By Suramya Jain

MOODY – Vitamin C Guide

Between brightening dark spots and helping to protect against UV damage, there’s a lot Vitamin C can
do for your skin. But the type of Vitamin C you select, as well as how you use and store it, can
significantly affect the results you will achieve with your skin.

What is Vit C?
Vitamin C is a naturally-occurring antioxidant that most plants and animals produce from glucose.
However, people cannot synthesize Vitamin C in the body, so we can only get it from foods (think citrus
fruits, green leafy vegetables, papaya) and skincare. It has been shown that oral Vitamin C has a low
bioavailability, meaning that little absorbed Vitamin C is delivered effectively to the skin; thus, topical
products are preferred.
It boosts collagen production and antioxidant levels. It protects the skin against damage from UV light. It
also maintains the skin’s barrier, which keeps irritants out of your skin, and aids in water retention for
proper skin hydration.

Why is it beneficial?
From brightening, anti-ageing, scar fading to evening out your skin – there’s nothing that vitamin C can’t
do. It:
 reduces wrinkles
 protects collagen and increases production
 aids wound healing
 offsets sun damage
 reduces hyperpigmentation
 evens out skin tone
 brightens complexion
 acts like armor against pollution and other free radicals

Types of Vit C
There are four types of Vitamin C:
 L-ascorbic Acid: It is the most potent form of vitamin C, and it is most beneficial for normal and
oily skin. If you opt for L-ascorbic acid, look for a serum that contains between 8% and 20%. This
is the range in which studies have shown it to be most effective. Your skin only takes in as much
vitamin C as it needs, so going above 20% won’t work any better and just increases the potential
for irritation.
 Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate: It is a water-soluble form and is better suited for dry and sensitive
skin. It is a less irritating form of Vitamin C. Manufacturer studies claim sodium ascorbyl

phosphate offers the same benefits as pure L-ascorbic acid, especially when it comes to skin
brightening and collagen synthesis.
 Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate: It is oil soluble and is more suitable for dry sensitive skin. The
stability of vitamin C is greatly increased by the addition of silanol. The silanol also aids in skin
penetration, meaning this vitamin C compound has improved delivery into the skin. Finally,
silanol has been shown to strengthen the membranes of skin cells, which makes them more
resistant to attack by free radicals in the first place.
 Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: It is the newest formulation and a highly stable oil-soluble form of
vitamin C. It has a slower release time than water-soluble molecules and hence has a longer
window of active vitamin C in your skin, and therefore a longer window of protection. The slow-
release can also mean a lower potential for irritation than other forms of vitamin C.

Tips for using Vit C 
Please keep in mind the following tips and tricks while using Vitamin C:
 Vitamin C works best with other antioxidants like Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid.
 It should not be paired with Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHA and BHA) and Retinol.
 Apply sunscreen as Vitamin C serums may increase skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.
 Apply your vitamin C serum before your moisturizer, facial oil, and sunscreen (but you can use a
face wash and toner before your vitamin C serum).

What to look for in a label while buying a Vit C product?
The best Vitamin C serum has – L-ascorbic acid, vitamin E and Ferulic acid, airtight packaging and a dark
or tinted glass bottle since Vitamin C is very reactive and easily loses its antioxidant properties when
exposed to heat, light, air, and other chemicals. Rest, two things should be noted while reading any label
of a Vitamin C serum – percentage and pH.
 Concentration: A person should begin with a low concentration of 10% and as he/she tolerates
the serum, should increase to 15% or 20%. Starting to use vitamin C serums three times a week
also gives good results (so starting slow is a good option for sensitive skin).
 pH: Those with normal skin should look for a low pH of 3.5 for optimal absorption. Those with
sensitive/dry skin should opt for 5-6 pH as it is the skin’s natural pH and won’t be as irritating.

Who should avoid Vit C? 
Vitamin C is not recommended for those with extremely sensitive skin and can be problematic for those
with oily skin. Herrmann recommends asking your board-certified dermatologist which brand may be
best suited for your skin type.

How to use / How to add it in your daily routine?
Layer Vitamin C serum on cleansed, toned skin before moisturizer and sunscreen (at AM). Using your
Vitamin C serum at AM helps prevent free radical damage, but don't forget to follow up with at least 30
SPF sunscreen since Vitamin C can make the skin photosensitive.
Consider using Vitamin C serum at night, too. During the night, skin is in a repairing mode, and layering
Vitamin C helps boost its regenerative state while building up the antioxidant defense for the next day.
So using Vitamin C serum at night will help guarantee your body has enough ready to go in the morning when you need them most.