You've heard that antioxidants are great for your skin, but why? What do they really do?
When sunlight and some environmental pollutants hit your skin, they dislodge electrons in some atoms, producing 'free radicals'. These free radicals, in turn, damage the supporting structure of your skin and even your cellular DNA. The result? Premature aging. Anti-oxidants are molecules that neutralize free radicals - in effect gobbling them up and preventing them from damaging your skin.
Vitamin C is one of the best-known and studied antioxidants today, which is why you see so many C serums on the market. Vitamin C not only functions as an antioxidant, but it gently exfoliates the skin and is shown to stimulate new collagen growth. That's why we love it so.
How to choose a C serum? And will Vitamin C help my skin? A minimum 15% concentration is important to achieve visible results; 20% is even better. Higher than that is probably too strong and can cause inflammation or intense peeling - not the result you want.
An important consideration in choosing a good Vitamin C product is knowing how stable it is. When it has 'oxidized,' it becomes less potent. What does oxidized vitamin C look like? It turns orange or brown after exposure to oxygen.
Since Vitamin C is notoriously unstable, look for microencapsulated forms in your serum. That way you won't be pouring orange or brown 'turned' product down the drain.
Bottom line: when you see vitamin C, green tea, acai, and other 'super antioxidant fruits' in your skin care, take notice!