It’s 2021 and skincare is finally having the moment it deserves. By now, most of us are well and truly across all the key ingredients for a quality skincare routine.
At the very minimum, we should be double cleansing, moisturising, using a serum suited to our skin concerns, and of course, wearing sunscreen every day.
We know we can add in a hyaluronic acid for extra hydration, an AHA or BHA for exfoliation and rejuvenation, and a toner or misting spray to superpower those existing products.
However, a really commonly overlooked product –and one we think is pretty essential– is a vitamin C serum.
Vitamin C serums and products are often seen as one of those ‘nice to have’ but not essential products. We’ve all heard that vitamin C can give us a little more glow and will brighten the skin, but it actually does so much more than that.
Vitamin c actually works to heal blemishes and scarring, reduces hyperpigmentation and it’s also one of the best prevention techniques for ageing skin.
Oh, it protects your skin from UV ray damage too. A huge bonus.
Here are all the different ways vitamin C benefits skin and how you can use it to maximise those benefits.
So, what is vitamin C? 🍊
Vitamin C is a vitamin and an essential nutrient for humans. The vitamin obviously provides a host of benefits for our bodies.
It’s essential for the growth and repair of tissue and it helps us heal wounds and scar tissue. This is because vitamin C helps our body form part of the protein we need to regenerate and repair our skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.
Luckily, this process happens naturally in our body, from eating all those lovely, vitamin C rich foods.
Loads of different foods provide vitamin C. The most commonly known vitamin C source is obviously citrus fruits: oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. But leafy greens, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower are also full of the vitamin.
You’ll need a different form of vitamin C for your skin though.
Vitamin C doesn’t just come in supplements and in fruits and vegetables. When it comes to reaping the skincare benefits of this vitamin, a well-balanced diet with plenty of vitamin C is a great idea — but it’s actually most effective when applied topically.
So, in a serum or a cream applied directly onto your face.
What does vitamin C do for the skin?
A lot. Vitamin C isn’t listed as highly as those typical essential skincare products — like a moisturiser or a face cleanser.
But it’s a really important product. Particularly as you become more concerned with fine lines, dark spots, and a general loss of collagen, you’ll find vitamin C’s benefits are exactly what you’re looking for.
Thick, collagen-rich skin
One of the biggest benefits associated with vitamin C serums is of course, the collagen production. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in our bodies that depletes with time.
Certain supplements and skincare products, though, can encourage collagen production. Collagen is linked with that youthful firmness and elasticity in your skin.
So vitamin C is essential for thick, plump skin.
Collagen is basically the antidote to the typical signs of ageing skin. Collagen is the answer to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. So, a vitamin C serum is an excellent product for these anti-ageing needs.
Reduce under eye circles
These serums smooth, plump, and brighten the skin, while also adding a healthy dose of hydration. So, they’re amazing for dark under eye circles. It discourages that discolouration while reducing red spots on your skin too.
Avoid dark spots and sun damage
Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants actively protect healthy skin cells and accelerate cell turnover.
So, it’s an amazing skincare product to use in the morning to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. ICYMI: the sun is your skin’s arch nemesis.
Vitamin C prevents and works to repair red blemishes, dark spots, and sun damage.
Look bright, glowy, and evenly toned
Vitamin c and all of its benefits surmise into just being an all around amazing product for your skin and face.
The extra collagen production and the soothing and smoothing of your skin means vitamin C will generally have your face looking brighter, glowier, and with a nice, even tone.
And isn’t that the dream?
How to use vitamin c serums — fitting it into your skincare routine
To get the best results and the most out of each of your skincare products, it’s really important you’re using them in the right order.
The best order for your skincare products will depend on the specific products you’re using.
We can’t say for certain that you should moisturise after your face oil because it depends on the product, so here’s a handy trick:
Apply your products in order of the thinnest products to the thickest products. This will get confusing with those oils and creams though!
So, read the ingredients lists and work out which products are water-based and which are oil-based.
Build the products up from the thinnest, water-based products to the thickest, oil-based products.
Remember that oil-based products will always go on last, depending on the step.
For example: an oil-based serum will be the last serum you put on then your moisturiser would go on top. Or, an oil-based moisturiser or balm would go on last, then your SPF on top.
Here’s a clearer example of how you should layer your products:
Use it in the morning!
A vitamin C serum is best used in the morning. It offers a great deal of sun protection so, to maximise all of its benefits, applying it before you face those UV rays is best.
You will of course still reap the benefits of vitamin C in the evening, but you’ll get even more from it in the morning.
Remember, it’s important to ensure your serum is fully absorbed before you head outside for the day and always remember to apply your SPF as the last step of your routine in the morning.
Here are our personal favourite Vitamin C products
Pure C + BHA
Powered by pure L-ascorbic acid with encapsulated salicylic acid, this is a powerful vitamin C powder and an excellent antioxidant. It has anti-aging and radiance benefits with a gentle exfoliation in the mix. We recommend mixing a quarter of a scoop into your favourite moisturiser or serum.
Vitamin C Hemp Seed Oil
Rich in omega fatty acids, this vitamin C oil is great for intense hydration, nourishment and soothing of all skin types.