The most important thing about Vitamin C is that it’s safe to use on ALL skin types. It is really hydrating, so it decreases the transepidermal water loss, meaning it stops water from coming out of your skin, allowing your skin to retain more moisture, keeping it plump and hydrated.

Vitamin C has a brightening effect, it fades pigmentation, and it smooths the skin surface. It gets rid of all the dullness and leaves you with a really beautiful glow. Vitamin C is great for sensitive skin, reducing redness. With more complex problems, it really helps inflammatory skin conditions.

It helps fade, uneven skin tone or hyperpigmentation, such as sunspots and age spots and overproduction of melanin in areas where acne has healed and you have the little brown spots around it.

Vitamin C is amazing for treating under eye circles. It really pumps and hydrates under the eye area, to improve the tone and texture and quality of the skin. It prevents the skin from sagging, and it really boosts your collagen production. It also protects from sun damage caused by molecules called free radicals.

Free radicals are atoms that are missing an electron, free radicals search for atoms to steal an electron from leading to significant damage to the skin cells, but Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants and antioxidants protect healthy skin cells, by giving these free radicals, an electron and rendering them harmless.

Vitamin C is an amazing antioxidant and it can neutralise these free radicals, which are destructive molecules, and they go around and land on your skin, destroying your collagen levels. Free radicals are caused by things that you’re exposed to every single day, like the sun smoke, pollution, and most of all stress. Stress has a huge impact on your skin health, so you can’t avoid free radicals, however, you can protect your skin against them with some Vitamin C. The next thing that Vitamin C is great for is soothing sunburn, minimising redness and accelerating your cellular turnover. It replaces those damaged skin cells with healthy ones.

So, now here’s the question, how do you choose the best Vitamin C for your skin? There are so many different forms of Vitamin C on the market, do you choose one with nice packaging? The one that causes less irritation? or is it a medical-grade skincare product with research behind it, proving that it can penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin to stimulate a response and improvement in your skin. Your all going to know which one I’m going to pick, it’s the scientifically backed medical-grade skincare, so I like to approach everything from a scientific perspective, to ensure the product I am recommending will actually achieve results for your specific skin type.

I recommend from a fully informed position, backed by scientific research with all the benefits that we’re about to discuss. So, which one do you choose? There are so many different strengths on the market and the different terminology is very overwhelming. There are a lot of terms used to describe the different products, which can all become very confusing, but I’m going to try and break these down for you. L- ascorbic acid is the most abundant Vitamin C in our body, and it’s the most abundant antioxidant, but the levels reduced with age, so we need to replace this topically. As I previously mentioned taking Vitamin C taking tablets, just doesn’t get from your digestive tract to your skin, therefore topical application is the best way.

So, this is easy, right, all you have to do is look for a product with L- ascorbic acid in it right? No wrong, so what we have to do? There are lots of different types of l- ascorbic acid, and there are different things that Vitamin C is called, different names like sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, tetrahexldecyl ascorbate. They’re also confusing and I can’t pronounce most of them, but basically what you’re looking for is l-ascorbic acid or ascorbic acid. The rest have had molecule added to them, or ester to preserve their shelf life.

Vitamin C is water-soluble and formulation is everything when choosing your Vitamin C. When Vitamin C starts to break down and become ineffective it will oxidise. It’ll oxidise more if it’s exposed to light or air or sun. So, basically, all these other products have an ester added to them meaning, they’ve taken l-ascorbic acid and added the molecule to it, then when you apply it to your skin, your skin has to revert the ester back to L ascorbic acid, so it can be absorbed, but there’s a reason they’ve added these additives so that the product can have a longer shelf life, and the product is stabilised in a container, so it lasts longer, but there’s no evidence to show, then when it’s reverted back, how much is actually absorbed into your skin. So, what’re the best products to choose from? When you’re looking for a Vitamin C it’s plain l-ascorbic acid without the esters.

Let’s discuss a couple of other things that you really have to be looking for it. The l-ascorbic acid is fresh and can be mixed by you, then there is no oxidisation. There are no preservatives and there are no esters. Basically, you’re looking for an airtight container, and you need it to be dark glass, so it’s protected from the sunlight and preferably you have to be able to mix your Vitamin C peptides with your serum, then you know it’s fresh, and you’re getting maximum use out of it, it’s not oxidised at all. The minute it is mixed with your serum, it starts to dissolve and it starts to oxidise or reduce in efficacy, and it becomes less and less effective.

