This is the Most Coveted Ingredient in Skincare (Can You Guess What It Is?)

This is the Most Coveted Ingredient in Skincare (Can You Guess What It Is?)

What do orange juice, the Graduation Song and skincare all have in common? No, this isn’t the beginning of a poorly written joke having to do with a bar (but don’t worry, we’ll sprinkle in some puns here and there). Instead, they’re your hint for today’s topic.

If you’ve been on Instagram lately (you have), you’ve probably noticed that active ingredients are finally getting the attention they deserve. On the other hand, have you ever skimmed the ingredients on the back of your skincare products? A lot of action going on there. Like, what the heck is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate? More on that later. The point is, you should at least be aware of what you’re putting on your face, and here at Otto, we’re pretty much determined to make you a semi-pro when it comes to knowing your ingredients—especially this one particular super star...

Not to be confused with the one-hit-wonder, vitamin C continues to be one of the most coveted active ingredients in topical skincare. And for good reason, too. This super-potent antioxidant is packed full of skin benefits. Think: fading sun damage, boosting collagen production and maintaining a smooth, even, glowy complexion. Even better? Vitamin C is tolerated by most skin types (lookin’ at you, my little sensitives).

Vitamin C, A Love Story

See what we mean? Vitamin C is not messing around. And it doesn’t stop there. Here are a few more reasons why you + vitamin C = friends forever (we had to).

It’s Hydrating.

Some forms of vitamin C have been shown to limit transdermal water loss, allowing skin to retain more moisture. More moisture means that dewy complexion you never thought possible.

It’s Brightening.

Vitamin C fades pigmentation and reduces dullness to help achieve that fabled glow. Did you catch that? We’ll say it again. That fabled glow.

It Reduces Redness.

Shown to ease inflammation in the skin, vitamin C creates a more even complexion. So, if you’re suffering from blotchiness, you’re gonna wanna add this to your routine ASAP.

It Fights Sun Damage.

Not only does vitamin C help fade past sun damage, it also helps prevent future damage. Because vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, it fights free-radical damage from the sun. Don’t worry, we won’t judge you for all those tanning beds you used in high school...

It’s Healing.

Yep, vitamin C boosts wound healing and helps heal sun burns. It does this by minimizing redness, accelerating cell turnover and replacing damaged cells with healthy new ones. Now, if we could only use it on that oh-so-embarrassing text we accidentally sent to our boss the other day...

Okay, I’m Sold! Now, How Do I Get Some?

Before you rush to the store or hit the “Order Now” button in your cart, here are some tips on choosing the right vitamin C product to get the very best results:

1. Choose a stabilized form.

There are so many forms of topical vitamin C, our heads are spinning just thinking about them. Out of all the options, you’ll want to choose one that is stabilized for the best results.

What not to wear

L-ascorbic acid is the most common form of vitamin C used in skincare. Why? It’s water-soluble and studies shown efficacy at 15%. However, it’s unstable when exposed to sun and air, which makes it a not-so-great choice for receiving all the benefits it has to offer (unless you live in a bubble).

Try This Instead

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is an oil-soluble form of vitamin C that’s not only extremely stable, but studies have shown it penetrates both the epidermis (aka, the uppermost layer of skin) and dermis (aka, the deepest layer of skin). In other words, Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is one of the only forms of vitamin C with the ability to penetrate the skin this far.

Psst...try our Fresh Start Face Oil, which contains a whopping 20% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate. (You won’t be disappointed!)

Glyceryl Ascorbate is a novel, stable form of vitamin C derived from binding ascorbic acid to glycerin. Packed with enhanced moisturizing and antioxidant properties, this new kid on the block is becoming a fast favorite in the skincare world.

Wanna get your hands on this all-star form of topical vitamin C? Check out our Go-Getter Day Serum.

2. Choose the right skincare product.

Truth be told, there are tons of products on the market that contain vitamin C. But in order to get the best results money can buy, look for vitamin C in the form of a serum. Serums not only contain higher concentrations of the very best active ingredients in skincare, they’re usually lightweight and absorb more quickly and easily.

3. Look for high percentages & beware of additional ingredients.

As you probably know by now, vitamin C is pretty much an amazing, effective ingredient—so it should be combined with complementing ingredients such as vitamin E (which has been shown to boost vitamin C’s effects). Other enhancing ingredients to look for are antioxidant-rich extracts like kakadu plum, avocado, watermelon and cucumber extracts.

On the other hand, be on the lookout for ingredients to avoid while using your vitamin C serum. If using retinol, alternate it with your vitamin C serum. Combining the two can lead to irritation (yikes!). The same goes for benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid.

Last but certainly not least, make sure you are using sunscreen with your vitamin C—specifically in the morning!

Overall, be sure that the other ingredients in your vitamin C serums are complementing and enhancing the effects of this all-star ingredient, the ingredient deck should be clean and simple because it is already super special on its own.

Phew! That was a lot, but now you can call yourself a pro in vitamin C. Now go impress your friends with all of your newfound knowledge. Have a question? Leave a comment below!


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  • Sarah Otto on

    So glad you love it!! Use an SPF 30 after applying The Go-Getter Day Serum.

  • Josie on

    I LOVE this serum! What SPF do you recommend in the morning and would the SPF go on last then?

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