Vitamin C Serum Demystified: A Closer Look

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

Vitamin C serum has become a popular skincare product in recent years and for good reason. It contains a high concentration of Vitamin C, one of my favorite antioxidants, to protect the skin from free radical damage caused by UV radiation and pollution. It also helps boost collagen production, improving the skin's texture and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C has also been shown to inhibit melanin production, which can help fade dark spots and even out skin tone.

Let's breakdown the origins of Vitamin C, the benefits and how it should be a key ingredient in any skincare routine.

What is Vitamin C Serum?

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. In the 1990s, researchers discovered that Vitamin C could also positively affect the skin when applied topically. Since then, Vitamin C serum has become a staple in many skincare routines.

Vitamin C serum comprises a combination of Vitamin C and other ingredients that help to stabilize and enhance its effectiveness. Some of the most common ingredients found in Vitamin C serum include:

  • L-ascorbic acid is the most common form of Vitamin C in skincare products
  • Vitamin E helps to enhance the effectiveness of Vitamin C and protects the skin from environmental damage
  • Ferulic acid is an antioxidant that helps to stabilize Vitamin C and enhance its effectiveness
  • Hyaluronic acid helps to hydrate the skin and improve its texture

What Does Vitamin C Serum Do?

As someone who has personally used Vitamin C serum for years, I can attest to its benefits for the skin. Here are some of the benefits and uses of Vitamin C Serum:

  • Brightens the skin and reduces the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation
  • Boosts collagen production, which can make the skin appear firmer and more youthful
  • Vitamin C serum is an antioxidant, which means it can help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and environmental stressors
  • Hydrates skin to improve its overall texture and tone
  • Softens fine lines and wrinklesReduces redness and acne

The Science Behind Vitamin C and Proper Usage

Vitamin C serum works by penetrating the skin and stimulating collagen production. Collagen is a protein that gives the skin its elasticity and firmness. Our bodies produce less collagen as we age, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. Vitamin C serum can help boost collagen production, making the skin appear firmer and more youthful.

In addition to boosting collagen production, Vitamin C serum is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV radiation.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Vitamin C serum:

  • When applying Vitamin C serum, it is essential to start with clean, dry skin
  • Take a few drops of the serum and massage it into your skin using upward and outward motions
  • You can use your fingertips or a cotton pad to apply the serum, whichever you prefer
  • Use your serum twice daily for the best results - I recommend in the morning and before you go to bed
  • Store it in a dark, cool place, as Vitamin C is sensitive to light and air
  • Make sure to keep the lid tightly closed to prevent air from getting in

Types of Vitamin C

When choosing a serum, you should be aware of several different types of Vitamin C. Here are the most common types:

  • L-Ascorbic Acid is the most common and effective form of Vitamin C. It's also the most unstable, so choosing a serum that contains L-Ascorbic Acid in a stabilized form is essential.
  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is more stable than L-Ascorbic Acid and less likely to irritate. It's a good choice for those with sensitive skin.
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is also stable and less likely to irritate. It's a good choice for those with dry or mature skin.

Quench: Powerhouse Vitamin C Serum

When developing my skincare line, I wanted to be sure to create an exceptional Vitamin C serum. Harnessing the power of Vitamin C, this serum was meticulously formulated to address multiple skin concerns and deliver remarkable results. Through years of research and development, I aimed to develop a product that not only offers potent antioxidant protection, promotes collagen synthesis, and brighten complexion, but goes above and beyond blending together 3 forms of active Vitamin C:

  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate - acts as melanin inhibitor for even skin tone
  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate - increases collagen synthesis to reduce lines & wrinkles
  • Amino Propyl Ascorbyl Phosphate – helps produce collagen and fights against free radical damage to skin

More on This


  • KaramMD Customer Service

    Hi Elayne, thank you for your question about the Quench serum. Quench is not a standard Vitamin C Serum, it is a combination of 3 different formulations of Vitamin C and other supporting ingredients. It is designed to increase the effectiveness of the product over standard Vitamin C formulations, yet be well tolerated by all skin types, even sensitive skin. With this being said, we cannot give you 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. Dr. Karam believes that microdosing Vitamin C twice daily in comparison to using a 10-12% Vitamin C serum once daily is much more effective and also avoids reactions like breakouts and irritation. I hope this explanation helps answer your question. Quench is simply the best, and I hope you enjoy it too.

  • elayne slimak

    As someone who has used Vitamin C for many years and is interested in your Trifecta product line I would to know what is the percentage of C in your line? Thank you!!

  • Cheryl

    I’m so happy to have found Dr Karam, his expertise and his Trifecta. I’ve used it twice daily for about three months now and I am complimented daily on my skin. Thank you!

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