Why You Need a Vitamin C Serum + 10 Tips on How to Use It

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

What is Vitamin C and Why Do You Need It in Your Skincare Routine?

Vitamin C serum has been around for a long time, but it wasn't until recently that it gained popularity in the skincare world. In the past, Vitamin C was mainly used in dietary supplements and as a remedy for scurvy, which was caused by a deficiency of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in the diet. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, a protein that helps maintain the health of connective tissues, skin, blood vessels, and bones. Without an adequate intake of Vitamin C, collagen production is impaired, leading to a range of significant health issues, particularly among sailors on long sea voyages where fresh fruits and vegetables were scarce. The lack of Vitamin C-rich foods during extended journeys led to widespread outbreaks of scurvy among seafarers.

The discovery that citrus fruits, such as lemons and limes, could effectively prevent and treat scurvy was a landmark moment in the history of nutrition. This discovery eventually led to the adoption of citrus fruits and other Vitamin C-rich foods into our diets, and laid the foundation for the recognition of Vitamin C's vital role in collagen synthesis and overall health. 

Fast forward to the present day, and the knowledge of Vitamin C's benefits on collagen production has transcended the realm of nutrition into the field of skincare, and with that, “Vitamin C Serum” has become a staple in many skincare routines.

A Vitamin C Serum contains a high concentration of Vitamin C which can be applied topically. The antioxidant properties in a Vitamin C serum help to protect the skin from free radical damage caused by UV radiation and pollution, one of the triggers of unwanted aging. Vitamin C also helps boost collagen production, improving the skin's texture and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making it a sought-after ingredient in anti-aging skincare products. 

Skincare experts and enthusiasts alike recognize its potential to brighten the complexion and inhibit melanin production, which can help fade dark spots and even out skin tone. So, whether you're dealing with dullness, uneven skin tone, or signs of aging, incorporating a Vitamin C serum into your skincare routine can be a game-changer for anti-aging and maintaining a radiant, youthful glow.

What This Active Ingredient Does for Your Skin

Some of you might already know that Vitamin C is a powerhouse when it comes to anti-aging and achieving radiant, luminous skin. For those of you who are curious, here are four key reasons you need Vitamin C in your skincare routine. 


Vitamin C achieves a moisturizing effect that neutralizes the skin to balance the skin tone and manage oil and sebum production, contributing to a smooth, soft skin texture and skin tone that appears more radiant.


Vitamin C has been shown to inhibit the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. By regulating melanin synthesis, Vitamin C can help reduce hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. Vitamin C also helps promote a more even distribution of your melanin, reducing the contrast between dark spots and the surrounding skin, which contributes to an overall brighter and more uniform skin tone.


Vitamin C is directly involved in the production of collagen–what the skin itself is made of. It works at the molecular level to not only stimulate collagen but to function as a building block of collagen production. It works at the cellular level as well as the structural level. 


Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps protect the skin from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can trigger inflammation and disrupt the natural balance of the skin. By preventing and mitigating inflammation, Vitamin C contributes to maintaining a healthier and more balanced skin environment like reducing breakouts and pore size. This dual action makes Vitamin C a valuable ingredient in skincare for addressing both oxidative stress-related concerns and inflammatory conditions.

Understanding the Different Types of Vitamin C

When selecting a Vitamin C serum, it's important to be aware of different types of Vitamin C. Here are the most common ones:

  • L-Ascorbic Acid: L-Ascorbic Acid is the most common and pure form of Vitamin C. It is highly effective but can be unstable and prone to oxidation, meaning it may lose its potency over time.

  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate: More stable than L-Ascorbic Acid, and less likely to irritate, making it a suitable choice for sensitive skin.

  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: Stable and less likely to irritate, meaning it is ideal for those with sensitive, dry or mature skin.

  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: A lipid-soluble form of Vitamin C, making it oil-soluble and more stable. It is known for its ability to penetrate the skin effectively.

In the context of skincare and Vitamin C, "stability" refers to the ability of the Vitamin C compound to resist oxidation and maintain its chemical structure over time. Oxidation is a process that occurs when a substance reacts with oxygen, and in the case of Vitamin C, it can lead to a loss of potency and effectiveness.

