Sarah Lee and Christine Chang started Glow Recipe with the mission to bring high quality, natural Korean beauty products to beauty-forward women around the world. Over the years, they have worked with thousands of women across the globe to understand and learn from their beauty rituals.
At this point, it’s like sun protection 101: There are two different types of sunscreen to choose from, chemical and physical sunscreens. And while they both protect skin from UV light, which contributes to skin cancer, sunburns, and signs of accelerated skin aging (think wrinkles and dark spots), they do so in their own unique ways.
That’s where your personal preferences come in. Because you’re wearing it every day, it’s worth doing a little homework to make sure you’re using a sunscreen that you’re — dare we say it — excited to slather on. Here’s your primer on how the two work, and which might be the better option for your skin type and concerns.
Chemical and physical sunscreens have their own methods of defending skin from UV rays. “Chemical sunscreens work by neutralizing the damaging UV as they hit the skin,” explains Rachel Nazarian, dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC. They employ ingredients such as avobenzone and oxybenzone, which sink into skin and absorb the sun’s rays so your skin doesn’t have to.
Physical sunscreens, also known as “mineral” or “natural” sunscreens, remain on the surface of your skin, where they act like a shield against UV rays and deflect them away from your skin. “There are two major ingredients, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide,” Nazarian says.
Both chemical and physical formulas are perfectly safe to use, says Nazarian, but your best option has to do with your skin type and what you need. Physical sunscreens, for instance, are ideal for anyone with sensitive skin. “Sensitive skin-types may experience irritation, such as slight tingling, itching, or redness, after using chemical blockers,” she explains. “Very few people have irritation when using the physical blockers.”
The downside of physical sunscreens is that they form a physical layer on top of skin — which means they can be harder to blend in, especially if your skin tone is on the darker side. Still, the latest versions now use smaller particles, so they no longer leave those telltale chalky streaks. And if you’re dedicated to a clean beauty regimen, a physical sunscreen will fit right in.
Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, tend to be more high-tech. “The chemical sunscreens tend to be more lightweight and are cosmetically very elegant,” says Nazarian. Because skin actually absorbs them, they feel weightless and are less likely to wick off or drip into your eyes if you’re, say, sweating on an outdoor run. They’re also better for those who wear makeup, as they won’t cause your foundation to spread unevenly or slide off. If your skin doesn’t usually react to chemical ingredients, this is your best bet.
A little-known fact about sunscreens is that they are actually made more effective by antioxidants like vitamin C and E. The sun’s UV rays are a form of free radicals (i.e. unstable molecules that can cause premature skin aging) and antioxidants are crucial to fighting them. By pairing your SPF with an antioxidant powerhouse like our new Pineapple-C Bright Serum (which features THREE different types of vitamin C), you boost the power of your sun protection and help fight existing hyperpigmentation in the process. It’s a win-win! Just remember that vitamin C on its own is not a replacement for daily SPF — antioxidants aren’t effective at protecting against those skin-burning, cancer-causing rays.
Once you have an idea of the type of sunscreen that’ll work best for you, test it out. “Try multiple brands, products, and forms of sunscreen to see which works best with your skin,” says Nazarian. “See how it feels, applies, [and] smells. Make sure you truly like the way it looks and feels on your skin.” If you love it, you’ll be more motivated to wear it — which will benefit your complexion even more in the long run.
We take sun protection seriously, so we’ve tried a LOT of SPF in our quest for the holy grail sunscreen. And bottle after bottle, smear after smear, nothing has stacked up quite like Make P:rem’s Blue Ray Sun Gel. It stands out from the pack because it not only protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays, but it also counteracts the damage from hot infrared waves (which have been shown to contribute to hyperpigmentation) by physically cooling the skin. Which, coincidentally, also makes it feel really amazing to reapply on a sweltering summer day. Take this lightweight, milky skin savior with you wherever you go to keep your complexion cool and safe in the sun.
We use a lot of different words to describe our ideal skin. While ones like clear, glowing, and even are easy to identify, there’s one word that is used quite often that many of us don’t necessarily understand: brightening.
Some people think it refers to skin lightening (which it definitively does not) while others think it means a type of highlighting. It’s such an important part of healthy looking and feeling skin, that we thought it was time to clear up the confusion once and for all.
From which skin tones it works best for to the must-have products and ingredients, here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about brightening.
Ok, so what exactly is it?
“Brightening is the removal of dead skin cells to reveal the newer, glowing skin cells below,” says dermatologist Dr. Robb Akridge. “The term is commonly associated with the aspirational, healthy appearances of the skin and having a radiant, ‘lit from within’ glow.” Essentially, bright skin = new healthy cells that make your complexion look radiant, while dull skin = built-up dead skin cells that can make your face look tired.
Wait, what do you mean ‘tired’?
