All Eyes On: Vitamin C

skin quench

Vitamin C

I feel like I’m constantly talking about vitamin C, and that’s because I really can’t get enough of it! Vitamin C is important for us to maintain our health and keep illness away. That’s why you need to get your citrus fruits in, but did you know that it can do amazing things for your skin when incorporated into your skincare routine?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant that protects the skin against free radicals. It can also help treat and prevent damage from UV rays. The effects of regular vitamin C use on the skin include faded hyperpigmentation, the evening of skin tone, overall brightening, and improved wrinkles.

I’m sure hearing about these great benefits makes you want to rub a lemon all over your face, but be please don’t! Vitamin C is an acid, meaning it can be harmful if you don’t use it correctly. I STRONGLY DISAGREE with putting lemon or lime directly on your skin (trust me, I’ve made that mistake before). This can be overbearing and irritate the skin, causing more damage than what you started with. Make sure you purchase products that are specifically formulated with Vitamin C.

I’d like to add that it’s important to keep liquid vitamin C serums in the refrigerator to help them last longer. Sun exposure and regular opening of the container can cause oxidation. This will result in a yellow or brown color in your serum. A color change like this is a great indicator that it’s time to buy a fresh serum. Powder forms of vitamin C last longer too. Because they are in powder form, it’s easier to add them to any serum of your choosing.

It’s important to remember that even though vitamin C is an acid, it CANNOT be mixed with AHAs, BHAs, or retinoids. Mixing these can really cause problems and irritate the skin. There have been mixed reviews about combining vitamin C with niacinamide in one routine, but I tend to avoid it just in case. Vitamin C does however mix well with vitamin E! They are almost co-dependent and help each other work faster. I tend to use vitamin C in the morning, and if I’m using acids at night I will refrain. You definitely need an SPF when using vitamin C, but you should be doing that anyway!

There are different percentages of vitamin C in various products. That’s why it’s important to know how sensitive your skin is and what it can and can’t handle. If you are new to a vitamin C serum, it may tingle the first few times you use it. Your skin should adjust to it within a week or so. If it continues to irritate you, I’d recommend mixing a few drops with your moisturizer. Eventually you can work your way up to using it on it’s own. With that said, let’s jump into the products that have been my vitamin C holy grails!

Klairs, Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Drop

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Photo: sokoglam.com

$23

This cult classic serum was my first vitamin C product. It includes 5% vitamin C, centella asiatica extract, yuja fruit extract, grapefruit extract, and more natural ingredients. This serum is clear and slightly viscous. The scent smells like vitamin C…there really isn’t any other way to describe it. If you know, you know.

I found this serum to be effective over a long period of time. It helped brighten my complexion, fade acne scars and hyperpigmentation, as well as provide bouncy skin. I think this serum is great for those with sensitive skin because it has a low percentage of vitamin C. It lasts a decent amount of time, and is worth the price point for the amount and the quality. I found this to be a little too slow at improving my dark spots, but it is still a great product. Check it out on Amazon or Soko Glam.

COSRX, Triple C Lightning Liquid

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$27

This collaboration serum has been my holy grail for years now! The Triple C stands for COSRX, Charlotte Cho, and vitamin C. Think, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum, but better. This serum contains 20.5% ascorbic acid and 72% black chokeberry. The high concentration of vitamin C is effective in brightening hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and brown spots. It evens out and brightens a dull complexion at a very fast rate, and helps with wrinkles. Black chokeberry keeps the skin hydrated and smooth with the very low pH of vitamin C. The formula also contains licorice root extract. All it takes is a few drops of this serum and it spreads so easily on the face. I think of it as liquid gold. You can definitely smell there is an active ingredient, but it’s not overwhelming at all.

Whenever I deviate from vitamin C, I realize how dull my skin starts to look. I believe all skin types can benefit from a serum with vitamin C. I apply a couple of drops to the 4 corners of my face, and quickly massage in as this serum is runny and drips down fast. I will admit this product is stronger than the Klairs one. If you are sensitive, I’d definitely work your way up to this one or add a couple drops to your moisturizer. The 1 oz. bottle is plenty as you only need a little bit each time you apply. I think the price point is spot on for this high quality product. This serum is exclusive to Soko Glam’s website. Highly recommend!

