As an esthetician I get so many questions about what to do to get rid of brown spots on the face and people wanting to prevent aging. I always tell them those spots didn’t get there overnight and they aren’t going to leave overnight either. It takes patience, persistence, and one of the best antioxidants in the world: Vitamin C.
There are so many benefits in applying a topical Vitamin C. A lot of research has been done on this powerful antioxidant and because of all the benefits that topical Vitamin C can provide, I’ve been working on incorporating it back into my skin care routine.
The benefits of Vitamin C are the following:
- Helps prevent signs of aging by increasing collagen production, which helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Inhibits melanin production. That means it will help the skin stop producing brown spots, help lighten them, and make it look more even and clear!
- Contains anti-inflammatory benefits, which means it will help the skin to heal from any breakouts or wounds.
- Can boost the effectiveness of sunscreen.
- Helps prevent skin-cancer because it is an antioxidant it helps fight free-radical damage.
There are various forms of Vitamin C that can be used on the skin; however, L-ascorbic acid has the most research showing its benefits when applied topically. So if you’re looking to incorporate a Vitamin C make sure to look for L-ascorbic acid as one of the top ingredients. As for the potency of the L-ascorbic acid, concentrations as low as 0.6% have been shown to benefit the skin- so it’s okay if it’s not the strongest Vitamin C out there. When using Vitamin C be sure that you are exfoliating regularly and using SPF daily to increase the benefits! As for which step in your skin care routine you should apply Vitamin C, this should go on after you wash and tone your skin, apply the Vitamin C, and then proceed with your regimen. This would be the same whether you do it day or night or both.
How to choose a Vitamin C serum
Choosing the topical form of Vitamin C that is best for your skin type can be confusing when there are so many different options out there. My suggestion is first to know what skin type you have when making this decision. I have oily skin that is acne-prone so I personally use a powder form of Vitamin C from a brand called Cosmedix. I simply shake some of it (approximately 6 shakes) into my regular moisturizer and apply it to my face. I used to use the one from Philosophy called Turbo Booster C Powder but it had a lot of other fillers in it and it actually made my face dry and caused little bumps on my forehead. I find the Cosmedix one is more pure because it doesn’t have as many fillers (other ingredients). If you have normal to dry skin then using a cream or liquid formulated Vitamin C will work well for you. Be sure to look at what else is in the serum in case you have any sensitivities to those ingredients. It is always good to have more than one antioxidant in a serum. “Skincare will never be as simple as any single ingredient—just as no single food or nutrient can keep your body healthy, you need more than just one ingredient to keep your skin in good shape, too!” says Paula’s Choice research team.
One more thing. Please avoid any DIY Vitamin C serums. L-ascorbic acid is super unstable so when they’re manufactured this is taken into consideration. I myself bought into the hype before and ended up with weird hives on my face. That’s just my two cents, but it’s your face so do what you will.