I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking the first few weeks of Spring are the best of the year. When you first get hit with a sultry jasmine-scented breeze... Packing away the heaters and pulling out the sandals and floaty summer dresses (hello friends!) With the warmer mornings I’ve been spending more time outside. I’m jogging and even dipping my toe in the pool again, which is great, but obviously very sun-bound – so I found myself rethinking my vitamin serum routine. As you know, I’m a huge advocate of Alpha-H’s Vitamin Profiling Collection (read my past posts about vitamin A, B and E).
When I visited the brand in Queensland earlier this year, Alpha-H’s founder Michelle Doherty really impressed on me the power of Vitamin C and how I should bolster my routine with it when I’m planning to be outdoors more often. She described the Vitamin C as a glow-giving clarity enhancing serum, which also has the ability to protect your cells from environmental nasties. And I can attest, it’s absolutely beautiful to use. The texture is light, it absorbs swiftly and leaves my skin juiced up and ready to receive sunscreen and whatever else I can throw at it. Since I’ve been using it, my complexion has seemed more even-toned and some stubborn bits of pigmentation around my cheekbones seems to have shifted.
Keen to learn more about this little miracle worker, I looked into some of the more scientific reasons my skin has been looking so great. Here are eight more pointers on why you should add the Alpha H vitamin C serum to your routine:
1. It protects you from environmental baddies
After sunscreen, antioxidants are the most effective skin protectors around. You know how a cut apple will turn brown if left out? The process, known as oxidization, is what happens to your skin when its exposed to the elements. Vitamin C is one of the most widely tested and effective antioxidants to prevent cell breakdown due to pollution, smoking and even sun. To up your vitamin C reserves internally, you should also take a vitamin C supplement daily – particularly if you’re not getting enough from your food.
2. Think of it like your second sunscreen…
Used in addition to sunscreen, Vitamin C can help protect you from UV damage. Even though it’s not given an SPF rating it can neutralize the free radicals caused by UV light. In lab tests, it has been shown that the application of a 10% topical Vitamin C showed statistical reduction of UVB-induced erythema by 52% and sunburn cell formation by 40-60%.
3. …But you need to build it up in the skin
To gain the full effects of vitamin C, you need to build it up for at least four days by applying it every eight hours or so. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time outdoors or in the sun, try using Vitamin C serum twice a day in the week leading up.
4. And keep topping it up
Once you expose your skin to the sun, the C reservoirs start to deplete, so you need to top up your supplies daily. Keep up your vitamin C serum each night before bed – it will work best while you rest. Ditto with the supplements – or eat an orange a day – it’s yummier.
5. Make sure your C is stable
The main problem with most vitamin C serums on the market is that the product degrades quickly and after a few months on the bathroom shelf (and being exposed to air each time you open it) the ingredients are no longer very active. What I like about Alpha-H’s Vitamin C Serum is that they use stable forms of Vitamin C that are much more resistant to oxidisation from the environment.
6. It also needs to be properly absorbed by your skin…
These forms of vitamin C are also lipid soluble meaning it’s able to penetrate through the protective cell membrane and get to work faster. Winning!
7. Oh, it helps with pigmentation
Another major coup is that C works on the clarity of your skin by helping to stop the production of melanin (or pigment). It does this by halting the production of an enzyme called tyrosinase that forms new pigment. The skin can then shed cells with excess pigment, so vitamin C can brighten the skin as well.
8. And plumps up your complexion, too.
Is there anything this little wonder can’t do? Vitamin C stimulates collagen production in the dermis, leading to plumper, fresher and more gorgeous skin. And – on closer inspection - it’s also helped give me a giant dose of glow.
To help remind me to apply it, I’ve even started leaving it next to my sunscreen and I now don’t even think about stepping outside until I’ve shielded my skin properly. It’s the essential step in your morning skincare routine. Now bring on those warmer days.
Story by Sigourney Cantelo; In Association with Alpha-H.