How to Use Vitamin C in a Skincare routine?

Vitamin C skincare has been increasing in popularity over the past few years. We are seeing more and more products hit the shelves featuring it as a key ingredient in a variety of product types, from cleansers to moisturizers to even vitamin C serums. Thanks to the incredible benefits vitamin C provides to the skin, it is no wonder everyone wants to get their daily dose! If you are looking to incorporate a topical vitamin C product into your daily skincare routine, keep reading to learn more about how you can easily add this ingredient to your regimen and why you’ll want to!

Using Vitamin C in Skincare

When you are excited to try a new skincare ingredient, it can be tempting to search for it in every single product you pick up so you can load your skin up with its benefits. However, no one ingredient will be able to address all your skin concerns effectively. Instead, you would be better served to add vitamin C into your regular routine by simply adding it in one or two of your products and using the products before or after the vitamin C to enhance its benefits. Here are some tips for selecting the best vitamin C products for your routine.


As you select a cleanser, bear in mind that its primary purpose is to remove dirt, oil, makeup, and other debris from the surface of your skin. This helps to prepare your skin for the products and ingredients that follow in your skincare regimen. There are many vitamin C infused cleansers currently available which can deliver some of the powerful benefits of vitamin C products. However, the concentration of vitamin C in a cleanser will be substantially less than what is found in other types of products. As such, it will take regular use over an extended period of time to see noticeable results of the vitamin in your cleanser. Our recommendation would be to use a vitamin C cleanser to help maintain the benefits to your skin, but it is not the best choice for the initial introduction of vitamin C to your routine.


Typically designed to remove any remaining dirt left on your face after cleansing, toners can also help to hydrate and condition your skin, allowing products applied after to be more easily absorbed. When found in a toner, vitamin C can help to balance the skin so it is more receptive to other treatments while giving environmentally stressed skin a refreshing boost of hydration. Still, toners will not have a high concentration of vitamin C in their formula, and as a result, it will take some time before significant changes to your skin are seen as a result.


Perhaps one of the most popular products to feature vitamin C as an ingredient are exfoliants. First, regular exfoliation helps to slough away dead skin cells on the surface of your skin which opens your pores and allows any vitamin C present in the product formula to penetrate deeper, making it more effective. However, vitamin C is also considered a natural exfoliant which means that when it is present in the formula of an exfoliating product, such as the ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, it can help boost the exfoliating power.


Generally speaking, facial serums tend to be formulated with only one or two ingredients as its focus. These ingredients will be found at a higher concentration than what is seen in other products so that the serum is able to deliver obvious benefits to your skin in a much shorter time frame. For this reason, we recommend adding a vitamin C serum to your routine if you are trying to maximize the benefits a product can deliver. The Kate Somerville +Retinol Vita C Power Serum, for example, is specially formulated using both retinol and vitamin C to combat the visible signs of aging while simultaneously brightening skin tone. We also have a Kx Active Concentrates Vitamin B3 + Vitamin C Serum designed to improve tone, texture and clarity as it brightens, targeting discoloration and unevenness while enhancing radiance and luminosity.


Moisturizers act as a seal, sealing in all previous skincare steps and ingredients to maintain skincare benefits throughout your day and evening. And while it’s not as powerful as a serum, incorporating a moisturizer formulated with vitamin C as a primary ingredient can be a great way to deliver a daily dose of the nutrient to your skin. That’s why we developed our +Retinol Vitamin C Moisturizer! Clinically formulated with retinol to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while vitamin C helps to brighten and smooth uneven skin tone as you sleep, you wake up to firmer, smoother, glowing skin.


Facial masks with vitamin C have become a popular addition to many people’s skincare routines, and for good reason. Adding a mask with vitamin C to your routine can provide numerous benefits for your skin and is a simple way to efficiently work Vitamin C into your skincare routine. Our Mega C Brightening Facial is formulated with 30% vitamin C, which is the highest level of potency in our vitamin C offering which means maximum results with minimal effort. Apply this mask for 20 minutes once or twice a week to see visible results in just two weeks.

Finding the Right Product

There are a lot of factors to consider as you look best vitamin C skincare products for your needs and routine. Beyond the type of product, you will need to make choices about the form of vitamin C found in the product, the packaging, any accompanying ingredients, and your skin type.