When our skin collects dead layers of skin it gives off the appearance of uneven texture and dry skin. “Most often, what causes a dull complexion are dead skin cells on the surface of the skin not falling off at a fast-enough rate,” says Dr. Akridge. “Unfortunately, as we age, the skin cell turnover at the surface slows and causes dullness.”
How do I get rid of that dead skin?
The key to brightening is gentle exfoliation to strip away dead skin cells, reinvigorate your face, and boost cell turnover so that you are left with flawless skin. Integrating a brightening product into your regular routine can help jumpstart cell turnover and reinvigorate skin for a youthful glow at any age. This will help everything from overall skin tone to ensuring your makeup looks seamless rather than flaky.
What brightening ingredients are best for my skin type?
Be it a treatment, cleanser, or serum, all brightening products have one thing in common — exfoliation. While physical exfoliators like scrubs can get the job done, we’re not big fans of them because many can cause micro scratches that irritate or sensitize the skin. Chemical exfoliators are best. Some of the most popular are acids like glycolic, kojic, and lactic; vitamin C; and fruit enzymes like pineapple.
When we were developing our new Pineapple-C Bright Serum, we knew we wanted it to be the ultimate skin-brightening treatment, which is why we included all three types of dead-skin dissolving and glow-revealing ingredients. It features three types of vitamin C, natural alpha-hydroxy acids, and exfoliating bromelain enzymes. The super-gentle (yet incredibly effective) brightener transforms skin immediately and long-term, meaning you’ll see a change after your very first use and the results will only get better as you continue. It is also incredibly versatile, meaning you can add it to your usual routine without worrying about it being too harsh or feeling sticky.
And, if that wasn’t enough, the vitamin-C rich pineapple juice that makes up the base of the serum is bursting with antioxidants. It protects against free radicals, which are a key cause of aging and it promotes natural collagen production that plumps up skin and reduces inflammation. Sign us up for all of that.
“You don’t want products too harsh for your skin, but you don’t want products that aren’t exfoliating enough to make your skin bright,” says Dr. Akridge. “You will know if the product is too harsh after several days of using it.”
Can all skin tones use brightening products?
Many people assume that brightening is something only for those people with light skin. Not true: Since brightening isn’t about lightening the skin, but rather uncovering a natural glow, every skin tone — from the fairest of the fair to the deepest ebony — can benefit from a brightening product. The ingredients won’t affect your natural coloring, but rather make your skin look its healthiest, clearest, most radiant best.
When will I start seeing results?
Normal cell turnover is around one month, so while you’ll see fresher-looking skin right away, for the full brightening transformation you’ll have to stick with it for a few weeks. “One thing I have noticed is that some people are impatient and end up trying to scrub and rub away those cells only to inflame their skin,” says Akridge. A tenet of K-Beauty is treating your skin gently and kindly which is especially important when you are integrating a new brightening product.
Be patient and don’t overuse acids or damage your skin in an attempt to speed up the process. “When using any exfoliator or brightening product, the epidermis becomes thinner, so I recommend using moisturizing products after brightening products which either seal in water (e.g. a rich cream) or products containing hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin by trapping water,” says Dr. Akridge.
How do I add a brightener to my routine?
We made Pineapple-C Bright a total brightening no-brainer — in addition to those exfoliating and tone-evening power players, it also contains hyaluronic acid, calming chamomile, and soothing aloe to ensure it won’t dry out or irritate your complexion. You can use it on its own, but we found that it’s also the perfect complement to our Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask (for dry, tired skin) or Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask (for blemish-prone, oily skin). The key is experimenting with a few different combinations and layering in brightening products slowly. Pro-tip: Don’t forget your neck and chest! They also need regular exfoliation and dead-skin removal, otherwise, you risk your decolleté looking 10 years older than your face. Eek!
And, of course, remember that after you remove dead cells, you are exposing that fresh new skin to sun damage, so make sure to wear an SPF before you go frolicking in the sun.
Now that you know the truth about brightening, we hope you’ll add one to your daily regimen so you can experience that covetable radiance and clarity for yourself!
Sun spots, age spots, dark marks — hyperpigmentation from UV rays goes by many different names. No matter what you call it, the result is the same: brown spots and patches that gradually appear and grow darker as you get older. If that wasn’t bad enough, this type of pigmentation also has a very long memory. While you may be fastidious about your SPF now, all those years of sunscreen-free days in your youth will translate to brown spots later down the road. But, while dark spots may have crashed your party, you don’t need to let these discolored areas stay for drinks. Here’s how to give unwanted pigmentation the heave-ho.
What causes them?
Well, the sun, duh. Specifically, UV light stimulates melanin production in the skin, which can give you a light coating of freckles or larger, more odious dark patches. The pigmentary changes induced by UV exposure go much deeper in the skin than the excess pigmentation produced by a breakout, which makes sun spots much more difficult to get rid of.
But is the sun really all bad?
