It's no secret that oily skin is a challenge to manage; not only is it prone to shine and breakouts, but it can also be tough to find skincare products that don't exacerbate the problem; one product that can be beneficial for oily skin is vitamin C.
If you have oily skin, finding the right skincare products can be challenging; products that are good for other skin types can be too harsh or drying for oily skin. This is where vitamin C comes in; while it's good for all skin types, it can be especially beneficial for oily skin.
In this blog post, we'll take a look at the benefits of vitamin C for oily skin and share some of our favorite vitamin C serums for oily skin.
Is vitamin C serum good for oily skin?
Yes, vitamin C serum is good for oily skin because it provides an array of benefits that are essential for keeping your skin healthy.
9 Benefits of Using Vitamin C Serum For Oily Skin
Here are 9 benefits of vitamin C serum for oily skin:
1. Protects Against Environmental Aggressors
Environmental aggressors such as pollution and UV light cause free radical damage to your skin, damaging the natural moisture barrier, which leads to inflammation, dryness, collagen breakdown, dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect your skin from these environmental aggressors by scavenging free radicals and neutralizing them before they can cause damage.
A serum containing Deschampsia antartica extract, ferulic acid, and vitamin C has been shown to improve skin barrier function, reduce dark spots and counteract the skin oxidative stress in women living in high pollution areas.
2. Hydrates Deeply
Skipping moisturizer and using harsh skincare products that strip your skin of its natural oils causes your sebaceous glands to go into overdrive and produce even more oil to compensate for the loss of moisture which leads to breakouts.
Vitamin C plays a crucial role in promoting hydration and preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) from your skin because it acts as an antioxidant and protects the delicate lipid barrier of the skin from free radical damage.
A healthy skin barrier retains moisture better within the skin cells, which keeps them plump and supple.
3. Minimizes The Appearance Of Pores
Pore size is determined by the amount of sebum produced by the sebaceous glands. When these glands produce excess sebum, it can cause your pores to become enlarged and clogged.
Vitamin C hydrates oily skin, which helps minimize the appearance of pores by regulating sebum production and keeping the sebaceous glands from going into overdrive; here are other oil control products that help keep sebum under control to minimize the appearance of pores.
A study of 25 ethnic Korean patients with moderate to severe melasma found that four treatments of a superficial chemical peel using alpha-hydroxy acids, vitamin C, and oxygen at 1-2 week intervals improved pigmentation, pores, and evenness.
4. Fights Acne
Acne is caused by a build-up of dead skin cells, excess sebum, and dirt that gets trapped in and clogs the pores; this build-up which turns into a blockage, leads to inflammation, which manifests as pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.
Free radicals — produced when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun and by pollution and other environmental factors — damage the skin's natural moisture barrier by causing inflammation which leads to water loss, an increase in sebum production, and more vulnerability to external aggressors.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radical damage, has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe redness and swelling associated with acne breakouts, and hydrates the skin, which in turn helps to reduce sebum production and the formation of acne; along with these skincare tips you'll be able to fight acne and keep your skin clear.
In clinical trials, applying vitamin C twice a day has been shown to reduce acne lesions compared to using a placebo; it should be noted that there are only a limited number of clinical trials investigating the effects of vitamin C, and more research is needed to confirm these findings.
5. Prevents Future Acne Breakouts
Vitamin C's acidic properties make it effective at killing the bacteria that cause acne, preventing bacteria-induced breakouts.
6. Heals Acne Scars and Blemishes
Vitamin C promotes skin cell turnover and collagen production to renew skin cells quicker, which in turn, helps heal acne scars and blemishes faster.
7. Stimulates Collagen Production and Prevents Signs of Aging
Collagen is a protein that gives the skin its structure and firmness, but as we age, collagen production decreases, causing the skin to become loose and saggy.
Vitamin C promotes healthy cellular turnover and the production of new skin cells, stimulates collagen production, and reduces the damage caused by free radicals to prevent the signs of aging.
Studies on animals have revealed that applying a 5% solution of ascorbic acid to the skin 2 hours before exposure to UV light can help reduce wrinkling.
8. Evens Skin Tone and Brightens Your Skin
Discoloration, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation are caused by an overproduction of melanin in the skin.
Melanin is a pigment that gives the skin its color, but when it's produced in excess, it can cause patchy discoloration.
Vitamin C inhibits the production of tyrosinase — an enzyme that aids in the production of melanin — helping reduce existing pigmentation and prevent new dark spots from forming, hence, evening out skin tone and brightening the skin.
9. Reduces Inflammation
Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe redness and swelling associated with acne breakouts, eczema, and psoriasis.
How to pick a vitamin c serum for oily skin?
