Facts and myths about vitamin C. Do face serums based on vitamin C really work?

Skin by Nicky Trynide

It’s said to reduce acne and pigmentation spots, smooth out and strikingly rejuvenate the skin. Is vitamin C really so effective? Does using ascorbic acid serum make any sense? Discover facts and myths about vitamin C.

The more popular an ingredient gets, the higher the odds there’s going to be lots of unreal things said about it. This applies to ascorbic acid, for example. Since vitamin C serums got so hot in the world of skin care, this ingredient has been talked about a lot lately.


Do you know what’s the truth and what’s the myth as far as vitamin C is concerned?

TRUE: Drinking orange juice isn’t enough because vitamin C should be applied to skin as well.

The fact that we should use vitamin C-infused face serums isn’t just another fad that cosmetic brands have created. Obviously, a diet rich in vitamin C products (such as citruses) is important but it doesn’t satisfy daily requirements for this ingredient. By using cosmetics with vitamin C we provide the body with extra enhancement: only the external use of vitamin C rejuvenates the skin, brightens and beautifies it.

FALSE: The more vitamin C I use, the better skin benefits.

Vitamin C is one of the ingredients that our skin needs but it may do harm in excess. We shouldn’t overuse vitamin C cosmetics and ascorbic acid supplementation if we want to avoid skin irritation.

FALSE: Vitamin C serums make skin sensitive to solar radiation.

That’s the effect of other vitamin: vitamin A, aka retinol. When it comes to vitamin C, the effect is opposite. Ascorbic acid reduces the activity of free radicals which are formed due to UVA radiation. The use of vitamin C serum is a way of ensuring additional sun protection. Still, you must remember that large amounts of vitamin C have a gently-exfoliating effect so it might expose the skin to the sunlight too much. That is why it’s best to apply serum first and then follow with a moisturizer.

TRUE: Not all types of vitamin C have the same effectiveness so we should go for the best form.

Some people might think it’s enough if we take a random vitamin C serum and it’s going to work great. They couldn’t be more wrong! Pure vitamin C, that is L-ascorbic acid, requires additional liposomes to get inside deepest skin layers and prevent rapid oxidation. Some forms aren’t absorbed at all or the absorption is limited. Luckily, there are also cosmetics based on other forms of vitamin C: more stable derivatives which don’t oxidize quickly and thus are able to give better results.

TRUE: Vitamin C works for everyone so face serum containing this ingredient is “one-size-fits-all”.

Vitamin C is a substance essential for all skin types, no matter if ours is oily or very dry. We can use ascorbic acid serum even if our skin is sensitive as it won’t trigger irritations when used in proper amounts.

FALSE: We can replace a moisturizer with vitamin C serum since it has a stronger effect.

The fact that a face serum is more concentrated and works more intensively is true. Still, it doesn’t mean we should use it as a better substitute for a moisturizer. Both products should be used at the same time. What’s more, we should always apply vitamin C serum before the moisturizer: it will be absorbed faster, plus the skin will be protected against loss of water and harmful factors.

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About the Author
Nicky Trynide

is a professional make up artist whose work has graced the runway and the red carpet as well as national and international television shows and magazines. Nicky credits his long and successful career in the industry to his innate ability to see and bring out the beauty in everyone. Growing up, his passion for his future profession was sparked by his mother and two grandmothers, all European-trained estheticians

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