Vitamin C Serum Side Effects


Vitamin C serum side effects are usually mild. Most people only run into problems if they start off using a very strong serum.  Most Vitamin C products contain L ascorbic acid, which is very acidic.  In order to be the most effective, Vitamin C serums must be formulated at a certain pH, which is rather low and potentially irritating.  Fortunately, if you allow your skin time to gradually adjust to the acidity, you can avoid most of the complications.

The most common Vitamin C serum side effects are related to the acidity of the product.  A low pH can irritate your skin, which results in itching and redness.  The acidity can cause mild chemical burns in sensitive skin types, but this is rare.  These serums can also cause your skin to peel, which can actually be a good thing because it’s an effective way to reduce wrinkles and discoloration.  You may have to deal with flaky skin for a few days, which you cannot pick off.  If you do, you can pull off live skin and cause bleeding and potentially small scars.

Luckily, you can avoid most Vitamin C serum side effects by using the products properly.  Don’t start off using the strongest serum you can find just because it is the most effective.  In order to really be effective as an anti aging product, a serum should contain between 15% and 20% of L ascorbic acid, and have a pH of around 3.5.  Unfortunately, most skin cannot tolerate these levels without experiencing side effects.  You should start out with weaker products to give your skin time to adjust.  A Vitamin C lotion or cream is usually very mild and will typically contain around 5% to 10% L ascorbic acid.  These products will have a milder pH and also contain soothing and moisturizing ingredients.  Start out using these products for a few weeks before moving up to mid strength Vitamin C skin care products, like a 10% serum.  Use each step for a few weeks or more before moving up, until you are using the strongest serums.

Vitamin C is an important part of a good skin care regimen, but can be problematic when used with other skin care products.  Sometimes you can experience negative Vitamin C serum side effects if you use them too closely after a strong exfoliation session, like a microdermabrasion treatment or a chemical peel.  When you expose fresh skin by exfoliating heavily, you need to be careful and treat it gently.  It doesn’t behave normally for a few weeks to a month, depending on your sensitivity and the strength of your exfoliation.  Don’t use a strong Vitamin C serum after a chemical peel for a week or longer, and at least a few days following a microdermabrasion treatment.  A mild Vitamin C cream or lotion can actually soothe fresh skin and possibly let it heal faster.

Some Vitamin C serum side effects aren’t obvious and are caused by using an old product.  Vitamin C must be fresh to be effective and needs to be stabilized with other ingredients.  Once it degrades and oxidizes, it can actually produce free radicals, which is a major contributor to aging.  You won’t see these effects, but they can still derail your anti aging skin care routine.  Use a fresh product from a reliable supplier.  Many have an expiration date on the package.  You can also make a homemade Vitamin C serum every week, to ensure you are using a very fresh product.

Vitamin C serum benefits are numerous and make the serums some of the most effective skin care products on the market.  They can increase collagen production, reduce wrinkles and acne scarring, and eliminate hyperpigmentation.  The positive far outweigh the negatives, especially considering you can avoid most problems by introducing Vitamin C into your skin care regimen gradually.  Don’t let Vitamin C serum side effects keep you from trying them.



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