Skincare Must-Haves: Vitamin C

Skincare Must-Haves: Vitamin C

Man you know sometimes I just wish there
was an ingredient that would, I don’t know, help protect my skin from the Sun.
You know just something that would give me an anti-pigmentory effect. Now I
mean I just really want something which helps stop DNA breakdown! Let’s talk
about vitamin C. First of all I just want to go into some detail about why vitamin
C is important, and there are four big reasons. The first reason is it’s a
really really potent antioxidant, so there’s gonna be a couple of terms in
here which will probably make no sense to you so let’s just get them out of the
way first of all. So one is matrix metalloproteinases and these are things
that you don’t really want to have too many of because they degrade your own
collagen and they stop you from making more of your own collagen so that’s a
bad thing and basically if you use a vitamin C it helps to get rid of those
matrix metalloproteinases so you don’t have as many of them. Which can only be a
good thing right? And these matrix metalloproteinases are,
well your body produces more when you go out in the Sun so if you slap on some
vitamin C before you go out in the Sun you don’t produce as many of these
matrix metalloproteinases and you don’t get as much aging of the tissue.
And this has been proven to actually occur in various different clinical
studies. So sometimes a product will come to market that doesn’t really have that
much evidence behind it but because they’re marketing’s you know really
amazing everybody just totally buys into it and you know we’ve got to all have
the latest I don’t know product with Himalayan salt scrubbing or whatever
because it’s super anti-aging, well vitamin C has been proven many many many
hundreds of times before to have this really potent anti-aging effect because
it’s an antioxidant. It’s also been shown that
vitamin C has a potential to stop us from getting skin cancer because it
reduces sunburn cell production by about forty to sixty percent. The second thing
is it’s a cofactor for two enzymes which help to stabilize collagen, so if you’ve
got more collagen in your tissue your skin is going to be more healthy. The
third thing is it’s the primary replenisher of vitamin E, so vitamin C and
E have a synergistic effect in the skin. The fourth thing is it’s great if you
suffer from hyperpigmentation because it’s a tyrosinase blocker. So it helps to
dampen down any pigment that you might be getting. There are loads of vitamin C
types available on the market and one which you’ve probably all heard of is
l-ascorbic acid. L-ascorbic acid is a molecule which really likes water, which
means it’s quite hard for it to penetrate inside the skin. For it to
penetrate well it needs to be at a pH of 3.5 or less. Loreal, so brands like
skinceuticals contain L ascorbic acid and I have a couple of examples for you
here. First up we’ve got the Phloretin F
which is by SkinCeuticals, also there Serum 10 and there CE Ferulic contain
L ascorbic acid. Other examples would be the Obagi medical professional C serum
and the Vichy Vitamin C brightening skin corrector. The drunk elephant also
l-ascorbic acid. But it’s not all about the l-ascorbic acid there are other
brands which contain different types of vitamin C, so here we’ve got the Teoxane RHA VCIP serum which contains a score build tetra iso palmitate. I have
done a search of this, can’t find that much published on it unless it’s just me
not being able to find it but I doubt that very much.
Ao ascorbyl palmitate is normally used, and this is normally marketed as a
vitamin C esther, it’s a decent product. I mean decent in a kind of British
understated ‘it’s a good product’ way, not as in it’s okay. You feel me?
This Lixr paste is also L ascorbic acid but what I find a bit weird is you
put it on and then you take it off again so not really sure about that. It’s just
a morning mask it makes more sense to me to keep the vitamin C on your skin
throughout the day not just put it on and then take it off, maybe it’s just me
I don’t know. This Mabel and Meg product is quite interesting because it doesn’t
have to be as low a pH for this vitamin C to penetrate so this has got sodium
ascorbate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate which is an
interesting one because it doesn’t have to be as low a pH for it to penetrate
the skin and it lasts a long time it’s very stable. It’s also really really good
if you have acne, there are a couple of other really common vitamin C’s one is a
ascorbyl six palmitate and other one magnesium ascorbyl phosphate but I
don’t have any products to show you those in. One last thing about vitamin C
is that there have been some studies to show that it needs to be at least 8% for
it to be effective and anything above about 20% has just been shown to be
irritating with no added benefit. So that’s why most serums only go up to a
20%. Okay guys so that’s it for today, I hope you enjoyed the video and if you’re
not using a vitamin C let me know in the comment section below why you’re not
doing it yet! Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and come back next week
for more skincare chat, and if you want to hang around and watch me juggle these
three lemons just stick around for few more seconds


  1. haha omg funny and informative…well, I never tough about Vitamic C for the skin but I dont know how to include it on my skin rutine.

