Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that has excellent benefits for lightening, brightening, hydrating, and plumping up the skin. But can it also be used on the lips?
Keep in mind that the skin of your lips is thinner, but it is ultimately the same kind of skin on most of your body (just with less keratin).
Can You Use Vitamin C Serum On Your Lips
Yes, you can use a vitamin C serum on your lips. However, it is best to mix it with a lip balm or hydrating lip ingredients.
Vitamin C is an active ingredient. The serums that are available for skin care are usually quite potent.
Given that the skin of your lips is much thinner and more sensitive than elsewhere on your face and body, you will need to use a less potent concentration of vitamin C.
This will avoid irritation which can cause lip dryness, cracking, and worsening darkness of the lips.
Will Vitamin C Lighten Dark Lips
Yes, Vitamin C will eventually lighten dark lips when used correctly and consistently.
Vitamin C inhibits the action of tyrosinase, which is the enzyme that regulates melanin production in the skin.
Melanin is the pigment that makes the skin look darker.
When less melanin is produced in the new cells, and as the old, pigmented cells are cleared away, the lips will gradually become lighter and pinker.
Other Benefits of Vitamin C For The Lips
Apart from lightening and brightening the lips, vitamin c will also:
- Hydrate the lips
- Reduce signs of aging
- Help to soothe and prevent sun damage
- Reduce free radical damage from environmental stressors
- Increase collagen formation which will plum the lips and improve texture
- Prevent and soothe any cracking
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How to Use Vitamin C Serum On Lips
Vitamin C serums should be mixed with a lip balm or other hydrating lip treatment if applied to the lips.
Alternatively, you can also look for lip balms that already have vitamin C in them. This will ensure that you are using vitamin C in a concentration and formulation that is specially designed for the lips.
You can also look for serums that contain Vitamin C Esters instead of pure Vitamin C.
However, if you still wish to use a serum, look for one that is not too concentrated and mix it with hyaluronic acid (which is also stabilizing to Vitamin C), or other hydrating ingredients.
Also make sure that the serum you choose has other stabilizing ingredients like Vitamin E, ferulic acid, or Vitamin B since vitamin C is an unstable ingredient.
Serums are designed for better penetration into the skin and the skin of your lips is already thin, so Vitamin C will penetrate deeply.
Most OTC Vitamin C Serums come in concentrations that are between 8-10% and 20%. I advise that you start with the lowest concentration that you can find.
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How Often You Should Use Vitamin C On Lips
If your lips can tolerate Vitamin c serums or lip balms without getting dry or irritated, you should use them on your lips every day.
Vitamin C will not only lighten your lips over time, but its antioxidant properties will help to prevent further free-radical damage that causes ageing and wrinkles on the lips.
Including this ingredient in your lip care regimen daily will be beneficial for your lips in the long term.
How Long You Should Leave Vitamin C On Your Lips
If your lips can tolerate it, you should leave Vitamin C on your lips all day or all night.
Many people use vitamin C to treat dark lips, texture problems, wrinkles, or even dryness on their lips.
For Vitamin C to do its job, it needs to be absorbed into the skin, Therefore, it is best to use a product that you can leave on your lips.
This is why it is important to find and use a concentration and formulation of Vitamin C that is suitable for your skin (will not irritate).
Recommended Vitamin C Products For Lips
Best Vitamin C Serums for Lips:
1- CeraVe Vitamin C Serum
This Vitamin C Serum has undergone allergy testing, is non-comedogenic, and is made without scent or paraben. All types of skin can use it.
It contains 10% pure vitamin c, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and vitamin b5.
All these ingredients stabilize the vitamin c and prevent it from being too drying. It can also be layered under or over other products so it can be used with a lip balm.
2- La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum
This vitamin C serum makes skin softer, more moisturized, and more luminous. As a consequence, skin texture and tone are more even and polished, and wrinkles are less prominent.
Salicylic acid, neurosensine, and concentrated 10% pure vitamin C are all combined in this serum for maximum performance while yet being gentle enough for sensitive skin. It can be mixed with or layered under a lip balm.
3- L’Oreal Paris Skincare 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum
This serum was specially formulated and packaged to maintain its stability. It contains 10% pure vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and a variety of other hydrating and stabilizing ingredients. It is suitable for all skin types, as well as sensitive skin. It can be used under or over a lip balm and other ingredients.
Vitamin C Ester Serum
1- Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum
Vitamin C Ester, a more effective and non-irritating form of vitamin C, is the main ingredient in this serum. By noticeably decreasing discoloration, brightening, and smoothing skin, it helps skin to look more even toned and collagen-rich.
Squalene and rosemary leaf extract are also included to moisturize, noticeably smooth out wrinkles, and tighten the skin’s look.
1- Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm
The Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm assists in scavenging free radicals and other environmental aggressors that lead to early aging symptoms by being high in antioxidant-rich green tea leaves and vitamin C.
This buttery, opulent balm keeps lips in tip-top shape by softening and plumping the appearance of harsh, dry lips.
2- CETANA Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer Balm Stick
This balm contains wide array of ingredients from Vitamin C to retinol all of which works to lighten and make your lips look healthier.
Side Effects Of Vitamin C For Lips
Like all active skincare ingredients, Vitamin C also has some possible side effects that you should watch out for.
The major side effect of Vitamin C that is expected is irritation. This is rare, but still possible, especially in those people with sensitive skin.
Some concentrations of vitamin C may be too strong for some people. It is important that you start with the lowest possible concentration and then gradually build up to the stronger ones.
Always patch-test your product before going ahead to use it fully. You can apply a small amount to a small area of your lip for three consecutive days and see how your skin will react.
If you are treating a specific lip condition (like darkness) that could be caused by medical conditions, lifestyle, or other specific factors, I recommend that you also consult your dermatologist. They might be able to advise you more precisely on using Vitamin C for your lips or alternative treatments.