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The Truth About Vitamin C In Skin Care

The Truth About Vitamin C In Skin Care

Dermatologists love it. Estheticians do, too…

That’s why virtually every skin care brand has a Vitamin C product these days--the stuff creates glow where skin once was dull.

However, there are some drawbacks to certain Vitamin C products.

For one, some serums cost upwards of $170 per ounce. And many of the expensive brands justify that price by touting “the highest percentage of Vitamin C.”

Surely it’s a case of “you get what you pay for,” right? Like farmers market tomatoes, or Japanese denim.

Unfortunately, there’s a dirty little industry secret: not only are younot getting what you paid for, but for some people, the expensive “high-C” serums can be as bad for your skin as they are for your wallet.

We’ll dig into what the science says about that...

First, let’s talk about why the skin pros are all about topical Vitamin C.

Why Vitamin C Is Top-Shelf Worthy

Topical Vitamin C is well-loved for good reason: it’s a potent and effective antioxidant that can treat and prevent changes associated with photo aging.

Here’s what C can do for you...


As we age, our skin starts to lose some of its youthful elasticity and firmness, which is when wrinkles start to appear.

Part of the reason this happens is because our skin slows down its production of collagen, which acts as a sort of structural support.

Studies have shown that a topical Vitamin C serum can increase collagen production, which is how it boosts both elasticity and firmness.


If you have sensitive skin, the kind that gets a little angry from time to time, you probably know the misery of inflammation.

There are many, many causes of inflammation, but the results are similar: flushed, itchy, red skin. It doesn’t look great, and it feels kinda like your face is on fire.

The good news is that Vitamin C serum can help extinguish that fire. Studies have shown that its anti-inflammatory activity can even help improve more serious cases of inflammation, like acne scars and rosacea.


Here’s the other annoying thing about inflammation: it can leave a lasting mark, in the form of hyper pigmentation.

These brown spots, caused by an overproduction of melanin, often take weeks, months, or even years to fade.

And inflammation isn’t the only culprit. Other causes of hyperpigmentation include age spots from sun exposure, melasma (often due to pregnancy or birth control hormones), and any type of trauma to the skin’s surface.

Adding a Vitamin C serum to your daily skin care routine has been shown to help hyperpigmentation.

Now the only question is, which Vitamin C serum do you buy?

Well, before we get to that, there’s something you should know about how Vitamin C works….


Here’s the thing to know about Vitamin C products.

Most Vitamin C serums are like your crazy aunt after a few margaritas: pretty unstable.

That’s because most of them contain L-Ascorbic Vitamin C.

L-ascorbic Vitamin C is the same form of Vitamin C found in nature. That may seem like a good thing, but there’s a big problem with L-ascorbic Vitamin C: it oxidizes and breaks down.

In fact, you can often see this happening as your serum goes from clear to yellow or brown.

Now manufacturers know that L-ascorbic Vitamin C will break down, so they add more of it to their serum.

Then they boast about how much C is in their product, even though they know that it’s going to quickly break down and lose potency.

Some manufacturers will add color to their serums so you won’t notice any color change!

And here’s what this means for the consumer: You pay $65-$170 for the 25% Vitamin C, thinking you’re doing your face a favor. But the amount of C in the bottle gets lower and lower every day. And there’s no way for you to know what that percentage is as it degrades.

Obviously, that’s a huge downside. You’re not getting what you paid for.

Unfortunately, there’s another reason to be weary, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Before those high concentrations of Vitamin C start breaking down, they’re extra potent. That means they’re also more likely to cause irritation, which can include redness, stinging, dryness, and increased sensitivity.

And that’s pretty frustrating when your goal was to improve your skin and reduce irritation.

So how do you get the benefits of Vitamin C, and avoid unstable and irritating products?


You want Vitamin C in your skin care arsenal, so here’s what to look for...

Forget those super high concentrations of L-ascorbic Vitamin C.

One study even showed the maximum concentration for optimal absorption of L-ascorbic is 20%, so anything above that is definitely overkill.

But 20% is still a whole lotta C, so sensitive skin types might want to rethink these higher concentrations altogether.


If your serum does contain L-ascorbic Vitamin C, the formula's pH level is key.

For maximum stability, serums with L-ascorbic have to have low pH levels (less than 3.5), meaning it’s more acidic. Otherwise ascorbic acid degrades much more quickly, making it inactive and therefore ineffective.

The big downside is that if it’s more acidic, it’s also more likely to irritate your skin.

Another option?


Vibriance Super C contains a stable formulation of Vitamin C called E-Ascorbic Acid that won’t break down like L-Ascorbic Acid.

