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Supplement Or Serum? How Vitamin C Supports Skin Health In All Forms*

Dermatologists say that using a topical vitamin C product is an excellent way to treat your skin well.

“Vitamin C is perhaps the best-studied topically applied antioxidant we have to support the skin,” notes Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “It protects the skin against free radicals, blocks production of abnormal pigmentation, and acts as a cofactor for the production of new collagen.”

Vitamin C serums are usually used to brighten skin, even skin tone, and provide protection against oxidative stress, he says.

The antioxidants in vitamin C “scavenge and fight free radicals that impair DNA and speed up the signs of aging,”* Rodney explains. Topical vitamin C even helps “enhance the power of your sunscreen, creating an added antioxidant barrier,” she adds.

While you could use a topical product or supplement, it’s really best to leverage the benefits of vitamin C for your skin internally and externally, says Gary Goldenberg, M.D., of New York’s Goldenberg Dermatology.*

“I recommend oral and topical vitamin C to clients,” he says. “Oral vitamin C is important to overall health…topical vitamin C is an important antioxidant for skin health.”* When used together, these two “improve skin appearance and function,”* he explains.

Rodney agrees. “It’s important to get the daily recommended value orally through diet and supplements,” she notes. “Oral vitamin C ensures the long-term health of your skin.”*

But, she says, if you have an immediate skin need, a vitamin C serum can help quickly. “For the best results, I recommend using both oral and topical vitamin C,” Rodney says.

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