  2. Very fun and interesting ! I wonder what you think of the Vitamin C products from the Ordinary. Some people seem to say their containers don't suit the purpose of the product because it gets oxidized once opened. I'll check the products you've mentionned but I'm afraid some of them are out of my budget zone 😂

  3. I've recently been looking into using a vitamin c serum but it's so difficult to choose one as there are lots of warnings that the serums go "off" very quickly. Which mid to high-end vitamin c serum would you recommend or which is your all time favourite?

  4. What an interesting viedo .. was so fun to watch and loved the ending as wel 😘 glad that I bought a vitamin c serum by image skin care last week from a clinic .. it is a medical grade brand and has got 15 % Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate,Magnesium Ascorbate ,Ascorbyl palmitate and lots of peptides… I am sure you know this brand and hope am using the right product… .. please make a viedo on plant stem cell serums and growth factor serum .. no idea about theses .. but love to know your thoughts on one episode .. Thanks for educating 👍😍

  5. Vitamin C is and always will be one of the most coveted powerhouse anti-aging ingredients in skincare. As long as you purchase one with an adequate PH balance, proper packaging, preferably an opaque bottle with a pump dispenser or dropper, you're good to go. I highly recommend Paula's Choice. In the seven years or so that I've been using her products, my skin has literally transformed.

  6. Very informative! It would be nice to see a video about what really works on an easily visible difference level! I'm someone who's always very sceptical about skincare products and truly believe 90% of them if not more lol are actually a total waste of time and money! Can you do a video on what really really REALLY works!? Like something that makes a clear visible difference from using it? xx

  7. I never had any pimple on my face..never!
    Last year, at 39, I started to use rylastil hyaluronic acid and poppy austin vitamin c.
    The creams/serum are sold as "non comedogenic"…but I got pimples and I've beed fighting for one year (AHA and retain A didn't fix the problem).
    A coincidence?

  8. Hi is sodium ascorbyl phosphate safe to use along with retinol ? I was using image skin care one but it’s giving me acne so found one by mad hippie which has 10 % of this vitamin c derivative.. thanks

  9. my grandma (god rest her) looked amazing for her age, in her 80's she looked about 65- despite a heart condition, diabetes and being on about 15 medications she looked amazing, she ate an orange a day, wore factor 50 year round, wore a huge wide brimmed hat in the summer (like joan collins) and she used to make a face mask of Nivea cream,citrus rind, tea and cucumber.

  10. Love your channel, awesome sense of humor! I have been learning so much about skin care, just to say thank you and big hugs from Tennessee, USA.

  11. New to your channel and have binged like 10 of your videos today haha. Would love you to do a video on dermarolling! 🙂

  12. I'm also new to your channel. Not sure what algorithm put you in my path, but I'm so glad it did. So now I have a mirror with me when you're doing fillers. I'm 58 and thought I looked pretty good for my age. But now, ugh!
    Well the good news is that I live in Los Angeles County. No shortage of clinics here. But I'm definitely taking you along with me so I can show them how it's done. Lol! So can I just run an orange, lemon or lime on my face? I work from home, so no big deal. Nobody will see me. Plus, Bonus- I have citrus fruit trees!

  13. Hi Doc
    What is the benefit of a topical vitamin C as apposed to an high strength vitamin C supplement, wouldn't it work better from the inside out, so to speak 😀

  14. Dr. Tonks, I think I’m in love, although I’d never make a comment like the one Amin did in one of your other videos. Classic 😂.

