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Here's Why An Expert Says It's So Important To Apply Vitamin C Topically To Your Skin

·3 min read

Dr. Mamina Turegano, MD, FAAD is a triple board-certified dermatologist who has been practicing for eight years.

the doctor smiling
Mamina Turegano

And Dr. Mamina is continuously speaking about the benefits of applying vitamin C topically to your face.

the doctor putting a drop of vitamin C on her hand

I mean, I would take advice from anyone whose skin looks like this👇...but thankfully Dr. Mamina is a credible expert!

the doctor applying vitamin C to her face

OK, so in one of her popular TikToks, she says, "Let's talk about the benefits of using a good vitamin C serum. A powerful antioxidant like vitamin C is a very effective component in an anti-aging skin regimen."

the doctor listing the two forms of vitamin C on her TikTok

"To demonstrate what it does, let's do a little experiment here where I cut an apple in half and apply one of my favorite vitamin C antioxidant serums to just one half of the apple and let it sit in the sun for about two hours."

doctor applying serum to an apple half

"Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. So, antioxidants protect your skin cells by neutralizing 'oxidative bombs' or stressors like UV rays and pollution."

the vitamin C apple looking fresh and the other half looking brown

"The result is a more even and bright skin tone by preventing hyperpigmentation and less wrinkles by stimulating collagen."

the doctor showing a closeup of the vitamin C apple

She concludes her TikTok by saying that vitamin C is a great addition to an anti-aging regimen, along with sunscreen and retinoids.

doctor's suggestion to try vitamin C with sunscreen and retinoid

BuzzFeed spoke to Dr. Mamina, who said that vitamin C actually benefits the skin in several different ways.

oranges and serums
Iryna Veklich / Getty Images

"It’s an antioxidant, which means it fends off free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are a result of a variety of offending agents, like UV rays, pollution, cigarette smoke, or stress. Free radicals can cause local damage in various tissues, like the skin. Antioxidants prevent collagen breakdown, and as a result, can also help with building more collagen. Antioxidants also work on the superficial layer of skin cells to improve skin function, and this can result in more bright and even skin tone. Vitamin C is a very potent antioxidant and a well-studied ingredient when it comes to skin health and anti-aging," she explained.

benefits of vitamin C on skin

You can read more about the benefits of applying vitamin C topically here.

@dr.mamina / tiktok.com

We asked Dr. Mamina if taking oral vitamin C supplements could have the same effect. She said that while it can be helpful for anti-aging purposes, you’re not going to see the same effects you would if you were applying it directly on the skin. "Vitamin C on the skin has a more potent effect locally," she added.

closeup of vitamin C apple looking fresh

So what type of topical vitamin C is the best? Dr. Mamina said it ultimately comes down to personal preference. "The two forms of vitamin C that I think are very effective are L–ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (or THD)."

serum with oranges

"For L-ascorbic acid, I recommend between 10%–20%. For THD, you can use closer to 20%–30% (this one is better for those with sensitive skin)," she said. You can buy it in a cream or serum, whichever works best for your skin. Always talk to your dermatologist before starting any new product, though!

Svitlana Romadina / Getty Images

So, there ya go – start incorporating vitamin C into your skincare regimen if you aren't already!

Disney

You can follow Dr. Mamina on TikTok and Instagram.