What to Look For in a Vitamin C Serum

What to Look For in a Vitamin C Serum


You may have picked up on the skincare trend around Vitamin C and its skin-brightening benefits. It’s all the rage on TikTok, Instagram, and even dermatologists swear by the benefits. Just about any skin concern, uneven skin tone, texture, fine lines, and even acne scarring, can benefit from this iconic ingredient. But we’re going to take a wild guess and say that most of us here don’t really know what Vitamin C is, or at least how it actually works to give skin visible results. We’re here to report some good news: as long as your Vitamin S skincare has these key components, you don’t need to be paying $200. In fact, it’s more than likely that you can get the same science & ingredient quality in affordable, drugstore Vitamin C serums like Vitamin C Brightening Drops and Vitamin C24. 


Check the Ingredient List for Ascorbic Acid: The Purest Form of Vitamin C 


L-Ascorbic acid is the scientific name for the purest form of Vitamin C. And what is Vitamin C? It’s an antioxidant. When environmental damage like pollution, UV light, and smoking reach your skin, they can create something called “free radicals”. While you may have learned about these molecules in high school chemistry and then never thought about them again, they can wreak havoc on your skin. A free radical is a molecule that is missing one of its electrons. This free radical then travels from cell to cell, searching for an electron to take from another molecule. This can cause a cycle of damage and speed up all the visible signs of aging: dark spots, fine lines, loss of elasticity – you name it. Enter: antioxidants. These molecules give one of their own electrons to the free radical, ending their search and thus preventing skin damage.  


Beyond its antioxidant powers, L-Ascorbic acid (aka Vitamin C) is able to stimulate the beginning process of collagen production, which is important to maintain firm, bouncy skin. Another fun fact: Vitamin C inhibits tyrosinase – an enzyme that produces melanin and subsequently, dark spots. It also has anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce the visibility of acne and scars. To make it simple, L-Ascorbic acid is a busy molecule, playing defense against free radicals while doing damage control for pretty much every common skin concern. And while there are a few other types of Vitamin C on the market, L-Ascorbic acid is the purest, strongest, and has the most well-researched benefits. So naturally, it’s the active ingredient in both of our Vitamin C Brightening Drops and Vitamin C24. 


Always Look for Opaque Packaging


The one thing you need to know when shopping for a Vitamin C serum is this: Vitamin C is notoriously hard to keep stable. And because it’s so pure, L-Ascorbic acid is even harder to stabalize. This means that light, increased temperature, water, and air can oxidize the ingredient if it’s not formulated, stored, or packaged properly. When you see a Vitamin C serum in transparent packaging, keep walking. There’s a strong chance that this will lose its efficacy quite quickly just from sitting on your bathroom counter. 


Our Vitamin C Brightening Drops and Vitamin C24 are both packaged in fully opaque bottles so that the formula is never compromised by light. 


Seal It and Store It


As we mentioned before, Vitamin C can also lose effectiveness through an increase in temperature and exposure to air. Make sure your Vitamin C cream, serum, moisturizer, or oil is able to be sealed tight. Vitamin C Brightening Drops and Vitamin C24 were designed with screw-tops (not pumps) to reduce exposure to air. To keep it from being exposed to heat, keep it away from sunlight (in a drawer or shelf will do). 


Check the Colour


One way to know for sure if your Vitamin C is oxidizing and losing its power is to check the colour. It should look white or colourless. If it has started to change colour to yellow, orange, or brown, it’s time to throw it away. Pro tip: check the colour of the formula before you buy it. If it already has added colourants, this is going to make it hard to know if the Vitamin C active is stable. That’s why both Vitamin C Brightening Drops and Vitamin C24 are white in colour – no colourants here. 


Go For An Encapsulated or Waterless Vitamin C


One of the ways that derms and chemists know to check for a formula that is sure to stay stable for longer, is to look for either an “encapsulated” Vitamin C or a “waterless” Vitamin C. An encapsulated Vitamin C means the active ingredient is held within delivery capsule, protecting it from potential oxidization and also making it gentler on your skin when applied. Our Vitamin C Brightening Drops use an encapsulated blend of Ascorbic Acid, Volcanic Soil, and Hyaluronic Acid that doesn’t oxidize when exposed to higher temperatures, water, sunlight, or air. Alternatively, look for a waterless formula. Without water to oxidize the formula internally, it can deliver a higher percentage of the Ascorbic Acid. Our Vitamin C24 uses 22% Ascorbic Acid in a completely waterless formula for maximum skin-improving benefits.

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