A Closer Look: Vitamin C

“Vitamin C is the gold-standard topical antioxidant,” explains Dr. Caren Campbell, MD, FAAD 

(www.carencampbellmd.com). “Vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid and is essential for survival. L-ascorbic acid is required for proper function of skin, bone, and connective tissues. Vitamin C’s essential role in collagen formation and wound healing as well as an antioxidant make it invaluable as a vital component to any good skincare routine.”

It almost sounds like a wonder ingredient. It can be used for wrinkles, acne, redness, and dull skin. But, it’s important to note that not all vitamin C is created equal. If it is not stabilized, it is destroyed before it is ever able to deliver its benefits to the skin.

“Traditional vitamin C is normally an unstable compound and is easily oxidized once exposed to air, sun, or moisture, losing ‘antioxidant’ properties,” says Ron Choi, Global Business Department Senior Manager of K-Beauty brand Vitabrid C12 (www.vitabrid.com). “Due to its water-soluble nature, it’s hard to penetrate through lipid membrane.”

Enter the creation of Vitabrid’s breakthrough ingredient, Vitabrid CG. As a brand-new vitamin C complex, this revolutionary discovery stores and preserves vitamin C within skin-friendly mineral layers. Once applied, it releases active, stabilized vitamin C continuously for over 12 hours, permeating through the skin layers down to the dermis. Found in their star product, Vitabrid C12 FACE Brightening Powder ($60.00 from www.barneys.com), this mixable powder can be combined with any type of liquid skincare to make it a vitamin C product. 

The best part? “Vitamin C is safe to use for all skin types,” reveals Susie Wang, Co-Founder and Chief Creative of 100% PURE. Her 100% PURE Vitamin C Serum ($42.00 from www.100percentpure.com) works with almost any complexion, including sensitive skin. It helps brighten skin’s tone, while reducing fine lines, wrinkles, pores, and discoloration. The fast-absorbing formula uses a concentrated, stabilized, and easily absorbable vitamin C that’s derived from plants.

“The only skin type that should avoid using it would be very irritated or fragile skin, e.g. sunburnt skin, skin that recently went through invasive surgery, skin with open wounds, etcetera,” Wang continues.

Besides making a powerhouse serum, you can get your daily dose in other forms as well. Savor Beauty offers a Yuzu Lemonade Peel ($80.00 from www.savorbeauty.com). This 30-second peel deeply exfoliates for skin clarity, unclogs pores, and revitalizes the skin.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Moisturizer SPF 30 ($22.00 from www.instanatural.com) is a mineral-based, broad-spectrum sunscreen that prevents common signs of aging, while protecting against daily sun exposure.

Created by Dr. Hannah Sivak, PhD, Skin Actives Scientific created a new kind of toner—one without irritating alcohols and full of other skin healthy ingredients instead. The Skin Actives Scientific Vitamin C Toner ($19.00 from www.skinactives.com) will finish cleansing your skin while providing the benefits of a non-acidic, non-irritating vitamin C (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate). This toner will balance the skin, while increasing collagen synthesis and decreasing irritation.

In treatment form, OZNaturals has their Vitamin C + Sea Hydration Mask ($19.99 from www.oznaturals.com). This restorative face mask soothes, hydrates, and brightens skin as it reduces redness, fine lines, and flaky skin.

With so many options on the market, it has never been easier to enter into the world of vitamin C skincare. “If you are looking to see improvements in brightening, lightening, and tightening your skin, C is the vitamin for you,” concludes Dr. Ava Shamban, MD, Board-Certified Dermatologist and Founder of SKIN FIVE by AVA MD