Vitamin C Serum for Your Face: How, Why, When and What For?

When we say ‘vitamin C’ what comes to mind? Carrots, oranges, juices, antioxidants, supplements – basically all of the orangey goodness, right? 

From a young age, most of us are taught that vitamin C is important for our health. This is generally in the form of foods and nutrients, which are great for the gut and excellent at warding off those sneaky snuffles and other cold symptoms.

But what about vitamin C serum for your face and skin?

Here, we dive into the science behind the serum and shed light on its magical properties.

What is Vitamin C Face Serum?

A woman looks at a face serum

Fast becoming a staple in the modern day’s skincare routine, vitamin C serums are infused with one of the most potent and important antioxidants out there – yes, you guessed it, vitamin C.

Also known as L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C is an essential nutrient that boosts collagen, helps to repair tissue, and protects against UV-related signs of ageing.

While our bodies reap all the nutritional benefits of natural vitamin C through food, our skin largely misses out. This is why topical serums are so important for the skin’s overall health.

6 Benefits of Vitamin C Serum for the Face

So, exactly why is vitamin C serum good for the face? Dr Tanya unveils the multi-faceted benefits of this nutrient-of-the-gods:

1. Reduced Signs of Ageing

Did you know that vitamin C has active anti-ageing properties? And – even better – they’re 100% natural.

While vitamin C serum for your face can’t reverse fine lines or wrinkles that have already developed, it can help to reduce signs of premature ageing. The ‘how’ behind this is two-pronged:

  • The vitamin actively protects against sun exposure, which is the number one cause of ageing skin.
  • Vitamin C naturally stimulates collagen production, which provides elasticity and structure to our skin – aka, that firm and youthful glow.

What’s the science? 2015 study found that participants who applied vitamin C serum to their face for 6 months had higher levels of collagen in their skin than those who used a placebo.

2. Boosted Collagen Production

Following on from our point above, vitamin C serum naturally boosts the skin’s collagen formation

If you’ve been in the skincare game for longer than a minute (which is likely if you’ve been reading this blog from the start), then you’ll likely be aware of our important collagen is for healthy, youthful skin.

Take it from Dr Tanya, who shared the benefits of collagen with Women’s Weekly: ‘A vitamin C serum is a powerful addition to your skincare routine, especially as you age,’ Dr Tanya explained. ‘Incorporating skincare which promotes collagen production has great benefits, because as we age our collagen production decreases, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin.’

A woman’s face with her eyes closed

3. Even Skin Tone and Texture

Speaking of premature ageing, oxidative stress is another key contributor to unwanted early fine lines. Simply put, oxidative stress happens when your body has an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals, which can cause inflammation and tissue damage.  

Luckily, vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory due to its potent antioxidants. Infusing your skin with a vitamin C serum will help protect against oxidative stress, reduce puffiness and redness, even out your skin tone and texture, and keep your youthful glow where it should be.

4. Protection Against Environmental Damage

Think cleansing your face each night is enough to rid your skin of environmental damage? While a good cleansing routine is of course crucial to remove the day’s dirt, your skin will also benefit from something a bit more potent.

Vitamin C helps to neutralise and remove oxidants, like day-to-day environmental pollutants. Its natural enzymatic defences act like an extra barrier for our skin, which assists in reducing any negative effects caused by pollutants that we might not even know are there.

5. Brighter, More Radiant Skin

For anyone who deals with pigmentation or dullness (which is likely a very high portion of the population!) vitamin C can be your saving grace.

Vitamin C is a melanogenesis inhibitor, meaning it’s a natural method of fading those darker pigmented spots which are caused by melanin. Regular serum use can therefore smooth your facial skin and brighten your complexion.

6. Suitable for Various Skin Types

Finally, one of the best things about vitamin C serum is that it’s safe for all skin types – provided you use a high-quality and pure form, that is. 

Some vitamin C serums out there may also be infused with other irritating ingredients, or may have solutions that are too strong for sensitive skin. There are also different types of vitamin C serum for your face (yes, just to make things a little more confusing!).

We recommend investing in a skin-compatible Ascorbyl Palmitate vitamin C. This version is mild yet active, non-irritating, great for sensitive skin, and excellent at improving skin texture and boosting collagen formation.

Dr Tanya swears by Ascorbyl Palmitate: So much so that it’s her chosen vitamin C of choice in our Super C Serum!

The Vitamin C Protocol: How and When to Use Vitamin C

Drops of vitamin C serum in the palm of a hand

For optimal results, gently massage a pea-sized amount of vitamin C serum onto freshly cleansed and dry skin each morning. Follow up with your favorite moisturiser and don’t forget the SPF50+. 

In the harsh UV land of Australia, vitamin C serum can lose its potency when exposed to the sun. This is why it’s essential to follow up with quality sunscreen after your morning serum application.

Related: Should I Use a Face Serum?

Dr Tanya's Super C Serum: Your Go-to Revitaliser

Dr Tanya’s Super C Serum features an impressive 15% concentration of vitamin C activity, meticulously crafted to enhance collagen synthesis and promote a smoother, brighter, and more even complexion.

This potent formula harnesses the antioxidant-rich benefits of stable Ascorbyl Palmitate vitamin C to neutralise free radicals and shield your skin from environmental damage.

Enriched with Kakadu Plum and Bearberry Leaf Extract, this paraben-free serum rejuvenates and revitalises, unveiling radiant, youthful skin with every use.

Just be aware: While our Super C Serum boasts a potent 15% concentration of vitamin C, it may not be suitable for all skin types. It’s always best to do a patch test and gradually incorporate the serum into your skincare ritual, especially if you have sensitive or easily irritated skin. 

Related: How to Layer Your Favourite Face Serums

Is vitamin C Serum safe during pregnancy?

Yes, vitamin C Serum is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy, especially if you’ve used it in the past without any issues.

However, it's always best to consult with your healthcare provider (like a GP or midwife) before introducing any new skincare products during pregnancy.

Can vitamin C cause breakouts?

In some cases, vitamin C may cause breakouts, especially if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Start with a lower concentration of your chosen serum and patch test the product before using it all over your face.

Day or night: When to use vitamin C?

Vitamin C Serum can be used both day and night, depending on your preference. At Dr Tanya, we prefer to use ours at night, as vitamin C can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

If you’d prefer to incorporate a serum into your morning routine, though, just remember to follow up with sunscreen during the day.

Is vitamin C suitable for sensitive skin?

Absolutely! Vitamin C is very suitable for sensitive skin types, but just make sure you do a little research first.

Look for a serum with a lower concentration of vitamin C and gentle, soothing ingredients to minimise the risk of irritation.

Is vitamin C suitable for oily skin?

Another yes! In fact, vitamin C can help regulate oil production and mattify the skin, making it an excellent choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin.

Is vitamin C suitable for dry skin?

Yes, vitamin C is suitable for dry skin. It helps hydrate and plump the skin, making it ideal for those dealing with dryness and dehydration.

Can you pair vitamin C and hyaluronic acid?

Do red wine and chocolate go well together? A resounding yes, just like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

While vitamin C brightens and protects the skin, hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps, making them the perfect duo for a healthy, radiant complexion. It’s a match made in heaven!