NEOGEN, Real Vita C Powder Lemon

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$20

I’m so excited to talk about the new Soko Glam X NEOGEN creation! I’ve been testing it out and I’ve got a lot to say. It’s an innovative powder that allows you to get vitamin C into your routine, in a more efficient way. This powder is more helpful than a vitamin C serum because it lasts longer; the Real Vita C Powder lasts a year!

It contains 17% vitamin C, trehalose, hydrolyzed collagen, and lemon extract. There is no scent to it. It’s has really helped brighten and even the skin. It takes a few weeks to notice results with this powder, but once you see improvement it keeps getting better. To apply, all you have to do is take one little scoop from the cutest scooper in the world, and mix it in with a watery toner, essence, or serum that you already use. I love being able to still use my favorite products, while being a pretend scientist and mixing a skin cocktail. Make sure you mix the correct ratios together, otherwise it may feel a bit grainy when massaging into the skin. The real selling point for me is the powder formulation that’ll last me ages, and it’s only $20. Definitely give this a try! You can purchase it exclusively on Soko Glam’s website.

NEOGEN X Joan Kim, Vita Duo Cream: Joan Day

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skin quench

$32

Joan Day is everything I look for in a day cream. It contains green tea and vitamin C. It doesn’t have too much of a scent, which is great for those who are sensitive. Joan Day smells clean, if that makes sense. It applies so smooth all over the face. I felt my skin drink this up instantly. There was no greasy residue afterwards. The moisturizer gives you that unique dewy effect while mattifying your skin.

I’ve used it under makeup as well and it acts as a great makeup primer, creating a smooth canvas. I love that this cream already has vitamin C in it. Joan Day goes a long way with just a little bit of product. I’ve noticed that my skin remains calm, and moisturized for a longer period of time throughout the day. I also had minimal breakouts with this cream. It comes with the Joan Night cream, but you can read more about that one here. I believe that this products is worth the price because you receive two creams in one. It’s definitely a must try! You can now find it on Soko Glam.

YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE, Superberry Hydrate and Glow Dream Mask

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$48

I’ve been incorporating this highly sought after sleeping mask into my routine, and I am AHmazed! This cream is unlike anything I’ve ever tried. It’s formulated with super hydrating and brightening ingredients like maqui berry, vitamin C, prickly pear, squalane, sunflower seed oil, acai extract, goji extract, vitamin E, and more. The moment this touches your skin you are gonna feel a thick coating of moisture like nothing else. Once I massage this into my skin, it feels like a slick, bouncy pillow. The smell is a pleasant experience as well. The berries come through along with a citrus aroma. I use this cream at night when I’m not using acids, but it could also be used as a daily cream if you’re light-handed. I do feel a slight tingle from the innovative form of vitamin C (T ascorbate), but it’s very mild.

I’d say the only con here is that there is no indication of how much vitamin C is in the formula. Oilier skin types may want to just use this as a sleeping mask once or twice a week too. Regardless, I love the results of this mask! Not only is my skin soft but it is significantly brighter the next morning. It makes my skin very plump and allows it to retain moisture for the entire night.

This mask is pricey which is why it took me a while to justify doling out the cash for it, but I’m so glad I did. This effective, high quality formula is so worth every penny. The jar is definitely smaller than I anticipated, but if it’s any consolation, the cream is so thick and rich you only need a teensy tiny amount, so it will last you forever. I also love the spatula that comes with it because it’s long and makes scooping easier. If you want an extra kick of moisture, add a few drops of your favorite oil. I like to mix mine with my squalane oil from The Ordinary. Find this product at Sephora.

Moral of the story, if you aren’t using vitamin C yet, you’re playing yourself! Which one of these forms of vitamin C are you most likely to use?

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