Is Vitamin C Serum Safe During Pregnancy?

vitamin c serum safe for pregnancy pregnant woman holding stomach
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Wow, congratulations, you’re having a baby! But, it’s important to note, that for the health of your little one and yours, you would be changing many things during your pregnancy which include the skincare products you use.

You have to follow the dos and don’t guidelines for what you should do when pregnant. But, no worries because you can still use the ever-powerful Vitamin C serum! 

Well, Vitamin C is such a powerhouse ingredient. As one of the best ingredients in our skincare products, Vitamin C provides a lot of benefits. And, you might be wondering, how safe are these Vitamin C serums for you to use during your pregnancy

Let us also not forget that our skin absorbs 60% of the substances we put on. So, is it still perfectly safe to use Vitamin C serums during pregnancy?

Is Vitamin C Serum Safe During Pregnancy?

woman applying vitamin c serum to face
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Many are asking if you can use Vitamin C Serum while pregnant. The answer is yes and it is perfectly safe to use Vitamin C serums even during your pregnancy. You can also use other Vitamin C skincare formulations!

Vitamin C serums can only be harmful if you apply them 100 to 200 times the recommended daily dose on the product labels. So, use it accordingly!

Moreover, a board-certified dermatologist from the Schweiger Dermatology Group, Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD, explained that Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin essential for tissue health and function. She also confirmed that using Vitamin C is a safe and great ingredient for pregnant women as it works well with other products in most basic skincare regimens like sunscreen and serums.

Well, there are three (3) things you should consider to find the best Vitamin C serum to use: the form, concentration, and pH level.

1. Vitamin C Forms

There are certain Vitamin C forms that you should avoid as they differ in concentrations that might harm you and your baby. So, what form of Vitamin C should you use during pregnancy? But, then again, what are the different types of Vitamin C?

L-Ascorbic acid

This is the most basic, effective, and cheaper type of vitamin C and is just pure vitamin C. This form is the gold standard of Vitamin C!

Its pure form is naturally from citrus fruits, plants, green vegetables. More often than not, clinical studies show proven benefits and results of ascorbic acid Vitamin Cs on the skin.

Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP)

SAP is a water-soluble version of Vitamin C. A study has proven that this is softer on the skin and more stable than L-ascorbic acid and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. Moreover, this vitamin C form brightens the skin, evens out the tone, boosts collagen production, combats free radicals, and has antibacterial properties!

SAP is less likely to irritate the skin but is also less effective than L-ascorbic acid. Still, it’s a good alternative for the other one!

Calcium ascorbate (CAAS)

The CAAS, better known as Ester-C, is a mineral salt form of Vitamin C. It is also more stable, less likely to irritate the skin, and more effective at hydrating the skin when compared to ascorbic acid, based on a study. But then again, Ester-C is still less potent than ascorbic acid. 

Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP)

MAP is another water-soluble form of Vitamin C. This stable antioxidant combines ascorbic acid and magnesium salt. Okay, this one’s also well-balanced and less irritating than L-ascorbic acid. But, MAP is still less effective than pure ascorbic acid in product composition. Since the conversion rate of ascorbic acid is still unknown, it may not provide the same advantages to the skin.

Ascorbyl glucoside

This is again another water-soluble form of Vitamin C. But this time, it combines glucose and ascorbic acid. This form is gentle as it works best with neutral PH levels and is kinder on the skin. It’s may not be as powerful as pure ascorbic acid, but it’s a popular skincare derivative.

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate

On the other hand, this is an oil-soluble form of Vitamin C. This is another more stable one, making it easier to combine with other substances, and is better at being absorbed than L-ascorbic acid. 

Ascorbyl palmitate

This is also another oil-soluble form of Vitamin C. It’s a combination of ascorbic acid and palmitic acid! This one’s a powerful antioxidant as it helps protect lipids and is better at being absorbed when compared to L-ascorbic acid.

With these different forms of Vitamin C, they are not all so equal. And, the reality for this is that you’re less likely to spend more if you’re using the L-ascorbic acid form.

So, if you have oily or normal skin, L-ascorbic acid is the most potent form of Vitamin C and can be the most beneficial for you. While, for dry and sensitive skin, MAP would be less irritating for your skin.

You should consider what Vitamin C form is okay for you. And since we don’t want to risk your pregnancy, better to have a check-up with your doctor about it!

2. Concentration 

Vitamin C is acidic. And we use concentrations to measure the strength of acidity. Dermatologist Morgan Rabach, M.D. said that Vitamin C serums with less than 10% concentration are not as effective since the vitamin will not penetrate the skin. But, if the concentration level goes over 20%, it may cause skin irritations. 

So, it’s recommendable for sensitive skin types to go with concentration levels of 10% when using Vitamin C serums. And, if you have normal skin, a concentration of 15-20% is recommended as it’s much more effective and enters the skin better. 

3. pH Level

The pH levels of Vitamin C determine how well it is absorbed. For best absorption, you should find a product with a low pH of around 3.5 if you have normal skin. And, if you have sensitive skin, choose a product with a pH range of 5 to 6! Moreover, dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler said that 5 to 6 is the skin’s natural pH and will not be as irritating.

Okay, now that you know these three (3) things, what do you need to know next? Scroll down to find out for more!

Risks of Using Vitamin C Serum During Pregnancy

We’ve said before that Vitamin C serums are safe to use during pregnancy. But, it is very essential to be wary when you use products in that state.

First, you should consider knowing the best vitamin C serum for your skin type and understanding your current skincare concerns before making that purchase. There are studies that explained that Vitamin C serums can cause some stinging or redness to some people but will easily go away after your skin adjusts for some time.

Nonetheless, most research indicates that using Vitamin C serums during pregnancy is a time in which the long-term advantages greatly outweigh the short-term risks!