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Skincare Tips: Common Myths About Vitamin C Debunked

Skincare tips: Want to add vitamin C to your skincare routine? Here are some myths about this popular skincare product you need to stop believing.

Skincare Tips: Common Myths About Vitamin C Debunked

Skincare tips: Vitamin C can offer multiple benefits to your skin

The anti-oxidant powerhouse, as we call it, vitamin C exhibits excellent free radical scavenging properties, imparts skin brightening, boosts collagen production, repairs skin barrier, photo-protection and subsides inflammation. Various topical forms of vitamin C are available in the form of serums, creams and suspensions. However, it being a highly unstable acid, has its own controversies. Although very commonly used by many skin care enthusiasts, topical vitamin C comes along with a lot of myths, some of the most common ones of which shall be debunked today.

Skincare tips: Common myths about vitamin C

1. All vitamin c serums are the same, let me buy the cheapest!

Vitamin C is available in various forms like L-ascorbic acid, ethylated ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, tetrahexadyl ascorbate. L-ascorbic acid, alone, is highly unstable; may oxidize very fast and even cause irritation. The others may have lesser irritability but similar stability issues. These are often combined with vitamin E, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid to improve stability and control irritation. It also comes in different concentrations. Thus, not all vitamin Cs are the same; formulation and concentration matters a lot when choosing the right one.

2. Vitamin C cannot be used with other actives

This is not true. Vitamin C when combined with actives like Vitamin E, ferulic acid are more stable and less irritating. Together with Niacinamide, the skin brightening and anti-oxidant property of Vitamin C enhances. However, one needs to be careful when combining with actives like retinoids, AHAs, BHAs as these together may causes excessive dryness, hence, these can be used in the same day but in different routines or on alternate days.

3. I consume oral vitamin C, I don't need a topical one

Oral Vitamin C boosts body's immunity, however, it does not directly benefit the skin. Topical vitamin C makes its presence in skin in high concentrations, thus, providing anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties.

4. Vitamin C discolours/tans my skin

When vitamin C serum oxidizes, it gets discoloured to turn brownish which may stain the skin as well. A stable serum does not discolour skin. The shelf life of a vitamin c serum after opening is just about 3 months.

5. Vitamin C irritates and makes skin sensitive, not for all skin types

It in-fact suits all skin types if used correctly. A good formulation which is well stabilized, combined with vitamin E, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid or ceramides does not generally irritate skin. Concentration and frequency matter; starting with a low concentration product (5 to 10%) and lesser frequency usage in a week which is gradually increased, prevents skin irritation.

6. Vitamin C cannot be used during the day; makes skin sensitive

Vitamin C serums eliminate free radicals generated due to pollution and UV rays. Thus, using Vitamin C during the day along with a sunscreen provides antioxidation and added photo-protection.

7. Higher the percentage, better it is

Avoid using a product with high concentration initially; may cause irritation. Start with 5 to 10% only, just thrice a week. Increase the frequency gradually. Always do a patch test.

Don't fall for these myths. Get your facts right when using any active. If used correctly and consistently, this anti-oxidant can do wonders to your skin.

(Dr. Saloni Vora (Gala), Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatologist, Dr. Sheth's Skin and Hair Clinic)

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