make a slight difference in the color, but there’s the added bonus that these types of serums can help hydrate the area and plump up the skin, thereby smoothing out those fine lines and wrinkles we might prefer to see a little bit less.
7. Nighttime is the right time for a dose of the C
Even if you applied your serum in the morning, you are safe to use up to twice a day, so get some C while you are catching some Zs. Nourishing your skin throughout the night is always a great idea. It’s the time that your skin has to make those little repairs at the molecular level, and serve you up with a fresh face in the morning.
You’ll likely be repeating some of the steps you took in the morning, though maybe with a different moisturizer, and without the need for SPF (unless you’re nocturnal and sleep away the day outside in a hammock – no judgement!). One, make sure you wash your face as you normally would, and gently pat dry. Two, then you’ll apply a few generous drops of vitamin C serum and spread it out evenly. Don’t forget to get that neck! It’s done a lot of work for you all day holding up that big brain of yours and it could use a little extra love. Applying moisturizer to the neck, and using vitamin c products in particular, may work to reduce sun damage. After the layer with the serum sets in, you can still apply other gels or serums, as vitamin C does play nice with others. So, worry not! Adding something with a little hyaluronic acid, vitamin E or additional antioxidants would be just fine. Then, go ahead and apply your night cream with your fingertips. You can lay back, close your eyes, and relax knowing that your skin thanks you.
Now it’s easy to understand why vitamin C gets so much attention, almost like the Megan Markle of the vitamin world. It’s an antioxidant that protects the skin from the worst environmental elements in the air, increases collagen production, and even helps heal wounds. Is there anything vitamin C can’t do? Well, it can’t go buy itself on a website, so that’s when it comes back to you.
Is your current stash of vitamin C serum running low? Are you looking for new products that pack more of a punch? Have you still not sampled some of this good stuff? If you’re in the market for a marvelous serum, please peruse these great skin-perfecting serums from Viviane Woodard’s collection.
Each specially-formulated serum offers restorative and rejuvenating results that brighten all skin types and makes them glow from within. They all contain hyaluronic acid which hydrates and plumps up the skin, in addition to other effective ingredients recommended by experts. See what your dermatologist says. The E-Lastifirm Serum boosts elastin and the potent Pine Bark extract it contains improves circulation (plus it has cool new packaging). Or, try the Hyaluronic Cellular Recovery Serum, which stimulates cell regeneration and helps skin help itself, diminishing fine lines and restoring a luminous glow. And last but not least, you could use a product like the Vitamin C Restoring Serum, which boosts collagen production and increases circulation, bringing back a more youthful look to skin of any age.
So the moral of the story is, don’t forget your vitamins…especially vitamin C!
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.