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Asian Skincare Ingredient 101: Vitamin C

I have a fair share of ingredients that I will always stan: niacinamide, azelai c acid, mandelic acid, centella asiatica, anything fermented—and vitamin C.

Vitamin C is one of those ingredients that I’ll always seek out to add into my skincare routine. It has an amazing plethora of benefits and can help your skin look really plump, dewy, and glowy—you know, the skin benefit trifecta.

Have you always wondered why Vitamin C is such a popular skincare ingredient? And what it actually does? Well, guess what? I’m here to help. Read on to find out all the deets for one of my favorite skincare ingredients.

What is Vitamin C?

While we might associate Vitamin C with oranges, lemons, and cold remedies, it plays an important function in the overall health of our bodies. Vitamin C (which can also be called L-ascorbic acid) is a vitamin that is found naturally in food, our bodies, and of course, skincare products.

Vitamin C Benefits

Vitamin C has a number of benefits in the skincare world, including:
  • Brightens the skin and helps with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Moisturizes the skin
  • Helps increase collagen production
  • Safe for all skin types
  • Heals wounds
  • Improves fine lines and wrinkles
  • Evens skin tone
So, as you see, Vitamin C does so, so much more than brightening (which I feel like is the main marketing tactic for it). Since it’s great for all skin types, you don’t have to worry about any irritation—that is unless you rub lemon directly on your face—something I advise you never, ever to do.

Now, there are some rumors about Vitamin C. Namely that it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun, when in reality, Vitamin C is actually an antioxidant ingredient that helps combat free radical damage you get from the sun. Now, Vitamin C is definitely not a substitute for sunscreen, but wearing it underneath your sunscreen can give it a little bit of a free radical-fighting boost. Iconic!

How to use Vitamin C

You can use Vitamin C in a number of ways. It’s infused into pretty much every single skincare product on the market, including facial cleansers, moisturizers, serums, toners, sheet masks, etc. There are even powder products that are designed to be added to any of your existing skincare products. You can use Vitamin C products during your day and nighttime routine, but a lot of people opt to use it in the day to help with the effects of sun damage and to avoid using it with other active ingredients like BHAs and AHAs at night.

Vitamin C Asian Beauty Products I Love

I got the chance to try out a number of awesome Vitamin C products, and guess what? All of them have a permanent spot in my summer skincare routine. We love to see it!

My Scheming Job's Tears + Vitamin C Brightening Hydro Gel Moisturizer

My Scheming Job's Tears + Vitamin C Brightening Hydro Gel Moisturizer

If you’re an oily/acne prone skinned person, or you just love a lightweight gel moment for the summer, then you’re going to want to get your hands on this My Scheming Vitamin C Hydro Gel. I haven’t used a true gel moisturizer in years—as I get older, my skin does need slightly more hydration and moisture than most gel products, but this one has been perfect for the muggy, humid summer here in Atlanta.

Notable ingredients include Job’s Tears (also known as pearl barley/corn beads/tear grass) is a traditional Asian staple crop. It helps brighten and hydrate the skin. Of course, there’s a healthy dose of Vitamin C too, which gives your skin a plump, hydrated appearance (and of course some brightening action too).

Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence

Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence

Let the records show that I am completely and utterly obsessed with this serum. The problem with most Vitamin C serums is that Vitamin C (or more specifically L-ascorbic acid) is incredibly unstable and oxidizes pretty quickly when exposed to light, oxygen and heat. This is why any Vitamin C serum worth your money should be packaged in a dark, amber colored bottle and kept in a cool, dark place.

However, the Melano CC Vitamin C serum, a product that’s dedicated to tackling pesky dark spots, is packaged in a small silver tube with a very unique tip that keeps out air and light and only dispenses a small amount of product per use. It has a lightweight serumy-oil texture that sinks into the skin pretty quickly, without the stickiness that most Vitamin C products have. It has been incredibly effective at reducing my hormonal acne PIH and leaves my skin looking really glowy. I am obsessed.

My Scheming L-Ascorbic Brightening Mask

My Scheming L-Ascorbic Brightening Mask

Thin sheet masks soaked in a rich essence are some of my favorite things in the world, which is why this mask has made its way into my unofficial top 10 favorite sheet masks of all time. It noticeably brightens the skin after one use and is perfect to use before a night out or on a day when you really want your makeup to look super glowy and hydrated. It’s formulated with cherry blossom, European plum extract and lotus extract, three ingredients that are high in antioxidants, help soothe your skin, and fight free radicals, and like the name implies, it also has antioxidant-rich L-ascorbic acid that helps fight signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkle

Melano CC Intensive Brightening Sheet Mask

Melano CC Intensive Brightening Sheet Mask

If you’re looking to make a sustainable change to your skincare routine and are avoiding using single use masks, this box of Melanco CC brightening sheet masks are up your alley. Instead of your traditional single use packaging, these masks (and there are a whopping 20 of them!) come in a small plastic box that you can keep on your vanity and pop on whenever your skin needs a pick-me-up. Just make sure to keep the box closed when not in use to avoid drying the masks out!

These masks are made with grapefruit and lemon extract, in addition to Vitamin E and C. I love to use these masks when I don’t have a lot of time (you only need to wear them for five minutes) but you still want a little hydrating boost before applying makeup.