Sun exposure also increases collagen breakdown, which exacerbates wrinkling, and ups your chances of developing skin cancer. Speaking of which, there were 4.7 million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed in 2017, and that number is expected to top 5 million when data for 2018 is released. So, yeah, it’s really all that bad.
Is the sun the only cause?
Heat is also a culprit here. “It’s part of infrared radiation and can inflame the pigment cells, exacerbating brown spots,” says Jeanine Downie, MD, a dermatologist in Montclair, NJ. It’s not just the warmth of the sun; it can be the heat from cooking over a hot stove or opening a hot car. (And it will have the same impact on post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.)
Who gets them?
Dark spots aren’t just the province of fair-skinned Irish lasses. “All types of skin are susceptible,” says Dr. Downie. “Those with darker skin tones to begin with often end up with patches, rather than spots, however.” Age also plays a role. “Patients will come in and say, ‘When I was 18, I used to tan so beautifully, but now my skin just gets uneven and irregular,’” Dr. Downie says. “That’s because as you get older, the texture and tone of your skin change, and it gets even splotchier.” Smoker? We’ve got some bad news for you: “Smoking oxidizes your skin, which makes it even more spotty and blotchy,” she says.
What ingredients get rid of them?
As with acne scars, sun spots can be reduced with diligent, regular application of vitamin C. They work the same way on UV-induced pigmentation that they do on discoloration left behind after a breakout. Namely, by tamping down the tyrosinase enzyme, thus slowing the cellular chain reaction that leads tyrosine to become melanin. This results in a gradual reduction of excess pigmentation.
We went all in on the brightening power of vitamin C for our new Pineapple-C Bright Serum. It contains three different forms of the uber-antioxidant, plus skin refining, natural alpha-hydroxy acids and bromelain enzymes from pure pineapple juice. AHAs help by encouraging cell turnover and bringing new, fresh skin to the surface. Pineapple-C targets pigmentation of all types to fade spots and even skin tone and texture.
Another great brightening vitamin is B3, more commonly known as niacinamide. It’s an anti-inflammatory that helps your skin recover and repair itself after UV damage, as well as diminishing uneven skin tone and enlarged pores. It’s a versatile vitamin that is even more impressive due to its compatibility with other active ingredients like vitamin C and AHA — it’s non-sensitizing and won’t irritate most skin types, including sensitive skin.
Everyone knows that Vitamin C does a body good — but have you thought about using it on your face? The powerful antioxidant is known for its anti-aging properties that make skin glowy and supple, but there’s more than meets the eye with this skincare superhero.
If you’re not yet using this ingredient in your routine, listen up: Vitamin C will not only increase your skin’s radiance, but it will also work overtime, protecting you from environmental pollution, increasing collagen production, and more. Pretty amazing, huh?
Here are 7 more things you need to know about this skin savior.
It’s Both Preventative and Restorative
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it fights off free radicals, a.k.a. unbalanced molecules caused by environmental hazards like UV exposure and pollution. In doing so, it protects skin from future damage, while also undoing past damage.
“Essentially, that translates into the actual visual benefits that we end up seeing when we apply Vitamin C,” says Dr. Marisa Kardos Garshick, a dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Centers. “Over time, it can help to brighten the skin, eliminate brown spots, stimulate collagen, and improve the overall texture of the skin.”
But, Not all Vitamin C Works the Same
Vitamin C can be found in a lot of different dietary forms, whether you’re getting your fix through supplements, gummies, or fresh fruits and vegetables. The same holds true in skincare. “Ascorbic Acid is Vitamin C in its purest form, where as fruit-based Vitamin C ingredients are derivatives,” explains Rhea Souhleris Grous, Medical Aesthetics Director at La Suite Skincare at Union Square Laser Dermatology. “Ascorbic acid is the most potent antioxidant.”
While more derivative forms of Vitamin C are best for those with extra-sensitive skin, ascorbic acid (sometimes referred to as L-Ascorbic Acid), is the best choice for people who want to see maximum effects. According to Dr. Garshick, it’s also the most-studied form of Vitamin C and has been clinically proven to reduce hyperpigmentation, and it’s considered fully effective when it’s in a concentration over 8-10%. Our latest Korean Beauty finds, the Pineapple-C Bright Serum, Liz K’s Super First Serum Pure Vitamin C, and the Make P:rem C-10 Radiance Amplifying Serum feature high concentrations of vitamin C, giving you maximum skin-brightening benefits.
It Plays Nice With Other Ingredients
Although Ascorbic Acid has the greatest impact on skin, it’s also pretty unstable, so it needs the help of some other ingredients to balance it out — that’s why you’ll frequently find Vitamins C and E paired together in skincare formulations.
“Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can be helpful with sun protection, as well as anti-aging,” says Dr. Garshick. “There have been clinical studies that have shown that Vitamin C and E together have a synergistic antioxidant effect, so the two [actually] work better together than either one alone.” Vitamin C generates collagen, while Vitamin E keeps collagen fibers bonded, according to Grous, so the duo also works overtime to give you smoother, bouncier skin.
When you’re introducing Vitamin C to your routine, do so with a product that combines it with other antioxidants, for maximum skin benefit. The Pineapple-C Bright Serum pairs antioxidant-rich Pineapple, Ascorbic Acid, 3-O Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, and Vitamin E together for a mega-dose of brightening power. Liz K’s Super First Serum pairs Ascorbic Acid with succulent extract (rich in Vitamins A and E), Fullerene (another free radical-fighting antioxidant), and Green Tea extract (also — you guessed it — chock full of antioxidants). The Make P:rem’s C-10 Radiance Amplifying Serum pairs Ascorbic Acid with your daily dose of 8 multi-vitamins, including B vitamins and Vitamin E, to brighten, soothe, and create visibly firmer looking skin. All of these Vitamin C serums work extra-hard to keep your skin healthy and radiant.
It Works Best All Over
Just because Vitamin C works wonders on hyperpigmentation doesn’t mean it should only be used in problem areas. “Don’t just spot treat,” says Dr. Garshick. “Sometimes because people notice the brightening effect [of Vitamin C], they’ll just put Vitamin C on dark spots. But technically, it’s an ingredient that provides a full-fledged preventative benefit.” When you apply a Vitamin C serum like our newest Vitamin C addition, the Pineapple-C Bright Serum all over your face and neck every day, you’ll combat dark spots while also preventing new ones from appearing.
But, You Should Start Off Slowly
Vitamin C works well on any skin type, but as with any antioxidant-based topical ingredient, it should be introduced little by little. Start by testing it on the back of your hand to see if you develop any irritation, and then introduce it to your routine every other day, before you start using it each morning.
“One of the most common side effects of using Vitamin C, for sensitive skin, is irritation and redness,” says Grous. “It’s best to not apply retinol, glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acid when you first start using Vitamin C, and then slowly build up to see your tolerance.”
It Requires Specific Storage
There’s nothing worse than mistakenly letting a skincare product go to waste — so learn how to treat them right! “Avoid prolonged exposure of the bottle to air and light, because it can cause the product to break down faster,” advises Dr. Garshick. “Although some people do recommend keeping [Vitamin C serums] in the refrigerator to increase their shelf life, generally we recommend a cool, dark area.” A good way to tell if you’re product has been compromised, says Dr. Garshick, is to check the color. ” If you notice the product you are using getting darker, it can be a clue that the Vitamin C is becoming oxidized and breaking down, and may no longer be as effective.”
It’s in It for the Long Haul
Vitamin C’s anti-aging, damage-repairing, and UV-protecting powers make it a Holy Grail ingredient, but it’s not something that will give you a quick and dramatic transformation — it takes time and regular application to see the best results.
“Although many clinical studies show significant differences in the skin thanks to Vitamin C, it’s an ingredient that works over time,” says Dr. Garshick. “It’s not something I would use for a season and then stop. You have to maintain usage to see the benefits.” Like with many things in life, if you want to see the results, you’ve got to stick with it — and glowing, healthy skin is most definitely worth the dedication.
A breakout by itself is bad enough, but to add insult to injury, often once the pimple clears, it leaves behind evidence of its existence in the form of a pigmented spot. They eventually go away, but A). they’re annoying reminders of a time you’d rather forget and B). see A). On the bright side (literally), you can dramatically speed up the fading process with the right skin-care products.
But first, if you’re going wage war on those spots, it’s key to know thy enemy.
What causes them?
Technically, it’s called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and — as you’ve probably noticed — it can crop up after a breakout. Some people also call them acne scars, although that’s a bit misleading since they are pigmentation and not actual textural issues. According to Montclair, NJ, dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD, that’s because a pimple causes deep inflammation in your skin’s tissue, which disrupts the pigment cells and results in color changes in the top layers of skin.
Who gets them?
Anyone can be susceptible, no matter their skin tone. On Caucasian or lighter Asian skin, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation manifests as red or pink spots. But on those with more pigment in their skin to start, these marks can appear, honey, caramel colored or darker.
What ingredients get rid of them?
According to Dr. Downie, vitamin C is a good place to start as it helps even out the skin tone. Vitamin C works by suppressing the production of the enzyme tyrosinase. Tyrosinase converts tyrosine into melanin in the cells, which results in the aforementioned spot. Decrease this conversion activity and you decrease the intensity of the mark, says Dr. Downie.
We know just how much of a gamechanger vitamin C can be, which is why our new Pineapple-C Bright Serum features three potent forms of this skin-brightening ingredient. It’s a silky all-over treatment you use daily to target hyperpigmentation for a clearer, smoother, more even-toned complexion.
How long does it take to see improvements?
