Everything You Need To Know About Vitamin C, The Holy Grail Of Skincare Ingredients

Get that glow, guaranteed.

When it comes to beautifying benefits, vitamin C is your new main squeeze.

Spend more than three minutes talking to any dermatologist, skincare expert or aesthetician and they’ll inevitably start raving about three things:

  1. Wearing SPF every single day. Yes, even in Ireland. Yes, when it's rainy outside and yes, especially when you're spending all day indoors (more on that, here).
  2. How double cleansing is the single best thing you can do for your skin and how you should be incorporating into your routine like, yesterday (more on that, here). 
  3. Why everyone should be slathering vitamin C on their face every single morning. 

So let's discuss the latter. Name any skincare concern and you can almost guarantee vitamin c can and will treat it. See, vitamin C is something of a mega ingredient; it encourages collagen production, helps brighten dark spots and pigmentation from sun damage and protects the skin from free radicals. Not only that, but it’s also great at reducing inflammation, softens rough skin texture and gives you one hell of a natural glow (meaning you can forgo even the best highlighter). 

While the popular ingredient stars in numerous face masks, toners, mists, and moisturisers, the most efficient way to deliver it straight into your skin for best results tends to be with a potent, targeted serum. But as it’s such an active ingredient, it can take your skin a little bit of time to get used to it. Don’t worry, introduce it slowly by applying it every couple of days to start with and then gradually upping your use.

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Regardless, Vitamin C is a skin-perfecting ingredient that’s tolerable by almost all skin types immediately. It’s not an overnight miracle worker, but derms agree that you’ll start to notice a difference in your skin’s appearance within a few weeks of consistent use. Which is almost the same as instant gratification, right? Right.

So with dermatologists and skin specialists alike recommending vitamin C more than ever, here's everything you need to know about the buzzy molecule, including why you should start using it ASAP. Plus, the best vitamin c products to load up on for dewy, hydrated skin.

what is VITAMIN C

Otherwise known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is an essential nutrient required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body, including the skin, but we cannot produce it on our own. The powerful antioxidant is found naturally in fruits and vegetables and commonly produced synthetically in skincare products, such as moisturizers, toners, and, most often, serums.

what does VITAMIN C do?

Vitamin C helps prevent free-radical damage from things like UV and pollution to keep your skin healthy and glowy. It also inhibits the production of excess melanin, which, in turn, helps prevent and fade acne scars, melasma, and dark spots. And, and, it also smoothes fine lines and wrinkles over time, thanks to its ability to boost collagen too. 

who is VITAMIN C suitable for?

Vitamin C is an ingredient that should be part of everyone’s skincare routine—regardless of age or skin type. That said, when used in high concentrations, it can be irritating, especially if mixed with other acids. Those with extremely sensitive skin may not be able to tolerate it, and in which case, should avoid it. Many vitamin C products are also oily, which can be problematic for those with oily skin, so it's always best consulting a dermatologist to find a brand or product that is best suited for your skin type. 

when + HOW do i apply VITAMIN C? 

You can take vitamin C orally or in a serum for more visible results. Vitamin C serums are the go-to anti-ageing remedy and the antidote to lacklustre, dehydrated skin. 

Vitamin C can be used in the morning or evening, most prefer to apply it during the day since its antioxidant properties act as a shield to deflect pollution and other environmental aggressors.

In terms of when you should use it in your routine, it should be part of a four-step system of cleansing, treating, moisturising and SPF. Using a serum form of vitamin C, should always be applied to clean skin right after you've cleansed every day or every other day depending on your skin's tolerance. Wait 5-10 minutes for the potency of the serum to ware off and sink into the skin and follow up with a moisturiser and SPF, like usual. 

WHERE CAN I BUY VITAMIN C?

In short, everywhere. But to help you on your quest for glowy, healthy skin, we've rounded up the absolute best vitamin c serums, all of which are prepared to brighten, soften, and plump the skin with moisture.

A few drops of this treatment works absolute wonders for flat and tired skin. The secret? Pure vitamin C powder, which when shaken with hyaluronic acid and applied to your face, it brings out your natural glow, making you look revived and ready for the day.

Vitamin C Booster Treatment, €31.05, Trilogy

This silky serum is a pleasure to use and absorbs quickly. It has vitamin B3, as well as vitamin C, which reduces inflammation so perfect if you have sensitive skin.

Vitamin C Intense Daily Serum, €69, Emma Hardie

Vitamin C serums tend to sit on top of the skin and feel a little sticky (hey, perfect skin requires sacrifices), but not this one from Glow Recipe. The brightening pineapple-juice-and-vitamin-C blend legit feels like water on your skin, so you won’t even know it’s on your face.

Pineapple-C Bright Serum, €53, Glow Recipe

That computer, tablet, or iPhone you’re reading on right now? It’s emitting blue light, which is proven to trigger free radical damage in your skin, which, in turn, accelerates skin ageing. And because we know you’re not going to quit using the internet, grab a bottle of this vitamin-C serum, which is designed to combat the effects of blue light while brightening and protecting your face.

Biolumin-c serum, €95, Dermalogica

This powerful serum combines vitamin C with glycolic acid (a potent AHA that helps boost cell turnover and get rid of dead skin cells) to make your dark spots lighter, your pores smaller, and your skin surface smoother and more even. I mean, what's not to love?

Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum, €83, Murad

A powerful antioxidant serum that helps to protect and prevent the visible signs of ageing and environmental damage. Packed with a stable oil-soluble vitamin C which is essential for promoting collagen production, lightening hyperpigmentation as well as brightening the skin’s complexion, this serum from Skin Formulas is as nourishing as it gets.

Vit C Serum, €50, Skin Formulas

Main image by @jourdandunn on Instagram

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