With my recent positive experience of the newly launched Clinique’s Fresh Pressed 7 Day System with Pure Vitamin C, it’s piqued my interest in learning more about this exact ingredient in skincare, especially when it was the topic of conversation in a recent Elle magazine spread. Vitamin C is always something I considered a dietary supplement, as my mum used to feed my brother and I Vitamin C tablets each day as a child!
I spoke with Helen Dao, skincare expert and creator of Be Fraiche skincare, who explained “Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and a skin constituent that is found in the first 2 layers of our skin, the epidermis and dermis. It’s normally transported from the bloodstream to the skin via cells. That explains why our skin looks better when taking Vitamin C supplements. When applied topically, Vitamin C promotes collagen synthesis, therefore, a great ingredient for anti-ageing. Skin treated with Vitamin C will observe a smoother and more supple complexion. Additionally, Vitamin C also helps fighting against UV damage and brightens and evens skin tone”.
Helen said that while high concentration of Vitamin C in skincare products may seem attractive, the safe dosage should be lower than 10%. At higher dose, Vitamin C can cause irritation, redness and breakout. Some countries like Japan and Korea only allow a maximum of 1% and 3% of oil-soluble Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate) in skincare products whereas Australia and the US allow more (up to 10%), hence you find more products with higher concentration here.
Vitamin C comes in many forms, from water-soluble form (L-ascorbic acid) to oil-soluble forms and encapsulated forms, with each of them is absorbed by the skin differently at different dosage.
To answer my question “How is Vitamin C best absorbed by the skin?”, Helen said “It’s hard to say if Vitamin C is best absorbed by the skin in a certain way. It all depends on the formulation, the dosage, and the form of Vitamin C used. However, we can assume that serums are probably better than creams, simply because serums are formulated with penetration enhancers and higher concentration of Vitamin C to treat specific skin conditions (i.e. hyperpigmentation, ageing, dull skin, etc). Always pay attention to how your skin reacts to products containing Vitamin C, if you feel tingling or irritating, you should stop or change to a milder product”.
What’s your experience with Vitamin C in skincare? Share with me in the comments!