When it comes to skincare serums, vitamin C is all the rage and justifiably so! Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is known to do everything from repair and prevent sun damage, smooth texture and brighten skin’s tone, while also reducing the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles. The reason? Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant like those found in many antioxidant-rich foods such as spinach, blueberries or kale. These foods are vital to maintaining good health because they combat cell damage caused by free radicals, the unstable molecules our bodies create in reaction to stressors. It should come as no surprise then, given the skin is our body’s largest organ, that it too needs to fight free radicals. So now that we’ve got you convinced that a vitamin C serum should be included in your beauty regime, the question is how do you choose from the crazy amount of products out there?
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1. The Concentration
For starters, consider the serum’s concentration of vitamin C. You’ll find products ranging from 1% up to 30%. What’s right for you? It will depend on your skin’s sensitivity. If you tend to be reactive then start with the lower percentages at first, topping out at 5%, and see how your skin does over the first two months. If you are tolerating it well then you can increase as needed.
If you don’t have sensitive skin and want faster results, go higher, say 10% and top out at 20%. There are higher concentrations on the market, but according to a study from Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute, which focuses on health maintenance, “Concentrations of vitamin C up to 30% have been used… maximal absorption was achieved with a 20% vitamin C solution, with higher concentrations showing lower absorption.” In other words, concentrations higher than 20% showed no benefit.