In the development of KaramMD Skin, I aimed to create an exceptional Vitamin C serum that addresses various skin concerns and delivers remarkable long-lasting results, without losing potency over time. While L-Ascorbic Acid is known for its effectiveness, it is also prone to oxidation and its efficacy diminishes. It is also the most common Vitamin C known to cause sensitivities and irritation and is not suitable for all skin types.

After years of contemplation, research and development, I formulated a product that not only provides all of the amazing benefits Vitamin C has to offer, but goes beyond expectations of your typical serum. 

I combined three most stable forms of Vitamin C to ensure that you receive the intended benefits of Vitamin C for the entire life of the product. And those three types of Vitammin C also happen to be the most tolerable for all skin types, including Ethyl Ascorbate Acid, known as the next-generation Vitamin C, because it is a highly stable, non-irritating, patented derivative. 

My proprietary Vitamin C serum combines three active forms of Vitamin C:

  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: Acts as a melanin inhibitor for an even skin tone.

  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: Increases collagen synthesis to reduce lines and wrinkles.

  • Amino Propyl Ascorbyl Phosphate: Helps produce collagen and fights against free radical damage to the skin.

Quench: The Perfect Vitamin C Serum

When I developed the Trifecta, my initial goal was to include all of the important ingredients you needed into one product. However, when I got to Vitamin C, it felt so important, I decided to create Quench as a standalone product, with the focus on Vitamin C as its primary active ingredient. 

Quench is not a standard Vitamin C Serum; it is a combination of 3 different formulations of Vitamin C and other supporting ingredients, like Aloe Vera and Licorice Root. This proprietary combination of Vitamin C was designed to increase the effectiveness of the product over standard Vitamin C formulations, yet would be well tolerated by all skin types–sensitive skin, oily, dry, or young, mature, and even combination skin. My goal was to create a Vitamin C serum that everyone could benefit from.

With this being said, since Quench stands alone, it does not have a standard concentration comparison that you are used to seeing, because this particular compound out performs the typical Ascorbic acid that is used in many Vitamin C serums. Unlike other serums that cause sensitivity, Quench is safe to use morning and evening, even alongside powerful ingredients like Retinol. The key is using stable, moderated doses of Vitamin C twice daily in comparison to using a 10-12% Vitamin C serum once daily. This is much more effective and also avoids reactions like breakouts and irritation. Quench is a perfect complement to the powerful actives in Illuminate and Rinse, making Trifecta the ideal skincare ally for a healthy, youthful glow.

Benefits of Quench into Your Skincare Routine

As someone who has been a loyal user of Quench for several years, I have witnessed firsthand the remarkable effects it has had on my skin. Not only that, but I've seen the positive impact it has had on my wife's experience with Melasma. The consistent and long-term use of this Vitamin C Serum has truly convinced me of its efficacy in promoting healthier and more radiant skin. Here are some specific benefits you can expect when using Quench Vitamin C Serum as part of the Trifecta skincare system:

  • Brightening and Even Skin Tone

    • One of the standout benefits of Quench Vitamin C serum is its ability to brighten the skin. The serum has noticeably improved the overall tone of my skin, providing a more radiant and even complexion.

  • Reduced Hyperpigmentation

    • Quench Vitamin C serum's formulation, with addition of Trehalose and Licorice Root,  seems particularly effective in addressing and managing hyperpigmentation due to sun damage or even, Melasma.

  • Antioxidant Protection

    • Vitamin C is renowned for its powerful antioxidant properties. Using Quench has provided a shield against environmental stressors, helping to protect my skin from free radicals and everyday pollutants.

  • Collagen Synthesis and Firmness

    • Over the years, I've noticed an improvement in the firmness and elasticity of my skin since incorporating Trifecta. The serum's promotion of collagen synthesis has contributed to a more youthful and resilient complexion.

  • Reduced Appearance of Fine Lines and Wrinkles

    • Quench (along with Rinse and Illuminate) has played a significant role in diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and I’m not alone. Our Clinical Study showed 100% of participants agree that regular use of Trifecta has resulted in smoother skin texture with less fines lines and an overall reduction in the signs of aging.

