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Today, many skincare products work to resolve various skin problems. Unfortunately, most of them only target an issue or two at once. This leaves people with complex skin concerns, like hyperpigmentation and sensitivity, scrambling to assemble an assortment of skincare products that work without negatively interacting with one another. Vitamin C serum for skin, however, offers a different experience.

Long touted as a cure-all product that can help address most common skin concerns, Vitamin C serum is an effective solution for things like sun damage, fine lines, under-eye bags, acne scars, and more.

Here’s what you need to know about Vitamin C serum, and whether you should add it to your skincare routine.

How Does Vitamin C Serum Work?

Most of us know Vitamin C as something we take to boost our immune systems during cold season. But how does it work in skincare products? Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it neutralizes free radicals in the body.

While moderate levels of free radicals are beneficial, too many overwhelm physical systems and cause oxidative stress. This, in turn, harms DNA, proteins, and lipids, and can cause cell damage and disrupt the skin’s ability to repair itself. Excessive free radicals also slow collagen production.

Fortunately, Vitamin C comes to bat for your skin by helping your body cope with stress and neutralize harmful free radicals.

4 Benefits of Vitamin C for Skin

If you’ve been looking for a great serum that can truly “do it all,” here are a few reasons to give Vitamin C a try:

1. It Helps Protect Against Aging

According to Debra Jailman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, “Serums with Vitamin C stimulate collagen production, which slows as we age.”

Collagen is a structural protein that holds cells together, promotes skin elasticity, and strengthens the dermal layer. Because of this, decreasing collagen levels lead to a dull, lackluster complexion. Fortunately, Vitamin C serum boosts the skin’s ability to produce collagen, softening fine lines and wrinkles while also protecting against further skin aging.

2. It Reduces Acne Scarring

If you have acne or acne-scarred skin, you’ll be happy to know that Vitamin C is a potent anti-inflammatory. Used regularly, it helps clear up existing acne and redness while also enhancing the skin’s tone and texture and lessening the appearance of old acne scars.

If you have adult acne, you can boost the effectiveness of this serum by exfoliating gently before applying the serum, as this promotes penetration of all the skin’s layers. For best results, apply Vitamin C serum after you wash and tone your face. Add a few drops to the palm of your hand and massage the serum gently into the skin and neck with your fingertips. Allow the serum to sink in for a few minutes before you apply moisturizer.

3. It Protects You From Sun Damage

According to recent research, UV exposure is the cause of 80% of skin aging. Luckily, Vitamin C can reverse sun damage and protect your skin from UV rays. Still, it’s not a substitute for sunscreen, so don’t forget to wear SPF daily.

4. It Decreases Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation has lots of causes: it can arise as a result of pregnancy, sun damage, and age, among other things. When you use Vitamin C serum regularly, though, it inhibits the tyrosinase enzyme that is responsible for melanin production – the underlying cause of discoloration. This brightens dark spots without lightening your overall skin tone.

Choosing the Right Serum

As you shop for a Vitamin C serum, look for one with a high VItamin C concentration. This will boost collagen without creating redness and irritation, even on sensitive skin. Most dermatologists recommend finding a serum with at least 15%-50% Vitamin C.

Keep in mind that Vitamin C is not shelf-stable, which means it will degrade and lose its efficacy over time. This process speeds up when the product encounters light, heat, or air, so it’s best to buy a serum in an opaque, airtight bottle.

Finally, remember that there are many different Vitamin C derivatives, such as ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and sodium ascorbyl phosphate. If one derivative doesn’t work for your skin, you can always try another. L-ascorbic acid is a particularly popular type of Vitamin C, as it tends to be more gentle than other varieties.

If you’ve never tried Vitamin C serum before, our popular Elite Vital C Complexion Serum is a great place to start. Containing 18% Vitamin C and 76% organic ingredients, this unique serum lightens sun spots and discoloration. It also refines and improves skin texture and reduces the appearance and formation of wrinkles and fine lines – for a more beautiful complexion every day.