Vitamin C in Skincare Routine

There has already been a lot said about vitamin C and it’s anti-aging skin benefits, so I won’t go into detail here, and will just add a couple of informative links at the end of this post. Briefly, vitamin C can make skin more firm, even, and glowy, especially at higher concentrations. There might be quite a few challenges with finding a product that works- formulated right and is stable, using it at the right time and with the right products, as it needs certain PH to work; and with using it right so that it doesn’t cause irritation.

As someone with sensitive skin, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with vitamin C because it causes a lot of irritation. Sadly, there hasn’t been much information online on how to prevent the irritation. Perhaps, most people don’t have that issues, so this post will be for those who do. Currently I’m using The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 23%+ HA Spheres 2% , and finally figured out a way to use it in my routine to get the benefits and avoid burning and redness.

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(no foundation, just concealer under eyes)

First of all, I suggest adding vitamin C to skincare routing gradually and paying attention to how your skin feels. Actually, always pay attention to how your skin feels on a given day and adjust what you put on it accordingly. I’ll be talking about L-ascorbic acid here- LAA, since it is one of the most effective and affordable forms. LAA is very unstable, it needs Ph of 3.5 or lower to work, oxidizes when exposed to light or heat (can send one to Oompa Loompa land very fast), so don’t just go applying it whenever wherever.

I’m using LAA every other night- the nights that I’m not using tretinoin. I start off with cleansing my face thoroughly. Face wash of choice is usually something very mild and simple like Purpose- gets the makeup off, and doesn’t dry me out. Then I follow with spraying my face with a gentle toner like MAC Fix + or Lumene and letting it absorb, which is a few minutes. After that I apply a little bit of my LAA avoiding the eye area and find something else to do for the next 20-30 minutes. And then I follow with my BHA (either Paula’s Choice 2% gel or my new COSRX Blackhead Liquid Power). If my skin if feeling extra dry or a bit too sensitive I like to use snail mucus serum. On some nights I use Alpha-Lipoic acid instead of BHA. I’ll write more on that product in another post.

Ever since I switched to this more thoughtful routine the burning and irritation from LAA has stopped, and I am finally seeing skin that is firmer, more supple, glowy, and even.

A little warning. If you are just starting to use The Ordinary’s LAA, or any other LAA are afraid that the product is too harsh for you, you could dilute it with another product, but if you do so, make sure to check PH and ingredients. For example, LAA will not work with niacinamide.

Some useful sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11207686

Fantastic blogpost on LAA, BHA and AHA http://www.snowwhiteandtheasianpear.com/2015/01/skincare-discovery-putting-your.html

http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/anti-aging/_/how-does-vitamin-c-help-skin

Current Skincare Routine

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I’m always struggling between the desire to simplify my routines and wanting to try new things, which leads me to adjusting how and when I apply various products.

  1. Tretinoin Cream 0.05% has quickly become my favorite and can’t live without product. It deserves a separate post with actual skin photos. But there is no other skincare product that managed to change my skin as noticeably as tretinoin.
  2. Kiss My Face Face Factor SPF 30 is the only sunscreen I ever repurchased. Multiple times. Non-stinky, non-oily, moisturizing, soothing and comfortable to wear even for very sensitive skin. The price is also great, so you can actually apply the necessary amount as often as needed without any heartbreak.
  3. Lumene Refreshing Toner Bright Touch I’ve started using toners very recently, as I used to think they are an unnecessary extra step, but I have enjoyed this toner greatly. It is very moisturizing and non-irritating. No bad ingredients like alcohol, and nothing irritating. Unfortunately this exact toner has been discontinued as part of Lumene’s redesign, now they have face mists, which are probably great too.
  4. Mizon Snail 80 Intensive Repairing Serum is a wonderful moisturizing serum. Unscented plumping and brightening serum. Must have for those days when skin is sensitive and cranky.
  5. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Speres 2% is the most controversial item in my routine, as vitamin C is supposed to be a great anti-aging tool, but I find that I have to be very careful when using it on my sensitive skin. Took quite a bit of time to get used to this product. I currently use it on the nights I skip tretinoin.
  6. The Ordinary “Buffet” is the newest addition to my skincare routine, so at this point I can’t say how effective it is at fighting the signs of aging. I use it every morning after my toner. The serum has a thicker slippery consistence, easy to apply. It is unscented, which I love, doesn’t sting or burn, absorbs quickly without leaving any film or residue. It is packed with peptides and all the good stuff, so i’m looking forward to updating you on how it works.

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

This I a pretty famous product, but for some reason I bough it not long ago. And I love it! It comes on this nice tin container, that is easy to open even with wet/slippery hands, yet it is safe to throw in your purse, it closes securely.

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The cream is very thick, so you need just a little bit. It is 100% natural and smells soooo good- real sour lemon flavor. The butter is easy to apply throughout the day, as it isn’t too greasy, and I find it very moisturizing. I do a lot of housework, and my cuticles can look dreadful. I can see real improvements with this cream. It works so much better and is so much easier to use than oil.

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I’m wearing one coat of Sensationail’s Pink Chiffon SOG here.