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The Ordinary Vitamin C Guide

22 Mar 2018
The Ordinary Vitamin C Guide

The internet's hottest brand is hotter than ever - The Ordinary continues to release new products and reformulate to create high, quality products at super affordable prices. However, figuring out where to start can be a little bit overwhelming - especially when they have over 5 Vitamin C products! Hopefully we can help with this guide to their Vitamin C products.

There are many benefits of including vitamin C into your skincare routine, and with The Ordinary you have several products to choose from. Vitamin C is an anti-aging superstar that can seriously transform your skin.

  • It fights the free radicals that cause premature wrinkles
  • It boosts collagen to keep skin firm
  • It promotes an even skin tone and fades dark spots

The Ordinary currently offers five Vitamin C formulations with more launching in the future:

The Ordinary Vitamin C Guide

If you are a beginner to using Vitamin C, use AG12 (water base) or ATS20 (light oil base). These derivative are are less potent but user-friendly to fit any regimen.

  • Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%, a water soluble derivative of Vitamin C. It’s more stable than pure Vitamin C but less effective. Its forte is brightening skin but it fights wrinkles too. It’s so popular because it works well in water, allowing for an elegant, smooth texture that’s a pleasant to use.
  • Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F is an oil soluble derivative that is great at brightening skin - it's fantastic for aging skin. F stands for fatty acids, a group of ingredients that’s super moisturizing which makes it great for dry skin. Be aware, if you have oily skin it can clog pores and cause breakouts. 
  • If you want maximum LAA exposure, use C23 (can mix with other formulas) or C30. If you are an expert, use C100 (mix the powder with other products in your regimen).
  • If skin brightening is your key goal with Vitamin C, use MAP10.

The 3 Pure L-Ascorbic Acid (LAA) formulas (C23/C30/C100) are strongest but they sting as they are super potent. They are suspensions (since Pure L-Ascorbic Acid is only soluble in water but it’s unstable in water) which means you must use tiny amounts per application to avoid balling up and product waste.

  • Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA (C23) avoids silicones to maximize skin utilization of LAA and, as such, can feel a bit gritty despite the very fine mesh of LAA that we use. It can be mixed with hydrators, such as a Hyaluronic Acid, to avoid this grittiness. It’s the most powerful Vitamin C serum from The Ordinary but also the most irritating. If you have sensitive skin, go with one of the derivatives listed above.
  • Vitamin C 30% Suspension in Silicone (C30) includes silicones to sting less and feel super smooth with no grittiness, but it has slightly less skin utilization of LAA (which is why we included more LAA at 30%).
  • 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder can be mixed with other formulas to incorporate LAA as you prefer.

HOW TO USE: Ideally, don’t use LAA formulas at the same time as retinoids or peeling acids; alternate between AM and PM. (PS LAA is soluble only in water but oxidizes quickly in water which is why water formulations of LAA are simply never a good idea regardless of how they are packaged. They turn orange due to oxidation and some products mask this change in colour with added ingredients that are orange.)


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