Discover the skin-nurturing benefits of vitamin C and how to incorporate it into your skincare routine. Expert tips for all skin types.

A Novice’s Handbook to Properly Utilizing Vitamin C

If you’re part of the skincare TikTok community, chances are you’ve come across the buzz about vitamin C from dermatologists and skincare enthusiasts. Known for its ability to combat dark spots and enhance collagen production, vitamin C has become a viral hero ingredient.

According to cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Ife Rodney, MD, FAAD, “Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, brightens skin tone, and shields against UV damage and environmental pollutants.”

Given its multitude of skin-nurturing benefits, it’s no wonder that vitamin C has found its way into cleansers, moisturizers, and serums. However, incorporating a new ingredient into your skincare routine can be daunting, especially for those with sensitive skin. Understanding how different ingredients interact with your skin type is crucial for achieving your skincare goals.

We spoke with skincare professionals to provide you with all the essential information about vitamin C before you introduce it into your regimen.

Benefits of Vitamin C for the Skin

Vitamin C offers impressive benefits for the skin, akin to the boost it gives your body when consumed in your morning orange juice. It aids collagen production, fades dark spots and fine lines, and evens out skin tone, as explained by double-board certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal DO, FAAD.

Incorporating Vitamin C into Your Skincare Routine

To maximize its effectiveness, consider using vitamin C every morning to combat daily encounters with free radicals, advises Lal. If you already use other serums, try incorporating vitamin C into your routine after a hyaluronic acid serum and before moisturizer and sunscreen.

Frequency of Vitamin C Use

Start using vitamin C gradually to prevent adverse reactions, especially if you have sensitive skin. Once you’ve determined it works well for you, incorporating it into your daily routine is optimal for noticeable results and preventing skin issues like sun damage and fine lines.

Skin Types to Avoid Vitamin C

Individuals with sensitive skin should be cautious, as vitamin C may cause redness, irritation, or acne flares. Conduct a patch test before applying it to your entire face, suggests Rodney. Begin by using vitamin C serum every other day, gradually increasing to daily use.

Diverse Effects of Vitamin C on Different Skin Types

While vitamin C benefits all skin types and tones, it is particularly beneficial for addressing dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and redness. Its collagen-boosting properties make it ideal for aging skin prone to fine lines.

Potential Negative Effects of Vitamin C

Although vitamin C generally has mild negative effects that are easy to avoid, it can increase skin sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, using sunscreen with at least SPF 30 after applying a vitamin C serum is essential. Individuals with sensitive skin should start slowly and gradually increase usage to prevent irritation.

Additionally, ensure that you’re not using AHAs/BHAs or retinoids simultaneously with vitamin C, as they may render it inactive, advises Lal.

What are the best vitamin C serums to use?

C E Ferulic
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

$182 at Dermstore$149 at Walmart$69 at Amazon

The Good c Vitamin C Serum
Dr. Barbara Sturm The Good c Vitamin C Serum

Now 67% Off

$1 at

Violet-C Brightening Serum
Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum

$89 at Tatcha

Vitamin C Brightening Booster Serum
111SKIN Vitamin C Brightening Booster Serum

$155 at 111SKIN

Pro-Heal Serum Advance+
is Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance+

$95 at

C. E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum
Sunday Riley C. E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

$122 at Amazon$96 at Walmart$95 at Walmart

C-Firma Fresh Day Serum
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum

$74 at Amazon$78 at Ulta Beauty$78 at Ulta Beauty

Super C Ferulic
Medik8 Super C Ferulic

$74 at


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