Studies have shown the E-ascorbic acid found in Vibriance Super C has more skin-beautifying advantages over regular L-ascorbic acid, such as:
  • Proven to not only prevent sun damage but also reverse sun damage (regular Vitamin C can only prevent)
  • Proven to stimulate collagen synthesis up to 72.9% in vitro (Regular Vitamin C only boosts by 32.6%)
  • More than 50% more stable than L-ascorbic acid, retains potency unlike L-Ascorbic acid that degrades the second you open it.
  • Oil soluble and water soluble (L-ascorbic acid is only water soluble, but oil soluble nutrients stay in your body longer and don’t need to be replenished as much)


Customer Reviews

Vibriance Reviews
Fiona Bramzell, Toronto, Canada
Vibriance Reviews 

I did notice a positive change very quickly, I would say in just 7 days
“I have been using the Vibriance Super C Penetrating serum for about 3 weeks now and I’m thrilled with it. I apply it at night after cleansing my face, mainly around my eye and forehead area, which is where I’ve noticed the most signs of aging. First of all, I love the scent, the citrus smell is very invigorating and fresh. I only need to use a small amount as it seems to spread really well and absorbs quickly without any greasy residue. In terms of results, I did notice a positive change very quickly, I would say in just 7 days. I am sure that there has been a reduction in the fine lines around my eyes and my skin definitely seems more radiant. I have been concentrating on reducing some deeper lines between my eyebrows too and I have seen a slight improvement so far."

Vibriance Reviews
Estella Otiniano, Miami, Florida
Vibriance Reviews 

Wrinkles are a LOT less noticeable
“After working the grave yard shift over a year in a hospital as a registered nurse I started to notice wrinkle lines forming around my eyes. I guess it was from to the lack of sleep and improper nutrition due to the demands of working night shift in a busy hospital. I was introduced to Vibriance by a friend and at first I was skeptical but after regularly applying the serum the wrinkle lines I used to notice now seem a lot less noticeable! I don’t like to wear perfume or anything that smells strong but I love the way this serum smells."

Vibriance Reviews
Lisa Pastor, Austin, Texas
Vibriance Reviews 

The serum has done wonders to correct pigmentation, uneven patches, and hydration.
“I am loving the Vibriance Super C Penetrating serum. I have been applying it every morning and evening and my skin looks and feels radiant, even-toned, vibrant, hydrated, and healthy! The sweet citrus smell is invigorating, the serum applies smooth and even, and my skin immediately feels firmer once applied. I have younger skin, yet the serum has done wonders to correct pigmentation, uneven patches, and hydration. Throughout the summer, I always develop little patches of hyper pigmentation and uneven patches on my upper cheeks and temples, regardless of how much SPF I apply. These are stubborn marks that take a while to fade on their own. Since using the serum morning and night, I have noticed in the daylight before makeup application that the dark spots have faded significantly! In terms of hydration, my skin has a dewy, luminous look long after I have applied the serum that lasts throughout the day. I have received many compliments on my skin – in particular, how radiant and healthy it looks!"

Vibriance Reviews
Cheryl Myers, Cherry Valley, Illinois
Vibriance Reviews 

Minor ‘tire rings’ on the neck have seemed to disappear and the skin on my décolleté area is brighter and tighter
“I have used Vibriance Super C Penetrating serum for four weeks now and my facial tone has changed dramatically. I no longer have dry patches in the creases of my nose or areas on my forehead. My face appears brighter, healthier, and overall more vibrant. The smell of Vibriance Super C Penetrating serum is excellent, just as if I squeezed a fresh orange. I liked the ease of application and a little bit of the product goes a long way. I even use it on my neck and décolleté area. I have never seen any improvement from any product that performs so well in these areas. Minor “tire rings” on the neck have seemed to disappear and the skin on my décolleté area is brighter and tighter. I couldn’t be happier with the results on these areas. Overall, I would recommend Vibriance Super C Penetrating serum for those who are looking for a natural alternative to pesky aging skin conditions."

Vibriance Reviews
Jennifer Jean Miller, Newton, New Jersey
Vibriance Reviews 

After applying the serum it makes my face feel hydrated
“I’ve been using Vibriance for a couple weeks now and I really enjoy this serum. The scent of it is so appealing with its subtle orange aroma… It’s like aromatherapy with every use! I also love the consistency of the serum. It goes on so smoothly and even moisturizes my skin! After applying the serum it makes my face feel hydrated. There have been some times I haven’t even applied a moisturizer and my skin still feels great. With other serums my face usually feels very dry after application."