health & beauty

Here’s why you should use vitamin C on your skin

You may know vitamin C as a necessary nutrient for supporting the immune system. What you may not know: Applying it topically to skin has also been shown to brighten, smooth, and protect the skin.

To help understand what vitamin C can do for your complexion, we consulted a board-certified dermatologist based in Los Angeles.

How vitamin C benefits the skin

Applying the vitamin directly to skin can supplement a healthy diet.

Vitamin C is a necessary molecule for collagen synthesis, and the regeneration of collagen is crucial for minimizing thesigns of agingand to keep wrinkles at bay

It is also an antioxidant, so in skincare products, it can help prevent and repair skin damage caused by exposure from UV rays and environmental pollution.

When used in combination with daily broad-spectrum sunscreen, vitamin C can prevent the formation of new sunspots and darkening of existing ones.

How to choose vitamin C products that work

Vitamin C loses efficacy with exposure to sunlight and air, so look for one in an amber-colored glass bottle, plastic tube, or airless pump.

Consider starting with as little as 8%, especially if your skin is sensitive or acne-prone, while it adjusts. But otherwise, 15% to 20% is appropriate for maximum benefits.

Using a serum can better ensure you’re getting the dose listed on the label, as their thinner consistency allows them to absorb faster into the skin.

Vitamin C will show up under various names on product labels, such as ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid, and vitamin C ester.

Is vitamin C Safe for all skin types?

Yes, but there may be an adjustment period for your skin.

It could be irritating for those with sensitive skin, acne, or rosacea. This irritation often comes in the form of stinging, burning, itching, or mild skin flushing.

Try using it twice a week to get used to it. Choose a product with a lower concentration or consider layering it over or mixing it into a moisturizer at first, to get used to it.

If irritation persists, consider limiting application to once a week or halting until you can speak to a dermatologist.

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