Depending on the depth of the pigmentation, you can see results in as little as two weeks or as long as three to six months. If you want to try to speed things along, you may consider adding an alpha-hydroxy acid, such as glycolic acid, to your routine as well. “They help tone and texture and really improve the appearance of excess pigmentation by providing a light exfoliation,” she says.
How can you prevent them?
It’s sooo tempting to squeeze a zit, we know, but by doing so, you’re increasing the chances that your pimple leaves you something to remember it by (read: a dark mark). Picking only amplifies an already-bad situation, so do your best to keep your hands to yourself when you get a flare-up. “There’s a certain amount of people who manipulate and otherwise mess with their skin, and this can really aggravate a dark spot,” Dr. Downie says. “It deepens the level of inflammation.”
What if I’m getting a breakout right this second?
Even the most diligent skin-care sticklers among us can wind up with the occasional cyst situation. In these cases, the goal is to keep it from getting too out of hand. “The more inflamed you let the pimple become, the deeper the pigmentation is going to be later,” Dr. Downie says. When you feel a breakout coming on, treat it with a drying lotion containing a beta-hydroxy acid like benzoyl peroxide — we always use the Leegeehaam Grow Tea Tree 70 BHA Toner whenever we need to zap a zit. It helps stunt its growth and reduces the severity of the post-pimple pigmentation.
How does the sun play into this?
The sun is basically the worst thing for hyperpigmentation. It not only creates sun spots (more on those here), but intensifies the pigment of post-pimple marks. Always wear your sunscreen (with an SPF of at least 30). It will keep any pigmentation situation from getting worse and prolonging the time until your spot fades into a distant memory.
Of course, no one wants her breakout to end in a red or brown spot. But if that does happen, keep calm and carry on — with your vitamin C serum.
Fruit isn’t only good for your body, it’s also amazing for your skin. Our co-founders Sarah and Christine break down exactly how these powerful superfruits work to restore and protect skin and give you a major glow. Shop the Glow Recipe Skincare family: http://bit.ly/2U6nZhL
We’re *so* excited to announce that we just launched the Pineapple-C Bright Serum, a powerful Vitamin C serum formulated with 3 types of vitamin C including 22% pure Pineapple Juice — a potent source of natural vitamin C, AHAs and Bromelain Enzymes. And it looks like you’re just as excited as we are because we’ve gotten a ton of questions about this unique product. To help you get the most out of your Pineapple-C Bright Serum, we put together this comprehensive FAQ of your most-asked questions. Read on to learn everything you ever wanted to know about this special serum.
Q: What are the benefits of vitamin C?
A: Vitamin C is amazing at brightening your complexion, fading acne scars — it even increases collagen production and smooths fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a must-have for any skincare routine.
Q: Why pineapple?
A: Pineapple is one of the most potent forms of natural vitamin C which makes it an amazing source for brightening and evening your skin tone as well as protecting the skin from environmental stressors. Its brightening abilities are awesome but it also helps to smooth and resurface your complexion thanks to its natural source of AHAs and bromelain enzymes. When combined, all of these benefits provide a true skin rejuvenating experience aiding in brightening, exfoliating, and hydrating the skin—all at the same time. Craving more pineapple? Read the full explainer here.
Q: What is the pH of the Pineapple-C Bright Serum?
A: The pH is between 4 and 4.2.
Q: Is it sticky?
A: We formulated the Pineapple-C Bright Serum to be silky, lightweight, and ultra-smooth. Apply 1-2 drops, then spread a thin layer and pat until it absorbs.
Q: Is the formula vegan?
A: Yes, the formula is vegan and cruelty-free!
Q: Is it ok for acne-prone skin?
A: Definitely! Pineapple is rich in natural AHAs and bromelain enzymes that buff away dead skin cell buildup while natural vitamin C visibly fades dark spots. Win-win!
Q: What are Bromelain Enzymes?
A: Bromelain Enzymes are protolytic enzymes which have known health benefits for the skin and are also used for wound healing. They essentially contain healing properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and can control hyperpigmentation for a more even skin tone creating a natural glow.
Q: What are the differences between pure vitamin C, vitamin C derivatives, and natural vitamin C?
A: Pure L-Ascorbic is the most well known and researched form of vitamin C. It is known for its ability to brighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation as well as proactively protecting the skin from free radicals and photodamage that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles. While this is the purest form of vitamin C, the main issue is that it is extremely prone to oxidation which renders the formula ineffective.
This is where vitamin C derivatives come in. 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic acid, for example, is formulated with a combination of ascorbic acid and ethyl group which helps to stabilize the formula while providing those same skin brightening effects. The same goes for natural vitamin C’s like pineapple as they are amazing at brightening while remaining fresh for a longer period of time. No matter the vitamin C you choose, they all provide that major brightening power for a clearer, glowier complexion. This is why we decided to combine all of these superpower brighteners together to make the ultimate brightening serum that is more stable, effective, and long-lasting.
