Maybe you’ve seen your face staring back at you recently on a Zoom work meeting, or that HouseParty call with your cousins, and you thought to yourself, that face could use a little lift…a little zhuzhing. Well, first off, whoever invented that front-facing camera was not considering our delicate egos. Secondly, don’t fret, because there is much you can do 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, 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 even 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 also fights 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 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 to see the benefits.
Read our seven tips 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. If not, you may notice some pilling, meaning those little bits of product that ball up like the fuzz on your old sweaters. Layering correctly and allowing time for absorption should help you avoid those little buggers.
Of course, you’ll want 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.
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 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 to 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 someone 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 before making it your new best buddy.
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 encourage 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 applying 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 beauty 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 is 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 coloration, 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 reapply 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!). You’ll want to wash your face as you normally would, and gently pat dry. Then you’ll apply a few generous drops of your 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. 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 would be just fine. Then, go ahead and apply your night cream with your fingertips. You can lay back 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 protects the skin from the worst environmental elements, it brightens and heals, it increases collagen production, and even helps heal wounds. Is there anything vitamin C can’t do? Well, it can go buy itself, so that’s when it comes back to you.
Is your current stash of vitamin C serum running low? Are you looking for a formula that packs more of a punch? Have you still not sampled some of this good stuff? If you’re in the market for a marvelous serum, you should peruse these skin-perfecting serums from Viviane Woodard’s collection.
Each specially-formulated serum offers restorative and rejuvenating results that brighten the skin and make it glow from within. They all contain hyaluronic acid which hydrates and plumps up the skin. The E-Lastifirm Serum boosts elastin and the Pine Bark extract it contains improves circulation. The Hyaluronic Cellular Recovery Serum stimulates cell regeneration and helps skin help itself, diminishing fine lines and restoring a luminous glow. And last but not least, the Vitamin C Restoring Serum 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.