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We all know that C word, it’s the vitamin C! Vitamin C has many benefits not just for your health but also for your skin. Using vitamin C directly on skin is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion. Vitamin C has been used in skin care routine since the ancient time. Recently, it has been very popular to use high concentration of vitamin C for skin care products. Does this ingredient live up to its reputation?
Top 3 Benefits of Vitamin C for the Skin
Skin care product with vitamin C have been holy grail for a healthy and youthful skin.
Here are the top 3 reasons why I love Vitamin C:
1. Anti-wrinkle functionality by promoting collagen production. High level of collagen protein help support our skin’s structure which lead to reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.
2. Even skin tone by fighting against free radical that create by exposure to the sun. This means any sun damage discoloration can be lighten by vitamin C. But this won’t work for freckle since freckle is caused by low production of melanin.
3. Hydrating and moisturizing our skin by prolonging the water retention of our skin which mean our skin stay smoother and more youthful longer. It doesn’t mean that we don’t need to apply additional moisturizer.
The Common Types of Vitamin C in Skin Care Products
Vitamin C comes from many sources. We all know that citrus fruits contains vitamin C. But there are sources of more concentrate vitamin C than citrus fruit. Did you know that rose hips contains 20 times more vitamin C than an orange? Since there many sources of vitamin C, there are also many forms of vitamin C as well.
Here 3 common types of vitamin C for skin care application:
1. L-ascorbic acid (commonly preferred as ascorbic acid) is the purest form of vitamin C. In nature, vitamin C consists of isomer molecules (same chemical formula but with different arrangement) known as L-ascorbic acid and D-ascorbic acid. Only L-ascorbic acid is chemically active which is the active ingredient for skin care product.
L-ascorbic acid is unstable. To stabilize this type of vitamin C, the pH of the solution need to be less than 3.5. However, the lower the pH, the solution can become too acidic which can cause skin irritation. L-ascorbic acid is almost colorless, but when exposure to light, its color turn to yellowish. So the shelf-life of product with high concentration of vitamin C is very short.
2. Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) is the most stable vitamin C synthesized derivative. MAP is gentle on skin since it is stable at neutral pH (~7) and it is lipophilic which means it is easy to absorb into skin. It can be effective at low concentration as well.
3. Ascorbyl tetra-isopalmitoyl (ATIP) is a stable vitamin C derivative. This derivative is effective at low concentration but less effective at penetrating into the skin.
Overall, L-ascorbic acid is the most effective and best absorption for skin care application. So with that in mind, when looking at skin care ingredients, make sure the L-ascorbic acid is listed closer to the top (which mean higher dosage) than other derivatives.
Vitamin C Products – Best Korean Skin Care Products
Here are the top Korean products that might be worthwhile to give it a shot
I personally use this serum. I like that it has low concentration of ascorbic acid (5%) and has pH around 3.5 which means my skin won’t be irritated. If you are new to vitamin C, I would recommend trying this first before using higher concentration ones.
Another plus side of this serum is long shelf-life due to its low concentration of active vitamin C ingredient. It also has great reviews from other users. I love product with low scent and low fragrance smell. This serum has no scent which is a plus for me. I went through at least 4 bottles of this serum. After a bottle, my sun damage spots have been lighter to less visible, but I do have freckles that didn’t go away which is expected. I do see a glow in my skin as well.
They do recommend not to use with AHA or BHA products. I have used it with AHA/BHA toner before and it seems fine for me, but it might be a different experience for you. Since my skin is very easy to get sun damage, I only use this serum during the night routine and I properly use sun screen in the morning.
I have used this serum in the past. It has high concentration of Ascorbic Acid (21.5% as the name suggested). It has fewer ingredients which means less filler and only the essential ones are in the serum. Because it’s very concentrated, some users report having mild sting sensation. I only notice that sensation when I had open skin cut or irritation. If you have been using vitamin C for a while, this might be perfect upgrade for you.
I only used 1 bottle of this. It has shorter shelf-life within 6 months, serum turns from colorless to yellowish liquid. I also notice some precipitations in form of small solid rocks.
The serum is effective, I did notice my pimple scar and sun damage discoloration had significantly become less noticeable. I only used it in the evening and had sun screen on in the morning. When you are using any product to help with skin concern, it is critical to protect it afterward so you can see fix the old skin problem and prevent the skin problem. I stopped using due the shelf-life issue.
I have heard a lot of buzzes around this product. It has raving reviews. It contains 20.5% ascorbic acid and pH around 3. The serum is fragrance free. The serum makes in small batch size so that what you get is pretty fresh which help to prolong the shelf-life of this serum. I haven’t tried this yet. But it is on my to-try list.
Some users have mentioned that this product breaks them out. If you are new to vitamin C routine, I would suggest try lower concentration first like vitamin C from Klairs then overtime you can give this one a try.
Where the Best Places to Get Them
Sometimes I find good deals on Yesstyle.com, this is where I buy most of my stuff. I’m affiliate with them. This company is based in Hong Kong. They are an authorized dealer for these brands, and they do offer free shipping for order over $35 and ship to most countries. It does take between 1 to 2 weeks to get your items, but they do offer free gifts. You can buy both Klairs Vitamin C and Wishtrend Vitamin C. You can check the price difference between this website and Amazon.com to see who give you a better deal.
Cosrx Triple C Lightning Liquid is exclusive only available at SokoGlam.com. You can get 20% for your first purchase by using clicking here. Their price points tend to be little more expensive than other websites.
So Are You Ready to Use the C word?
These vitamin C products are very affordable (under $30) and easy to get your hands on them. I didn’t experience any side effect only minor issues. It is totally worth to give a try!
Where to get them
I have a page that address this question. You can check out here. I have purchased most of mine on Amazon.com and Yesstyle.com. The Amazon links that I provide with the products are authentic products made in Korea from legitimate sellers. Yesstyle.com are authorize dealers for all the Korean skin care products so I trust them. Other US based companies also provide authentic products as well.
Feel free to leave your comments, thoughts or questions below if you have used them or plan to incorporate this vitamin C into your skin care regime.
Hope you find this post useful.
Cheers to beautiful skin!