THE RED CHEAT SHEET:

VI­TA­MIN C Not just found in or­anges, here’s ev­ery­thing you need to know about ap­ply­ing it top­i­cally

Red - - Contents -

WHAT IS IT?

We’ve heard for years that vi­ta­min C is good for us and there’s in­creas­ing ev­i­dence to sug­gest that when ap­plied top­i­cally, it can have se­ri­ous skin ben­e­fits. It’s an an­tiox­i­dant and helps neu­tralise un­sta­ble com­pounds known as free rad­i­cals, which are as­so­ci­ated with age­ing. But vi­ta­min C is a tricky cus­tomer – ex­pose it to light or air and it ef­fec­tively stops work­ing. How­ever, ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy have led to more sta­ble for­mu­la­tions, hence the plethora of prod­ucts hit­ting the shelves.

WHY USE IT?

As well as of­fer­ing pro­tec­tion from en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age, vi­ta­min C also helps stim­u­late col­la­gen pro­duc­tion, mak­ing skin firmer, plumper and springier, and it’s thought to have an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties. Add in the fact that it in­ter­rupts the pro­duc­tion and trans­fer of the pig­ment melanin, help­ing to im­prove un­even skin tone and age spots, and you can see why it’s her­alded as a mul­ti­task­ing su­per-in­gre­di­ent.

WHO SHOULD USE IT?

There’s no one who wouldn’t ben­e­fit from vi­ta­min C’s an­tiox­i­dant boost but, as with any ac­tive in­gre­di­ent, if you have sen­si­tive skin, in­tro­duce it slowly as it can tin­gle at high con­cen­tra­tions. The most ef­fec­tive form is ascor­bic acid, but it can cause ir­ri­ta­tion. Gen­tler de­riv­a­tives (look for mag­ne­sium ascor­byl phos­phate, sodium ascor­byl phos­phate and tetra­hexylde­cyl ascor­bate on the la­bel) won’t pack such a pow­er­ful punch, but you’ll still see re­sults.

HOW SHOULD YOU USE IT?

You’ll find it in creams, serums, and even in pow­der form, de­signed to be mixed daily with your mois­turiser to en­sure you’re get­ting su­per-fresh (and po­tent) vi­ta­min C. Re­search sug­gests that an ascor­bic acid serum at a con­cen­tra­tion of 10-20% is your best bet, but even those gen­tler de­riv­a­tives at con­cen­tra­tions as low as 5% are ef­fec­tive. It’s also worth look­ing for serums that com­bine vi­ta­min C with vi­ta­min E or fer­ulic acid, both of which can supercharge its power.

WHEN SHOULD YOU USE IT?

When­ever it fits into your rou­tine. Some like to use it in the morn­ing, lay­ered un­der sun pro­tec­tion to boost the skin’s de­fences against Uv-in­duced free rad­i­cals, while oth­ers ar­gue that if used at night, it re­ally gets to work on col­la­gen boost­ing and pig­men­ta­tion bust­ing.

ANY­THING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?

If you’re us­ing an ascor­bic acid-based prod­uct, don’t de­cant it – the pack­ag­ing is de­signed to help it last longer. It should be ap­par­ent when a serum is past its best as it will change from straw-coloured to brown. Prone to break­outs? Look for a wa­ter-based for­mula (aqua or wa­ter will be near the top of the in­gre­di­ents list) be­cause oils and sil­i­cones used to keep ac­tive in­gre­di­ents in peak con­di­tion can cause spots for some.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.