Vitamin C is one of the most popular skincare ingredients out there – and it’s also one of the most celebrated ones too.
Its benefits for the skin are aplenty but that hasn’t stopped misconceptions about this buzzy ingredient from going around, which is why Daily Vanity is here to set the record straight by debunking the most common vitamin C myths.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about this ingredient that holds a bounty of benefits for your skin.
6 misconceptions about vitamin C that you should stop believing
Vitamin C is all the same
Your vitamin C skincare may just have ‘vitamin C’ printed on the label but in reality, there are many types of vitamin C out there with varying percentages and pH levels.
Just take a look at the product’s ingredient list, and you should be able to pick out names like L-ascorbic acid (which is pure vitamin C), ascorbyl glucoside, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, and so on. The ones with more complicated names are ingredients derived from vitamin C but contain additives to either make them more stable or more easily absorbed by the skin.
Now here’s the catch: each kind of vitamin C has different nuances which means the impact on your skin can really vary, both from an irritation perspective and an efficacy perspective.
If you’ve tried a vitamin C product and felt that it didn’t do much for your skin or has caused irritation, find out exactly what kind of vitamin C was used by going through the ingredient list, as well as what percentage and what pH level the overall formula was.
Doing so will give you an idea of what your skin didn’t like, and you can move on to exploring other kinds of vitamin C that will yield better results for you.
Vitamin C can cause sun sensitivity
We can understand how this myth has come to be: vitamin C in its pure form is acidic, which may be why many people believe that vitamin C should only be used in the evening to prevent any form of skin reaction.
But unlike some other acids, vitamin C is not shown to increase sensitivity to the sun. In fact, it’s the complete opposite as studies have found vitamin C to be a powerful antioxidant that can actually help protect against free radical damage from the sun.
Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to skimp on your SPF. Instead, we think that it’s a good idea to pair vitamin C with your sunscreen for double benefits!
As a general rule of thumb, you can choose to apply your vitamin C skincare in the morning or evening (or both), depending on the benefits you want. For example, use your vitamin C product in the morning if you’re after antioxidative benefits during the daytime.
As vitamin C is also shown to boost our skin’s natural collagen production, incorporating it into your nighttime would be ideal so that it can help firm and rejuvenate the skin.
Your skin can become “used to” vitamin C over time
When it comes to skincare, we’re certain that many of us have a lot of questions about tolerance and resistance to ingredients – and vitamin C is no exception. Studies don’t show that skin can grow resistant to vitamin C in the long run.
Just like how your body doesn’t grow resistant to the nourishing foods you consume daily, your skin isn’t going to become “used to” your vitamin C skincare. Instead, it’s likely more of a case of your skin’s needs changing over time, and the only thing you need to do is to switch up your skincare routine when this happens.
But when it comes to vitamin C skincare formulas, there’s no need to worry about it “wearing off” one day so go ahead and use your favourite vitamin C skincare as frequently as is right for your skin worry-free.
Vitamin C is definitely not for sensitive skin
This is arguably the vitamin C myth that’s being circulated the most and it’s about time we put it to rest. Vitamin C is indeed suitable for all skin types – the trick here is to nail the right type of vitamin C for you.
For example, L-ascorbic acid needs to be formulated in lower pH levels than most derivatives. So while it’s one of the most potent versions in the world of vitamin C (as long as it doesn’t oxidise), it’s also one of the more irritating for the skin.
If you have sensitive skin, the key is to find a derivative that comes in a less acidic formula. One vitamin C product that sensitive skin types can consider is the Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence by GTNC as it’s gentle enough to be used on any skin type without risking a major breakout.
Bottom line: If you want to use vitamin C skincare, don’t assume that your skin type excludes you from finding one that works for you.
Vitamin C will stain or tan the skin
You might have noticed that your hands and face may turn a bit orange after applying some of your vitamin C skincare, almost as though you’ve just used a tanning product. Well, let us first tell you that you’re certainly not imagining things.
This temporary tanning-like effect happens only if you use products formulated with L-ascorbic acid that has potentially degraded to a form of sugar that works like fake tanners.
One quick tip that you can put into action is to apply your vitamin C product evenly on your face to avoid uneven splotches. That aside, it’s also wise to opt for a more stable derivative that won’t cause such an effect.
Remember the GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence we just mentioned earlier? You won’t have to worry about your face turning orange with the made-in-Korea formula because it’s a powdered form of ascorbyl glucoside.
Vitamin C cannot be combined with acids, retinol, niacinamide, or exfoliants
For most people, it’s less about the combination of ingredients and more a case of the skin getting bombarded with too many actives as ingredient cocktails that are too potent can potentially cause irritation.
Take vitamin C and niacinamide, for example. This myth comes from outdated studies that suggest both ingredients can potentially react to form nicotinic acid which, in turn, causes irritation.
However, this happens only when non-stabilised forms of both ingredients are combined at very high temperatures, which is 100% not the case for our skincare application.
