The Vitamin C Commandments

Vitamin C is known as the health and wellbeing vitamin, and many of us will, if we’re not already supplementing with it, reach for it to beat colds and viruses into submission.

The popular vitamin has also reached powerhouse status in the skincare space, with dermatologists, aesthetic doctors and skin specialists deeming it essential for all skin types. Indeed, any good skincare product range will have at least one vitamin C product in its range and you’ll now find it in mainstream, as well as medical grade skincare ranges.

So why exactly should you be using vitamin C in your daily regime? This gold standard antioxidant certainly packs a punch, with many benefits from radiance boosting to evening out the skin tone. And it’s suitable for most skin types, with the exception of hypersensitive skins which may experience minor irritation.

What are the benefits of using vitamin C?

This is a truly transformative ingredient – use it for anything from brightening skin and fading pigmentation marks to firming, boosting the production of collagen and strengthening the skin barrier.

A powerful antioxidant it also helps guard against UV light damage and environmental stressors while neutralising free radicals – the scavengers that are produced when our skin is exposed to the elements, including pollution and UV rays.

While some forms of active vitamin C (in particular L-ascorbic acid) are very potent and acidic, it’s still possible for those with a more sensitive or reactive skin type to use it successfully.

If you suffer with sensitive skin it’s a good idea to check the percentage and formula of your product and introduce it into your regime gradually at first to avoid potential reactions such as dryness, redness, tingling and irritation.

What’s the best formula to look for?

To minimise potential irritation and ease your skin in, start off with a product containing a sweet-spot percentage of vitamin C – 10% is a good starting point as it will still have the power to improve your skin.

Containing 10% ascorbic acid, ZO Skin Health 10% Vitamin C Self-Activating helps brighten and redefine skin, promoting a more even tone and minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Additional skin-transforming ingredients include stable vitamin C derivative tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate which is proven to help prevent the appearance of new dark spots, and tocopheryl acetate and coenzyme-Q10, which provide multiple antioxidant protection. And for a boost of additional hydration, squalene mimics our body’s own natural moisturiser.

How do I add it into my daily skincare regime?

You can use vitamin C daily or every other day, either in the morning or at night. You should avoid using it with certain ingredients including benzoyl peroxide, other acids and retinol, which may upset your skin.

Those with oily skin should consult a skin specialist or dermatologist as many vitamin C products are also oily, which can cause problems.

As vitamin C is unstable and can easily lose its antioxidant properties when exposed to light, heat and air, look for products in dark or opaque packaging to help prevent the formula from oxidizing. However, once it’s turned orange or brown it’s probably oxidised and will be less effective.

While many vitamin C products are water-based, one of the key benefits of ZO Skin Health 10% Vitamin C Self-Activating is that the formula is anhydrous, which means it’s more stable, even when exposed to sunlight. However, we still recommend that you store it in a cool, dark place.