Q: What is 3-O-Ethyl Asboric Acid?
A: 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is a stabilized vitamin C derivative that has a higher percentage of Ascorbic Acid than other derivatives, making it more powerful and competitive vitamin C. It is made up of 75% Ascorbic Acid and 25% Ethyl Group. The Ethyl Group is a small carbon unit that stabilizes the ascorbic acid while keeping it as pure as possible. It further helps to brighten and even skin tone while acting as a powerful antioxidant giving you your glowiest skin ever.
Q: How are you supposed to apply it?
A: Since it’s such a powerful serum, all you need is two drops, applied after cleansing and toning, and you’re good to go. Make sure to follow up with SPF is using in the morning.
Q: How often should I use Vitamin C?
A: You can use it every day, morning and night! During the day, make sure to follow with sunscreen as vitamin C and AHAs can increase light sensitivity. For sensitive skin types, use 3-4 times a week and gradually increase usage. This serum was formulated to be perfect for all skin types including sensitive skin thanks to built-in soothers like aloe and chamomile but It’s still important to give your skin time to adjust. This is especially true for those who have never used a vitamin C serum before.
Q: I heard Vitamin C is vulnerable to heat and light. How should I store it?
A: Keep it away from the sun! We like to store our Vitamin C inside the box, away from direct sunlight. You could also pop it in the fridge if you like.
Q: My vitamin C has turned a dark brown or orange color. Is this normal?
A: Vitamin C aka L-Ascorbic Acid is incredibly difficult to formulate. This is because it is prone to oxidation. This means that overtime ascorbic acid slowly transforms into the chemical dehydroascorbic acid or DHAA. This can cause your vitamin C to turn from a clear liquid to a brown, orange or red color. While this change won’t harm your skin, it is best to discontinue use as the vitamin C will no longer be effective. Thankfully, we have formulated our serum with two stabilized forms of vitamin C along with pure L-Ascorbic acid which helps your serum remain fresher— longer.
Q: Can I use Retinol along with Vitamin C?
A: You can, but it’s all about timing. Retinol can make your skin extra sensitive, so you don’t want to use them one after the other. Instead, use your Vitamin C in the morning and Retinol at night. If you have extra-sensitive skin, it’s best to alternate days — using it every day may cause some irritation or redness. Read our in-depth explainer on what to you can layer your vitamin C with here.
Q: Is Vitamin C better than AHA at smoothing skin texture?
A: Vitamin C is all about brightening your complexion and evening out your skin tone. For instance, if you have acne scars, Vitamin C would be really effective at fading them. AHA, on the other hand, exfoliates and decongests, which is better for smoothing skin. Thankfully, the Pineapple-C Bright Serum contains brightening vitamin C, natural AHAs, and bromelain enzymes so you’ll experience the best of both worlds!
Q: Will the sugars in pineapple cause acne?
A: The sugar found in pineapple is not glucose, which is the sugar most people refer to when it comes to acne. Instead, the sugar found in pineapple juice practices osmosis by balancing water to hydrate skin. So, instead of being irritating It actually an anti-inflammatory that also hydrates the skin.
Q: Is it OK to use on sensitive skin?
A: Yes! However, if you have super-sensitive skin, we suggest starting off by using it every other day and gradually increase usage.
Q: How long can you expect to see results in dark spot lightening?
A: Our skin naturally goes through a cell turnover process every 4 to 6 weeks, which means that our skin gets rid of all of those dead skin cells to reveal brighter, happier skin. Because of this natural process, it takes time for our skincare products to work. For brightening products, in particular, you can expect to see results in 4 to 6 weeks.
Q: Does it increase collagen production?
A: Research and clinical studies have shown that Vitamin C can increase collagen production. Plus, it’s an antioxidant that protects your skin from free radicals, which can cause accelerated aging.
Q: Will it make you oily?
A: Nope! In fact, Vitamin C actually helps to balance the skin.
Q: I’ve heard Vitamin C can cause skin damage from the sun. Is that true?
A: Vitamin C can make your skin more reactive to the sun, which is why it’s important to wear sunscreen on top if you choose to apply your serum in the morning. That said, Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which can also help your SPF work better by protecting the skin from other free radicals that can cause environmental damage.
We’re so excited to introduce an amazing new fruit to the Glow Recipe Skincare family: pineapple! Say hello to the new Pineapple-C Bright Serum, your secret to bright, radiant skin. We were so inspired by that sought after poreless, translucent, and luminous glass skin look that K-Beauty is famous for that we had to create a product that gives you that glassy skin in one easy-to-use step. We’re also constantly being asked about how to treat dark spots and hyperpigmentation so we wanted to create a powerful brightening product to help even out your skin tone and leave it with a glowing radiance.
