The Power of Vitamin C… Karen Heath Beauty Writer
Where has this hero come from?!
Vitamin C has long been known to be essential for health and wellbeing - we were all brought up with stories of Vitamin-C deprived sailors suffering with scurvy during the Victorian era (at the time it killed more British sailors than enemy action!) and most of us will automatically grab an orange juice or Vitamin C supplement at the first sign of a cold. However, over the last few years this very everyday Vitamin has reached powerhouse status in terms of skincare; with dermatologists deeming it ‘essential’, and it’s almost impossible to find any skincare brand from the high street to dermatologist level that doesn’t have at least one Vitamin C product in their range. So - what’s the big deal?
Why is Vitamin C so important for healthy skin?
It’s a powerful antioxidant that can neutralise free-radicals, which are basically damaging toxins produced by our bodies when they’re exposed to conditions such as pollution and UV rays. Free-radicals damage our skin cells and can also disrupt the skin’s ability to repair itself. Along with Retinol, Vitamin C is one of the few proven anti-aging skincare ingredients, and encourages collagen production as well as reducing inflammation while giving instant radiance to the skin.
What sort of Vitamin C should I look for?
The most effective form is Ascorbic Acid but Vitamin C can also appear as Sodium Ascorbic Phosphate, Ascorbic Palmitate and Retinal Ascorbate among others. Unfortunately it’s a tricky ingredient to formulate, and Ascorbic Acid breaks down with regular exposure to light and air so look for Vitamin C products that come in airtight, opaque packaging, single-use vials or sachets.
How do I incorporate Vitamin C into my skincare routine?
To make the most of Vitamin C’s anti-pollution powers it’s best to use the product in the morning, “I always recommend to use it in the a.m. as it protects the skin from free-radical damage, therefore enhancing your protection by 95%” says Dr Nadia Aminian from Beyond MediSpa, “however there is no right and wrong - and some people prefer to use it at night. I would generally only recommend once a day.” However if your skin is sensitive it could cause some irritation, in which case it should be used less often or at a lower dose while you build up to a stronger percentage.
Here are some of the best:
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, £99.45
Loved by beauty editors everywhere this highly potent product combines high strength Vitamin C with additional anti-oxidants and ferulic acid. Easily absorbed and lightweight it’s perfect for layering under or over sunscreen and under make-up.
Medik8 C-Tetra, £35.93
A great starter Vitamin C serum which is combined with vitamin E to help boost the anti-oxidising properties. It’s lower concentration of Vitamin C makes this a great serum for sensitive skin or those in their 20s and 30s
Jan Marini C-Esta Serum, £74.54
Beat uneven skin tone with this professional strength Vitamin C serum which also contains DMAE which has been shown to reduce fine lines, uneven texture and wrinkles.
This comforting, hydrating serum works effectively on all skin types and acts as a wake-up call on the skin to fight the visible signs of stress and fatigue.
Teoxane RHA x VCIP Serum, £89.95
Super hydrating Hyaluronic Acid is combined with an advanced form of Vitamin C to help plump the skin, leave skin glowing and is tolerated well by those with dry or sensitive skin.