If your skin is feeling a little lackluster, look no further than a good dose of Vitamin C. The antioxidant known for a host of vitality-boosting effects when consumed is also beneficial when applied topically — it gives skin a luminous boost by brightening and evening out texture, and is beneficial for all skin types and colors.
"Eating Vitamin C is going to be a great way to supply your body’s vital organs (think gut, liver, heart, brain) but it’s not always going to be delivered to our skin because of what’s happening in the gut and how much it has to go through while being 'processed' in the body," says Ashley Curtis, a skin expert and lead aesthetician at SkinLab in West Hollywood. "Someone with poor gut health is going to get way less benefits than someone who has a healthy gut, which is why it’s so important to apply it topically. Once Vitamin C is oxidized, it has no use on the skin. That’s not to say your skin won’t feel healthier if you’re eating a diet that’s rich in plenty of vitamin C — it will — but likely because your entire body is getting the nutrition it needs and functioning properly."
Ashley weighed in with some crucial tips to ensure you get the most out of including Vitamin C in your routine.
1. Use Vitamin C products in dark packaging only.
Ashley says: The main thing to look for in vitamin C products is dark packaging that blocks light and oxygen from oxidizing the product.
2. Vitamin C in serum form gives the most bang for the buck.
Ashley says: Most other products (like creams) don’t have the molecular structure to penetrate the skin and work effectively.
3. Amplify the effects by using products with complementary vitamins in the ingredients.
Ashley says: Vitamin C works better when combined with other antioxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid.
4. Look for L-Ascrorbic Acid or Ascorbyl Glucoside (a stabilized Vitamin C and glucose solution) in the ingredients.
Ashley says: L-Ascorbic Acid is still the gold standard of Vitamin C because of it’s ability to penetrate the skin effectively. It can be quite harsh and sun sensitive though, so Ascorbyl Glucoside is a great choice and a bit more gentle on the skin.
Editor's note: Both of these types of Vitamin C are considered 'nature identical,' but involve elements of processing in a lab. I'm including them based on Ashley's expert recommendation and so you can decide your preferred level of 'natural.' Other wholly natural options, which include Vitamin C and other beneficial constituents, are rose hip seed oil, sea buckthorn, papaya and pineapple. The absorption rate will vary depending on the type of product it's in and when compared to specially processed ingredients like those Ashley recommends.
5. Make it part of your daily routine.
Ashley's Vitamin C routine: When you're finished cleansing and toning in the evening, apply 5-7 drops of your chosen Vitamin C Serum and give yourself a mini facial by massaging in the serum with circular motions and then using your jade roller to further assist the penetration of serum and increase the circulation in your skin to maximize its benefits. This can be a quick 5 minute routine or you could extend it to 15-20 minutes! Afterward, apply night cream and wake up with a fabulous glow!
I have over 11 years of experience as a professional in the wellness industry as a licensed aesthetician. My philosophy revolves around maintaining beauty from the inside out and I am absorbed in perfecting the harmony between eastern and western anti-aging methods. I enjoy providing in-depth knowledge about our bodies/skin and their functions - whether problematic, aging, or in need of special maintenance. Possessing an infinite thirst for knowledge regarding the science behind skincare, physical fitness and nutrition; I attend advanced training regularly and never skip a beat in the world of wellness. CIDESCO Internationally Licensed Aesthetician & ACE Fitness Certified Personal Trainer with a natural flair for achieving goals and assisting individuals as they become their most healthy, balanced and beautiful selves. Expert in: nutrition coaching, correcting and beautifying skin with an attentive + individualistic technique, light therapy, cosmeceutical ingredient knowledge, wellness education, acne & anti-aging. Blending the art of science, nature and discipline for optimal health is my specialty. It has lead me toward a very personal journey of defining and creating beauty and balance, proven to me thus far to be deeply enriching and endlessly worthwhile.
Opening and owning a skincare business in San Francisco for 4 years. Moving to Los Angeles and having the incredible opportunity of a lifetime to work with leaders in my industry Such as Joshua Ross, Owner of SkinLab in West Hollywood, where I currently lead the aesthetics team and offer facial services.
Instagram: @agelessashley | @skinlabusa
Website: www.agelessashley.com | www.skinlabusa.com