Serum Savior

We discuss the latest skincare trend with Dr. Faith Esterson and esthetician Tiffany Eller.

Rachel Hinch - August 2019

Serum Savior

We discuss the latest skincare trend with Dr. Faith Esterson and esthetician Tiffany Eller.

Rachel Hinch - August 2019

Pop quiz: What vitamin is good for skin? Vitamin D, right? Well, sure, we all know that. But turns out there’s a new vitamin that has stepped into the skincare arena in the form of a serum—Vitamin C. We discuss the latest skincare trend with dermatologist Dr. Faith Esterson and esthetician Tiffany Eller of Esterson Dermatology.

What benefits can a Vitamin C serum provide for our skin?
FE: It’s such a good product to have. We use Vitamin C for a lot of patients because it has really strong antioxidant properties. It can protect cells from free radicals so that the cells that are damaged can mature and repair themselves without any kind of abnormality. So what does that mean? It means that Vitamin C can reduce some of the signs of aging, it can help discoloration, it can help with some fine lines because it stimulates collagen production, and it can help with redness in the skin because the antioxidant properties have anti-inflammatory benefits as well.

What’s the best way to apply a serum?
TE: Vitamin C serum is very thin, and you always apply any product thinnest to thickest. We recommend you apply your everyday products in this order: serum, lotion, and then cream. (If you put your Vitamin C serum over your moisturizer, the molecules actually won’t get to your skin because the cream molecules are larger.) They say that Vitamin C is the second defense against the sun, so whatever your sunscreen is allowing to come through, the Vitamin C acts as a barrier.

Who is best suited for Vitamin C skincare?
FE: We really like it for just about everyone. You can use it for prevention of damage in addition to repair of damage. Patients that have a lot of sun damage, that have precancerous cells, aging skin, or the redness of rosacea—those are the kind of people we put it on. For people who are in their 30s and 20s, who don’t really need much to rebirth, appearance-wise, this is an antioxidant that will microscopically improve the damage in the cells that we all hate as we age.

Are there any harmful side effects to using Vitamin C serums?
FE: It’s uncommon to hear of [side effects], but Vitamin C is an ascorbic acid, so it can cause a little stinging sensation, depending on the formulation. Most people tolerate it just fine. We use it on sensitive skin. We recommend it even for rosacea patients who are red and have an acne outbreak because it has anti-inflammatory properties. There are different concentrations, we have products here that go from 15-percent to 20-percent Vitamin C, and they come in serums, and they come in creams. Sometimes the serums may penetrate a little bit more than the creams do, but the creams may be less irritating.



LAYER SMART: For optimal absorbency, be sure to apply your serum before putting on creams and makeup.


APPLY SUNSCREEN: While Vitamin C can protect the skin, it's best as a second line of defense under sunscreen.


SEEK ADVICE: Talk with your dermatologist about what level of concentration and whether a serum or cream would be best suited for your skin needs.

You May Also Like

Health & Wellness

Art of Balance Wellness Revolutionizes Baltimore’s Spa Scene

The new Art of Balance Wellness Spa brings holistic wellness services to Federal Hill.

Health & Wellness

GameChanger: Lauren Gardner

We catch up with the creator of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.

Health & Wellness

The Two Pandemics

A Hopkins director connects the dots of COVID-19 and racism.

Health & Wellness

How to Cope With COVID Related Stress

Expert from the Maryland Anxiety Center shares ways to handle the unknowns.


Local Documentary Short Lifts the Veil on Male Infertility

Accepted into The New Yorker's documentary series, the film delves into a taboo subject.

Health & Wellness

In The Shadow of Coronavirus, Aspiring Dentists Answer the “Why” Question

The pandemic doesn't seem to deter these students from their chosen field.

Doctor Finder

Connect With Us

Most Read

The Womanist Reader Creates an Online Library of Black Literature: A Baltimore writer curates an evolving list of women writers for her women followers.

Boxer Yahu Blackwell Is An All-Everything Businessman: The 33-year-old Baltimore native is the owner of the new Rita’s Italian Ice in Hampden.

Amid The Economic Chaos, Downtown Partnership’s New President Has a Plan: Shelonda Stokes was just named president after serving in an interim leadership role.

Five Things to Know About Democratic Mayoral Nominee Brandon Scott: The 36-year-old City Council President rallies past Sheila Dixon to win Democratic mayoral primary.

How the Orioles Are Preparing for a “Pandemic Season”: Staying apart is the new team bonding experience.