In fact, pairing these two ingredients can be a winning powerhouse combination, especially for tackling hyperpigmentation because the two work in different ways to combat discolouration.
Vitamin C is shown to inhibit the actual over-production of the pigmentation while niacinamide has been found to help prevent the transfer of the overproduced pigmentation within cells.
To counter the possibility of skin irritation though, it’s recommended to slowly work your way up, usually by using your skincare with active ingredients at different times of the day.
When we say “work your way up”, that doesn’t mean mixing your actives altogether in one routine; instead, spread out your actives between your morning and night routine or even between days or weeks.
See what feels right for your skin and always do a patch test. If you see even the slightest signs of irritation, it’s a good idea to scale back before the irritation worsens.
If you want to take the trouble out of the equation altogether, you can just opt for GTNC’s Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence which will not have an issue with exfoliating products such as the GTNC Pure Peeling Gel. In fact, it’s recommended to start your routine with the Pure Peeling Gel first before following up with the Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence to maximise the brightening effects.
GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence: What’s special about it
We’ve mentioned GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder essence a few times earlier in our article, and you may be wondering just how unique the formula is. Here’s what you should know about this vitamin C product.
It comes in a snow-like powder texture
Powered by ascorbyl glucoside (which you now know is a stable derivative of vitamin C), GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence is formulated to brighten the skin and tackle dark spots.
But, this is not your usual run-of-the-mill vitamin C skincare. Instead, the Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence comes in a powder texture inside the tiny bottle that looks and feels just like soft snow!
This snow-like powder texture, which is specifically chosen to preserve the freshness of the vitamin C derivative, instantly melts into a comfortable, fast-absorbing liquid upon application, which can then be easily massaged into the skin.
It goes beyond tackling dullness, uneven skin tone, and dark spots
Besides taking down dark spots and brightening the skin, GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence is capable of retaining moisture within the skin layers while improving skin elasticity all at once.
In addition to working on uneven skin tone, blemishes, and wrinkles, the formula also contains a blend of collagen as well as sea fennel and mallotus japonicus bark extracts for added anti-ageing properties.
It can target pigmentation issues effectively to offer laser-like luminosity
The Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence is designed to combat skin pigmentation effectively but don’t just take our word for it: consider the honest reviews by 10 DV readers who put the lightweight essence to the test for 14 days.
One particular reviewer, Sin Yee, saw results that were so significant and obvious on her skin within just one week of use, so much so that her partner even asked if she’d undergone laser treatment to brighten her skin!
To further maximise the skin-brightening benefits, you can pair the Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence with the Vitamin C Brightening Booster Ampoule.
Formulated with a blend of highly concentrated vitamin C, glutathione, and golden-bell (forsythia suspensa) extract, this skincare ampoule offers double the brightening effects by inhibiting melanin settlement deep within skin layers and dissolving existing dark spots on the skin’s surface.
To give you the smoothest, brightest skin possible, the GTNC Vitamin C Brightening Booster Ampoule comes in a specially designed container to keep the ascorbic acid in its freshest form before usage.
Additionally, the ampoule also offers strong antioxidant benefits to maintain skin health, elasticity, and moisture with ceramide, collagen, and hyaluronic acid added into the formula.
Both Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence and Vitamin C Brightening Booster Ampoule are tailored to our skin’s 28-day regeneration cycle so it’s recommended to use the products consistently for a month so that they can work synergistically with your skin’s renewal cycle to produce visible results.
Both essence and ampoule come in a set of four bottles and each bottle is meant for a week’s usage.
How to use the brightening skincare products from GTNC
To incorporate GTNC’s brightening skincare products into your routine, start by using GTNC Pure Peeling Gel after washing your face with your cleanser of choice.
After toning your skin, proceed to apply Vitamin C Brightening Booster Ampoule. To use, hold the bottom of the container and twist it. Then, shake the ampoule up and down about three to four times to activate the formula before patting it onto the skin.
Follow up by gently spreading the Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence over the entire face before applying your favourite moisturiser thereafter. In the morning, be sure to complete your routine with SPF to protect the skin from UV damage.
GTNC Pure Peeling Gel retails for S$30 and GTNC Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence is priced at S$180 (5g x 4). Meanwhile, GTNC Vitamin C Brightening Booster Ampoule retails for S$280 (8.8ml x 4). You can find all three products on GTNC’s official e-store.
As a special treat, GTNC is offering all DV readers an exclusive 20% discount when you shop! Just key in the promo code ‘DAILYVANITY‘ at the checkout page on GTNC’s official e-store to enjoy this offer.
For the best value for money, don’t miss out on GTNC’s special Review Promotion which lets you get the Vitamin C Snow Powder Essence at only S$10 (U.P. S$50).
There are only 100 sets available while stocks last, which you can purchase here.
This article is brought to you by GTNC.