Vitamin C Serum: What is it and Why Should I Use It?

Vitamin C 12% & Vitamin C+ Serum

Vitamin C 12% & Vitamin C+ Serum

There are so many different serums on the market today that it’s hard to know which to buy. They all promise to be the best at anti-aging, or reduce breakouts- but do they really? When it comes to serums, it’s crucial to look at the ingredients. With Kristyl Skincare, I offer several powerful serums made of high quality ingredients. While I am passionate about each of them, I have a confession to make - the Vitamin C serums are by far my favorite! Vitamin C is such a powerful vitamin that can do everything from increase collagen to fade dark spots. Here is a bit more information on why a Vitamin C serum is a must in your skincare routine:

Vitamin C Serum Benefits

  • Anti-inflammatory - especially acne prone skin

  • Anti-aging - reduces oxidative stress and regulates melanin production to effectively reduce both wrinkles and age spots.

  • Increase collagen - plumps and smooths the skin

  • Increase hydration

  • Protects skin from free radicals


What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, in its purest form, is known as ascorbic acid and is an antioxidant naturally found in the skin’s epidermis. Vitamin C can be applied topically to the skin and has amazing results! There are different types of Vitamin C found in skincare products, which all have slightly different effects. For example, some forms of Vitamin C are better at brightening skin, while others forms are better at reducing inflammation.

Be Aware!

Not all forms of Vitamin C are created equal so make sure to read your labels! Always look for ‘Active Ingredients’ on your serums and look for the percentage used. If you do not see a percentage amount, this usually means the active ingredient is below 1%.
The three most common forms of Vitamin C are;

  1. The most potent form of Vitamin C with the best results is Ascorbic Acid but make sure your serum with ascorbic acid has NO water present! As this makes ascorbic acid unstable.

  2. The best Vitamin C for brightening the skin and fading sun spots is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THDA).

  3. The most common form of Vitamin C used in most serums, suncreens and moisturizers (also the cheapest form of vitamin C) is Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate which usually comes in a high percentage because its not as potent and therefore needs more to have a result. Serums with this ingredient are usually cheaper in cost.

Our bodies only absorb between 10% - 15% of ascorbic acid at any one time. So choosing a higher percentage doesn’t always make your Vitamin C Serum better.

Kristyl’s Products

Kristyl Skincare offers two topical Vitamin C serums:

  1. Vitamin C+ Serum has Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THDA) as an active ingredient. This type of Vitamin C penetrates deep into the skin to brighten skin, increase collagen production, and help reverse sun damage.

  2. Vitamin C 12% Serum is L-Ascorbic acid, which is the most potent form of vitamin C. The Vitamin C 12% Serum helps decrease fine lines, reduces acne and redness, clears up blackheads, as well as minimizes large pores.

At Kristyl Skincare, I don’t just want to provide high quality, medical grade cosmeceuticals; I want my customers to truly understand the ingredients and how beneficial they can be. If you are looking for a serum that can heal your skin from the inside out by providing powerful antioxidant properties, then it’s time you purchased a quality topical Vitamin C serum. Whether you prefer the Vitamin C+ Serum or Vitamin C 12% Serum, one thing is for certain: both serums can completely transform your skin.



While it may not be the most pleasant skin care topic, it’s a very important one. Many of my clients have struggled with oily skin and large pores. Far too many of us can relate to having these horrible large pores- but very few of us actually know how to fix it! The truth is, it’s a much easier skin care issue to fix than you might think. However, before we delve into the solution, let’s talk a bit about why large pores and oily skin is so common.


Living in Barbados, we are exposed to a warmer and more humid climate. In this weather, it’s common for most of us to shower often because either it relieves that hot, sticky feeling or it cools us down. Because many of us shower often, we also cleanse our faces often. Over-cleansing is the #1 culprit of massive pores. This may sound contradictory, so let me explain.

Over-cleansing our face is dangerous because it strips away its natural oils. At night while we sleep, our skin rejuvenates, replenishes, restores, and retains a healthy balance of natural oils. So it is important to do a proper skin care routine before bed. But when we wake up and immediately cleanse our already clean face, those natural oils are stripped away. The body then responds to the lack of hydration by opening our pores larger and producing even more natural oils. This is because your body thinks it’s not producing enough natural oils since they are continuously being stripped away.


