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Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps our skin maintain it’s youthful appearance. There are plenty of organic Vitamin C serums available, but which one is the best?
First off, let’s talk about what vitamin C can do for skin health. We can then discuss the different forms of Vitamin C, how to choose the best serum, and our current recommendation.
What can Vitamin C do for our Skin?
Vitamin C is one of the few proven anti-aging ingredients available. It has strong antioxidant activity that repairs damage done to our skin by the sun, pollution and oxygen. A well-formulated Vitamin C serum can:
- reduce sun damage, such as sun spots.
- reduce inflammation.
- improves skin’s natural healing response.
- improve your skin’s UV defense.
- firms the skin by boosting collagen production.
- enhance skin’s texture.
- reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines.
Check out this article on Science Daily about Vitamin C and it’s skin regenerating potentials.
Types of Vitamin C
Vitamin C comes in many forms, but the best and most effective form for skin care is L-ascorbic acid (AA). Most of the research has been done on this form, and it has been shown to be highly effective. It does have a low pH and therefore, can be irritating to the skin (more on pH below).
Other forms of Vitamin C also work, but there is less research proving their effectiveness. These include – magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, retinyl ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate, and sodium ascorbyl phosphate.
Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) shows promising results. It is water-soluble, gentle, efficient at lower concentrations, has a longer shelf life, and is stable at a neutral pH. But, it doesn’t do as well with free radical reduction as AA.
If you have sensitive skin, MAP might be your better bet. It is less harsh than AA, but it is also more expensive.
At least for now, AA is the winner, so make sure it is the main form of Vitamin C in your product formulation. Some products have a mixture of a few types of Vitamin C. This can be good, as it gives your skin a wider range of Vitamin C to absorb.
What to Know Before you Shop
Vitamin C Breaks Down Easily
Vitamin C is not very stable and it breaks down fast. Packaging is important, the best packaging is going to be dark glass, and preferably a pump dispenser, or a tight-fitting lid, to minimize light and air exposure.
Vitamin C begins to rapidly oxidize when mixed with water, so finding a serum that does not have water as the first ingredient is important (this is easier said than done, as most of the ones I looked at contained water as the top ingredient).
It is best to use your Vitamin C serum within 3 months of opening.
pH and Concentration
The acidity of your product will make a difference to how effective it is. A pH of 3.5 or less is ideal. This allows the product to be better absorbed. (source)
In order to avoid irritation, the formula should have no more than a 20% concentration of Vitamin C. Any higher of a concentration could cause irritation. Concentrations as low as 0.6 % have been proven to be effective.
A concentration of 10% – 20% is best.
Pairing with Vitamin E
A study showed that Vitamin C is even more effective at protecting the skin from UV damage when paired with Vitamin E. The mixture of 0.5% ferulic acid, 15% Vitamin C, and 1% Vitamin E increases the efficiency of Vitamin C eight-fold (source).
My Skin’s Friend Multi-C Serum
Looking for the Best Organic Vitamin C Serum
Products with the Same Formulation
I have spent hours researching Vitamin C serums on Amazon. There are literally 100’s of different options. I noticed that most of the Vitamin C serums are made with the same basic formulation.
Most contain aloe vera or water, hyaluronic acid, MSM, witch hazel, jojoba oil, and preservatives. These preservatives are either Phenoxyethanol and Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin, or Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, and Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.
Phenoxyethonal is used as an alternative to parabens, and is in many green company formulations as a “clean” preservative, however, there is much controversy over whether this ingredient is safe.
It is a strong irritant when used in high concentrations, it causes allergic reactions and has been linked to reproductive toxicity (source). The other side of the coin is that the ingredient is believed to be safe when used in low concentrations.
Phenoxyethonal has a medium hazard rating on EWG’s Skin Deep database.
It is a personal choice as to whether you want to use products containing phenoxyethonal. The problem is, if a formulation has water in it, there needs to be some sort of preservative added, otherwise you are going to get molds and bacteria growing inside. These can cause serious infections.
The only way to avoid preservatives like this, is to use oil-based rather than water-based products.
My take is, that if phenoxyethonal is the last and only questionable ingredient in a formulation, and the rest of the ingredients are clean, then it is o.k with me. That being said – I would rather find products that don’t use it.
Wowzers, that is a lot of information to ingest! My head is spinning from all of the Vitamin C research that I have done. I have picked over Amazon with a fine toothed comb, wanting to find and share with you a Vitamin C serum that I would buy myself.
There are so many Vitamin C serums available, it can be so confusing to know which one to buy, but I think I have found one that I would pay money for.
I was looking for a serum that:
- did not have water as the first ingredient
- was packaged in dark glass or opaque packaging and had a pump dispenser
- used L-ascorbic acid as it’s Vitamin C
- did not contain phenoxyethonal
I could not find a serum that didn’t use water as it’s main ingredient. I did find an organic Vitamin C serum that uses L-ascorbic acid, does not contain phenoxyethonal and is packaged in a pump bottle.
Learn about The Best Organic Vitamin C serum in this video:
The Best Organic Vitamin C Serum
My Skin’s Friend Multi-C Serum is the only LIPOSOMAL Vitamin C serum on the market. It has a 20% L-ascorbic acid concentration. It is formulated at a perfect pH, and the Vitamin C is encapsulated with organic phospholipids, enhancing it’s absorption and protecting it from oxidization.
Have you tried any Vitamin C Serums? What do you like or dislike about them? Let us know your story in the comments below.
Yours In Beauty,
p.s post contains an affiliate link to Amazon. If you click and buy I receive a small commission, this is at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support 🙂