Vitamin C for skin

Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for skin. It can help fade dark marks, protect against UV rays, and promote hydration.

But it’s not a magic ingredient—you need to make sure you use it correctly. Here, dermatologists explain the best products and how to use them.

Antioxidant Protection

Vitamin C is one of the most essential antioxidants for skin health. It’s a science-backed, dermatologist-favorite ingredient that may help slow early skin aging and prevent sun damage. It’s also known to brighten skin, even tone and improve the appearance of dark spots and acne. And although we can get vitamin C in a variety of foods, the best way to boost it is to apply it topically.

Topical vitamin C is absorbed into the skin more effectively than consuming it orally and has a host of benefits that make it worth adding to your routine. One of the most notable benefits is that it’s an antioxidant that helps to fight oxidation, which is a leading cause of wrinkles and fine lines as well as uneven skin tone. It is able to protect the surface of the skin by preventing free radicals from damaging cells, and it can also reverse the effects of oxidation on already damaged cells.

Another key benefit is that vitamin C may help reduce hyperpigmentation, such as brown spots or sun damage. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the production of melanin, a naturally occurring pigment that gives skin its color, is disrupted. This can be caused by a number of things, including excess exposure to the sun’s UV rays, environmental stressors or hormonal changes. Vitamin C has been shown to help restore the balance of melanin and lighten dark spots by inhibiting the enzymes that create them.

It can also improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by reducing the look of puffiness and tightening the skin. It can also help to strengthen the underlying structure of the skin by encouraging collagen production. And finally, it can help to brighten the skin by promoting the turnover of dead skin cells.

Vitamin C is an incredibly versatile ingredient and Kiehl’s has several options that contain it, from cleansers and serums to moisturizers and sunscreens. The most potent form of Vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid, which is found in our Nectar of the C Vitamin C Serum and Creme de la Cream Brightening Moisturizer. Other forms of the ingredient include sodium ascorbyl phosphate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, each with their own unique benefits.

Brightening and Even Skin Tone

Vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient that can brighten and even skin tone over time. This is because it has the ability to reduce discoloration and dark spots, and it does so by inhibiting an enzyme that contributes to the production of melanin.

It also has the ability to quell inflammation and redness, and it’s often used to address hyperpigmentation issues like age spots. In addition, it can help even out splotches and dark areas caused by sun exposure, as well as reduce redness around the eyes.

Because dietary vitamin C can only be absorbed to a small degree, topical products containing the ingredient offer much more significant benefits for your complexion. “When used topically, vitamin C can increase skin brightness and help even skin tone,” says dermatologist Anna Guanche. She suggests looking for a serum with vitamin C that’s been stabilized (meaning it contains ferulic acid or other ingredients to prevent it from oxidizing) and has a concentration of 10-20%. “Use it morning and night after cleansing, toning and moisturizing,” she adds.

Aside from delivering antioxidant protection, a serum with vitamin C can help brighten and even skin tone over time by inhibiting an enzyme that contributes to production of melanin. It also has the ability to quell inflammation, redness and splotches, as well as lighten pigmentation issues like age spots, courtesy of its antioxidant properties.

Unlike many other anti-aging and skin brightening ingredients, vitamin C can be used around the sensitive eye area without causing irritation. In fact, it’s the ideal daytime alternative to retinol and acids for this delicate area because of its non-irritating, gentle nature.

Typically, the best time to apply vitamin C is in the morning before applying sunscreen. That way, you’ll maximize the sun-protecting benefits of both products and minimize damage from free radicals that can occur during UV exposure. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every vitamin C product is uniquely formulated, so follow the directions on the label for best results. You may need to adjust your routine depending on your skin’s sensitivity.


As the name suggests, Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient. It’s able to enter skin cells and help them retain moisture. It also helps boost collagen production, which is key to maintaining skin elasticity and preventing premature aging. In fact, research has shown that Vitamin C can help decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

In addition to hydration, Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and protects the skin from harmful free radicals. These free radicals can come from external sources, like pollution and sun damage, or internally, as a result of the natural metabolic process. When free radicals are in contact with skin, they can cause oxidative stress, which can contribute to premature aging and even cancer. By neutralizing these free radicals, Vitamin C can help prevent cellular damage and oxidative stress.

Another way that Vitamin C keeps skin hydrated is by helping to maintain the lipid barrier. The lipid barrier is a protective layer that is often described as being like “the bricks that make up the outer walls of your home.” When healthy, it helps keep out unwanted irritants and toxins while still allowing for the absorption of needed nutrients. Research has found that Vitamin C can enhance the production of these lipid barrier lipids, which can lead to better hydration and healthier skin.

Lastly, Vitamin C can help reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation by inhibiting the function of the enzyme tyrosinase. This enzyme activates melanocytes, which produces the pigment melanin. Vitamin C can help to reduce the synthesis of melanin, which can contribute to the formation of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

To ensure that you get the most out of your Vitamin C regimen, look for products that use a stabilized form of the ingredient. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is an excellent choice, as it offers all the benefits of LAA (L-ascorbic acid), but is much more stable and less likely to cause irritation. It’s also a great fit for sensitive skin. You can find this effective formulation in Fleur & Bee’s Nectar of the C Serum and Creme de la Cream hydrating face cream.


Vitamin C is well-known for its ability to fight free radicals and help prevent sun damage. It may also help reduce signs of aging like uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, dryness and dullness, and sagging skin. This is because it can help neutralize the free-radicals that are formed by UV rays and can cause damage to healthy skin cells.

It can also help to decrease hyperpigmentation and other pigmentation problems by inhibiting the production of melanin, which is produced in the skin’s upper layers. By blocking tyrosinase, the enzyme that produces melanin, vitamin C helps to prevent hyperpigmentation and dark spots.

Vitamin C can also improve the appearance of enlarged pores and other irregularities by strengthening the connective tissues in the skin. It can also help to keep the skin hydrated by increasing the amount of moisture in the uppermost layer of the epidermis.

Aside from being an antioxidant, vitamin C can act as a barrier to environmental pollution and other harmful substances. This is because it can protect the skin from oxidative stress caused by pollutants and other external factors.

This antioxidant is also known to be able to increase the collagen content of the skin, resulting in a firmer and more elastic complexion. It is important to note that this effect is only achieved when the Vitamin C is applied topically, as it can not be absorbed through the oral mucosa.

There are several different types of vitamin C, but the most effective form for skincare is L-ascorbic acid. This form is often found in serums and face creams. It is important to note that some products contain other forms of vitamin C, which are not as effective, such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or ascorbyl palmitate.

As with any topical skincare ingredient, the amount of vitamin C that is absorbed depends on a variety of factors, such as the concentration and the delivery method. Generally, products with a 10% to 20% concentration offer the best results without irritating the skin.

Purchase Vitamin C skin care products from your local Avon Representative, Cascia Talbert here.

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