Everything you need to know about Vitamin C in Skincare
Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant and a crowd favourite in the beauty industry. Renowned for its brightening, tightening and firming benefits, vitamin C is safe for all skin types and easy to incorporate into any skincare routine. Using vitamin C will be your saving grace if you experience uneven skin tone, pigmentation or sunspots. However, there are some things to be mindful of when finding the right vitamin C product for your skin. In this guide, we’re going to deep dive into everything you need to know about vitamin C and why it’s a morning essential.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C (also known as Ascorbic Acid) is a water-soluble vitamin with antioxidant benefits when applied directly to the skin. To be truly effective, a low pH formulation is generally required.
Although vitamin C is a gold-standard skincare ingredient, it’s also incredibly sensitive to air and sunlight. Without the right packaging, vitamin C can oxidise over time and become useless. That’s why the best vitamin C products are often stored in airless packaging or amber bottles.
What are the benefits of vitamin C?
Vitamin C isn’t just a one-trick pony – it has multiple benefits when used regularly. Below are its biggest benefits.
Creates brighter, healthier-looking skin
Vitamin C can reduce hyperpigmentation and dullness by decreasing the amount of melanin that the skin produces. If you have any dark spots caused by past breakouts or pesky sunspots from being outside too long, using a vitamin C serum is a great way to reverse the damage and get a brighter, more even skin tone.
Helps protect you from UV damage caused by the sun
When used in the daytime and paired with your daily sunscreen, this active ingredient helps protect skin from oxidative damage caused by free radicals and environmental aggressors like air pollution and UV exposure.
Promotes your skin’s natural collagen production
As we get older, the collagen in our skin starts to break down, resulting in sagginess, fine lines and wrinkles. Using a vitamin C serum helps to maintain your skin’s natural collagen production, keeping it tight and firm.
Has anti-inflammatory properties
If you experience breakouts and acne, you’ll likely have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Vitamin C inhibits the protein complex in your skin that creates the inflammation process, making it the go-to active ingredient when healing past acne spots.
What forms of vitamin C are there?
This is where vitamin C gets a little bit overwhelming, but we’ve broken it down into the different forms below.
Ascorbic Acid / L-Ascorbic Acid
A water-soluble form and one of the most potent ones you’ll find on the market. However, it can be irritating due to the low pH required to keep it active. It’s not so much as the vitamin C that causes a problem, more so the acidic solution it’s dissolve into.
A water-soluble derivative form that’s more stable than Ascorbic Acid. It’s non-irritating and converts into Ascorbic Acid in our skin, making for a gentler absorption process.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
A water-soluble derivative form that doesn’t require a low pH to be effective. It’s gentler than Ascorbic Acid, yet still has very strong brightening and antioxidant benefits. You’ll find this in our For Brighter Days serum.
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
A water-soluble derivative form that doesn’t require a low pH to be effective. It’s great at shielding the skin from daily pollutants and has excellent anti-acne and skin stimulating properties. We use this in our Solution From Pollution, C2 Serum and C3 Serum.
Ethyl Ascorbic Acid / 3-O-ethyl-l-ascorbic acid
A water-soluble derivative form that’s extremely stable, making it easy to pair with other brightening ingredients and gentle for all skin types. It has superior brightening abilities compared to other vitamin C derivatives and is almost as strong as Ascorbic Acid, minus the potential irritation. We use this in our Solution From Pollution, C2 Serum and C3 Serum.
Ascorbyl Palmitate (Tetraiospalmitate)
An oil-soluble vitamin C derivative that can promote firmer-looking skin and improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Found only in our C3 Serum.
Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract
Why we prefer water-soluble vitamin C instead of oil-soluble vitamin C?
At Derma Energy, we favour water-soluble vitamin C because the lighter texture makes it easier to apply and absorb into the skin. We reserve the oil-soluble vitamin C active in our C3 Serum to enhance it’s efficacy. While oil-soluble vitamin C is a good option for drier skin types, the slightly thicker texture might clog pores. Whereas, water-soluble is an all-rounder and caters to every skin type from oily to dry. Last but not least, water-soluble vitamin C is more flexible during the formulation phase, pairing well with other pigment-balancing actives like Bearberry, Lemon, Liquorice extract and more. This allows us to create powerful blends that noticeably brighten, protect and firm skin with daily use.
Shop our Dermaenergy Vitamin C Serums
Our vitamin C serums are designed for everyday use. We offer different concentrations depending on your skin type and skin concern.
To Treat Pigmentation and Uneven Skin
The For Brighter Days is a potent blend of high-performing blend of pigment-balancing actives that help create an even, brighter complexion. This uses Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate as the active vitamin C.
The premium Black Label Pi Serum is a potent blend of high-performing blend of pigment-balancing actives that help create an even, brighter complexion. This uses Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate as the active vitamin C.
To Protect and Preserve Your Skin
Solution From Pollution is bursting with 10% vitamin C and a total of 8 antioxidants and scavenges free radicals while strengthening skin elasticity for a radiant complexion. This uses two vitamin C actives: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Ethyl L-Ascorbic Acid.
The premium Black Label C2 Serum is bursting with double-dose 10% vitamin C and antioxidants and scavenges free radicals while strengthening skin elasticity for a radiant complexion. The uses two vitamin C actives: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Ethyl L-Ascorbic Acid and is made more active with a bonus peptide called Dawnergy to help awake your skin.
The premium Black Label C3 Serum is our strongest vitamin C serum - 20% vitamin C, working hard to reverse the signs of ageing and clarifying uneven skin tone. This triple-dose vitamin C serum features the derivatives: Sodium Ascorbyl Phospate (water-soluble), Ethyl L Ascorbic Acid (water-soluble) and Tetraiospalmitate (oil-soluble) which all work hard to preserve, reverse and protect the skin.