The normal pH of your skin is 4.7 to 5.7. This is next part of the formulation, the other thing you’re looking for in a Vitamin C is the pH. The pH of water is neutral, anything above neutral is acidic, everything below is alkaline, so the skin is naturally slightly acidic, your Vitamin C needs a pH less than that of skin, so it needs to be about 2.5 to 3.5. When you’re looking for a Vitamin C formulation, formulation really is everything. The concentration is the first thing that you’re looking for and it has to be between 8% and 20%, you can spend so much money on beauty, skincare, cosmetic creams and serums to put on your face, but you really need to be looking at what’s in the ingredients.

Between 8 to 20% with the concentration is the sweet spot, below 8 is too low to achieve results, above 20 can be very irritating to your skin 2.5 to 3.5 pH. Have a look on the bottle the ascorbic acid will last a couple of months for you, that will be great for your skin. So, the lower the pH, the more irritating on the skin and you will need to get that right balance. Other antioxidants that work synergistically with L ascorbic acid is Vitamin E and Ferulic acid. These are really important helper anti-oxidants to have in your Vitamin C serum, as they double the body’s ability to absorb the Vitamin C, which provides stability and boosts the effectiveness.

Your dark glass container housing will decrease your oxidisation, and you really need to have your helping antioxidants in there with it so Vitamin C, Vitamin E Ferulic acid, and I’m going to tell you about another one in a minute. In a water-based Vitamin C, the things that you would be looking out for are:

  1. What form of Vitamin C is it?
  2. What is the pH and is it between 2.5 and 3.5?
  3. What is the concentration? is it between 8% and 20%.
  4. Does it have the synergistic antioxidants in it, to give you the best boost you can achieve with your skin.
  5. Is it crystal clear? when you’re having a look at the bottle, not yellow, not starting to oxidise or going a dark rust colour or brown, not usable. It’s only 20% effective if you find it and it’s gone this colour.

I have tried a few different Vitamin C’s out over the last six months, and my favourite one of all time is Everactive C and E from AlumierMD, which I use every day. It’s the best Vitamin C for your ageing skin. It’s a water based solution. Its a potent antioxidant serum to reduce the visible signs of ageing. It’s got a really unique delivery system and it’s 15% vitamin C, it’s got your Vitamin E in it. It brightens and revitalises the look of the skin and reduces the fine lines, improves that skin tone and texture and it’s got all those helper antioxidants in it to neutralise free radicals from the sun. It comes in a little container which you press a release button, and all the powder is released from a chamber at the top, and the Vitamin C crystal peptides go into the serum, so you know it’s fresh, it’s also mixed with the Matrxyl synthe 6, which is a really powerful peptide with six skin rebuilding essentials. The six ingredients, stimulate the skin’s dermal-epidermal junction to firm, plump, and repair it can double the amount of collagen that our skin produces.

The next thing is there are a few different ways Vitamin C can be stored, one is water-soluble, you can have it in a silicon base or an oil base, so it won’t dissolve on the shelf, and then this waterless solution dissolves when you put it onto your skin. It becomes hydrated and activated, so it should be released from the silicone, but I’m just not sure how much Vitamin C can get through the silicone to get into your skin, therefore, I do prefer a water-based Vitamin C. The third way of applying Vitamin C is to get it in powder form, so you mix it up as you go.

You don’t need to worry about the pH of it, because it’s already stabilised, it’s a powder but still check your concentration, make sure It’s 8-20%, and I still like to see that it’s got the helper antioxidants in there, to really get that penetration down to the cellular level, it doesn’t need to be in a dark container with an airless pump, so it won’t oxidise in that way.

If you have any questions about Vitamin C, and you’re still unsure, whether you should be using it in your daily skincare routine, I guarantee you should be!! If you’d like to have a chat to me. Just give me a call on 07444938248, or give me a text and check out the rest of my website.


Amanda Azzopardi, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Aesthetic Medicine Prescriber, specialises in ageing-related changes. With a Masters in Advanced Clinical Practice, she's trained at the renowned Harley Academy in London and the Level 7 accredited Derma Medical Academy. Boasting over 15 years of global experience in acute medical settings and extensive aesthetic insurance, Amanda combines care, skill, and professionalism to ensure your treatments are in trustworthy hands.


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