ALL about Vitamin C: One of the Best active skincare ingredients you need to use!

Amir Karam MD Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Founder / Creator of KaramMD Skin

Because I specialize in skin rejuvenation, I’m here to help you look as young as you feel. Preventing damage and restoring your skin comes down to one simple principle: what makes skin look better over time is an awareness of what active ingredients you use and consistent sun protection. 

In this journal entry, we’ll look at how the skin ages, and I’ll tell you all about Vitamin C, one of the best active skincare ingredients you need to use. Watch this video to learn more about this powerhouse anti-aging ingredient and why I recommend it to everyone.

How the skin ages

With age, you’ll notice:

Pigmentation as sun damage rises to the surface

Loss of collagen, which causes frailty, fine lines, and wrinkles

Dehydration, which causes dryness and dullness

Textural changes from environmental exposure to airborne pollutants

Textural changes from exposure to food or lifestyle-based toxins

All of these effects compound and cause the skin to age. As somebody who creates skincare products that do something meaningful and real to the skin, I consider how to address these things simultaneously. My answer: Vitamin C, which hits nearly all of these skin-aging instigators.

Vitamin C: the secret weapon for aging skin

Vitamin C is clinically proven imperative as a multi-faceted part of treating the different components of skin aging. To be deliberate and serious about managing aging skin, we need to be incorporating this ingredient into a consistent regimen.

First, Vitamin C is vital for fighting free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that damage cells and accelerate aging; the sun is a significant generator of these atoms. As an active molecule, Vitamin C is an antioxidant that absorbs existing free radicals while protecting against them.

Second, you’ll notice the following improvements when using Vitamin C consistently over time:

Reduced pigmentation

Fewer fine lines and wrinkles

Increased brightness and hydration

Reduced redness and acne

At the cellular level, Vitamin C assists fibroblasts (the primary skin cells) in producing collagen. Stimulating collagen production is the foundation of youthful-looking skin; it’s essential for restoring plump skin with a lit-from-within glow. It also limits melanin production long-term for a more even skin tone and reduced blotchiness.

Building a good skincare lifestyle around Vitamin C

The two fundamental cellular changes caused by Vitamin C-melanin suppression and collagen stimulation are anti-aging 101. My goal is to keep your skin looking better day after day going forward, which is what this is all about.

Vitamin C works best when paired with retinol to stimulate collagen production while decreasing pigmentation. I specifically developed Illuminate to pair the two without producing the harshness and sensitivity of combining Vitamin C and retinol. Similarly, you’ll notice improved tone and texture when you add a skin lightener, such as hydroquinone or herbal-based products.

Countless other active ingredients work well with Vitamin C. Some improve hydration, while others brighten and enhance cell turnover. If I were to narrow it down to the three most vital ingredients to pair with Vitamin C for improving skin long-term, they would be:


And, of course, you must maintain good skincare habits to make the most of your efforts. This includes:

Regular use of a mineral-based sunscreen
Avoid smoking
Limit exposure to toxins
Maintain a balanced, protein-rich diet
Stay hydrated
Get enough sleep
Taking an oral Vitamin C supplement, which is crucial in collagen production

How often to use Vitamin C

This depends on your chosen brands; generally, Vitamin C is used topically once or twice daily. Bottling and packaging also matter, as Vitamin C can lose efficacy with sun exposure; some are more air-sensitive. Make sure your topical is in dark, air-tight packaging to get the most out of your efforts.

Your skincare expert, Dr. Amir Karam


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