Using Vitamin C: How to Choose the Best Skin Care Products

Cynthia Bailey, MD|May 18, 2015

Using Vitamin C Do you know why there is so much confusion about using vitamin C in skin care? Adding vitamin C to your skin care routine can transform your skin - but it's also very tricky. That's because vitamin c is highly unstable and this is what causes so much confusion.  In a nutshell, most vitamin C products simply don't work. Like I said, it can be very confusing! For vitamin C to change your skin for the better, your skin needs to have really high levels of vitamin C.  However, your body prevents this from happening through diet (too much vitamin C gives you the "runs!"). To "load" the skin to the levels that can effect change, use skin care products crafted with special delivery systems. You also need to stabilize the vitamin C and protect it from air and light before you apply it.   Why go to all this trouble to add vitamin C to your skin care?

  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can destroy skin damaging-free radicals from the sun and other environmental stressors. Free radicals wreak havoc in skin; they ultimately destroy and age skin structures and even cause cancer.
  • High levels of vitamin C in skin have been shown to stimulate skin collagen formation. Collagen formation is the only way to truly reverse wrinkles.  

In my opinion, a complete anti-aging skin care routine includes a well-crafted vitamin C product, along with sunscreen, of course. The products are expensive, however, so you need a vitamin C product that's worth your time and your money. Otherwise, all your good efforts are wasted. How do you know if a vitamin C product is any good? best vitamin c skin care antioxidant productHere are the three key things to look for in a vitamin C skin care product:

  1. It brags that it contains 10% or more of L-ascorbic acid in a stable form.
  2. The product is formulated in an acid pH.
  3. Its container is airtight and it does not let light and air penetrate.

You can figure some of this out on your own. For instance, when a vitamin C product turns amber color, it is unstable and has been inactivated by oxygen. Also, if it does not taste sour, it’s not acidic. I have used a professional-level vitamin C skin care product for years in my dermatology practice. I, my husband, and my adult kids use it too. If you follow the above link, you'll see how I recommend using vitamin C in a complete anti-aging skin care routine. Again, vitamin C can benefit your skin. You just have to know what products to look for, and how to use them.

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