There are a few skincare ingredients that I adore and use frequently, and Vitamin C is one of them. It is even better when the Vitamin C comes in new and innovative formulas and textures, which is what has inspired today’s Vitamin C Skincare Edit. From powder to mousse, peel to serum, I have found a few of the most exciting Vitamin C Skincare products available.
Before I get to the products, let’s discuss what Vitamin C is, what it does and who should use it.
When looking at an ingredient list, remember that the ingredient closest to the top indicates the highest proportion in the product. When looking out for vitamin C, you will most likely find it listed as Ascorbic or L-Ascorbic Acid. This is the most potent and purest form of vitamin C. L-Ascorbic acid is one of the most naturally active forms of vitamin C but is also one of the most unstable unfortunately, which means it can go off quickly and irritate sensitive skins. Which is why it is often combined with other ingredients such as Ferulic Acid, which is a plant based anti-oxidant that improves the stability of vitamin C. You can ensure that the shelf life of your vitamin C products are increased by closing the lids tightly and ensuring minimal air exposure, and keeping them in a cool dark place, the fridge works perfectly!
Vitamin C has a wide range of skincare benefits:
PROTECTION AGAINST ENVIRONMENTAL AGGRESSORS AND FREE RADICALS
Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant and protects the skin against free radicals and environmental aggressors, like sun and pollution, and even cigarette smoke. It helps to protect the skin from the toxins it is exposed to, as well as future damage, and it intensifies the protection of sunscreen.
Vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen which gives skin that firm, plump and youthful look and minimises the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.
REDUCTION OF UNEVENNESS/SCARRING
Vitamin C can help fade skin discolourations and scars as well as even the skin tone and reduce inflammation. It also helps the skin repair itself by encouraging cell renewal, preventing the loss of elasticity and increasing moisture retention, giving the skin a smoother, more even look.
Fun Fact: Last year on Pinterest, there was a 3370% increase in saves for ‘vitamin C serum’, and it was the most searched for ingredient.
Vitamin C can, and in my opinion should, be used by everyone. First time users should look for a concentration between 5 and 10% to avoid irritation, and slowly build up your tolerance. You can find vitamin C in all types of skincare; serums, eye creams, moisturisers, face masks and even cleansers. Serums are the best way to get a good dose of vitamin C due to their high concentration of active ingredients. Packaging is important, so look for airtight bottles, pumps and single-use packaging which will will preserve your product better.
The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Revealing Liquid Peel definitely leaves my skin feeling softer and smoother, and looking brighter without being drying or abrasive. It does leave a weird tacky sticky feeling on my skin though, so I do use a cotton pad soaked in some toner to remove it fully. There isn’t much of a difference in my opinion between the three liquid peels offered by The Body Shop, so if you have one, I don’t think you need to add this one too, as they all remove dull skin leaving your skin smoother and brighter. I have reviewed the Drops of Light Peel here.
I am obsessed with the *SVR Hydracid C50 Masque Eclat! It is a high dose of vitamin c in a can, with a cool foamy mousse texture. It also includes hyaluronic acid to hydrate, and ingredients to re-texturise, refine and smooth the skin. The aerosol packaging means that the active ingredients remain stable and effective. You apply the foam with your hands and massage into the skin. You can leave it on for 15 minutes, but I prefer to apply it to my skin in the evening, remove the excess with a cloth before I go to bed, and wake up to brighter, smoother, healthier looking skin.
Another cool product I have discovered is the *Filorga C-Recover, a powder booster serum that you activate before use, which means the product remains stable and does not oxidise. The little white cap houses pure vitamin c powder (8%) and you need to press down to release the powder into the serum and then mix well. The set comes with three ampoules, each of which need to be discarded seven days after activating. So this set lasts you 21 days, and all ampoules should be used consecutively for the best results. It is also recommended that once you have activated your ampoule you store it in the fridge. After the course you can expect your skin to look brighter, revived and healthier. Although this has a strong vitamin c scent, it isn’t unpleasant. This is an excellent Vitamin C Serum for the price considering the packaging, concentration and of course the fun of a little DIY.
Moving on to a budget option, The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, which I have been using as a serum. It feels rough on the skin and takes a while to absorb, which I am not sure I enjoy, although it does give my skin a little tingle which I love! It also contains hyaluronic acid and squalane which hydrates the skin.
The final product in this edit is the most luxurious feeling face cream, the *Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Brightening Hydragel Cream. It is so hydrating but still feels light and airy and keeps my skin looking and feeling plump all day. Although it is described as a gel-cream it is soft and silky and feels like a fluffy cloud on the skin. This will be a perfect Summer moisturiser since it is oil-free, as light as a gel, but still hydrates the skin thanks to hyaluronic acid. It also includes vitamin c and glutathione to protect and brighten the skin over time!
If you are concerned about premature aging, uneven skin tone, scarring, pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, not to mention the pollution our skin is exposed to daily, then your skin will benefit from incorporating vitamin C into your routine. It is also recommended to use vitamin C after skin treatments such as a face peel to help protect and treat the new skin.