When looking for a vitamin c serum, it is essential to find one that is specifically tailored for oily skin. The following are the best tips on how to pick a vitamin c serum for oily skin:
1. Choose a water-based serum.
When choosing a vitamin C serum for oily skin, select a water-based product because they are lighter in texture, making them less likely to cause greasiness, more readily absorbed by the skin, and provide immediate results.
2. Look for L-ascorbic acid.
Vitamin C serums vary in how they are absorbed by the skin, with some forms being more suitable for oily skin than others.
L-Ascorbic Acid is a water-soluble, lightweight form of vitamin C that is easily absorbed by the skin and ideal for use on oily skin to ensure maximum absorption and effectiveness; here are also other ingredients for oily skin to get clear skin.
3. Check the concentration of vitamin C.
The concentration of vitamin C in a product also dictates how well it will be absorbed by the skin and how effective it will be.
The ideal concentration is between 5-20% L-Ascorbic Acid to make sure the serum will be effective without causing any unwanted side effects.
Your skin doesn't necessarily absorb more Vitamin C just because a product has a higher concentration of it.
The maximum absorption of Vitamin C happens with a 20% concentration, so having a higher concentration than that will likely lead to the excess transport of Vitamin C from tissues into the blood and eventually filtered out in urine.
It is important to start with a lower concentration and increase it gradually as your skin builds up tolerance.
Start by using it every other day to see how your skin reacts; if you don't experience any irritation, you can increase the frequency to daily use.
5 Best Vitamin C Serum For Oily Skin
There are many great vitamin C serums on the market, but some of our favorites that are tailored for oily skin include the following:
1. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic® With 15% L-Ascorbic Acid
2. TruSkin Vitamin C Facial Serum
3. Timeless Skin Care 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum
4. Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum
5. SeoulCeuticals Day Glow Serum
When shopping for a vitamin C serum, always check the expiration date, as these products have a short shelf life and quickly lose their potency; although we love all skincare brands, we swear by the Korean ones which is why we've compiled a list of the best Korean vitamin C serums that will transform your skin.
How to apply vitamin C serum for oily skin?
Start by cleansing your face with a mild cleanser to remove dirt, oil, or makeup. Then, dispense a small amount onto clean fingertips and gently pat it into your face and neck until it is fully absorbed.
When applying vitamin C serum, use a light touch and avoid harshly rubbing the product into the skin, as this can cause irritation.
Follow up with your usual skincare routine, and don't forget to apply sunscreen, especially if you'll be spending time outdoors; here's more on how to apply vitamin C serum correctly for maximum results.
When to apply vitamin C serum for oily skin?
The order in which you apply your skin care products matters because each product is designed to perform a specific function and works best when applied in a certain order.
For example, if you apply a serum before your moisturizer, the moisturizer will seal in the serum and help it work better. But if you apply the moisturizer first, it can block the serum from working at all.
In general, you should always start with the lightest product and work your way up to the heaviest product. So, if you are using a cleanser, toner (check out our list of the best Korean toner for oily skin), serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen, you would apply them in that order to allow each product to penetrate and do its job properly.
With that being said, it's best to apply vitamin C serum after cleansing and before applying your moisturizer and when your skin is damp because your skin becomes permeable, allowing Vitamin C to penetrate through easily, be fully absorbed and maximize its efficacy.
What's the best time of the day to apply vitamin C serum for oily skin?
Vitamin C serum can be used both in the morning and at night, but using it in the morning will give you the added benefit of protection from environmental damage throughout the day.
While using it at night will give your skin time to repair and regenerate from the damage that has already been done to your skin while you sleep.
Can you use vitamin C serum every day?
Yes, you can use vitamin C serum every day as part of your skincare routine. But if you're a first-time user, we recommend you always do a patch test first to see how your skin reacts to the product; if you experience any irritation, stop using the product and consult with a dermatologist.
NOTE: If you have sensitive skin, we suggest you consult your dermatologist first.
How to store your vitamin C serum properly?
Store your vitamin c serum in a cool and dark place to protect them from light and heat, which can degrade the vitamin C.
Once opened, your serum should be used within six months to a year; discard if the serum has changed color or become cloudy.
Are there any side effects of using vitamin C serum for oily skin?
Vitamin C serums are generally safe for all skin types, including oily skin. However, some people may experience side effects such as irritation, redness, swelling, or itchiness; if you experience any side effects, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist.
They can also make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, so always wear sunscreen when using these products, even on cloudy days; here are 35+ best sunscreens.
Vitamin C serums are an important part of any skincare routine, but they must be used correctly to be effective. If you have any questions or concerns about using vitamin C serum, speak with a board-certified dermatologist.