Hello Giggles - Should you add a vitamin C serum to your skin care routine?

Posted by Ashley Magovern, MD on

Jessica Wang 3/26/2019

There’s a plethora of skin care products to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to evaluate which ones work best for your routine and, most importantly, your wallet. Who among us has not spent several hours in a beauty shop unsure of which moisturizer or serum to invest in? Well, we’re here to make the case for adding a vitamin C serum to your routine for two solid reasons: First, it’s a fairly essential product to protect skin damage from free radicals, and second, it won’t be costly to add to your routine since you don’t need to use it as often.

So, what is a vitamin C serum?

For one, vitamin C is an antioxidant, one already found naturally in the skin, that neutralizes free radicals on the skin. You’re likely wondering, “What the heck are free radicals?” As Dr. Ashley Magovern, medical director for Dermstore, explains, free radicals are formed from components such as the sun, pollution, stress and smoking—factors that can damage the cell’s DNA. “This can lead to premature aging and skin cancer. A serum is just one type of vehicle to apply vitamin C,” Dr. Magovern tells HelloGiggles. “Serums are popular because they are thin and feel silky going on. I like them because it’s easy to layer other products on them.”

What are the benefits of a vitamin C serum?

It’s all about the collagen. According to Dr. Magovern, vitamin C “boosts collagen production and reverses cell damage, which helps keep the skin firmer and looking younger, and even helps fade and prevent brown spots or pigmentation.” The best part? A vitamin C serum doesn’t necessarily need to be applied every day. As Dr. Magovern explains,

“The receptors get saturated, so unless you love the way it feels on your skin (like I do), you could probably make it last a little longer by using it every other day. On the days off, use something else, perhaps a glycolic acid serum.”

Basically, vitamin C serums could be used at least every 48 to 72 hours since, as Dr. Magovern notes, its “effectiveness may reach a plateau with daily use, and you may be able to spend a little less.” We’re all for spending a little a less. Even better? Vitamin C serums are good for all skin types. Experts recommend using these serums in the evening to help restore damage from the day.

Now that you’ve got the scoop on vitamin C serums and what they do, below are a few options to try out.

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