  • Hydration Boost

    • The serum's formulation seems to provide a hydrating boost to my skin. It doesn't just stop at addressing specific concerns; it also ensures that my skin stays moisturized and supple.

  • Consistency and Quality

    • One thing I am so proud of is the consistent quality for a Vitamin C serum. We use only premium, top-tier ingredients, and due to the stability of our selected Vitamin C types, the serum has maintained its effectiveness, meaning you can rely on it as an effective staple in your skincare routine.

My experience and feedback around Quench Vitamin C serum has been overwhelmingly positive, and this is validated by the reviews that continue to pour in. From its brightening effects to its role in protecting and addressing specific skin concerns, this serum has become an indispensable part of the Trifecta system. The visible results speak for themselves, making it a product that I can confidently recommend to others looking to enhance the health and appearance of their skin.

Top 10 Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Vitamin C Serum

And just for fun–for those of you just starting out with Vitamin C serum and would appreciate a little guidance on how to incorporate it into your daily routine, or what to be aware of when layering with other ingredients, here is a list of my best advice for how to get the most out of your Vitamin C serum.

01. Cleanse Before Applying

  • Start with a clean canvas. Ensure your skin is free from makeup, dirt, and impurities by cleansing with a daily cleanser like Rinse, before applying your Vitamin C serum.

02. Apply on Damp Skin:

  • Applying your serum on slightly damp skin can help with absorption. Pat your skin towel-dry after cleansing, but leave it slightly damp before applying the serum. 

03. Layer Products Correctly:

  • Follow the correct order of application. Generally, apply products from thinnest to thickest consistency. Serums often come before heavier creams or lotions, so you use Quench before applying Illuminate Anti-Aging Cream.

04. Use a Pea-Sized Amount:

  • Serums are concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Use a pea-sized amount (about one drop of Quench is all you need) to cover your face and neck. Massage it into your skin using upward and outward motions.

05. Apply Twice a Day:

  • Use your Vitamin C serum both in the morning and at night for consistent benefits. Your morning application will focus on protection (antioxidants), while your evening application can target repair and rejuvenation.

06. Combine Actives Carefully:

  • If using multiple active ingredients, be cautious about potential interactions, as some combinations may be too harsh to use together and can cause irritation. To avoid having to worry about potential reactions or wrong order, use skincare systems like Trifecta, that have all of the active ingredients you need, carefully crafted with the right percentages to enhance each of the ingredients’ potential, without risk of irritation.

07. Use Vitamin C AND Retinol:

  • I know this combo gets bad press, but they are two of the most crucial anti-aging ingredients for your skin. Use products that have been formulated together, like Quench Vitamin C Serum and the Retinol found in its counterpart, Illuminate. The Retinol has been encapsulated and moderated to work hand-in-hand, both day and night, with the strength of my Vitamin C blend.

08. Incorporate New Products One at a Time:

  • If you have sensitive skin, try new products one at a time, especially if they contain potent ingredients and have not been formulated by the same brand. This helps prevent adverse reactions and ensures compatibility with your skin as well as your other products.

09. Protect with Sunscreen:

  • Many serums, especially those containing antioxidants, work to protect the skin. However, they should be complemented with daily sunscreen to provide comprehensive protection against UV rays.

10. Be Patient and Consistent:

  • Skincare results take time. Be patient and consistent with your routine. It may take a few weeks to months to fully notice significant improvements.

You can check out this video, where I talk more about what Vitamin C can do for this skin and why it is a must if you’re trying to achieve or maintain beautiful skin. 

Sign up for more Journal articles to keep you informed on all the best skincare practices, how to treat certain skin conditions, ingredient spotlights, and everything you need to know about enhancing the longevity of your skin. Find me on YouTubeInstagram, and TikTok, for all the information I share about skin health and anti-aging, and shop all of our clinically-tested products on KaramMD Skin and get started on your skincare journey with Trifecta.

Want to help others on their skincare journey? Join my newsletter and share these articles to help spread awareness on how to properly care for skin. Knowledge is power, and I want to empower as many people as I can about how to nurture your skin's health and enhance your natural radiance. I am deeply passionate about this, and each week I take the time to provide you with valuable tools and insight to achieve amazing, long-lasting results, and ultimately, help you feel more confident in your own skin.

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