However, while you shouldn’t use a cleanser on your face in the morning, you should still use something: the Balancing Facial Toner.

Here’s why:

pH Balance

Keeping the right pH balance for your skin is incredibly important. When your pH balance is off, the pores open larger in attempt to release sebum (natural oils) for hydration. The average toner is designed to simply remove excess sebum, however, the Balancing Facial Toner helps to minimize pores while also balancing your skin’s pH levels. Unlike standard toners, the Balancing Toner isn’t made with alcohol, as that dries the skin out- which is detrimental!

Removes “dirt”

One of the main reasons why people cleanse their faces in the morning is because they have sweat. Most of us think our face is dirty, when there isn’t actually any dirt on it. And sweat isn’t dirt! If you cleanse in the morning- whether you’ve put in a gym sesh or not- you are still removing necessary natural oils. Instead, you can remove sweat and gunk by splashing your face several times with water and applying the Balancing Toner with a cotton pad.

This Balancing Facial Toner is an important part of your daily skin care routine because it helps to stop your skin from gaining large pores. If you truly want to get rid of large pores once and for all, it’s time to stop over-cleansing and start using the pH balancing, purifying Balancing Facial Toner.

Why Choose Kristyl Skincare Products?


Hi everyone, my name is Kristyl and I am a skin care fanatic! I created my own skin care line, Kristyl Skincare, a few years back after realizing that the skin care industry wasn’t tailored for Barbados living. I was frustrated that I couldn’t find high quality skin care products that met my precise needs - and I knew that others were, too. In Barbados, most skin care products are imported from Canada or the United States, which means that they aren’t suited for the Caribbean climate. My products are specifically designed for those living in tropical climates. They are lightweight, breathable, and extremely effective. If you’re interested in skin care, here’s some more information on why Kristyl Skincare stands out from other skin care brands:


Natural and organic

Oftentimes, the ingredients list on a skin care product is hard to read. This is because the products are packed with so many chemicals that you don’t actually know what you’re putting on your face. With Kristyl Skincare, I create my products using naturally-derived ingredients, which undergo minimal processing, and botanical plant-based ingredients like antioxidant-filled chamomile, lavender and green tea, which are antioxidants. Organic products are products that have ingredients that were once living. These are plant or animal-based materials that undergo some processing but do not contain man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, or genetically modified organisms. Therefore they are free of parabens. Some of my products are also organic. ALL my products are have absolutely no animal by-products.


Kristyl Skincare products contain antioxidants for a plethora of reasons: they are antibacterial, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, firming, restoring, and they limit the production of free radicals. However, I use extracts of these ingredients rather than use them in their pure form because extracts are much more powerful. For example, by using green tea extract instead of green tea leaves, for example, the skin care product is even more powerful.

Personal skin care

Unfortunately, skin care is not one size fits all. Everyone’s skin type, needs, and sensitivities are different. At Kristyl Skincare, you can opt for a starter kit that suits your skin type. Additionally, I can use my skin care expertise to suggest products that I believe best suit your skin if you are unsure of what you need or can't find what you are looking for.

I believe wholeheartedly that there is no one miracle product that fixes any and every skin problem. As I’ve said before, everyone is different. However, there is a Kristyl Skincare product to suit everyone’s individual needs. Regardless of whether you struggle with acne, sun spots, aging skin, or any other skin problem, my products can be of assistance.



The ever so popular controversy of what sunscreens or sunblocks are good and what are bad. Here is a breakdown of ingredients you need to know (especially if you live in the Caribbean).

First, you need to make sure your sunscreen is a TRUE broad spectrum. In other words, just because a sunscreen has on its label "broad-spectrum" doesn't mean it covers the Full Spectrum.

Secondly, there’s SPF and UV Protection. Many think SPF, which is always followed by a number on the label of virtually every sunscreen or sunblock, is the measure of the product’s shield strength. This is both correct and incorrect.

SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is the estimated maximum “amount” of UV radiation that the product can protect your skin from. As for UV protection, there are 2 UV rays we will focus on;
1) UVA - also known as the 'aging' rays and are the culprits to dark spots and skin cancer. These rays burn skin from the bottom layer, coming up. They are very prevalent when it's overcast so it's important to always wear sunscreen even when you are not (knowingly) in direct sunlight.
2) UVB - also known as the 'burning' rays. They are less harmful than UVA because they burn the outer layers of the skin which eventually shed. These rays are responsible for your overall tan or sunburns.

