Why You Need To Start Using Vitamin C In Your Skincare Routine

Until about two years ago, whenever someone mentioned vitamin C, my mind automatically went to orange juice. Now, though, I am an adult who associates orange juice with hangovers and vitamin C with skincare. If you’re one of those people who just learned to moisturize like, two years ago, then I understand why you’d be skeptical of adding another ingredient to your skincare routine. After all, you’ve got cleansers, toners, serums, night cream—is vitamin C really necessary, or is it one of those things the beauty industry tries to push on us that we don’t really need? Well, like it or not, vitamin C falls into the “actually necessary” camp. But don’t just take my word for it—we spoke to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein on why incorporating vitamin C into your skincare routine is actually important, and how you should be doing it.

Dr. Marchbein says that “Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect from and repair free radical damage, can reduce the appearance of brown spots, and even out skin tone.” **buys 87 vitamin C-based serums** If you share my dream of perfect skin, keep reading for a few more benefits of vitamin C and why you should incorporate it into your skincare routine. 

Why Should We Incorporate Vitamin C Into Our Routine?

As I mentioned, vitamin C is as preventative as it is reparative, so working it into your skincare routine immediately is a good call. Like Hannah Ann upon arrival to the Fantasy Suite, I was hesitant to introduce a new ingredient to my sensitive skin, especially one that’s associated with anti-aging, because tbh I’m only 26. Starting anti-aging processes too early can actually be bad for your face because certain ingredients (think retinol, hydroxy acids, and peptides) are too aggressive on your still-young skin, and will actually backfire by speeding up the aging process. Yikes, who knew?

However, vitamin C protects against free radicals, which, without going into too much science, are damaging to your skin and are found in everything you’d assume would be bad for your skin: pollution such as smog, dust, and cigarette smoke, as well as our frenemy, the sun. Vitamin C works both as a shield against free radicals and also to lighten dark spots on the skin. Basically, vitamin C is your new best friend. To drive my point home, Dr. Marchbein adds, “Vitamin C also plays a critical role in the formation of collagen (which is one of the many reasons dermatologists recommend the daily application of vitamin C to the skin each morning).”

Can Anyone Use Vitamin C?

Simple answer? Yes. However, for people who want to see a result rather than just practice preventative caution, vitamin C is especially good for you because it visibly lightens dark spots. If you have acne scars/marks that haven’t completely faded, sun spots, etc., vitamin C will help even out the skin and take the dark out of those areas of your face and neck. Dr. Marchbein says, “For those with acne, use vitamin C to help lighten and prevent further darkening of post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.” Hyper-pigmentation is a fancy word for dark spots caused by an excess production of melanin, and can be caused by non-active acne, sun damage, or changing hormones during pregnancy. While hyper-pigmentation is usually harmless, vitamin C will help diffuse the darkness of those affected areas.

Are There Any Downsides To Using Vitamin C?

Like the worrywart that I am, I had to ask. Dr. Marchbein urgently stresses the importance of wearing SPF if you’re using vitamin C during the daytime. Obv, you should wear SPF anyway, but especially so if you’re trying to break down your dark spots. The sun naturally darkens your skin (duh), so asking your vitamin C to lighten a few spots while the sun goes to work is a little counterintuitive, right? She warns that while “Vitamin C serums do not inherently make you more sensitive to the sun,” it’s possible that some products “may be combined with other ingredients that might.” Regardless, she also advises, “since UV damage is the ultimate skin-ager, causes wrinkles, sunspots etc, wearing daily SPF 30+ is the most important step in any morning skincare routine.”

What Type Of Products Should You Be Using?

Personally, I use Image’s Vital C Hydrating Facial Cleanser because it leaves my skin feeling clean, but without the tight, stripped of all life feeling that other cleansers offer. After using it for nearly a year, I have definitely noticed a more radiant look and literally zero dark spots. However, if you want something a little more dramatic, Dr. Marchbein suggests using a serum because the active ingredients (namely, the vitamin C) will be more concentrated.  “Remember that not all serums and ingredients are created equally,” she says. “A vitamin C serum from one brand may be vastly different from a vitamin C serum from another brand based on the strength, other ingredients it is formulated with, how it is packaged, and whether it is exposed to light which can oxidize it.” She tells us, “It’s important to pick products with active ingredients that have good science and research behind them.” Preach, doc. Generally, the products that oxidize aren’t worth your money because oxidized vitamin C is pretty ineffective. 

She adds , “Skinceuticals Phloretin CF, Skinbetter Alto Defense serum, and Isdinceutics Flavo-C Ultraglican Antioxidant Ampoules are some of my favorite medical-grade antioxidant vitamin C serums.” But if you want something a little less intense, she recommends Ole Henriksen Truth serum, CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C serum, La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C, Olay Tone Perfection Serum Vitamin B3 + Vitamin C, and Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day serum. 

