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Why Vitamin C 'Burns' When Applied To Skin

Hi good morning.
One of the questions we got this week was; why does vitamin C stings when applied to skin?

Well.. First of of all; it happens due to the high dose.

Vitamin C is called ascorbic acid and when you put in too much of it in the skincare; besides yellowing your skincare (whenever its oxidised will yellow the product); it also lowers the pH of our skin.

When you add in 0.5% of ascorbic acid into your skincare; the dose is almost negligible and it doesn't effect the pH of the product too much. But in order for vitamin C to 'work' (depends you are using for what purpose); you will have to add in somewhere between 5%-20% of ascorbic acid.

Adding in that much in your skincare product does reduce the pH of skincare tremendously and when applied to skin; may 'burn' for few minutes.

As I've mentioned before; our skin knows how to handle 'pH' well. So it will know how to adjust the pH of our skin. But meanwhile while its trying to adjust; you will get the sting feeling first few minutes which is completely normal.

What Can I Do To Avoid It?

One of the ways you can avoid it is by applying it at lower concentration first and slowly 'taper' it up. If i was using something that is 'strong' for my face; i would make my product to be lower dose first (like vit c ill start with 5%), and slowly change the concentration every 2-3 weeks. (5% to 10% to 20%).

Since I'm making my own skincare; i can do this:-) so can you if you are making it on your own.

What If Im Buying My Vitamin C Readymade?

If you are using a store bought high concentration Vitamin C. You can 'dilute' it with a moisturiser before applying to skin.

Example if your vitamin c is 20%. You can mix 1 part of this vitamin C with 3 parts of basic moisturiser (thats not added with any extracts etc) before applying to skin. After two weeks; change to 1 part vitamin c and 1 part basic moisturiser and so on.

Is My Skin Sensitive Thats Why Its Burning?

Our skin usually regenerates every 21-28 days therefore we need to let it 'familiarise' with the skincare we are using before we can put a stronger/ potent ingredient on it.

It doesn't mean your skin is 'sensitive'. Its just that you shouldn't throw a strong ingredient on it and expect it to know how to react. So tapering up the 'dose' is the best thing to do.

Burning Could Also Happen Due To 'Whitening' Effect

Besides that; the burning can also happen because Vitamin C at 20% is for whitening and when your skin gets fairer; where the melanin is destroyed; your skin becomes hypersensitive towards the sun.
So make sure you always put high SPF on your skin in the morning. You can read more about whitening products and reaction to skin and how to chose SPF here. 

Hope you enjoy this post as much as i do writing it:-) Dont forget to share this post to your friends and family who needs it:-)

Have a great day ahead;


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