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Vitamin C serums: everything you need to know

Categories: Beauty, Our ProductsSeptember 01, 2016 | Posted by Mukti




Our recently launched Vital C Elixir has generated an insane amount of interest. For those not in the loop, it's a potent plant-based vitamin C serum that contains knotgrass extract, kakadu plum and CoQ10 to specifically target photoaging and protect the elastic fibres of the dermis from sun damage.

However, something people are a little confused about is WHEN to apply it and how it DIFFERS from our Age Defiance Day and Night Serums. 

We all know it’s good to take vitamin C every day internally –  it’s essential for collagen and elastin production, not to mention the immune system. But there’s a lot of conflicting advice on the interwebs about when to use vitamin C topically, and at what age we should begin using it.

To answer the second question first, start using vitamin C serums as soon as you start seeing the visible signs of aging and sun damage, which will probably be sometime in your 20s. The earlier you begin using vitamin C, the greater the effect will be in preserving the collagen and elastin in your skin, which decrease as we age, leading to fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, sun spots, discolouration and uneven skin tone.  

In our product description for the Vital C Elixir we say to use it in the morning after cleansing and prior to using the Age Defiance Day Serum. However, there’s no reason why you shouldn't use it twice a day, morning and night, for an additional anti-ageing boost.  

Anyone with sensitive skin should order a sample and do a patch test first, because the ingredients in the Vital C Elixir are very active. It contains 20% vitamin C and the formula is non-sensitising, organic, and natural (derived from native Australian plants). We use it in a microencapsulated form to ensure stability, so it shouldn’t cause any skin reactions

Personally, I use it day and night underneath the Age Defiance Day and Night Serums respectively. I rub any excess onto the back of my hand to ward off any potential age spots.  

If you’re currently using the Antioxidant Facial Oil or Serum at night, you can swap it out for the Vital C Elixir and see which routine offers you the best results.

Our Age Defiance Day Serum works to reduce the appearance of aging by hydrating and smoothing out the skin, targeting fine lines and wrinkles with key peptides. It contains 2.5% vitamin C.

Our Age Defiance Night Serum hydrates, repairs and exfoliates while you sleep, lightening and brightening the skin for a luminous effect. It contains 3.5% vitamin C. 

So while our Age Defiance Day and Night serums target the natural effects of aging (intrinsic aging) our Vital C Elixir is specifically formulated to target sun damage (photoaging) which most of us have, especially in Australia. 

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, "Vitamin C limits the damage induced by ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. Vitamin C is not a 'sunscreen' because it does not absorb light in the UVA or UVB spectrum. Rather, the antioxidant activity of vitamin C protects against UV-induced damage caused by free radicals."

Whether you use it in the AM, PM or both, the Vital C Elixir is intended to be used beneath your moisturiser and other serums. A good moisturising sunscreen, such as our Tinted Moisturiser with Sunscreen, should be the final step in your morning routine to give you daily protection against the sun.

The relationship of vitamin C serums to collagen, elastin and aging

Ascorbic acid—also known as L-ascorbic acid—is natural vitamin C. It is the subject of the most skin-related research of any form of vitamin C and there’s a mountain of evidence that shows it helps create younger-looking, firmer skin, evening out skin tone and lightening and brightening the skin.

Aging causes a decline in vitamin C content in both the dermis and the epidermis and at the same time, excessive exposure to UV light also lowers vitamin C content. So one of the tricks to keeping your skin looking youthful is to keep feeding your skin with vitamin C.  

Vitamin C in the skin is normally transported from the bloodstream, but it can also be applied topically. Studies have shown vitamin C serums containing 20% vitamin C are optimal for absorption (absorption rates decrease the higher you go and may not be effective in lower doses).  

Keeping your vitamin C stores topped up is important for preserving collagen and elastin, which are two proteins that maintain the structure and elasticity of your skin. Elastin is ‘elastic’ and allows your skin to stretch and bounce back. Collagen is the primary component of your body’s connective tissues, making up about 80% of the dermis (the layer of skin immediately below the outer layer, or epidermis).  

Collagen and elastin production decrease as we age, but applying vitamin C topically really can help preserve them. 

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, the natural form of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is the most effective for topical administration as it’s most effectively absorbed, however it’s the least stable form of vitamin C to work with, which is why you can’t trust all vitamin C serums, as they’re not all created equal. 

The stability of vitamin C in skincare formulas is affected by air, heat and light. That’s why we use microencapsulated ascorbic acid and our violet miron glass bottles also offer protection from oxidation by keeping light out. 

The Linus Pauling Institute says "topical application of vitamin C, alone or with other compounds, may result in greater photoprotection than oral supplementation because of the more direct route of administration” and cites studies that show vitamin C actually increases collagen synthesis for repair of damaged skin and increases the proliferation rate and stimulates repair of fibroblasts (a type of cells contained in collagen), a capacity that is decreased with age.  

5 reasons to use vitamin C serums

  1. Combat sun damage
  2. Reduce inflammation
  3. Increase collagen production 
  4. Boost your immune system
  5. Lighten your skin 

 You can read some of the great reviews we’ve been getting here and a blog post we published about it here.

Do you have any questions about our Vital C Elixir or want to leave some feedback? Do so in the comments section below and go into the draw to win $150 worth of Mukti Organics products. 

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portrait of Mukti

Mukti (/MOOKH tee/) spiritual liberation from fears, ignorance and false knowledge.
My mission is to reconnect people back to nature, creating health and happiness via toxin free lifestyles and beauty regimes. To work together towards a safe and sustainable future where we no longer need to certify our food and products. Click here to sign up and receive 15% off your first order. Signing up and commenting on our blog posts enters you into our monthly draw to receive $150 worth of products of your choice.