13 Best Vitamin C Serums in 2021


FAQ with Dr. Naissan O. Wesley

What exactly is vitamin C? What is its purpose in skincare?

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a nutrient that is essential to the tissues in our body. It is essential for the structure and repair of most of our tissue (skin, bone, cardiovascular, for example) in that it’s a necessary co-factor in the enzymatic processes involved in wound healing and collagen synthesis, and it’s also an important antioxidant.

While some animals can produce their own vitamin C, human beings must obtain it from a dietary source or it may be obtained topically when it comes to skincare. In skincare, in the right stabilized formulation, vitamin C can be helpful for helping to repair free radicals created from sun, environmental damage, and aging. Due to its ability to help with wound healing, collagen synthesis, and even reducing an enzyme called tyrosinase involved in creating dark spots, it has the potential to help with fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots in skincare.

Who should use vitamin C skincare products?

Anyone can benefit from vitamin C in their skincare, for both preventative skincare and to treat signs of photoaging or hyperpigmentation. Most acne-prone patients can tolerate any formulation of vitamin C, however for those that experience irritation or acne flare-ups with use, I may consider using one without or decreased vitamin E if vitamin E is also in the product.

How do you know if it’s working?

You should see an overall improvement in smoothness and brightness of the skin.

How can you find a quality product that’s right for your skin?

Go with a trusted brand that has some research data and studies behind it. DermResults Illuminating Skin Therapy Concentrate contains stabilized vitamin C, bakuchiol (a plant derivative that works similarly to retinol to help fight signs of photoaging), and ferulic acid made by a certified B corporation company that makes skincare that is mindful of its effects on our skin and the environment, with good clinical data behind it.

What are some issues you might run into with vitamin C?

Vitamin C in topical form is not the most stable ingredient and once the bottles are opened, the vitamin C gets oxidized causing it to lose some of its potency over time, depending on the formulation. Most effective forms of vitamin C (those with good research data behind them) will use a stabilized form of vitamin C and also house the product (if it’s in a serum) in a dark glass container to help maintain its stability.

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