In skincare, vitamin C is rarely listed as such on a product label. This is because the powerful ingredient has a few different forms which can be used for topical application. First, there is ascorbic acid which is the highest potency used in skincare products and absorbs quickly into the skin, making it a popular choice in formulas. Vitamin C can also be listed as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) which is actually a derivative of the vitamin that is water-soluble and more effective in lower concentrations. Though either of these types of vitamin C will effectively deliver results, ascorbic acid will likely be a better selection for serums or moisturizers while MAP would be most effective when used in a cleanser or toner.

Beyond the type of vitamin C used, the actual packaging of the product can influence the effectiveness of it. As a skin care ingredient, vitamin C is volatile and can destabilize quickly when it comes into contact with oxygen or sunlight. As a result, you will want to look for products with opaque glass or plastic packaging to ensure that sunlight will not reduce the effectiveness of the ingredients. It is also best to look for a product with a pump or other mechanism that will limit the product’s exposure to air. Vitamin C’s temperament is also essential when considering the other ingredients listed alongside it in any given product. For example, vitamin E or ferulic acid are commonly used to help stabilize vitamin C and increase the longevity of the product’s effectiveness. Plus, these ingredients may help to enhance the benefits of vitamin C, giving your skin an extra boost of nutrients.

Vitamin C is typically considered safe for all skin types, though everyone’s skin will react differently to new products. For those with sensitive skin, especially, it is best to find a product with a simple formula and introduce it into your routine slowly. This will help you monitor your skin’s reaction and quickly discontinue use of the product if necessary. However, if you react to one type of vitamin C, you may have more success with another form so do not be afraid to experiment in order to find the best product for your skin.

Why Use Vitamin C for Skincare?

Vitamin C is actually a powerful antioxidant known for maintaining the health of connective tissue throughout your body, including your skin. It is able to deliver many benefits to the skin when applied topically. Here are a handful of the reasons you should consider adding vitamin C into your daily skincare routine.

Protection from Free Radicals

Simply put, free radicals are destructive molecules found throughout our environment which can wreak havoc on our skin and cause harmful effects. Produced as the result of pollutants such as smog, dust, cigarette smoke, and even the sun itself, free radicals can cause skin discoloration as well as a loss of skin volume and resiliency. Fortunately, the antioxidant properties of vitamin C help to neutralize the effects of these molecules and minimize the harm done to your skin.

Brightens Complexion

Vitamin C is a natural acid which can work on the skin as a gentle exfoliant, helping to slough away layers of dead skin, revealing smoother and more even skin beneath. If used on a consistent and regular basis, vitamin C can have some anti-aging effects such as softening the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles, minimizing the visibility of dark spots or other discoloration such as hyperpigmentation. The result is a brighter and more youthful complexion.

Reduces Inflammation

As a natural anti-inflammatory active ingredient, vitamin C can also help to reduce redness and inflammation of the skin which can develop in conjunction with a variety of skin conditions including acne, sensitivity, or psoriasis. By this same mechanism, vitamin C is also thought to promote the healing of the skin and help improve the appearance of acne scarring or other surface imperfections.

Addresses UV Photodamage

Unfortunately, no matter how much sunscreen we wear on a daily basis, our skin still suffers some sun damage from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. This is known as UV photodamage and can manifest on the skin as patches of discoloration such as freckles or larger areas of hyperpigmentation. When applied to the skin, vitamin C can help strengthen the skin and minimize the effects of sun exposure. This helps to even your skin tone and texture, providing a youthful glow. 

When to see results from using Vitamin C?

Using a topical vitamin C skincare product can improve the health and appearance of your skin. Studies show improvements can be noticeable after a few weeks of regular use. To maintain healthy skin, remember to also include sun protection and choose a product suitable for your skin type to avoid skin irritation [1].

If you’ve decided to incorporate vitamin C into your daily skincare routine, make sure you adequately research the unique products you’ll add. Each brand and type of product is formulated differently which can impact its effectiveness so take care to read labels, assess packaging, and evaluate your skin’s reaction. It may take some time, but once you find the best product selection for your unique skin and its needs, you will be happy with the results!

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