Vitamin C Serums During Pregnancy
Congratulations, mama to be, you’re pregnant and beautiful and that’s amazing. Whats not so amazing is, now that you’re pregnant your skin care routine has to change. I gotta say, it took me years to figure out the perfect skin care routine and now it has to change. I had a whole system: cleansers, toners, my favorite vitamin C serum in the morning and my retinol cream at night, moisturizers, oils, you name it I had it. My skin care routine was perfect!
Some months ago, before I got pregnant, my bestie and I were walking in Bryant Park, in NYC and although I’m not sure how the topic came about we started talking about creams during pregnancy. She said to me that the creams you use go straight into the blood stream and (depending on the substance) can affect the baby. I did my own research and yes, its true! Months later, when I actually got pregnant, I remembered our conversation and started my journey of research. Fingers crossed, I was foolishly hoping all of my products were safe to use. Spoiler - they weren’t!
I’ll get to the long list of ingredients you should not use in another article. But for now, let me start with my absolute favorite beauty secret that’s perfectly safe - Vitamin C !
I love a good vitamin C serum, it has tons of advantages, if you don’t already know I’ll name a few here:
- Powerful Anti-aging Powers
- Boosts your skins collagen production to give you firmer, more plump skin
- The antioxidants help battle dark spots caused by sun exposure and hyper-pigmentation
- Helps fight acne
And these are just a few of the benefits Vitamin C carries. It’s my magical beauty potion, and boy I was happy I could keep on using this. Since a lot of the other beauty products are a no-go, I think its really important to use the right serum.
There are a few things you should be aware of, firstly if you suffer with Rosacea, do NOT use vitamin C as it could worsen your rosacea.
Second, Vitamin C can be stressful for sensitive skin types. All this means is that you would use a slightly less concentrated Vitamin C serum - think 10% before cranking up the dose.
What Should I look For In A Vitamin-C Serum?
There are 3 things to watch out for the in a Vitamin C serum, the Form, Concentration, and pH level.
Which Form of Vitamin C Should I Use?
Well, this could be tricky, Vitamin C comes in many different forms—L-ascorbic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate, among others—but not all of them are equal.
The reality is, unless you’re using a formula with L-ascorbic acid, you’re likely just wasting your money.
Concentrations is simply the strength of the acid. Experts and dermatologists agree that unless the vitamin C has a concentration of at least 10% in the form of L-ascorbic acid, it will not penetrate the skin. Any serum you purchase will have from 5% (which literally does nothing - don’t waste your money) to 20%. Any company offering a higher concentration is being less than truthful.
This is where the pH levels also comes in, only pH levels below 3.0 will penetrate the skin. And it can only be below 3.0 if the formula uses both L-ascorbic acid AND has a concentration of at least 10%.
With that being said 10% is recommended for sensitive skin types only. If you have normal skin you should look into 15-20% concentration levels as it will penetrate the skin better and be A LOT more effective. My suggestion, if you’re a newbie would be to try a 15% formula to see how it goes and from there either go up to 20% or stay at 15%. I personally use 15% and it works great for me.
Vitamin C: Do’s and Dont’s
- Do Check the packaging! It should be packaged in a dark bottle. So that light doesn’t penetrate it easily.
- Do keep it at room temperature
- Do keep it out of the sun. Vitamin C will destabilize if it has exposure to sun and your serum will become useless.
- Don’t leave the bottle open for longer then needed. Once again Vitamin C destabilizes with exposure to oxygen.
Best Vitamin C Serums
This one took me a while, I’ve been testing and searching for a while but these two are my favorite:
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum - An Antioxidant Powerhouse
- 15% L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C),
- 1% Alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), and
- 0.5% Ferulic acid.
Obagi - The formula with highest concentration of Vitamin C
I personally like Obagi more. Only because of the feel. SkinCeuticals gives me a sticky feeling whereas Obagi doesn’t and I just simply like the application more. Both of these formulas have quite the price tag on them, but they are the BEST on the market and your skin is worth it!
Hugs and Kisses
- Jennifer Akiyama