How Does Vitamin C Help Skin?
Our Recommended Products with Vitamin C
Vitamin C for Anti-Aging & Brighter Skin
There are many forms of vitamin C (we'll get to which types work best shortly) and all have potent antioxidant benefits that help intercept problems before they happen to your skin.
When added to your daily skincare routine, well-formulated products containing vitamin C provide a range of benefits, from helping to even out your skin tone, revitalizing skin's surface, significantly improving hydration, and keeping your skin looking younger, longer!
Ascorbic Acid is Vitamin C Royalty
Ascorbic acid—also known as L-ascorbic acid—has the most skin-related research of any form of vitamin C. For that reason, it's the form of vitamin C we use most often in our Paula's Choice products.
When properly formulated (this ingredient can be finicky), ascorbic acid helps create younger-looking, firmer-feeling skin while signs of uneven skin tone seem to disappear. Ascorbic acid also helps skin's surface rebuff external stressors and mitigate the effects of exposure to the elements.
There's more: Ascorbic acid is a powerhouse when mixed with other antioxidants. That approach is the fundamental philosophy here at Paula's Choice. One ingredient, no matter how amazing, is never enough to take the best care of your skin.
Higher Concentrations of Vitamin C Can Work Wonders
We are particularly proud of our two high-concentration vitamin C products that provide targeted solutions for stubborn skincare concerns.
RESIST 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment can be used over problem areas and our RESIST C15 Super Booster can be used all over to refresh and renew skin, with noticeable results that visibly improve the look of skin imperfections.
While we love our higher concentration vitamin C products, those with lower concentrations also provide stunning results. The higher strengths have benefits for specific concerns, but lower strengths in moisturizers and toners also help replenish skin in significant ways.
Research has shown that vitamin C concentrations as low as 0.6% provide antioxidant and anti-aging benefits to skin. So, depending on your concerns, you may do just fine with a regular-strength vitamin C product to smooth, brighten, and replenish skin—especially if the form of vitamin C is one we discuss in the next section.
Other Forms of Vitamin C
Although ascorbic acid is definitely an outstanding form of vitamin C, there are other forms that also have notable research demonstrating their stability and efficacy. Those forms include sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and ascorbyl glucoside. All of these are worthy of your attention when included in a superior moisturizing lotion, gel, serum, or toner.
Keep in mind that all antioxidants, including vitamin C, are vulnerable, and will break down if routinely exposed to air and light. That means: If you want to get the best possible results from your antioxidant-enriched skincare products, then buy only those that are packaged in opaque tubes, air-restrictive bottles, or pump containers that help keep the ingredients stable after you start using the product!
The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth scientific research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! See Paula's Choice Vitamin C Treatments.
References for this information:
Drug Research, October 2016, ePublication
Journal of the America Academy of Dermatology, November 2012, pages 1,103-1,024
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, January 2012, pages 51-56
AAPS PharmSciTech, September 2011, pages 917-923
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, August 2009, pages 130-135
Skin Research and Technology, August 2008, pages 376-380
Dermatologic Surgery, July 2005, pages 814-817