Why you should introduce your skin to a daily dose of Vitamin C

I noticed my hands first. A few drops of The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F – applied directly to my face (with the rest spread across the backs of my hands) has left my hands looking younger, fresher. And, less like I’ve spent 12 years with my hands on a steering wheel, under a hot, South African sun. 

My face? Well, pores are just about non-existent and my forehead is noticeably smoother. Vitamin C has helped banish those rogue pimples and my skin is much more glowy than it used to be. This is of course due to quite a few changes in  my routine but I’m positive my now – second – bottle of The Ordinary has contributed to it. 

My great granny used to rub cut lemons across the backs of her hands and now I know why.  What makes vitamin C so great as a skincare ingredient?

  • It exfoliates dead skin cells
  • It brightens dark marks and pigmentation
  • It boosts levels of collagen in your skin
  • It’s one of the most tested and proven skincare ingredients
  • It tingles, a little.
  • It’s an antioxidant that helps your cells fight off free radicals

To Know

Vitamin C comes in many forms and names. It’s notoriously unstable in water and air, which is why the two variants I’ve been using are  a powder and in an oil. 

Not all Vitamin C is created equal – look for descriptions like L-ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate and retinyl ascorbate.

Percentages are important. A mild percentage will help your skin but the higher the percentage, the more tingling you’ll feel and results should be more noticeable. The 100% powder I’m trying ‘dilutes’ as I mix it with my (very mild) body lotion called Mixa or other oils so I don’t actually get 100% of ascorbic acid on my skin.

I’ve used Skinceuticals CE Ferulic in the past, which I liked but it was too pricey to keep up the habit. I’m now switching between The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F (£14.90) and I’ve bought a tub of their 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder (£4.90) , which I’ve used mixed with Squalane. I don’t use it that often  as this one really does tingle so I interchange between the two. I’m trying it on stretch marks on my body and to help smooth my skin tone on my chest, too. 

Overall I’m really happy with it and my skin has seamlessly accepted the new serum. Some things to note:

  • Watch out if you have sensitive skin, build up your tolerance
  • If you react (redness/itching), stop using it
  • Keep an eye on the bottle – oxidised Vitamin C is pointless
  • Keep your skin protected with an SPF – it will make your skin more sensitive to the sun
  • Apply it after cleansing, before moisturising

Have you tried a Vitamin C serum in your routine?

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