There’s no arguing: vitamin C is one of the best ingredients for your skin’s health. We are so confident about this that we’d venture to say every single dermatologist and skincare professional would agree. So what’s the fuss all about? Ahead, we’ll dig into all the extraordinary benefits of vitamin C for your skin.
What Is Vitamin C?
It’s not just glass of orange juice. When you zoom in with a microscope, Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which is a substance that fights free radicals. Free radicals, in short, are unstable atoms that “steal” electrons from other atoms, triggering a cascade of damage to cells—in other words, it creates oxidative stress.
Antioxidants are extremely useful when this happens, as they “donate” electrons and help neutralize damage.
On skin, free radical damage accelerates the breakdown of collagen, which means faster fine lines, wrinkling, dark spots, and sagging.
It’s important to note that the human body doesn’t naturally produce vitamin C. This is why health experts always recommend vitamin C-rich foods. If you want to maximize the powers of vitamin C on your skin, however, topical application with concentrated serums is key.
The Research Behind Vitamin C
It’s not just evidenced on the clear, radiant, and firm complexions of committed skincare enthusiasts. Science has backed vitamin C, too. Here are the reasons why you should incorporate vitamin C into your skincare regimen. You’ll need no convincing:
Can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – A study demonstrated that applying vitamin C every day for three months helped soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles (even the coarse) ones on the faces and necks of participants.
Can help improve overall skin texture – The same study showed that the overall texture of skin (as in, how smooth it looks) also made great strides.
Can reduce the appearance of dark spots
When applied onto the skin, vitamin C inhibits melanin formation, which means less pigmentation. In one clinical trial, topical vitamin C application produced improvement in the appearance of the participants’ dark spots with minimal side effects.
Helps enhance the look of collagen-deprived skin
Vitamin C is most sought after for its anti-aging benefits; namely, that it can help both increase collagen synthesis while slowing down the degradation of collagen. One research paper concluded: “Skin fibroblasts have an absolute dependence on vitamin C for the synthesis of collagen, and for the regulation of the collagen/elastin balance in the dermis.”
Can help skin with wound healing
The same paper referenced above says, “The provision of vitamin C to the skin greatly assists wound healing and minimizes raised scar formation.”
Vitamin C also delivers hydrating effects while helping to prevent water loss from the skin’s surface.
If you don’t know this already, the #1 cause of unhealthy-looking skin is sun damage. Clinical studies have shown that vitamin C can combat oxidative damage, especially when it’s combined with vitamin E. On the surface, this can look like reduced redness and radiant-looking skin.
Offers anti-inflammatory properties and fights acne
Because vitamin C is so protective, it helps nurture the skin with its anti-inflammatory powers. One study even showed that applying vitamin C twice onto skin twice a day reduce the amount of acne compared to a control group.
Vitamin C Serums: What to Look for on the Label
Since serums are formulated to contain higher percentages of active ingredients, they’re the best skincare product to deliver vitamin C onto your skin. If you’re able to sneak vitamin C via your cleanser, moisturizer, or masks as well, consider that a bonus—but serums do the real work.
Always look for a formula developed by a credentialed professional, such as a dermatologist. Look out for vitamin C forms that have been proven for their performance and effectiveness, such as:
- magnesium ascorbyl phosphate
- tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
- ascorbyl palmitate
Given how much more effective vitamin C is combined with vitamin E (or ferulic acid), look out for a product that also contains one of these companion ingredients.
While some products won’t state the percentage of vitamin C, it’s best to commit to one with between 10% to 20%. If the percentage isn’t labeled, look at the full ingredients list. If vitamin C is at the very end, there probably isn’t much. If it’s toward the top/middle, you’re probably in better shape.
The Best Vitamin C Serums
Since you’re clearly on board the vitamin C train after learning about its remarkable benefits, the only work left is to get one in your hands (and on your skin)! Because IMAGE Skincare products are formulated by a board-certified dermatologist, you can rely on one of our award-winning, best-selling serums to deliver results.
Doctor developed for superior stability and potency, this high-performance vitamin C facial serum has been clinically proven to improve the appearance of wrinkles, pigmentation and firmness. This daily defense serum helps to brighten and restore skin while providing advanced environmental protection thanks to 20% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, an ultra-concentrated, lipid-soluble form of vitamin C. This ultra-sophisticated product also helps to fade the appearance of pigmentation and improves signs of skin aging like fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness.
On top of that, a synthesis of super-antioxidants ferulic acid and acetyl zingerone help to enhance the effects of vitamin C, while an optimized hyaluronic acid complex brings renewed hydration to the skin, supporting a plump, smooth and firm appearance.
Vitamin C Serum Before and After
Consumer perception results after 1 week:
80% of participants agreed that skin appears brighter*
Consumer perception results after 12 weeks:
94% of participants reported that the product helps to restore firmness & elasticity*
89% of participants agreed that skin appears brighter*
86% of participants reported that the product promotes a more even, uniform skin tone*
80% of participants agreed that the product helps fade dark spots*
Clinical results after 4 weeks:
Improves skin tone and pigmentation by 24%**
Improves firmness by 24%**
Improves lines and wrinkles by 16%**
Clinical results after 12 weeks:
Improves firmness by 39%**
Improves skin tone and pigmentation by 36%**
Improves lines and wrinkles by 24%**
*Based on a 12-week consumer perception study of 35 participants ages 20 – 55 with once daily application of IMAGE MD restoring power-C serum. Study data on file with Image International Manufacturing, LLC.
**Based on a 12-week clinical study of 35 participants ages 20 – 55 with once daily application of IMAGE MD restoring power-C serum. Study data on file with Image International Manufacturing, LLC.
This award-winning, high-potency serum softens the appearance of wrinkles, supports skin elasticity, fights environmental damage, brightens skin, and fights the visible signs of dullness and fatigue with multiple forms of vitamin C. Hyaluronic acid helps to lock in hydration and supports the look of plump, bouncy skin, while green tea extract powers up the antioxidant power of this formula!
Think of this as your skin's daily multi-vitamin! It features essential vitamins, amino acids, green tea extract and natural skin brighteners for daily defense against environmental damage. Red rose wine complex fights signs of aging, including fine lines, and delivers maximum hydration to combat dryness and promote radiant, healthy-looking skin
If dark spots and hyperpigmentation is your main concern, look no further than this mega-illuminating serum. This botanical brightening serum helps to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and dark spots while promoting clear, even skin tone. The soothing formula with brightening botanicals, vitamin C and bearberry leaf extract delivers a fading effect to sun-damaged, acne-marked and sensitive or redness-prone skin to give the skin a hydrated, dewy finish.