We dreamed of creating a super-powerful but gentle brightening serum and we found that pineapple was the perfect ingredient to do just that (find out more about this fruity ingredient here). This tropical fruit goes beyond brightening to combine the power of brightening, exfoliation, and hydration all in one super cute pineapple themed bottle. Did we mention it smells like fresh pineapples too?!
Our Pineapple-C Bright Serum is formulated with 22% pure pineapple juice, one of the most potent sources of natural vitamin C, which is obtained from an effective filtering process that utilizes the entire fruit (including the leaves!) to give you the purest pineapple juice possible. This mega-dose of brightening will gently fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation for clearer, more radiant skin.
Get that smooth, poreless glow with pineapple’s natural AHAs and Bromelain Enzymes that gently exfoliate away dead skin cells to reveal your glowiest skin ever. It’ll also help to further even your skin tone for that glossy, even glow without any irritation.
Pineapple-C also provides MAJOR hydration because it’s rich in hydrating sugars and electrolytes, which have an osmosis effect on skin. When you apply the serum, the sugars and electrolytes draw natural moisture from the skin’s lower layers to the surface to give you a hydrated, juicy glow.
THREE TYPES OF VITAMIN C
When it comes to brightening, vitamin C is first class, but potent vitamin C serums tend to be rough on the skin so we wanted to create an effective yet gentle brightening serum that is perfect for all skin types—even dry, sensitive skin. This is why we paired the power of pineapple with pure L-Ascorbic Acid and 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid (a stable vitamin C derivative) for even more brightening power. 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid has a higher percentage of Ascorbic Acid than other derivatives, making it a more powerful and competitive vitamin C. It is made up of 75% Ascorbic Acid and 25% Ethyl Group.
The Ethyl Group is a small carbon unit that stabilizes the Ascorbic Acid while keeping it as pure as possible. It further helps to brighten and even skin tone while acting as an effective antioxidant giving you that healthy glow. Vitamin C is naturally difficult to formulate so we combined these three brightening powerhouses for a gentle, stable formula that still packs a punch. To further guarantee the formula’s stability and to provide you with the freshest serum possible, we formulated this serum with the power of K-Beauty technology but made it in the US so it’s ultra-fresh. Plus, the bottle is frosted and UV-coated to help prevent oxidation. Make sure to store it in a dark place away from sunlight.
HOW TO USE PINEAPPLE-C BRIGHT SERUM
Worried all that pineapple juice will leave your skin feeling sticky? No need. We made sure to formulate this serum so that we’re getting all of that pineapple power without any of the stickiness. Instead, this serum is silky smooth and so powerful that you only need 1-2 drops for your entire face. Spread the serum thinly across the skin and then gently pat until it leaves a smooth and glossy finish. Remember to follow up with SPF if using in the morning. Who needs highlighter when you have that natural pineapple glow?
How to Use the Pineapple-C Bright Serum | GLOW RECIPE - YouTube
Our favorite way to use Pineapple-C is right after cleansing and toning as our treatment step. Then, we lock in that glow with a super hydrating moisturizer like the Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer.
HOW TO LAYER YOUR VITAMIN C
You might be wondering how to incorporate this new serum into your routine especially when it comes to your chemical exfoliators and retinol. Let’s break it down. First, it’s always important to listen to your skin and alternate different ingredients and not combine everything into one routine. But, if you feel your skin is ready then the key to using Vitamin C with your acids is to layer from lowest pH to the highest. We call this method CBA. It’s an easy to remember acronym for the exact order to use without you having to memorize pH levels. It means you apply your Vitamin C first, BHA second, and your AHA last. This way your vitamin C remains powerful and effective and you’re getting the most from all of your products. Still have questions? Read our comprehensive breakdown here.
As for retinol, it’s a super powerful anti-ager that can tend to cause sensitivity when you first start using it which is why when it comes to layering with vitamin C, it’s best to alternate. You can either use vitamin C in the morning and your retinol at night. This way you’re getting the best of both worlds without any irritation.
Are you excited to try the Pineapple-C Bright Serum? Share your excitement in the comments below!
We’ve already told you just how important of an ingredient Vitamin C is for your skin. And we just made it easy to add it into your routine with the new Pineapple-C Bright Serum, a powerful serum made of 22% pineapple juice, a potent source of natural vitamin C, natural AHAs, and bromelain enzymes. You guys have had a lot of great things to say about it, but you’ve also had questions about how exactly to use this potent brightener alongside your usual chemical exfoliants. So, to help you get the most out of all of your products, we’ve put together a handy guide to layering acids and Vitamin C. Here’s what you need to know.
In order to understand why acids and Vitamin C complement each other so well, it’s important to know what they both actually do.
Exfoliators come in two forms: physical and chemical. In this piece, we’re talking about chemical exfoliators like Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). These acids are ideal for those fighting the good fight against acne. They tackle blemishes by dissolving the dirt, gunk, and dead skin cells underneath the surface of the skin that can clog pores and cause inflammation and infections.
