Can You Use Vitamin C Serum With Red Light Therapy?

Visit any beauty blogger’s website and you’ll see recommendations for Vitamin C serums and moisturisers. Vitamin C is known to help boost the skin’s overall radiance and for evening out skin tone. But, does it actually help or is it all hype? And is it safe to use Vitamin C products alongside other treatments, like red light therapy? Here, we explore the benefits that Vitamin C offers your skin and how to make the most of the Vitamin C products you’ve been curious to try.

What are the skincare benefits of Vitamin C?

With consistent use, Vitamin C in beauty products can help tackle a variety of skincare concerns, including wrinkles, skin tone and overall complexion — much like the results you would see from red light and blue light therapy.

Stimulates collagen

Vitamin C has been proven to promote the natural production of collagen. When applied topically, Vitamin C provides hydrogen and oxygen to collagen cells, encouraging increased production. Collagen is what keeps skin from sagging and gives an overall youthful look. Since our bodies naturally produce less collagen as we age, products that increase collagen production can support the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines.

Provides skin-brightening antioxidants

Correcting dark spots or hyperpigmentation from acne or sun damage is a common cosmetic agenda many people have. And, Vitamin C has shown positive results in addressing these concerns. Rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C prevents melanin production and targets the areas of uneven skin tone without over-brightening the rest of your skin. Additionally, Vitamin C has been shown to help create a more even complexion if you struggle with inflammation and redness. If hyperpigmentation and inflammation aren’t of concern, the antioxidants in Vitamin C can still help smooth the skin’s surface and promote an overall bright, youthful glow.

Hydrates skin

We all know how important it is to properly hydrate our bodies. And our skin — our body’s largest organ — is no exception to that. Derivatives are sometimes added to skincare products to preserve the benefits of all-star ingredients. When it comes to Vitamin C products, Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is the most common derivative used. Alongside Vitamin C, this creates a hydrating effect on the skin.

How to choose the right Vitamin C skincare product

Narrow down on product type

If you want to get the best value, you are probably better off choosing a Vitamin C serum instead of a Vitamin C cream or moisturiser. Serums are designed to be quickly absorbed by the skin, with higher concentrations of active ingredients. On the other hand, moisturisers and creams have other ingredients included, which thicken the product’s texture and do not penetrate the skin as quickly.

Check the potency

A quick online search for Vitamin C serums will render an overwhelming amount of results. It’s important to remember that not all Vitamin C products are created equal, and that potency is a top factor you should be vetting before making a purchase. Higher potency means optimal absorption, resulting in a better-performing product. A key ingredient to look out for is L-ascorbic acid, which contains up to 20% of Vitamin C, and will be the best bang for your buck.

Look for proper packaging

Exposure to air, light and heat can degrade the ingredients in your Vitamin C serum. To ensure that your serum is high-quality with a longer shelf life, look for products that come packaged in a dark glass bottle. Serums with a dropper application, rather than a pump, are also beneficial packaging features to help keep air out of the bottle.

How do the benefits of red light therapy complement Vitamin C serums?

Like Vitamin C serums, red light therapy is a non-invasive, therapeutic treatment that has been shown through scientific studies to be an effective anti-aging solution. Some red light therapy devices are developed with the same technology used by dermatologists and physicians, as well as many influencers, to help reduce or prevent signs of aging. Benefits of red light therapy that compliment Vitamin C serums include the following.

Improved complexion

Red light therapy has been shown to improve a person’s overall complexion. When put to the test by scientists in a controlled study of 136 volunteers, the results stated that the subjects experienced significantly improved skin complexion.

Cellular regeneration

At a cellular level, LED light therapy improves circulation and blood flow, which supports healing and cell regeneration. This has many positive effects towards the skin, including stimulation of healing from sunburn or acne scarring, reduction of inflammation, and overall skin rejuvenation.

Wrinkle reduction

Another effect of red light enhancing the circulation and blood flow of cells, is that it encourages the production of collagen and elastin. Since collagen is what keeps the skin firmer, with a plumper and overall youthful look, this boost in collagen production can help fade fine lines and wrinkles.

Can using Vitamin C products with light therapy enhance results for skincare?

Even though light therapy is known to provide fast-acting results, you can certainly use other skincare products in conjunction with light therapy treatments. Many skincare professionals have found that combining light therapy with targeted skincare products, like those containing peptides, hyaluronic acid, green tea, and white tea, can help increase the effectiveness of the products up to 12 times. Just remember that the order of application matters and that it’s best to apply serums after light therapy treatment. If your primary skincare goal is to brighten your complexion with a boost of radiance, then the brightening benefits of Vitamin C pair nicely with red light therapy. We could all use a little extra glow from time to time, this makes Vitamin C a versatile addition to nearly any skincare routine. On the other hand, if you have other skincare goals you want to prioritise, like wrinkle reduction, then it may be good to explore how to use retinol with light therapy.

How to use Vitamin C products with red light therapy

For best results, it is always recommended to use LED products on a clean face. This allows the light therapy to effectively penetrate the skin without any barriers. Since certain skincare products, like those containing retinol or light activated ingredients like sunscreen, can be disruptive or harmful when applied directly before light therapy, it’s best to stay in the habit of using any LED tool on a bare, freshly-cleansed face. After you’ve completed your light therapy session at home, you can apply your Vitamin C serum of choice followed by a moisturiser. Remember to allow a few minutes in between each step of your routine, as serums typically need a couple of minutes to dry and to be fully absorbed by the skin.


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