    Serious question. Would love to know your thoughts on micro needling and whether it’s safe for ppl like me (I studied at the University of Google) to do at home? Disclaimer – I already bought a Dr. Pen and have used it a couple of times… keep the hilarious (and very informative) videos coming! 😘

  15. Love your channel!
    Avoided Vit. C. after following instructions on a Body Shop formula back in the 2000's caused major irritation (to the point of it looking like rosacea) and burning sensation. I was not using other active products back then. Not sure if it was due to pH, vit. C or some other ingredient. I have reactive skin, but have found products with ceramides and niacinimide help ease sensitivity.

  16. I get a lot of questions about this because various people say vitamin c doesn’t work, and why would they say that.

    It’s all about level of evidence, the trials are not large in humans, but some people won’t be satisfied unless they see a Cochrane review on the subject.

    For me as long as something is not harmful and might be of benefit, then I’m all for it.

    You can see some examples of studies here:

    These are just some I pulled at random from the internet.

  17. Hey Dr T, would products with plain ascorbic acid still be worth buying? or are they useless compared to other forms like L-ascorbic acid? Thanks!

  18. my sister struggled, since i can remember with a very severe case of neurodermatitis. apparently there is a molecule adhering to the vitamin c that causes the skin to react, which means she has to avoid anything with a high vitamin c content. that's why i would assume she is still not using vitamin c in her skin care.

  19. I’ve read a few articles claiming vitamin C shouldn’t be worn during the day as the UV light breaks down the molecule unless you layer sunscreen on top of it. What’s your opinion on the usage? Should you use it in the daytime or nighttime?

  20. Hi Dr !is it true that vit c with sun exposure induces more hyperpigmentation?sun exposure I mean our African sunlight kind of even birds do not fly but walk near walls seeking the shadows if u see what I mean.thank you

  21. Do you think it's safe to use vitamin C and a good sunscreen all year round ,even if you live in a country with 360 days of sunshine and about 38 C celsius in the summer months and not getting burnt ? Please tell me what you think.Thank you very much

  22. I have been using Vitamin C religiously over the course of the last year and have seen no discernible results and if anything it might be causing some irritation. I'm wondering if it is a strength/pH issue, or the fact that the product degrades over time with the packaging? I see so much about how Vitamin C is so unstable, I'm just wondering if I'm wasting my time and money with the wrong products.

  23. What about The Ordinary 100% Ascorbic Acid powder? you said the L-Ascorbic Acid only needs max of 20% to be effective, so it the 100% just overkill or its needed because it's different type of Vitamin C?

  24. what do you think about using The Ordinary's: Buffet followed by their Vitamin C 30% in silicon under their Mineral SPF30? That's what I'm doing in the morning =) I figured > Feed the skin peptides > Protect it with Vit C (locked in with silicon) and seal the deal with SPF30

  25. Do you think consuming foods rich in vitamin C, linoleic acid, carotenoids, L-Cysteine and sphingolipids to be of more benefit to your skin than simply applying them topically? I apply NAG topically and also consume it to help with arthritis, hyperpigmentation and hopefully help with an increase in HA production!

  26. I’m in a skincare group on fb (😬GEEK) and the general consensus is that the skin absorbs as much vitamin c in 1 minute as it can and that’s why it’s used as a mask, also so it doesn’t oxidise on the skin. Not sure if this is from a reputable study or is bollocks 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

  27. I bought a vitamin c face cream and serum a few days ago, and I really see a difference in the way my skin looks. Great to know it's not just my imagination.

  28. Dr Sarah Tonks, have you spoke about fillers and how long they last? I have a high metabolism and fillers and Botox doesn’t last long. Any ideas? Thx

  29. Hey, can you recommend a cheap, cruelty free vitamin C product? I'm a student so don't have much spare cash unfortunately! Superdrug do an own brand moisturiser at around £5, and The Body Shop do one at £16 – is either good ,or could you recommend any others? Preferably <£10. Thanks!!!

  30. hi Sarah, would you say the drunk elephant and c e ferulic serum are quite comparable? i am using drunk elephant atm and wondering if its worth the double the price for the skinceuticals. thank you for all the info <3

  31. Great! I have been using a Vitamin C serum but saw another video that showed a 25% vitamin C serum and it said that most Vitamin C serums are only 20% at most, so I was considering going out to buy the 25% serum. So, THANKS SO MUCH for putting me straight on this, but especially for explaining the science be

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