Vitamin C has a range of skincare benefits from firmer skin to fewer wrinkles and dark spots—but the ingredient is notoriously finicky. As an antioxidant, it’s prone to oxidizing, meaning that it breaks down when it’s exposed to air, light and heat. If you’ve ever had a vitamin C serum that turned orange or brown in color, you’re familiar with this concept. There are vitamin C derivatives out there that are more stable than others, but research shows that they’re not as powerful as pure vitamin C, or l-ascorbic acid.
Enter vitamin C powder. L-ascorbic acid powder is highly stable and can be mixed into your skincare products for an antioxidant boost. Because you mix the powder into a dollop of a serum or moisturizer before applying, it’s like mixing up a fresh (and guaranteed potent) dose every time. If you decide to try a vitamin C booster powder, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Look for a vitamin C powder formulated for skin (like Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder). The powder has to be processed properly in order to penetrate into the skin, so indigestible vitamin C powder (the kind you find in the vitamin aisle) isn’t ideal.
Add the powder to water-based products like serums, essences, and lotions. Vitamin C is water-soluble, so it works best when mixed with light, watery textures until the powder dissolves.
Aim for 20% concentration or less, or about 1 part powder to 4 parts product or less. If your skin is sensitive, start with less powder. It’s always smart to patch test on your arm before trying it on your face.
You may experience some tingling, stinging or irritation while your skin adjusts to vitamin C. It’s best to use less vitamin C powder in the beginning and increase the amount as your skin develops a tolerance.