You probably know that you should be using a Vitamin C serum in your skincare routine every day. But do you know why? And are you even using it properly? Here’s a little refresher, plus a list of my favorite top-rated Vitamin C serums.
HOW TO USE VITAMIN C SERUM
- Because Vitamin C helps protect your skin from pollution, ultraviolet light, and free radicals, you’re going to want to use it in the morning rather than in the evening
- As a rule of thumb, skincare products should typically be applied from “thinnest” to “thickest” in terms of consistency
Step 1: Wash your face.
Step 2: If you’re a toner person, use a toner. (I personally only use toner at night.)
Step 3: Apply Vitamin C serum. Pat any excess product onto the top of your hands, neck, and décolletage.
Step 4: Apply a moisturizer (Yes, your moisturizer should come after your Vitamin C serum — remember the “thinnest to thickest” rule.)
Step 5: Apply your favorite eye cream. (This list of the best anti-aging eye creams is a great resource.)
Step 6: Apply a sunscreen. Let it dry/set.
Step 7: Begin your makeup. (Check out my everyday makeup routine and products here.)
What’s nice about Vitamin C serums is that they can be applied as a base layer underneath whatever products you use in the morning, because the good ones never feel sticky.
How Often Should You Be Using It?
For optimal results, you should use Vitamin C serum every single day.
It’s worth noting that Vitamin C serum (and all serums in general!) are most effective when your skin is properly exfoliated. The build-up of dead skin cells due to lack of exfoliation can make it difficult for products to penetrate.
However, keep in mind that exfoliating can cause some sensitivity—particularly if you’re using a chemical exfoliant that contains acids like AHA and BHA—so be sure to use your Vitamin C serum and acids at different times of day.
I personally apply my Vitamin C serum every morning, and then use my AHAs and BHAs at night a few times a week.
How to Use Vitamin C Serum and Hyaluronic Acid
If you’re wondering how to use a hyaluronic acid serum and a vitamin C serum together, the answer is—you guessed it!—go from thinnest to thickest. The HA serum I use has a slightly thicker, gel-like consistency, so I apply it after my vitamin C serum and before my moisturizer.
It’s completely fine to layer your serums, but make sure to give each one time to try before applying the next. You’re also going to want to make sure your products have settled into your skin before beginning your makeup routine.
How to Use Vitamin C Serum and Retinol
While both Vitamin C serum and retinol can be incredibly effective skincare ingredients, you’ll want to be careful about using them at the same time, as it can cause irritation to the skin.
Ideally, you should separate the application of Vitamin C and retinol, and use them at different times of day. (Ex: Use your Vitamin C serum in the morning, and your retinol at night.)
Of course, some people can use the two in conjunction without experiencing sensitivity—although it’s not traditionally advisable. If you’re going to use them together, just be sure to wait 30 minutes in between application, so that the Vitamin C serum has time to properly be absorbed. (It should always be applied first.)
VITAMIN C SERUM BENEFITS
So perhaps you’re wondering… what does vitamin c do for your skin anyway? Here’s a list of the benefits.
- According to dermatologists, Vitamin C is one of greatest anti-aging ingredients found in nature
- Short Term Benefits: Immediately after using a product with Vitamin C (like a serum) you’ll notice increased radiance and sheen
- Long Term Benefits: With consistent use over time, it helps build collagen and increases firmness
- After just 4-6 weeks, dermatologists say you can expect to see a difference in skin tone and improvement with hyperpigmentation
- Here’s how one dermatologist (Dr. Mona Gohara) explained it to me: Vitamin C sucks up the free radicals that can lead to aging and skin cancer caused by ultraviolet light. Think of it as ‘Pac-Man’ eating those little pellets
- Products containing Vitamin C also help protect the skin from the effects of pollution
THE 6 BEST VITAMIN C SERUMS
I just spent some time reading a bunch of reviews and I’m now tempted to buy it myself, even though I have more Vitamin C serums than I know what to do with. (Thankfully I just figured out a new system to organize all of my beauty products.) The founder of Maelove went to MIT and developed the product with a team of MIT engineers…so you know it’s legit. BUY NOW
I’ve been using this serum for years and it’s the one thing I find myself consistently going back to (unless I’m testing out something new.) Initially I was skeptical because of the price, but after seeing SO MANY PEOPLE talk about how it was the best Vitamin C serum on the market, I obviously had to try it.
I think it’s pretty incredible, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who has the money to spend on luxury skincare. BUY NOW
It’s a great option for anyone who prefers clean, cruelty-free beauty products—and a far more affordable alternative to Drunk Elephant’s C Firma Day Serum, which is sadly one of our least favorite Drunk Elephant products.
Mad Hippie’s serum features an awesome blend of antioxidants, including Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid, and Hyaluronic Acid. BUY NOW
Big fan of this concentrate from Kiehl’s—it’s the product I had been using for about a year before I decided to try Skinceuticals.
What’s different about this one compared to the others is that it’s a thicker texture, which I kind of liked. Also, I’m convinced it helped reduce my smile lines. BUY NOW
Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum has been long regarded as a favorite in the beauty world, and I absolutely love it. Great for women who are struggling with dry skin, because it’s also super hydrating.
A new favorite of mine is this Vitamin C + tri-peptide serum by Bliss. At just $24.99, the price point can’t be beat, and I love the fact that it has a gel-like consistency that doesn’t leave behind a sticky texture on your skin.
Did you guys find this helpful? Are there any other Vitamin C serums you’re using and loving? Let me know in the comments!
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