Everything You Need To Know

Vitamin C is one of those ingredients that everyone in-the-know swears by, but I’ve always felt a bit nervous about. I didn’t feel like I knew enough about it and when I started to investigate, I felt completely overwhelmed. Thankfully Dermatica stepped in to help me out. Regular readers will know that I have happily outsourced the more complicated parts of my skincare routine to them (I’ve been using their rosacea formula on and off since 2021 – you can read the full review of that HERE) and that now includes the Dermatica Vitamin C 15% Fresh Batch Ascorbic Acid.

This is a paid collaboration with Dermatica. I’m proud to have been working with them for two and a half years. All views are my own.

Shall we start with the basics of vitamin C and then we can get into the nitty gritty?

WHAT IS VITAMIN C?

Also known as Ascorbic Acid, vitamin C is an antioxidant that is naturally occurring in our bodies. It depletes as we age, thanks to environmental stressors and aggressors, which is why it’s a popular skincare ingredient.

WHAT DOES VITAMIN C DO FOR THE SKIN?

It’s a bit of all-rounder: it brightens, it helps with tone, texture, and premature signs of ageing (fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation); it inhibits the production of melanin and promotes a more even complexion; it protects against free radicals, UV radiation, and environmental pollution; and it helps to counteract the damage caused by UV radiation (such as sunburn and photoaging) by neutralising free radicals and reducing inflammation.

HOW SHOULD VITAMIN C BE STORED?

Antioxidants like Ascorbic Acid lose their effectiveness when they’re exposed to oxygen and light, so look for products in opaque tubes or bottles and make sure they come with an airless pump so the ingredients can remain stable for as long as possible. If your product turns orange/brown, that means it has oxidised (e.g. it’s been exposed to oxygen or light) which means it’s less potent and therefore will not work as advertised.

WHERE DOES VITAMIN C GO IN MY ROUTINE?

Technically vitamin C can be used at any point in the day, but it makes more sense to use it in the morning due to it acting as a shield against pollution, UV radiation, and other environmental aggressors.

I’m using the Dermatica Vitamin C 15% Fresh Batch Ascorbic Acid alongside my Dermatica personalised formula and I was advised by the dermatology team that this is a great combination, but that I should use them at different times of the day. I already use my personalised formula at night, so I easily slotted the Vitamin C into my morning routine, but it’s something to bear in mind if you need to jiggle things around in your routine.

Some vitamin C products come in an oily formula, which can make your morning routine a bit tricky and time-consuming. Luckily, the Dermatica Vitamin C was designed to be encapsulated in a cream formula which leaves a great base for further skincare (including sunscreen) and make up. It’s a lightweight cream that doesn’t leave any kind of film or greasiness on the skin.

HOW LONG DOES VITAMIN C TAKE TO WORK?

At a 15% concentration, you can expect to see results from vitamin C in as little as 6 weeks, although 3 months is the standard for assessing real changes to the skin with any new actives. Personally, I noticed a definite boost in my skin’s glow and tone after about 10 weeks (although it’s worth noting that I was buffering the product on application – more details on that below!)

ARE THERE ANY VITAMIN C SIDE EFFECTS?

As with any skincare actives, there are some side effects. The common ones are: itching, redness or inflammation (erythema), skin irritation, and tingling or burning sensation on application. Those of you with rosacea may think those sound familiar… they sound remarkably similar to a rosacea flare up! This is why it’s so important to introduce the product carefully. Luckily for you, I’ve shared my tips for introducing vitamin C to your skincare routine when you have rosacea at the bottom of this blog post!

Although vitamin C is not an exfoliant, it’s not recommended that it be used in conjunction with common exfoliants. That means AHAs (like glycolic or lactic acids), BHAs (e.g. salicylic), or physical scrubs.

If you’re having any issues or concerns with your Dermatica Vitamin C, please do get in touch with the dermatology team via your dashboard on the website – they’re there to help and have given me great advice in the past. One of the reasons I love the Dermatica concept so much is that I have that access to advice and support, it’s all part of the service!

IS VITAMIN C SAFE FOR ROSACEA?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is ‘yes, if you choose your product carefully and introduce it properly’.

Vitamin C tackles skin issues in two ways: by addressing existing issues and also by protecting against future issues. It guards your skin against free radicals, UV radiation, and pollution, strengthens the skin barrier, and reduces inflammation, all of which are great steps to take for rosacea. As with most active skincare ingredients and rosacea, it takes a little bit of care and knowledge about your skin to introduce it properly to your routine but, don’t worry, I’m here to help: at the bottom of this post I’ve shared my top tips for how to introduce vitamin C into your skincare routine, even if you have sensitive skin.

