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Why Vitamin C is Vital to Your Skincare Routine


You might only think to reach for vitamin C when flu season rolls around, but there are a bevy of benefits to incorporating this powerful antioxidant in your skincare routine, too. From reducing fine lines and wrinkles to brightening and smoothing out your skin tone and jumpstarting collagen production, vitamin C is a miracle-worker when it comes to treating a host of concerns about your complexion.

And the benefits of vitamin C don't stop there. Read on for everything you need to know about vitamin C, plus the vitamin C skincare products your skin will thank you for.


What Exactly is Vitamin C?

Before you start slathering vitamin C all over your face, let’s dive into the science behind the powerhouse. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that serves as your skin’s best defense from the free radicals you encounter on a daily basis. Free radicals are unpaired electrons that cause damage to your cells (and skin) by trying to pair with electrons within your body. The most common free radicals we face come from UV rays (AKA sun damage) and air pollution, which can cause oxidative stress (an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in your body).

Here's where vitamin C comes in. When free radicals meet an antioxidant like vitamin C on the surface of your skin, the antioxidant neutralizes the reactive molecules, stopping them in their tracks and keeping your skin healthy. It basically works like an unseen superhero to ensure that those free radicals can’t spread damage throughout your complexion. Not only does this help reduce signs of aging and discoloration, but it also protects your skin against precancerous changes brought on by UV exposure.

An image of a smiling model with curly hair applying cream on her cheek

What are the Skincare Benefits of Vitamin C?

Beyond battling free radicals and protecting your body from unseen dangers, vitamin C is a powerful cosmetic skincare ingredient. It's especially renowned for its anti-aging benefits, and can reduce the appearance of brown spots and fine lines while boosting overall skin health. How? Vitamin C helps your body repair damaged skin cells and pitches in with your skin’s natural regeneration process. The acidity in the ingredient speeds up the production of collagen and elastin (AKA the natural fibers behind plump, firm-looking skin). The more collagen and elastin in your skin, the less premature signs of aging on your skin's surface.  

Your complexion is also bound to look brighter once you start using vitamin C in your skincare routine. Not only can the powerful ingredient minimize the appearance of dark spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation, but it can also prevent those pesky spots from popping up in the first place. It does this by inhibiting the skin’s melanin production. For a targeted approach, you can find the best dark spot corrector for your skin type here


How Can You Add Vitamin C to Your Skincare Routine?

While there are many forms of vitamin C on the market, anything you use in your skincare routine will be applied topically, like a vitamin C serum. You can also give your skin a healthy dose of vitamin C by using a cleanser, mask, or toner that’s packed with the skin-saving antioxidant. 

If you want to double up on the benefits, reach for a serum that incorporates both vitamin C and vitamin E. These antioxidants play nice with one another, and offer double the protection against free radical damage. 

Of course, as with any new addition to your skincare routine, it’s best to incorporate a new vitamin C product gradually to allow your skin to adjust. It’s also very powerful, so a little goes a long way. Reach out to your dermatologist for more personalized guidelines about incorporating vitamin C in your skincare routine.


The Best Vitamin C Products to Add to Your Skincare Routine ASAP

Want a brighter, younger-looking complexion but not sure what product is right for you? We’ve rounded up the best vitamin C products on the market to simplify your skincare routine.

OFRA COSMETICS Foaming Vitamin C Cleanser

The Best Vitamin C Cleanser: OFRA COSMETICS Foaming Vitamin C Cleanser

This foaming cleanser is gentle enough for sensitive skin but tough enough to remove dirt and makeup. Use it day and night for a glowing complexion, thanks to the very necessary dose of Vitamin C it’ll give your skin.

PIXI BY PETRA Vitamin-C Tonic

The Best Vitamin C Toner: PIXI BY PETRA Vitamin-C Tonic

Allow your skin to drink up the benefits of this antioxidant-rich toner that’s suitable for all skin types. This alcohol-free formula contains Vitamin C to generate collagen production while willow bark and fruit extract work to exfoliate.

DERMADOCTOR Kakadu C Intensive Vitamin C Peel Pad with Ferulic Acid & Vitamin E

The Best Vitamin C Mask: DERMADOCTOR Kakadu C Intensive Vitamin C Peel Pad with Ferulic Acid & Vitamin E

This mask does double-duty so you don’t have to, thanks to the combination of Vitamin C and Vitamin E which protect against free-radical damage. It also contains Kakadu plum, which is one of the richest natural Vitamin C sources known on Earth. This calming mask is bound to leave your skin looking luminous and feeling even better.

DERMA E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

The Best Vitamin C Serum: DERMA E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

Want a plumper, smoother complexion? Right this way. This stabilized form of Vitamin C will protect against environmental stresses caused by UV rays and pollution, while hyaluronic acid offers up a healthy dose of moisture. In fact, one Ipster noticed changes in her complexion right away: “I haven't been using this product long and I already notice a difference! My skin was brighter [and] it looked more plump.”

ANDALOU NATURALS Vitamin C Beauty Balm Sheer Tint SPF 30

Bonus Pick – The Best Vitamin C Option for Your Beauty Routine: ANDALOU NATURALS Vitamin C Beauty Balm Sheer Tint SPF 30

Want to cut down the time in your morning routine? Look no further than this major multi-tasker that combines the benefits of skincare with the coverage of a BB cream. Not only is this natural beauty balm packed with antioxidant-rich Vitamin C, but it’s also loaded with SPF and offers a light layer of coverage.

 Want in on all the Glam Bag fun? Take the beauty quiz now to get started. And don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

About the author
Katrina Mitzeliotis Lanza
Katrina is a freelance writer and on-air correspondent with over a decade of experience covering beauty, fashion, and entertainment. When she isn't freelancing, you can catch her on QVC or chasing after her two-year-old son.
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Article Last Updated January 27, 2020 12:00 AM