Vitamin C in cosmetics – forms and properties

Vitamin C can be used not only as a supplement, but also as an active ingredient that can enrich our skincare routine. It’s undoubtedly one of the most popular substances, considered the queen of active ingredients in cosmetics. Our body cannot synthesize it and we have to supply it from the outside. There are more and more products with vitamin C on drugstore shelves. Read why it’s worth using it and implementing it into your skincare.

Who is vitamin C recommended for?

It is worth using it when we are struggling with:

  • acne
  • discoloration
  • grey color
  • erythema and dilated capillaries
  • wrinkles, loss of skin firmness

What is the effect of vitamin C on the skin?

The action of vitamin C is comprehensive and can target many skin problems. It can be used by people of all ages and skin types. Benefits of using vitamin C for the skin:

  • increased elasticity, firmness of the skin and reduction of wrinkles – it’s called the “vitamin of youth” for a reason, because it has an “anti-aging” effect by participating in the biosynthesis of collagen fibers, it can also reduce the activity of enzymes that break down elastin and collagen.
  • strengthening the walls of blood vessels – collagen is also a building block of the walls of blood vessels, thanks to vitamin C they can be sealed, what reducec the erythema and visibility of the so-called spider veins.
  • antioxidation – fights free radicals, the molecules that damage skin cells, disrupt its functioning, and consequently lead to premature skin aging. Vitamin C protects the skin against damage caused by external factors, including UV radiation or environmental pollution.
  • lightening of discolorations and lightening the skin tone – by inhibiting the production of melanin, it has the effect of lightening discoloration to inflammation or sun, it brightens the skin and allows you to get rid of gray, earthy color.
  • anti-inflammatory properties – it can have a soothing and antibacterial effect on inflammations, accelerating their healing

What are the forms of vitamin C in cosmetics?

Cosmetics containing vitamin C are available in the form of various chemical compounds. Its characters may differ in stability and performance. We distinguish several of the most popular types:

  • L-ascorbic acid – the most popular, pure form, however, it’s unstable, it quickly gives illumination effects, recommended before “great exits”. It’s effective at high concentrations. May be irritating, especially for sensitive skin and when combined with other active ingredients. A cosmetic with this form should be stored in a dark package.
  • Ascorbyl glucoside– shows greater stability than L-ascorbic acid and works deeper, has the ability to penetrate the dermis, stimulates collagen production, and inhibits melanin.
  • Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) – has strong antibacterial properties, is the mildest, but also penetrates the skin the lowest.
  • Ascorbyl Palmitate – more stable than the pure form of vitamin C, but not very biologically active, requires the addition of penetration promoters.
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) – stable, has a lower permeability than Ascorbid Acid, brightens at high concentrations.
  • Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate) – the most effective form of vitamin C, it’s very durable and stable, works at low concentrations. It has strong anti-aging and depigmentation properties. Unfortunately, it’s more expensive to produce than other types, which results in a high price for the final product.

Which form of vitamin C should you choose?

If you expect a quick effect and are preparing for an important exit or want to restore the skin’s radiance after a sleepless night, you can use pure vitamin C – L-ascorbic acid. Ampoules are perfect for such occasions. However, remember that it can be irritating to sensitive skin. Having mature skin with clear signs of aging, we can reach for ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate. The forms of MAP, SAP and glucoside will work well for dull and discolored skin.

How to use cosmetics with vitamin C?

We use vitamin C in our care routine in accordance with the intended use of the product containing it. Most often it’s a serum or cream. It’s not a photosensitizing ingredient, so we can use it in the summer, it additionally strengthens the action of SPF creams, so it works perfectly under a sunscreen.

What is vitamin C worth combining with?

It’s worth choosing cosmetics that combine vitamin C with ferulic acid or vitamin E, which are also strong antioxidants and enhance the effect of vitamin C. Such a combination can be found, for example, in the product Basiclab – Serum with Vitamin C 15% Moisturizing and Brightening. It also works well with SPF, so together those cosmetics are the basis of anti-aging prophylaxis.

What shouldn’t vitamin C be combined with?

The combination of niacinamide and the pure form of vitamin C, ascorbic acid, should be avoided in one skincare routine, due to the differences in pH. However, you can now use these ingredients separately in morning and evening care. The use of highly active substances, such as acids and retinol, should also be spread over the different times of the day.

In conclusion, it’s worth including a product with vitamin C in your skincare routine. It has a wide range of applications and is well tolerated by most skin types and well tested in dermatology. It”s worth starting with low concentrations and testing the most appropriate form for our skin. The market provides a huge selection of products with different consistencies, so everyone will find something for themselves.

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