Vitamin C, better known as ascorbic acid to skincare junkies, provides anti-ageing benefits to the skin, helps clear out the complexion and smoothen skin texture, making it one of the most sought-after ingredients in the beauty world right now. But how exactly are you supposed to add it to your skincare routine? Here are five things you need to know before doing so...
- 1. Choosing the right formula
- 2. Timing
- 3. Frequency
- 4. Precautions
- 5. Interactions
- FAQs about vitamin C in your skincare routine
1. Choosing the right formula
Some of the best ways to include Vitamin C in your routine is either in the form of a serum or a cream. Serums are generally more potent than cream formulations, as they penetrate your skin better and are lightweight enough to suit any skin type. So, if you are looking to add a heavy-duty Vitamin C product to your routine, pick a formula like the Lakmé 9to5 Vitamin C+ Facial Serum. This lightweight, non-greasy serum is enriched with kakadu plum extracts, which is the world’s highest source of Vitamin C and E. It offers visible skin brightening, antioxidants, and hydrating benefits to the skin.
Vitamin C is a versatile ingredient that can be used for both daytime and nighttime routines. However, if your major concern is strengthening your skin barrier against sun damage, you will benefit from a formula like the Lakmé 9to5 Vitamin C+ Day Crème. Infused with 1% active Vitamin C, Vitamin E and shea butter, the cream offers all-day moisturisation and a cooling effect to the skin.
You can also include Vitamin C in your nighttime, preferably in the form of a multi-purpose formula like the Lakmé 9 to 5 Vitamin C+ Night Crème. Formulated with 0.5% active Vitamin C in combination with murumuru butter and glycerin, the night treatment can prevent moisture loss while you sleep so that you wake up with soft, supple and smooth skin in the morning.
Unlike other popular ingredients like AHAs and retinoids, Vitamin C is safe for daily use. You can use it in both your daytime and nighttime skincare routines. However, make a note of doing a patch test on your arm 48 hours prior to the application of a new product. Also, start slowly, applying it only 2-3 times a week in order to let your skin get used to the ingredient. Once you feel comfortable with it, you can upgrade it to daily use.
Since Vitamin C is a potent acid, you need to take certain precautions while adding it to your skincare routine. We already spoke about the need to start slow, but you also need to make sure to add sunscreen to your routine as Vitamin C tends to be vulnerable to light exposure. Sunblock will protect it from the destabilising effects of UVA and UVB rays. This also means that you need to store your Vitamin C products away from the sun and open-air, as they can oxidise and become less effective.
When using potent ingredients in your skincare routine, it is important to be aware of the interactions they can have with the other products in your regime. While Vitamin C is known to be generally tolerable, it is not recommended to be used in combination with benzoyl peroxide and retinol in the same routine. These ingredients can make Vitamin C less potent and also lead to irritation in some cases. You can, however, alternate between them. If you are using Vitamin C in the morning, move the benzoyl peroxide or retinol to nighttime.
FAQs about vitamin C in your skincare routine
Q. Can I use Vitamin C with sunscreen?
A. Yes, Vitamin C is recommended to be used with your sunscreen in the daytime. Combining the antioxidant properties of Vitamin C with the UV protection provided by sunscreens is more effective at neutralising free radical damage from the sun exposure than using sunscreen alone.
Q. How to include Vitamin C in your nighttime routine?
A. Vitamin C serum should be applied after applying a toner and before using a moisturiser at night. However, Vitamin C infused creams should be applied as the final step in your routine. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen in the morning to avoid irritation caused by UV exposure.
Q. Can I combine Vitamin C and salicylic acid in the same routine?
A. It is not recommended to use vitamin C with any kinds of acids in the same routine as it can disturb the pH balance of your skin. But, if you are using vitamin C to treat acne scars, make sure to use it in the morning, and use salicylic acid in your nighttime routine.