If you prefer getting skin care facts from an expert rather than ads, here’s the inside scoop on Vitamin C-straight from a dermatologist.
If you’ve wanted to learn more about Vitamin C for skin from an actual dermatologist, this post if for you! My dermatologist Jo Herzog shares hugely helpful info on Vitamin C in a guest post (below). Dr. Jo’s medical expertise and her insight into (and personal sampling of) most cosmeceuticals makes her a definite voice of authority.
In her post, Dr. Jo shares how Vitamin C can help the skin, what to look for when shopping for Vitamin C, and how/when to apply Vitamin C in your skin care regimen.
So without further ado, here is the lowdown on Vitamin C~straight from Dr. Jo…….
The Inside Scoop on Vitamin C-Straight from a Dermatologist
Dr. Jo Herzog
Jamie asked me to talk about Vitamin C and skin, so let’s get started. Vitamin C plays an important part in maintaining the youthfulness of our skin and is one of three basic components in skin care that I recommend: Vitamin C, tretinoin, and sunscreen.
The use of vitamin C helps repair photo damage, decrease fine lines and some wrinkles, improve redness and hyperpigmentation, and help promote healing of skin scars and wounds.
Vitamin C plays a part in building collagen, firming the skin, and lightening sunspots and age spots. Vitamin C might even decrease your chances of developing some forms of skin cancer by acting as a potent antioxidant. However don’t forget your sunscreen.
Are Vitamin C rich foods and supplements not enough to benefit the skin? The short answer is no. Vitamin C does not reach the skin in large enough quantities when eaten. We have to apply it directly to the skin to get levels that are high enough to make a difference. Furthermore, applying to the skin is still not enough. The product must be absorbed by the skin to be effective.
There are many Vitamin C products out there, but they will not all create the changes we want in our skin. You have to know what you are buying. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Products must have a PH of less than 3.5 to be able to penetrate the skin successfully and be absorbed. Obagi products and Skinceuticals do fit this bill (as might others, but I do not have a full list). You need to do your homework before purchasing.
- Vitamin C also should be sold in a dark bottle, as light will degrade it. Some say refrigerating helps preserve it, but this is not practical. Most of us would never use it if we had to walk to the fridge every night to get it.
- Choose a Vitamin C serum over a cream. Vitamin C products that are formulated in a serum will give your face an immediate glow just from the vehicle itself. Serum also dries quickly and allows for easy application of other products such as moisturizer and sunscreen over it.
- Avoid buying Vitamin C combined with other products. You can also find combination products that have vitamin C mixed with other products such as sunscreen. I recommend choosing and using products separately, based on your individual skin characteristics.
When to apply Vitamin C: I tell patients to apply Vitamin C in the morning, followed by a good sunscreen. I recommend applying tretinoin (Retin-A) in the evening, along with a good moisturizer.
Vitamin C, tretinoin, and sunscreen are 3 things that I recommend every woman do every day. There are some other products that can also be helpful; I call these “fluff” or “icing on the cake.” I’ll write about these in another post.
So to sum up, if you want to compete in the battle against sun damage, get a good quality vitamin C. Use it along with tretinoin and sunscreen, and you’ll be on your way to healthier, more beautiful skin.
Hope this helps,
Hey there friends, it’s Jamie again; I’m putting my headshot in so that you’ll know it’s back to me:-) Many thanks to Dr. for sharing that helpful advice. Now I want to share a few things from my end.
For those who have asked, yes I do use Vitamin C, every day. I’ve been using Obagi Profesional C Serum 10% but am almost out and just ordered this new Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. I’ll let you know if I like it as well or better than the Obagi after I use it for a few weeks. I’ve heard great things about the Skinceuticals, and I also needed to bump up the % of C a smidge from 10% to 15%.
Savvy side notes: Because vitamin C is not inexpensive, keep two things in mind. 1) Only a few drops are needed per application. 2) Close the bottle lid securely. It is a shame to tip over a bottle of Vitamin C and watch half of it run onto your bathroom vanity. #beentheredonethat
I’ve researched buying C online, and it can be done; however, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. In an ideal world, we would all get a personalized assessment from our dermatologist along with his or her recommendations for the perfect Vitamin C for our skin type.
Where skin care products are concerned, one size/type doesn’t fit all. If you do choose to buy online, consider the guidelines I use for such purchases. Reminder~this is me talking, not Dr. Jo.
A Few Tips for Buying Vitamin C for Skin Online
- Buy from an authorized dealer only. Skinceuticals shares this list of authorized online retailers which is hugely helpful. Obagi doesn’t publish an authorized list; you have to scroll through the Q & A on this Obagi blog post to find out. (FYI….I do know that Dermstore is authorized).
- Look for a good return policy. I love Dermstore because they offer a wonderful return policy. If something doesn’t work, you have plenty of time to return.
- Use ebates for cash back. I started using ebates a few weeks ago, and I’ve already earned a nice chunk of change for purchases I’d have made regardless. I just purchased this Skinceuticals Vitamin C and got 4% cash back ($6.60) on ebates (and a free glycolic body wash).
If you want to check out the Vitamin C products in more detail, I link to them below. I hope this post has been informative and helpful. I’d love to know….Do you use a Vitamin C product? If so, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay (Vitamin C) savvy!