The Many Ways to Maximize Vitamin C’s Benefits for Your Skin

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Between helping protect your skin against UV damage and brightening dark spots, vitamin C offers plenty of benefits for your skin. The type of Vitamin C serum, lotion, or product you use, however, can significantly affect how much of the benefits you get out of it.

Not all vitamin C products are created equal. A small dollop of your favorite brightening vitamin C serum can brighten up your skin, but if misused, it can lead to irritation. Always read the label first and know what you’re getting from the product, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Before you settle down on a potential vitamin C favorite, consider the following tips to get the most out of your skincare products.

Use Your Serums in the Morning

There’s no skincare law prohibiting the use of vitamin C products in the evening, but you may get the most benefits when you use them in the morning. In general, you should apply your serums and lotions in the morning before you head out, especially when UV radiation is at its highest.

Vitamin C, however, isn’t as effective when exposed to light, so give your skin time to absorb the serum or lotion before you go outside. You don’t have to wait for a specific amount of time. Once your skin absorbs the product, you’re good to go.

Refrain from Using your Vitamin C with Other Ingredients

Vitamin C is safe for use, but it could sting — especially if you include Vitamin C to the routine as your exfoliating acids or scrubs.

If you’re using vitamin C products, steer clear of products with benzoyl peroxide since this can oxidize vitamin C, making it less potent. Use your benzoyl peroxide products in a different routine from your vitamin C products. Use your vitamin C products in the morning and the benzoyl peroxide in the evenings.

Retinol and vitamin C work best at different times and on different skin environments, so using them at the same time might affect their effectiveness. And since they have almost the same effects on the skin, they can cause irritations. Similar to benzoyl peroxide, it’s best to use retinol at a different time of the day.

Store Your Vitamin C Products Correctly


Vitamin C, used in topical skincare, is sensitive to air and light. Exposure to these elements oxidizes the ascorbic acid content of vitamin C, making the product less efficient and less stable.

Store your vitamin C products in air-tight or air-restrictive containers. Use dropper bottles that require being opened all the way or switch from tubs to airless pumps. Fortunately, most of your favorite vitamin C products already come in opaque, air-tight containers.

Check If Your Product Has Changed Color

Vitamin C serums and lotions should be light straw-colored or colorless. If the product’s color has turned into brown or yellow, it has oxidized, which means it’s going to be less effective. You can still use the product, but it will not do much for your skin.

Vitamin C is beneficial to your skin, especially when you know how to use and store it properly. Consult your dermatologist for more information on this skincare powerhouse.

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