And I’m not talking about that glass of juice with breakfast….
Of all the active ingredients available in skincare vitamin c is one of my favourites. That’s probably because it’s the first to show a noticeable difference on my skin. Hello glowing, even toned complexion! It was shortly after starting this blog that I started testing out different products. My skincare routine was relatively low maintenance at the time and vitamin c got me into active ingredients. There are so many products to choose from that knowing where to start can be a minefield. Why is vitamin c such a tricky one? Well, mainly due to how volatile it is. This stuff is sensitive to water and light so until recently most formulations had lost their strength whilst still sitting on the shop shelf. But thanks to brands such as The Ordinary, Nuori and Clinique the selection is now a lot better.
What does it do and how do I use it….
If you are new to actives in skincare and by that I mean exfoliating acids, retinol, and vitamin c. Well…. it can be a bit (or totally) confusing. You need to be careful when using these ingredients because the products available can be strong. Sometimes there are additional steps needed to protect your skin and knowing when to use them and how to layer is key. If you are new to advanced skincare you need to tread with caution. Therefore it wouldn’t be wise to go ham and slather everything on at once. If you do it (many have) you could end up with inflamed and sensitive skin.
All you need to know…
What is Vitamin C in skincare?
It’s a powerful antioxidant with the ability to reduce pigmentation with continued use. It aids skin with fresh collagen production whilst smoothing the surface. Expect to see a brighter, more even and glowing complexion within the first few uses.
What is an antioxidant?
Antioxidants tackle free radicals caused by pollution and UV rays that are known to damage the skin.
Can it cause irritation, especially on those with sensitive skin?
Yes it can. If you are new to vitamin c then start slowly and allow your skin to adjust to this type of active ingredient. Start with a mild solution and try it once then wait 48hrs. If you find no irritation then use it again and build from there. You can expect to feel some tingling after you apply it which should wear off after a few minutes.
When should I start using it?
I would say early twenties and upwards. In addition to promoting younger looking skin vitamin c also brightens and evens out the complexion.
Should I use it day or night?
Either or both depending on the other actives you are using and how your skin tolerates it. Being an antioxidant I recommend during the day as your first choice.
Do I need to use an SPF during the day?
Yes. Vitamin c has a resurfacing effect so you will need to wear an SPF 30 or higher whilst using it.
How should I layer Vitamin C with other actives?
During the day should be your first choice to maximise the benefits of an antioxidant. This makes space in your evening routine for retinol use or acid exfoliation.
Is the product sensitive to sunlight?
Yes. Therefore it’s important to layer the product underneath an SPF during the day.
Is there anything I should know before choosing a Vitamin C product?
Choosing an advanced formulation that is packaged and formulated correctly to ensure it stays stable. It’s also important to choose the strength that best suits your current skin condition.
The best products to choose from…
These are products I have either used myself or that come recommended via a reliable source. I have divided them between strength and price point.
Powerful The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone £5.80
In the middle
Gentle Glossier Super Glow £20
Powerful Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster £45
Powerful Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum £57.20
Powerful Clinique Fresh Pressed Vitamin C £58
Reasonably Gentle Nuori Supreme-C Serum Treatment £100
Reasonably Gentle SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic £129
Powerful DCL C Scape High Potency Night Booster 30 £108