Skinceuticals Phloretin CF

Skinbetter Alto Defense serum

Flavo-C Ultraglican Antioxidant Ampoules

Ole Henriksen Truth serum

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C

 

Olay Tone Perfection Serum Vitamin B3 + Vitamin C

Well, there you have it. Your soon-to-be-flawless mug can only benefit from using vitamin C products regularly. After chatting with Dr. Marchbein, I picked myself up two serums, the Drunk Elephant one she recommended and a cheaper option from Glossier (Super Glow). It hasn’t been long enough to decide which is better, but my skin hasn’t revolted against me (yet) for introducing two new products into my routine, so I’m counting this experiment as a success in my book. One thing to remember, though: everyone’s skin is different, so if a product has rave reviews, but sets your skin on fire when you use it, that doesn’t mean it’s a sh*t product; it just means that you need something a little less concentrated (like a cleanser!). 

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day serum

Glossier Super Glow vitamin C and magnesium serum

Images: Noah Buscher / Unsplash

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How Do Celebs Prepare For Award Shows? Their Secrets To Looking Really Pretty

If you were watching the Oscars last night and were trying to figure out how these people show up looking fucking flawless, join the club. Celebs obviously have to be abnormally skinny and good-looking by default, but like, at what cost? I mean, don’t get me wrong—Emma Stone looked pretty decent in Lala Land, but professionals are paid to edit that shit. 

What in the Steve Harvey happened last night? Read our Oscars recap!

We wanted to know what kind of prep goes on before the red carpet, so we did some research into the glamorous lives (and weird diets) of Hollywood’s elite. If you thought stars were actually just like us, think again. Here’s what the celebs do to get ready for the red carpet:   

1. They Get Their Faces Shaved

This is not a joke, and it’s not a mistake that some 6th grade girl made because she was too scared to ask her mom for a wax. Celebs literally get their faces shaved before the red carpet and the treatment is technically called Dermaflash. Apparently, by getting rid of some excess peach fuzz and exfoliating your skin, you get that extra fresh glow that “flashing” provides. J.Lo and Jennifer Garner were both spotted getting their “flashing” done at the Beverly Hills Hot Springs and their skin is unreal, so like, we’re trying not to judge. 

2. They Get Their Cheekbones Accentuated

We’ve been getting facials before events ever since our middle school graduations, but when it comes to award shows, celebs go to specific professionals who know how to literally manipulate your face to look better on camera. There are specific pros in LA that will only take nominees’ appointments on the day of the Oscars. For example, celeb fave Joanna Vargas is known for her Oxygen Purifying Facial, which uses medical-grade oxygen to erase dull skin and create finer lines to get your cheekbones to look like they’re popping out of your face. Goals, right?

3. They Get Blood Injected Into Their Faces

Botox appointments are just as regular as teeth cleanings in the celeb world, but when it comes to the Oscars, the regular injection doesn’t make the cut. Celebs like Kim Kardashian swear by the “Vampire Facial Lift,” which literally injects blood back into your face by using platelet rich plasma. Apparently it helps make your eyes look wider and your skin look super rejuvenated, and results are immediate. BRB, throwing up.

4. They Wrap Ice Cubes Onto Their Faces

A few days before the show, celebs are having this funky ice concoction wrapped onto their faces. Dr. Nigma Talib, an LA-based naturopathic doctor, works with stars before the Oscars through “icing” their faces. Icing is a process meant to de-puff your face, make your pores more refined, and take away any redness in your skin. She mixes together cucumber water, aloe vera juice, turmeric root, and water into a blender, and then freezes the liquid in an ice tray. Once they’re frozen, she wraps the ice cubes in a washcloth onto their skin until it’s all melted. Sounds pretty unpleasant and it’s probably freezing AF. Aren’t they cold enough from dieting all year-round?

5. They Put Jellyfish On Their Faces

This is another treatment that is super trendy right now in Hollywood, and it sounds like a high school bio experiment we decided to ditch. The jellyfish mask is made from jellyfish collagen, which is supposed to hydrate and firm your face to give you a youthful glow on camera. I don’t even wanna know how much this absurd treatment costs, but you couldn’t pay me to stick a jellyfish on my face. I know it makes you look good, but there are Instagram filters that do that too. We will be doing a follow-up analysis on if anybody ever has to have their face peed on if this treatment goes wrong.

6. They Cut Out Sugar, Gluten, Dairy, & Booze

Try telling a waiter that you’re sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and you don’t need a cocktail menu either. Celebs like Kate Bosworth, Penelope Cruz, and Sienna Miller follow this no-fun diet for weeks leading up to the Oscars, and it sounds pretty brutal. The worst part is, they probably can’t even complain about it because all their famous friends are on the same fucking diet. I just hope they at least get shitfaced at the afterparty. 

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