Deemed essential by all dermatologist, one of the most potent ingredients in the world of skincare is vitamin C serum. That said, no skincare regimen is complete neither effective had it not involved the world’s #1 antioxidant, vitamin C. Benefits reaped by topically applying this crucial serum are massive. For starters, boosting collagen production in the skin.. It is proven that vitamin C is literally involved in every single step in collagen synthesis.. Other benefits include reducing fine lines and brightening dark spots as it defies hyper-pigmentation and photo-aging..
Many get confused upon deciding which vitamin C serum to get.. With the plethora of options available around us, it is indeed necessary to educate oneself before committing to a vitamin C formula. Below are 5 things to consider when buying a
vitamin C serum.
1 || Concentration
Age plays a major role in this category.. If you are in your 20’s and are aiming for a lifetime of optimal skincare then you must incorporate vitamin C serum in your regimen. However, the percentage of the C serum varies according to age. You can begin with a 10% which is considered low intensity and work yourself up as the years pass by.. A concentration of 20 to 30 is recommended in a later stage when you hit 40 and above.. In other words, think of it as a compromise, you will be needing a concentration that guarantees a boost in collagen production, but not too much that it brings on redness and irritation.
2 || Form
Vitamin C serums come in different forms or derivatives. The reason behind this is because they’ve been produced to make it more stable and less likely to irritate the skin. Common ones to look out for include include L-absorbic acid, magnesium Ascorbyl phosphate, and sodium Ascorbyl phosphate. Most serums on the market contain vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid, but some experts prefer the ester form, called tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which they believe can be more effective.
AA – Ascorbic Acid – highly recommended
THDA – Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate – highly recommended
MAP – Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphote
SAP – Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
3 || Stability
Another crucial element you must factor in upon choosing a good vitamin C serum. Vitamin C in general is highly unstable because of its oxidative nature. It’s essential that it is well formulated and has good bioavailability and penetration. After all it is meant for it to be able to get to where it needs to go and do what it’s supposed to do. Because of its highly oxidative nature, manufacturers came up with vitamin C derivatives; those are more stable and insure better penetration, efficiency and less irritation. Look for a formula that has ascorbyl palmitate or sodium ascorbyl phosphate. Those ingredients will maximize the shelf life of your C serum.
4 || Texture
This factor is highly personal. What you ultimately choose should depend on what you like to put on your skin. Vitamin C is best when used everyday, so you need to like putting it on. Different formulas have various textures, gel, thin liquid, lotion, cream or powder. I personally have 2 formulas with different textures. The serum which I prefer to use at night, and the cream which I apply mornings after my sunblock..
5 || Packaging
Pump, dropper, tube, jar – what’s your preference? An airless container is usually optimal.. Pumping something out is the fastest and neatest method. It’s also the most hygienic. And most importantly, it’s the best way to keep antioxidants fresh.
Sunlight and air (oxygen) degrade antioxidants fast. So the best type of packaging is an opaque (not clear) or dark bottle that doesn’t allow light in.
Glass bottles with droppers are highly recommended. Because glass is the most stable way to store them. Acids can react with plastic material.