And lastly, sunscreen and sunblock (there’s a difference). Technically, the word “sunscreen” is a loose term that can be used to describe either a physical or chemical sun protectant —but “sunblock” is always used to describe physical UV protection. In other words, sunscreens are usually in lotions or daily moisturizers and can easily be washed off with sweat or water, whereas a sunblock tends to be thicker and has water resistant properties.

Therefore SUNSCREENS are NOT for beach wear. Your first dip in the ocean, or first bead of sweat, and your UV protection is gone! Always make sure your sunblock says ‘Water Resistant’.

Water Resistant

Water Resistant

Not Water Resistant

Not Water Resistant


A physical block is when the UV rays are reflected off of the product (like a mirror) whereas a chemical block is when the UV rays are absorbed into the product.





The only ingredient that covers the full spectrum of UVA rays in zinc oxide.
The second best ingredient is Titanium Dioxide which is a physical block. These are both 'Active Ingredients' and should state the percentage on the label.

OXYBENZONE - The coral killer
Small amounts of this ingredient is linked to killing our slow growing coral. Make sure to avoid using sunscreens with this ingredient. Want to learn more (article - )

This ingredient absorbs a small amount of UVA rays and is a chemical block. It is linked to aspirin so anyone sensitive to aspirin may have a skin irritation or reaction to sunscreens containing it. Some people also get a stinging sensation if the sunscreen is too close to the eyes.

The most common ingredient in sunscreens that are labelled "Broad-Spectrum", however, it's usually about 3% and only covers a very small section of UVA rays. Not ideal for constant Caribbean sunny weather.

Spray Tan



You'll definitely want to exfoliate pre-spray tan to get even glow; sloughing off old skin cells creates an even base for the tan to adhere to. But if you don't choose the right scrub, it may cause your tan to streak. The oils in popular sugar scrubs coat the skin and cause the tan to run right off. Instead, use an exfoliating mitt with your regular soap and skip applying lotion afterward; spray tans love dry skin.

It may seem like common sense to shave before a spray tan, but shaving immediately prior to your appointment can cause the product to irritate your skin. Shaving is a mild exfoliant that exposes new skin cells, which are extra sensitive. DHA (the pigment in spray tan) reacts with those sensitive cells and can cause some serious redness and discomfort.

The concept of getting a “base tan” to prevent sunburn is bogus to begin with—but you should definitely know that a spray tan has no effect on your body’s melanin, which is what causes your skin to tan naturally. “Just because you look tan doesn’t mean you’re not going to burn,” We recommend using a daily lightweight sunscreen like EltaMD to protect your skin and your faux-glow.

While taking a dip in a pool won’t ruin your tan, spending hours on-end in chlorinated water will. Chlorine, which is similar to bleach, will take the tan right off your skin. Just limit your swim time after you've gotten a spray tan and pat dry right when you get out of the water.

Some salons may recommend keeping the skin highly moisturized to prolong the length of your spray tan, but that may not be the best advice since the moisture in heavy lotions and body butters will work away at your glow, causing it to fade faster. At KRISTYL, it is advised to use a lightweight lotion instead to keep the skin from over drying.

Everybody’s tan lasts a slightly different length of time, and it usually has nothing to do with the product. The speed at which your cells turn over has a huge effect on how long your tan will last; the younger you are, the faster your cells turn over, which causes your tan to fade more quickly. The bad news: There's nothing you can do about the speed at which your cells regenerate. The good news: Moisturize with a lotion daily can help prolong the life of your tan.

It would be great if you could keep up your spray tan the way you do your eyebrows or roots, but unfortunately, faux tans don't work that way. If you spray a new tan on top of an old tan, it will look patchy—darker in areas where the old tan remains, and lighter in areas where it's already worn off. You can enjoy your tan for up to one and a half weeks, then removing it and starting fresh. Speaking of which…

If the worst happens and you look more like an Oompa Loompa than a bronzed goddess, don't worry: At-home removal is super-easy. Water breaks down the ingredients in your spray tan and loosens it from the skin, so run a warm bath with a little shower gel mixed in. Soak in it for at least a half an hour, then rub off with an old hand towel. The tan will rinse away with the water, leaving you with a clean slate.