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What Is a Vitamin C Facial?

Lavender is a popular addition to a vitamin C facial.
A masque that contains moisturizers is typically part of a vitamin C facial.
Facials should be applied to clean skin that is free of make up.
A vitamin C facial is used to brighten the skin.
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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2014
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A vitamin C facial is a variety of skin care treatments often used to brighten the skin and reduce wrinkles. Like most facials, it usually consists of a series of facial cleansers and moisturizers applied to the face for a set period of time. In this case, all or most of the facial contains vitamin C. There are many different types of vitamin C facials, however. Due to its popularity, it can usually be found in both brick-and-mortar stores and on the Internet.

The ingredients and effectiveness of a vitamin C facial can vary significantly. Common additions to these facial treatments include lavender, chamomile, and various teas. All or mostly natural natural vitamin C facials are popular. Often, the facial treatments are purchased in a full facial kit containing cleansers, moisturizers, and facial masks to avoid the inconvenience of buying each item separately. These kits may also contain sunscreen, skin exfoliators or peels, and cotton swabs to apply the vitamin C-enhanced treatments.

This facial treatment is usually advertised to smooth, brighten, and lift the skin while fading sun spots. It is often touted as an anti-aging treatment and used in some day spas. Whether facial treatments with vitamin C can live up these claims is somewhat debated. Both clinical studies and some users have seen positive results in vitamin C-treated skin, however.

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Before applying the vitamin C facial cream, the face should be clean of makeup, sweat, and dirt for the product to be most effective. Showering or using a makeup remover can accomplish this, though some vitamin C facial kits come with cleansers. The facial cream is applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually involving massaging the substance into the skin and then letting it sit.

Topical vitamin C is more sensitive to oxidation than vitamin C taken orally in tablet form. Therefore, facial treatments containing vitamin C should be sealed in air-tight containers, or they will quickly become inactive. Even stored properly, vitamin C creams tend to have a short shelf life and become yellow when no longer active.

Some homemade vitamin C facial cream recipes call for powdered L-ascorbic acid to be mixed with a regular facial cream. Homemade vitamin C creams have the benefit of being freshly made and very customizable. Without preservatives like grapefruit seed extract or potassium sorbate, however, the mixture should be stored in a refrigerator. If it turns yellow before being used up, the vitamin C’s effectiveness is most likely severely diminished, and it may be necessary to create a new batch.

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