Rodan + Fields / Blog / Science of Skincare

Vitamin C: The Must Have Ingredient For Your Routine

Are you using Vitamin C? Learn why it’s the key ingredient for brighter skin.

Model with Rodan and Fields Reverse Mask

We’ve grown up being told to drink orange juice to ensure we get our daily dose of Vitamin C to boost our immune system. But consuming Vitamin C doesn’t just help your general health. It’s instrumental in maintaining skin brightness. Vitamin C is a naturally-occurring substance in skin but production slows as we age. This makes Vitamin C one of the most efficacious ingredients to add into your skincare routine to target the visible signs of aging.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a soluble vitamin, also known as ascorbic acid. When Vitamin C is consumed as food, it has immune-boosting benefits. Naturally and when applied topically, Vitamin C works to boost the cell regeneration process to repair damaged skin cells. Additionally, this dermatologist recommended, potent antioxidant ingredient works to improve uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, dullness and texture.

Why should I add Vitamin C into my skincare routine?

Vitamin C consumption is less effective on skin than topical application. According to dermatologist Dr. Vivian Bucay, “Only 1% of your diet is actually getting into your skin, so putting things on your skin is essential to protect and combat damage.”So no matter how much orange juice you consume, only a small fragment is actually being absorbed by skin.

How does Vitamin C work on skin? What skin concerns does it target?

Vitamin C naturally exists in skin. As we age, the level of Vitamin C in the outer layer of the skin reduces. The depleted source of Vitamin C coupled with the impacts of sun exposure, pollution and other environmental factors directly impact the visible signs of aging. These include:

– Fine lines and wrinkles
– Age spots, dark spots and hyperpigmentation
– Uneven skin tone
– Loss of firmness and brightness

Adding Vitamin C into your skincare routine helps target these skin concerns by targeting uneven skin tone, redness and discoloration and working to help brighten dull-looking skin. Vitamin C also helps to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, helping skin appear firmer.

How does Vitamin C help protect against sun damage?

Vitamin C also helps combat the negative effects of sun exposure on skin. As Dr. Bucay mentions, “Vitamin C is a supreme multi-tasker, but it does get used fairly quickly. Vitamin C decreases sun damage and helps neutralize free radicals.” She adds, “It takes only 10 minutes of unprotected sun exposure to deplete the skin’s natural Vitamin C and Vitamin E.” However, skincare products with Vitamin C are not a substitute for SPF. Vitamin C and SPF work together to boost the protection of skin from the sun’s rays. By preventing the damage, you also prevent premature aging

What methods can be used to add Vitamin C into your routine?

Vitamin C is formulated into a variety of skincare products, including serums and creams. You can also take Vitamin C in the form of oral supplements, through injections or through increasingly popular IV drip programs. With such variety in the market, it can be difficult to know which formula or type is the most efficacious. It’s important to choose what is right for your lifestyle.

Vitamin C can be easily consumed through oral tablets, chewable tables and extended-release tablets and capsules. Supplements tend to be more affordable and accessible through any local grocery store or pharmacy. While the supplement method is easy to implement into a daily routine, they are ineffective in delivering skin benefits. Like Dr. Bucay shared, only a small percentage actually makes it into the skin.

Vitamin C injections, often given through an IV drip can be very costly. We’re talking $150+ per dose. This form is known to be effective in boosting the immune system or treating a Vitamin C deficiency. However, this method is not as effective in directly targeting skin.

How should I add in Vitamin C into my skincare routine?

The best method to add in Vitamin C for skin benefits is through topical application. It’s also recommended to use Vitamin C in your AM routine for skin brightening and sun protection benefits. In fact, Vitamin C is often formulated alongside a sunscreen or SPF. This can be achieved through Vitamin C serums or day creams. Vitamin C serums can be more efficacious, as it’s often more concentrated allowing for better skin absorption.Creams can also be effective, especially when formulated alongside other key anti-aging ingredients.When implementing into your routine, choose the product based on your preferred texture.

Rodan + Fields REVERSE Dual Active Brightening Complex, the third step of the REVERSE Brightening Regimen, contains Vitamin C to brighten skin and Retinol to help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This combination of powerhouse anti-aging ingredients work together to deliver to target skin brightening, texture and visible signs of aging by enhancing radiance and visible minimizing discoloration.

Rodan + Fields Radiant Defense Perfecting Liquid SPF 30 also features Vitamin C in proprietary RD3Complex. This complex includes a combination of antioxidants, Peptides, skin conditioners + sun protectants to neutralize environmental aggressors, repair natural moisture barrier and provide sun protection.

How do you know the product includes Vitamin C? What is important of the % amount and the stability of Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is listed under a variety of names in skincare products. Look for L-Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Palmitate and Retinyl Ascorbate on the product’s ingredient list to know if it contains Vitamin C.

The stability of Vitamin C form is critical for the effectiveness of the product. There are several products with Vitamin C in the market that contain a variety of concentration levels. However, if Vitamin C in the formula is not stable, it will be ineffective. Always do your research when selecting skincare products by looking at clinical results, claims or before & after photos.

When can I see the effects of using Vitamin C?

As with any skincare product, you should start to see results from Vitamin C within 6 to 8 weeks. The key to achieving visible results from any skincare solution is consistency. When you start to use a product with Vitamin C, you may experience tingling. This means the product is working. You can start using Vitamin C every other day if you have sensitive skin before ramping up to daily use. Since Vitamin C is a skin brightener, using skin brighteners, it’s important to stay out of the sun. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as a day in the sun can cause more damage.

What does Vitamin C stability mean?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble ingredient that breaks down when exposed to oxygen. It’s important to store the product in places that have limited exposure to light.

Can Retinol and Vitamin C be used together?

Retinol and its derivatives are commonly used ingredients for brighter, more even skin tones. Retinol also targets the visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, texture and firmness. Vitamin C and Retinol formulated together make a skin brightening power product that also helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. When using these two ingredients, make sure they’re formulated together to ensure their safety and efficacy. Often times, the formulas will also contain other ingredients to help soothe and strengthen skin.

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