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Vitamin C Doesn’t Work? Debunking Skincare Vs Science

Vitamin C Doesn’t Work? Debunking Skincare Vs Science

When it comes to evidence-supported skincare ingredients, vitamin C sits near the top of the list. Numerous studies have been carried out to prove its benefits, making it an ingredient that everyone from doctors to dermatologists widely recommend.

However, dig a little deeper into the ingredient and you may come across some controversy. A handful of professionals have recently claimed that vitamin C doesn’t actually work on the skin, and have provided evidence to support these theories.

So, who to believe? Is vitamin C actually worth using or is its popularity down to cleverly marketed hype? Read on as Celestolite debunks the myths surrounding this much-loved antioxidant.

The Problem With Stability

Renewing Vit C Serum

One of the biggest arguments against the use of vitamin C is in regards to its stability, or lack of it. There’s no denying this – it’s one of the ingredient’s biggest downfalls. However, the studies cited to prove this claim all focus on studies that have stored vitamin C in glass tubes or containers. Considering the fact that exposure to light quickly causes the ingredient to break down, it’s hardly surprising that those studies found that the vitamin C content in an emulsion drops by a third after one month.

This is why more and more skincare brands are ensuring that their vitamin C products are packaged in opaque containers. This applies to Celestolite products too, with our Estrella Renewing Vitamin C Serum also featuring a pump dispenser. This minimizes the amount of oxygen that’s able to come into contact with the product. 

The news about vitamin C’s instability is nothing new. This is why, for several years now, scientists have been cooking up different forms of vitamin C, each one more stable than the last. This is why we’ve used tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate in our vitamin C serum. It’s confirmed to have great stability, making it one of the best forms of vitamin C around.

Can Vitamin C Even Penetrate the Skin’s Surface?

Mars Stellar Serum

The next big question is…is vitamin C even capable of penetrating the skin’s surface? A few scientists will say no, which is why they believe that using the ingredient is pointless. They claim that not only is vitamin C water-soluble, meaning that it will struggle to penetrate in the way that oil-soluble ingredients do, but its molecular size is too large for it to be able to pass through the skin’s barrier.

However, again, this is quite a big generalization. For starters, not all forms of vitamin C are water-soluble. Some are, in fact, oil-soluble, just like the tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate we mentioned earlier. Some forms of vitamin C, such as 3-0 ethyl ascorbic acid, are soluble in both oil and water. You’ll find this vitamin C derivative in the Celestolite Mars Stellar Serum. 

This vitamin C derivative also has a small and simple molecular structure. This means that the skin won’t struggle to absorb it. Sure, water-soluble forms of vitamin C with a large molecular size may not be able to penetrate into the skin, but this doesn’t apply to all forms of the ingredient.

High Concentrations of Vitamin C & Skin Irritation

Estrella Eye Serum

Another issue with vitamin C is the skin irritation it can cause. Those with sensitive skin are particularly susceptible but it can affect all skin types. 

This irritation is down to the ingredient’s acidic nature, as well as how it oxidizes so quickly. However, it’s also worth noting that the majority of reactions to the ingredient tend to occur when people use products containing a high concentration of it. Some products contain up to 40% vitamin C, which is too high for most people to tolerate.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to get around these problems. Firstly, go with low concentration products, at least until your skin has grown accustomed to the ingredient and is able to tolerate it well. 

Then, make sure that the vitamin C products you’re using also contain ingredients that can soothe the feeling of any irritation before it actually arises. The Celestolite Estrella Eye Serum, for example, combines vitamin C with peptides, sodium hyaluronate, calendula extract, and aloe vera. All of these ingredients are revered for how they calm the complexion. This will help to counter the potential appearance of irritation and inflammation that could occur in those with sensitive skin.

Vitamin C For Severe Hyperpigmentation


Vitamin C is often marketed as being a one-stop solution for the appearance of dark spots. It’s recommended to just about everyone dealing with hyperpigmentation, no matter how severe. 

However, some experts have an issue with this. Why? Because although vitamin C is capable of helping to lighten the look of dark marks, it doesn’t do this quite as effectively as some other ingredients. Sure, it might help to fade the look of small and subtle spots of hyperpigmentation. However, when it comes to large and severe cases, vitamin C on its own isn’t going to produce a significant amount of change.

