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How to Choose, Use, and Store a Vitamin C Serum

glowing skinIf you want great looking skin, antioxidant protection is a must. Vitamin C helps neutralize age-causing free radicals and has extraordinary protective and cell regenerating properties.
Besides its antioxidant effects, vitamin C increases your natural collagen production in the dermis of the skin. In topical preparations Vitamin C has ability to protect skin against harm caused by sun exposure and it can reverse sun damage, and lighten dark spots.
Clinical studies have found that topical vitamin C provides photoprotection and has a visible effect on facial wrinkles.
Vitamin C serum is made up of small molecules, so it can be easily absorbed through the skin, unlike some face creams that sits only on the skin surface.
Regular application of vitamin C serum can make your skin look naturally young, smooth and glowing.

Image courtesy of Stock Photo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Choose?

It is important to buy organic vitamin C serum because preservatives used in standard serums can cause skin irritation in some people.
These serums can include other beneficial nutrients, so you get more active ingredients in single products. Combination of antioxidants has been proven to be more effective when used together than just one.
Top vitamin C serums contain botanical hyaluronic acid. HA is a highly effective moisturizing agent and a major component of collagen in your skin. Hyaluronic acid reduces moisture loss and works to repair tired and dehydrated skin.
Vitamin E is an effective antioxidant that can be added to vitamin C serums to target damaging free radicals and to protect skin cells against harmful UV radiation.
Ferulic acid is added to vitamin C serum to increase its photo-protective ability and to help delay the oxidation of L-ascorbic acid, so the product keeps its potency for longer.
Avoid alcohol in skin care products as it can irritate sensitive skin and has a drying effect.
Chose serum with 20% concentration of vitamin C. Too high a concentration can cause skin irritation. Too low concentration will not be effective. If you have sensitive skin start using vitamin C at the lower concentration to make it more tolerable. To be effective a serum should contain a minimum of 10% vitamin C.
L-ascorbic acid is the active form of vitamin C that is most effectively absorbed by the skin. One of the biggest issues with L Ascorbic acid in topical preparation is that it tends to degrade quickly when exposed to the air or light. Some manufacturers use derivatives of vitamin C, that are easier to stabilize such as ascorbyl palmitate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. But these derivatives are by far less effective than L-ascorbic acid.
One of the best way to preserve the serum to prevent oxidation is using microencapsulation method. Active components are caught in small coated particles inside every droplet. This delivery method protects the products against elements that would cause vitamin C to oxidize and lose its effectiveness.
To ensure that your vitamin C serum will remain fresh and potent buy the product only from a reliable manufacturer, and look for those that contain L-ascorbic acid in properly stabilized form.

How to Apply Vitamin C Serum?

Serums need to be applied to clean skin to enable all the active ingredients to penetrate your skin.
After choosing a vitamin C serum, you need to use it properly, because the correct application is vital for its effectiveness.
Cleanse your face well with a mild cleanser and warm water. Start by applying a pea-sized amount of the serum to your face and neck while your skin is slightly damp. Apply tiny dots of serum all over your face and gently massage the skin with your fingertips until serum is absorbed. The tapping action stimulates the serum to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. Focus on wrinkle prone areas like the forehead, and skin around the mouth. Avoid getting the product into your eyes because of its high strength. Let it fully dry, before apply the rest of your skincare products.
Always put vitamin C serum first to clean skin. The serum has a watery consistency and easily absorbs into the skin, while moisturizers and creams are thicker and work on the skin surface. If you apply a thicker skin care product first, your skin will not absorb the serum.
To ensure that your serum works with your moisturizer, use the products from the same brand.
For best results, use morning and night.

How to Store?

One drawback to the serum is is that it is highly sensitive to air and light. Fresh vitamin C serum is clear in color or slightly cloudy whitish. When exposed to air and light it turns yellow or brown and loses about 60% of its therapeutic potency.
The serum needs to be kept in an opaque air-restrictive bottle that help keep the formula stable. To keep your serum fresh and potent for longer, keep it in a dark place with the lid attached. The bathroom drawer or the fridge would be ideal places to store it.
Don’t use the serum after its expiration date because it can cause more harm than good to your skin.

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