Ingredient Spotlight: Does Your Skin Need More Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is not a new superstar ingredient to us. Whenever we feel the onset of a cold, we turn to it to boost our immune system and get better, quicker. But did you know that it may be your ticket to younger, brighter looking skin as well?
What Is Vitamin C and Why Is It Important for Skin Health?
Vitamin C is the most abundant antioxidant found naturally in our skin. It does many things to help boost skin health: stimulate collagen production, brighten dark spots and scarring, protect against free radical damage, and minimize the effects of sun damage. It is vital to healthy, youthful skin (and for fighting off scurvy), but our bodies are actually unable to produce it on our own. We’ve traditionally relied on receiving vitamin C from the food we eat, such as citrus fruits, leafy greens, strawberries, and broccoli. But more and more studies are showing that we can feed our skin vitamin C through our skincare products. So although aging, stress, environmental toxins, and UV exposure can deplete the skin’s vitamin C, there are a few Follain favorites that can give your skin the boost it needs. (Keep reading for our product recommendations!)
Types of Vitamin C in Skincare
Vitamin C may sound simple but it’s actually one the least stable vitamins; it’s easily destroyed when it comes in contact with light or air. This makes formulation and packaging tricky, but there are many different forms out there that try to harness all of vitamin C’s benefits. Ascorbic acid is one of the most common; it absorbs quickly and has the highest potency, but it’s also the most unstable in solution. Other ingredients such as vitamin E and ferulic acid are typically added to ascorbic acid to help maintain it in solution and boost its effectiveness. A newer, more stable derivative of vitamin C is ascorbic acid polypeptide, which easily converts to vitamin C when applied to the skin.
There are also botanical extracts that are rich in vitamin C, such as kakadu plum and rosehip. These nourish the skin with other nutrients and antioxidants as well. But take note: Rosehip oil contains very little or no vitamin C (though we still love it for its healing properties and many other benefits). Why the confusion? The actual rosehip fruit is high in vitamin C, but since the vitamin is water soluble and super reactive to light, heat, and air, it doesn’t make it through the extraction process and into the final product.
Since Vitamin C is reactive to light even when it’s absorbed into our skin, we suggest always following your vitamin C serum or moisturizer with an SPF during the day to prevent it from oxidizing. This will maintain the integrity of the vitamin C so you see the full benefits and also protect your skin from future sun damage.
Give Your Skin a Vitamin C Boost With These Follain Favorites
Ursa Major’s serum does a little bit of everything. It uses ascorbic acid polypeptide, a naturally derived, stable form of Vitamin C. This ensures peak freshness and potency over time without any photosensitivity. This product also includes aspen bark for gentle exfoliation, rosehip to lighten dark spots, and edelweiss for its robust anti-aging properties. This formula is super lightweight and moisturizing thanks to aloe and shea butter. It’s great for sensitive skin types and anyone who is new to the world of serums, too.
When you’re short on time but still want to reap the benefits of a vitamin C serum, this serum-moisturizer hybrid is ideal. It’s a lightweight hydrating cream formulated with the world’s most potent form of vitamin C found in kakadu plums. This fruit has more than 100 times the vitamin C content of an orange and it packs a huge antioxidant and phytonutrient punch as well. This combo means it works wonders at brightening, toning, and renewing collagen production in your skin. It also includes barbary fig, hyaluronic acid, and sacha inchi to boost hydration and plump up fine lines and wrinkles, so you’re left with hydrated, brighter skin in one step.
Naturopathica’s serum deals with a laundry list of skin concerns: fine lines, dullness, and hyperpigmentation to name a few. It uses 15% of L-ascorbic acid, which has been shown to be one of the most effective forms of vitamin C to stimulate collagen and brighten skin. Combined with vitamin E and oat beta glucan, this serum helps calm any redness and speed up your skin’s reparative process. To top it off, hyaluronic acid draws moisture to the skin to fill in fine lines and hydrate the skin. You may feel a temporary tingling sensation the first few uses due to the activity of the serum.
Olivia Boughey, Bethesda Store Educator | February 25, 2019