Instead, those same experts recommend turning to the likes of kojic acid, an ingredient that’s revered for its depigmenting effect on the complexion. Arbutin is rated highly too. Multiple studies point to how it can lighten the visibility of hyperpigmentation. 

When it comes down to it, you don’t necessarily need to make a choice between all of those ingredients. Some products, such as the Celestolite Nova Dark Spot Corrector, combine a few of those ingredients. In addition to vitamin C, it also contains arbutin, kojic acid, green tea extract, and western dock extract. This way, you’ll still be benefiting from the complexion-lightening properties of vitamin C. Meanwhile, the other ingredients will help to make your results so much more noticeable.

The Rising Cost of Vitamin C

Another issue that some people have with vitamin C skincare products is cost. Sure, there may be a handful of affordable and potentially effective vitamin C products out there. However, more often than not, you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a vitamin C product that has been carefully formulated with multiple antioxidants while also making use of a stable form of the vitamin, it’s not going to come cheap. 

This is all down to how complex the research and development stage behind these products is. A good vitamin C product needs to contain enough of the ingredient to make a difference to the complexion, but not so much that it causes irritation. The product also can’t be too acidic, and needs to be packaged in air-tight containers. All of this adds to the cost of the product, which is why vitamin C skincare can often be quite pricey. This isn’t a reason to avoid it – it just means you may need to rejig your budget.

So, is it Worth Using Vitamin C?

Although there may be a few arguments against the use of vitamin C, the science still shows that the ingredient offers more pros than cons. It’s a true multitasker, enabling it to help with so many skin concerns, such as:

Sure, there may be many factors to keep in mind when choosing vitamin C products, from the form of vitamin C that’s used to the concentration of the ingredient in that formula. However, your diligence will pay off once you start to see the above improvements to your complexion.

We’ve already shared a few vitamin C-infused Celestolite products above but, if you’re looking for more, here are some others to consider:

The Cosmic Firming Serum


If your skin has been looking dull, rough, and wrinkled, vitamin C would be a great ingredient to use. This is especially so when it has been combined with other ingredients that target those same visible skin concerns. 

This is where the Celestolite Cosmic Firming Serum comes in. In this formula, vitamin C is joined by lactic acid, which will brighten and soften the look of your skin. DMAE is in there too, meaning that your wrinkles will appear softer and lighter in no time.  Meanwhile, vitamin A provides some extra antioxidant power while sodium hyaluronate hydrates the skin, leaving it looking plumper and more radiant.

The Estrella Eye Serum

Eye Serum

The skin around the eyes can really benefit from vitamin C. However, because this area is so fragile, vitamin C needs to be combined with ingredients that will keep the skin feeling soothed.

This is exactly what we’ve done with the Celestolite Estrella Eye Serum. With peptides, sodium hyaluronate, calendula extract, and aloe vera extract, the skin is left feeling relaxed and calm while the vitamin C works its magic. This formula also includes licorice root extract – ideal if you’re also trying to reduce the appearance of dark circles!

The Estrella Anti-Wrinkle Syringe


Vitamin C is a great ingredient to use if you want to counter the appearance of skin aging. Not only will it make fine lines and wrinkles look less noticeable but it will also give your skin an overall firmer and tighter finish.

The Celestolite Estrella Anti-Wrinkle Syringe has been designed to target the visibility of individual creases on the skin. It brings together vitamin C, multiple peptides, and caffeine, all of which will immediately have your skin looking younger. It also contains meteorite powder, our signature ingredient, to give the skin some instant luminosity. 


There are pros and cons behind just about every skincare ingredient out there. This is why it’s so important to do your research rather than automatically believing whatever you happen to hear. Sure, some scientists may be trying to dissuade people from using vitamin C, but there are even more that support the ingredient, along with the many ways in which it has been proven to improve the complexion.

When it comes down to it, vitamin C is an ingredient that almost everyone would benefit from. Add it to your skincare routine with one of the products that we’ve featured above and you’ll soon be reaping the rewards of the ingredient yourself!

Click here to check out more of Celestolite’s bestselling skincare products.

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