Getting started with a stabilised vitamin C serum

The Organic Pharmacy Stabilised Vitamin C Serum

Advert: this post contains references to PR gifted products. My views are honest and my own.

Hi, beauty lover! It’s good to see you here!

Last year I introduced a stabilised vitamin C serum into my daily routine. It’s made a huge difference to my skin. I experienced brighter and smoother skin with fewer age spots and freckles. And now I’m a dedicated daily vitamin C user!

In this post, we’ll be discussing:

  • What a stabilised vitamin C serum is
  • The benefits of its use
  • What to look for in a serum
  • How often and when to apply your stabilised vitamin C serum
  • My top stabilised vitamin C picks

All in line with your natural and organic sensibilities! Sound good? Great! But first…

What is a stabilised vitamin C serum?

Traditionally, vitamin C came to our skincare products as L-Ascorbic Acid (LAA, the synthetic and chemical name for vitamin C). Pure is good, right? Not always, and especially not for sensitive skin.

LAA is potent, but unstable. It has the potential to cause irritation during an initial settling in period and beyond. If used incorrectly it can damage skin, and it might not be the best choice for people with the most sensitive skin.

When exposed to light and/or air, ascorbic acid not only becomes inactive, but it also oxidises extremely fast to become dehydro ascorbic acid (DHAA), which further degrades to acids that are very irritating to the skin (source).

Jilly Schechter, Formula Botanica

Enter stabilised vitamin C!

Stabilised vs non-stabilised vitamin C in skincare

Stabilised vitamin C is less irritating than LAA and has a longer shelf life. However, it isn’t as potent. But does this matter? Not if you’re just starting out with vitamin C! That’s because even low concentrations of vitamin C have been shown to give good results! And you can work your way up to your maximum non-irritating dose, or even make the leap to serums containing LAA if you need to.

The benefits of vitamin C serums

Vitamin C is a great way to support skin in its natural ageing process. Why? It helps slow the break down of collagen in the skin, it brightens the skin, and it can even stop age spots appearing.

It’s an antioxidant. This means it stops the actions of free radicals against your skin. Additionally, vitamin C is acidic, so it encourages your skin to produce more collagen and elastin.

Vitamin C has photo protective properties. Don’t skip your sunscreen, though. Vitamin C simply mops up those free radicals created by UV exposure.

If you don’t use it already, you should consider it – regardless of your age. It’s such a great preventative – I wish I’d started using it sooner!

I think of vitamin C like an investment in my skin. With daily use, I get smoother and more even skin. The effects of ageing, pollution, UV light, and environmental stressors are lessened.

And if you’re pregnant and/or breastfeeding, don’t worry. Vitamin C is safe for you and bubs, too.

What to look for in a stabilised vitamin C serum

There are many derivatives of vitamin C. Some ingredients to look out for on the ingredients list include ascorbic acid polypeptide, sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP), magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), ascorbyl glucoside, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (an oil-soluable form), and 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid (this one claims to be superior to the other kinds).

Look for those with supporting antioxidants such as vitamin E and ferulic acid. Many serums have other lovely ingredients in their blend such as hyaluronic acid, green tea, witch hazel, and aloe vera. Niacinamide also works really well with ascorbyl glucoside.

I choose my stabilised vitamin C from brands who identify as “natural” and who aim to remove controversial ingredients. My favourite online beauty store is LoveLula and (cautiously) Amazon.

How often to apply a vitamin C serum

Start slowly by applying a small amount once a day.

I experienced a tingly start, so I experimented by mixing my serum with my moisturiser to dilute it. It took my skin a week to settle into this new routine and now I use vitamin C serum daily with absolutely no tingling.

You can try every other day or 3 times weekly if your skin feels irritated.

When to apply a vitamin C serum

You can use vitamin C day or night. I favour morning because when worn with sunscreen, vitamin C works better. I save my evening routine for other acids and bakuchiol.

“Before my patients leave their door, I tell them to apply an anti-oxidant rich product and an SPF 50 or higher. Vitamin C is a great anti-oxidant that provides a second layer of defense after sunscreen by neutralizing free radicals that can damage skin, accelerating signs of aging.”

Dr. Adam Geyer, Kiehls Consulting Dermatologist

Apply it after your toner/hydrating layer but before your moisturiser.

What are the best natural vitamin C serums?

Here are my top picks for stabilised vitamin C serums to start with.

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

This is my current top pick for stabilised vitamin C serum. It’s a fantastic combination of antioxidants vitamin C + E + ferulic acid, along with chamomile, clary sage, and konjac root in a water-based based serum.

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

It comes in a dark glass bottle but I always keep mine in the box. The price is very reasonable. This is a real little gem of a serum that’s a delight to use and super-effective!

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

Buy Now – £34.48 at Amazon


The Organic Pharmacy Vitamin C Serum

Clinically proven to increase moisture and brightness, and will brighten up a dull complexion while improving texture and firmness. This lightweight 15% concentration serum claims to boost collagen and address pigmentation. As you would expect from The Organic Pharmacy, it’s 91% organic.

The Organic Pharmacy Vitamin C Serum

This product comes in clear glass, so be sure to keep it in its cardboard packaging away from light.

This is a really lovely and effective serum. It also contains witch hazel which packs its own antioxidant punch – along with delivering a nice potent dose of vitamin C.

On the downside, it doesn’t have the same easy to apply texture as the Mad Hippie serum, hence this is my second favourite formula.

The Organic Pharmacy Vitamin C Serum

Buy Now – £45 at LoveLula


Laidbare From Dusk Till Dawn Vitamin C Serum

This oil-based serum contains vitamin C derived from blackcurrant seed oil, so it’s a truly natural vitamin C serum! It’s “designed to leave skin looking and feeling truly fabulous while toning the face and restoring elasticity”.

Laidbare From Dusk Till Dawn Vitamin C Serum

Perfect for dry, damaged, and ageing skin with evening primrose to calm and reduce inflammation and vitamin A rich carrot oil to boost the antioxidant effect. And what a fantastic price, too.

Laidbare From Dusk Till Dawn Vitamin C Serum

Buy Now – £12.99 at LoveLula


John Masters Organics Vitamin C Anti-Aging Face Serum

This complex blend with stabilised vitamin C is recommended for signs of ageing. It protects and rejuvenates the skin while reducing the appearance of age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.

ohn Masters Organics Vitamin C Anti-Aging Face Serum

It also contains extracts of sea algae and rosebud to provide intense moisture and antioxidants to help collagen production.

John Masters Organics Vitamin C Anti-Aging Face Serum

Buy Now – £32 at LoveLula


Final thoughts on stabilised vitamin C serums

I hope I’ve inspired you to try a stabilised vitamin C serum, and given you some ideas for serums to try for the first time. Using a vitamin C serum is such a great investment in your skin. Have fun with it!

Do you use a vitamin C serum? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time. With love. x

Helen

Everything you need to know about stabilised vitamin C, a form of vitamin C great for sensitive skin. What to look for, application tips, product roundup of best stabilised vitamin C serums to try. #naturalbeauty #vitaminc

4 Replies to “Getting started with a stabilised vitamin C serum”

  1. This is really interesting information! I’ve been trying to be more diligent with my skin care in the last few years but this could be worth looking into integrating into my current routine.

  2. This has really inspired me to try vitamin c serum out. There is so much here that I didn’t know! Thanks!

  3. Never knew that vitamin C should be apart of skin care! I hope to have a solid and beneficial skin care routine before the end of this year. I’ll have to check back for more skin care tips!

  4. Thanks for the serum recommendations that’s infused with Vitamin C. I’ve never used a serum before and this is making me consider to try one.

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