Vitamin C serums like the Pineapple-C Bright Serum, on the other hand, work on top of your skin to brighten dull skin, fade acne scars and hyperpigmentation, and increase collagen production.
The pH of a product determines how acidic it is. Vitamin C, for example, ideally should have a pH between 2.0 to 4.0 in order to be the most effective. Your BHA should have a pH of 3.5, while you want a pH of 4 for your AHA.
It’s important to pay attention to product pH and application order because when you ignore them, you run the risk of pairing your Vitamin C incorrectly, which renders it useless. No one wants to waste time or money on ineffective products.
Vitamin C, while amazing for the skin, is notoriously difficult to formulate. It’s sensitive to light and oxygen, meaning if not stored properly it can spoil. The hallmark sign is when your serum turns a dark, orange/brown color. Once this happens, it’s time to discontinue use as your product will no longer be effective. We recommend storing your Vitamin C serums in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight in order to avoid spoiling.
If your skin is not used to acids or you’ve never tried combining Vitamin C with BHA or AHA before, you’ll want to ease into it. Putting all three products on your skin right off the bat could cause irritation and redness. So work your way up to them. Start by applying just Vitamin C, every other day. Do this for a week and then add in your BHA. Once your skin can handle those two, it’s time to add in your AHA. If your skin reacts well to all three, you can keep it to an every other day schedule, or move on to using the combo every day. Keep in mind that you don’t want to go ahead and slather on all these products at once. Too much of a good thing too soon can lead to more skin problems, so do yourself and your skin a favor and take it slow.
Now that you know the secret to layering, you’re just a CBA away from your clearest, glowiest complexion yet.
As far as ingredients go, vitamin C is the MVP of skin care. Dermatologists love it, skin experts use it religiously, and beauty editors can’t stop raving about it. The powerhouse antioxidant is revered for its seemingly infinite skincare benefits.
It’s also a skin perfector with real staying power: Even though it’s been used in beauty for what feels like forever, we keep finding new ways to use it. Best of all, nature is one of the very best places to find this skin-brightening overachiever. A few well-known sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, leafy green vegetables, papayas, and strawberries.
There’s one fruit, however, that’s completely under the radar and absolutely brimming with this wonder ingredient — pineapple. Turns out that this tropical treat is one of the most potent sources of natural vitamin C, as well as exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and inflammation-fighting bromelain enzymes. The list of good-for-the-skin benefits of this fruit is lengthy, but some of the biggest are fighting free radicals, staving off fine lines and wrinkles, smoothing texture, lightening dark spots, and contributing to a brighter complexion overall.
Obviously, we knew we had to add this ultra-powerful skin brightener to our Glow Recipe Skincare lineup, so say hello to the Pineapple-C Bright Serum. For this new addition, as always, we put our own twist on the ingredient: Instead of plain old pineapple extract, we used pineapple juice as the main ingredient.
They may sound the same, but the two are world’s away when it comes to benefits. After some serious scientific research, we discovered that the juice of this fan-favorite fruit is much stronger and more effective. Unlike an extract, which only uses a portion of the fruit, the juice utilizes every last bit. This includes a variety of beneficial proteins, lipids, and polysaccharides, all skin nourishing essentials. It’s also rich in sugar and electrolytes, which draw natural moisture from the skin’s lower layers to the surface to hydrate, creating a balance of hydration from deep in the skin.
Along with those aforementioned bromelain enzymes, all of those ingredients deliver maximum skin-care benefits thanks to their cell-signaling ability. Cell signaling, in non-scientist speak, is how your cells “talk” to each other to help communicate what your skin needs, from producing more collagen to fighting sun damage. As you age, this game of telephone breaks down, resulting in dullness, fine lines, and dark spots. Bromelain keeps those cells talking and working at peak performance levels.
Pineapple-C Bright Serum contains a whopping 22% pure pineapple juice, as well as two other forms of the ingredient: a derivative known as 3-O Ethyl Ascorbic Acid and pure vitamin C. It’s this unique triple threat that makes the new, highly anticipated serum so next-level.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: If it’s made from juice, won’t it feel sticky? That’s a big ‘ol nope. When used properly, it won’t leave any residue — just skin-brightening and softening perfection. A little goes a long way, so all you need is one to two drops, spread across the skin and then patted in. It sinks in immediately and gets to work right away.
While you’ll have to try the ground-breaking elixir for yourself to see the wow-worthy results IRL, once you get it on your skin, you can expect a smoother, softer, and brighter complexion in as little as a few days. The best part? It’s safe and gentle enough for all skin types to use (yes, even the most sensitive!) so everyone can reap its amazing benefits.
Now that you’re up to snuff on pineapple and its hero ingredient status, anyone in the mood for a slice?