- Vitamin C is commonly added to cleansers and helps fight the visible signs of aging.
- Vitamin C stimulates collagen production in skin and prevents oxidative damage.
- Adding a vitamin C cleanser to your skin care regimen can provide many benefits to promote youthful, fresh-looking skin.
Vitamin C is one of the most abundant antioxidants in the skin. It rids the skin of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to skin cells. That damage leads to skin aging and appears as dark spots, fine lines and crow’s feet.
Why Use Vitamin C Cleansers?
Facial cleansers gently remove oil, skin debris and makeup, but they can also offer other significant benefits with the addition of vitamin C. Topical vitamin C targets wrinkles, blemishes, skin roughness and uneven skin tone.
Collagen is the most common protein in the body and is responsible for binding cells together: it essentially acts as the glue between cells. However, with age this production diminishes, resulting in skin that loses its elasticity, causing skin to sag and wrinkle. Vitamin C can be a valuable addition within a cleanser as it has been shown to increase collagen synthesis, and reverse some of these negative effects.
In addition to increased collagen production, vitamin C offers other significant benefits:
- Strong photoprotective effects as it neutralizes free radicals caused by UV rays responsible for around 80% of aging on the face in people with lighter skin tones. While those with darker skin tones have a level of natural resistance to the effects of photoaging, vitamin C can also further decrease the effects of UV rays on darker skin.
- Corrects hyperpigmentation, fades dark spots and evens out skin tone for a brighter complexion
- Promotes wound healing
How to Choose a Vitamin C Cleanser
In addition to vitamin C concentration, look for products that are free of possible irritants such as fragrances, phthalates and parabens. Parabens are preservatives used in cosmetics and are linked to several health concerns, including hormone disruption. Certain types of phthalates have been linked to cancer. Fragrances may simply irritate skin.
Vitamin C is suitable for most skin types. However, those with sensitive skin may feel some irritation from high-concentration vitamin C products (upwards of ~15% concentration). As with any new product, test first on a discreet area of skin before applying it to your face.
L-ascorbic acid (LAA) one of the most common forms of vitamin C, is considered acidic and is suitable for all skin types except for those with sensitive skin.
Since LAA can degrade when exposed to light and heat, look for products contained within brown or opaque well-sealed containers.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Ascorbyl-6-palmitate
The most stable and easily absorbed form of vitamin C is magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP). Another type, Ascorbyl-6 palmitate, is also readily absorbed into the skin. Both forms are less acidic than LAA and therefore a good choice for sensitive skin.
How to Use a Vitamin C Cleanser
A cleanser can be used as the first part of a skin care regimen and will prepare the skin to properly absorb an application of a vitamin C serum with a higher concentration of the vitamin, or a moisturizer if you so choose.
Cleansers formulated with vitamin C are usually available in several formats: foam, cream or gel.
Since vitamin C can help protect against UV damage, using it in the morning replenishes your skin’s supply of vitamin C to defend against free radical damage. However, it can also be used in the evening and should be used regularly to achieve full benefits.
With daily use, effects can be seen within several months. One study of a topical vitamin C regimen lasting 12 weeks has been shown to reduce the appearance of roughness and wrinkles, and improve collagen production.
Vitamin C cleansers shouldn’t be combined with retinol products since they’re effective at different pH levels. As a solution, vitamin C cleansers could be used in the morning and retinols at night.
Vitamin C with other ingredients
Vitamin E offers strong benefits when added to a vitamin C cleanser. Vitamin C is eight times more effective at reducing photodamage when combined with vitamin E and ferulic acid. Look also for known and trustworthy ingredients such as aloe and green tea extract which can help moisturize skin..
Vitamin C is generally safe but can lead to stinging irritation for those with sensitive skin, due to its acidity.
If your skin is sensitive to vitamin C, there are other alternatives. Look for soap-free products with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe or vitamin E. Many of these products can be found at local drugstores and are cost-effective alternatives.
Vitamin C facial cleanser can help your skin look healthier and can prevent the visible effects of aging by inducing collagen synthesis and protecting skin from UV damage. When combined with other ingredients such as vitamin E and ferulic acid, vitamin C is far more potent as an antioxidant.
Vitamin C facial cleansers are safe to use on a daily basis, but they may be irritating to those with sensitive skin.