Our beauty writer's pick of vitamin C skincare to try for brighter and clearer skin
The boost your skin deserves
We’re all familiar with vitamin C (also sometimes referred to as ascorbic acid on the ingredients label). It’s arguably the most popular vitamin around, and with good reason, too. Since young, we’ve been told to take more of it when we’re sick to chase away colds and strengthen our immune systems; for hypertension, reducing toxicity and also to get our wounds to heal faster. It comes in supplement form, but is also present in plenty of fruits and vegetables like oranges, kiwi, red peppers and broccoli.
On the beauty front, vitamin C is something our bodies require in order to produce collagen, which is one of the key reasons vitamin C in skincare is so crucial for anti-ageing.
Not only does it stimulate collagen production (which helps with wrinkles and fine lines), it’s also a great antioxidant that protects your skin from free radical damage, helps brighten your skin, reduce dark spots or pigmentation and improve overall skin tone.
Quality vitamin C skincare products tend to be on the pricier side of things, partly because more potent or effective variations of vitamin C can be more costly to manufacture and bottle. The purer or active types of vitamin C skincare also tend to have a shorter shelf life and require opaque or dark packaging to reduce its exposure to light.
If you’ve been trying to get your skin looking younger, clearer and brighter, then here are some skincare buys to try for yourself.
Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster With Pure Vitamin C 10%, $99 for 4x8.5ml
Think of this super-potent Daily Booster as a daily supplement to your regular skincare routine. Simply mix two drops with your moisturiser in the morning and evening to help with those age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and dull skin. It’s pricey but potent, and we love that it comes in four 8.5ml bottles to preserve the efficacy of the product so you don’t have to worry about using up a standard 30ml bottle before it loses effectiveness.
Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Face Mask, $105
While vitamin C isn’t the primary ingredient in this, it is part of a potent blend of vitamins including vitamins E and B5 to soften, smooth and brighten your complexion, alongside a concentrated citrus blend (curated from oranges, lemons and clementines to gently exfoliate and refine the skin). How it works: You massage it onto clean skin and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it off to reveal smoother and healthier looking skin. It also smells absolutely amazing and is gentle enough to use on sensitive skin.
Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective and Powerful Strength products
You can expect to get quite specific about your skincare needs with Kiehl’s, which has two product ranges known for vitamin C. The Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate (and its accompanying eye treatment) has a 10.5 percent concentration of vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) that promises to be as potent as retinol in stimulating collagen production and reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. The Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution and new moisturising treatment, on the other hand, use a stable Activated C that is said to diminish pigmentation and discolouration in the skin.
Not only does this serum have a pretty potent 7.5 percent concentration of vitamin C, it also contains collagen and hyaluronic acid to help your skin retain moisture, which in turn may improve elasticity and firmness. The serum also boasts soothing plant extracts like cucumber, ginseng, aloe vera, and lavender oil. You can even try adding it to your favourite foundation for a skincare boost.
Supergoop! Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Mist with Vitamin C SPF 50, $20 for 90ml or $28 for 180ml
The addition of antioxidant vitamin C in this sunscreen mist is the perfect way to counter any free radical damage your skin might sustain from harmful UV rays. It’s also really easy to apply on top of your existing makeup, so you don’t have to worry about stepping out into a hot and sunny afternoon without enough sun protection on your face. Plus, this also comes in a more travel-friendly size for you to slip in your bag or take on holiday.
Use this serum on its own or combine it with two others to create your personal daily dose concoction. It’s a great way to give your skin a little boost without adding any heaviness or stickiness. Sure, it is a lot pricier than most serums, but a little goes a long way.