WHY IS THE DERMATICA VITAMIN C SO SPECIAL?

So now that you know everything there is to know about vitamin C, you can better understand exactly why the Dermatica Vitamin C product is so clever:

  • It’s produced in fresh and frequent batches and then shipped to you within 7 days of creation. This means when it reaches you, it has guaranteed potency of 15% with zero degradation.
  • This is further helped by the airless pump bottles with non-transparent packaging to ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible once it gets to you.
  • The base cream contains Ferulic Acid (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plus boosts effects of vitamin C) and vitamin E (another antioxidant, hydrating, great for the skin barrier), as well as Glycerine and Ceramides (both powerhouses for strengthening the skin barrier).
  • Because of Dermatica’s monthly subscription model, you get the perfect amount for one month of use by which time your next month is already winging its way to you – this means you’ll always have access to the freshest, most potent ingredients and won’t have to worry about it degrading, having to throw it away, and wasting your money.
  • PLUS, Dermatica is offering the vitamin C at an affordable price point, something I know is important to people with sensitive skin as most of us have spent unimaginable amount of money on skincare over the years. I have a really good discount code for my readers at the end of this blog post if you’d like to try it for yourself.

HOW TO INTRODUCE VITAMIN C TO YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE?

And lastly, here are my tips for introducing vitamin C to your skincare routine, when you have rosacea or sensitive skin:

  • Assess your skin. If your skin is currently in an active flare up, it’s probably a bad idea to introduce something new to your skincare routine. I don’t add anything new if my skin is acting out of the norm: for me that might mean that I’m more red than usual, my skin is itchy, dry, or tight, but only you can know what is ‘normal’ for you.
  • Get your basics covered. The old saying is true: don’t run before you can walk! Make sure you have a trusted skincare routine that you know works for you before you start adding extras. That means cleanser, moisturise and sunscreen. Once those are sorted, then you can look at added extras that target your skin concerns, like the Dermatica personalised formula and vitamin C.
  • Buffer. If your skin is sensitive, it can be helpful to buffer active ingredients to help your skin get used to them over time. This method obviously reduces the potency of the vitamin c but can make all the difference if your skin is prone to irritation. There are two buffering methods:
    • Option one: Cleanse, apply moisturiser first, and then apply your vitamin C. You can apply moisturiser again afterwards if you feel your skin needs it (if you have a dry skin type, if it’s winter etc).
    • Option two: Cleanse, apply your moisturiser and vitamin C mixed together. This is the method I prefer and I’ve been using 1 pump of the Dermatica Vitamin C and twice that amount in moisturiser.
  • Go slow. Rosacea is a marathon not a sprint, and although it may be frustrating to take your time with this step, it is much better than trying to undo the damage caused by overloading and stressing your skin by moving too fast. I’ve shared the loose schedule I followed, remember that all of these applications were buffered in moisturiser (as described above). If your skin shows signs of irritation, stop using for a few days and then reduce the frequency you’re using it. I’m sharing the below as an example so you can see the length of time it took me to carefully introduce the product, it’s not there for you to follow against your better judgement. You know your skin best, so follow your own path.
    • Week 1+2: Apply 2 x a week
    • Week 3+4: Apply 3 x a week
    • Week 5+6: Apply 4 x a week
    • Week 7+8: Apply 5 x a week
  • Be realistic. It can be tempting to give up on skincare if we don’t see immediate changes, but skin needs patience. Although vitamin c results are commonly reported to be visible from 6 weeks, if you’re buffering your product and spacing out applications, that result timeframe will obviously be longer. Just keep going. Remember: the day we plant the seed is not the day we harvest the fruit!
  • Sunscreen. I feel like this is my standard advice no matter what the topic is but seriously…sunscreen. It makes zero sense for you to be paying for and diligently applying a product that is helping to undo sun damage as well as helping to prevent future damage while refusing to wear sunscreen. It’s like using a bucket to bail water out of your boat without fixing the gigantic hole in the bottom and wondering why you’re still sinking. Find a sunscreen that works for you and wear it every day.

DERMATICA DISCOUNT CODE

If you’d like to try the Dermatica Vitamin C 15% Fresh Batch Ascorbic Acid, I have a fantastic discount code for you! If you’re new to Dermatica, use the code LEX40 to get a whopping 40% off your first 3 months of your personalised formula and the new Vitamin C as a combo. The Vitamin C is usually £15.50 but current subscribers can get it for only £12.50 when added to your Dermatica subscription.

It’s only available in the UK for now, but if you’re in the US keep an eye out for updates as it’s heading your way soon!

This was a lot of information but so much fun to write! Did you learn something new? Do you think you’ll try adding vitamin C into your skincare routine?

Lex



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