I’ve written a lot about Vitamin C as an ingredient for various publications. One to definitely check out is my Vitamin C guide for The Pretty Pimple, Dr Pimple Popper’s skincare site. In short, this is a powerful ingredient that should feature in everyone’s skincare regimes at some strength.
As I explain in the guide, to spot the Vitamin C ingredient in a product, you should look out for ingredients like L-ascorbic acid, Vitamin C ester, Ascorbyl Palmitate, 3-0 Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate or Ascorbyl Glucoside. Vitamin C has a multitude of skin benefits. It’s an antioxidant that protects the skin from environmental aggressors. Also, it’s an anti-inflammatory; it brightens the skin and increases radiance; and it’s a good anti-aging ingredient that boosts collagen production and firms the skin. Higher concentrations of it can also reduce hyperpigmentation and age spots, and the effects of sun damage. Those with sensitive skin might not be able to tolerate a lot of Vitamin C products, as it is effectively an acid and it can sting.Instytutum Anti-Wrinkle Brightening C-erum*** – £81, Skin City
This is definitely the most potent and most powerful of the three products in this post, hence it’s price tag. I don’t feel that this is a product for those with sensitive skin, and although the product advises using it morning and night, I’d just use it once per day.
15 % Vitamin C (Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, which is a stable, oil-soluble and lipid-soluble form of Vitamin C), Vitamin E, 3% Niacinamide, and and Tripeptide-5. Other ingredients include Squalene, Bark Extract and Oleanolic Acid.
This is a serum, designed to layer with other serums before a moisturiser. The type of Vitamin C (Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate) that is in this product is thought to pair well with Retinols, so it’s a good one to add to your night-time skin regime. It’s also thought that this type of Vitamin C penetrates better than others into the skin due to its fatty acid component.
This serum has a smooth, silky texture and absorbs quickly into the skin. The Squalene in it really hydrates and softens the skin. Tripeptide-5 brightens the skin, plumps it, and moisturises. It also boosts Collagen production and improves skin elasticity; making it a powerful anti-ageing compound. Bark Extract & Oleanolic Acid reduce excess sebum, shrink pores and refine the skin’s surface. Niacinamide is another excellent anti-ageing ingredient that shrinks pores, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and evens skin tone.
I find this serum instantly brightening, and I have really noticed a difference in my skin over several weeks too. It’s much brighter and has a healthy glow too. Areas of redness around my nose and jaws have also reduced.Sanctuary Spa 1-Minute Daily Glow Mask – £14, Superdrug
I love this bargain product. It’s a great one for all skin types, and so quick and easy to use. It’s a 1-minute mask that you apply to slightly damp skin pre-shower, then leave it on for 1-minute before gently massaging it off under running water. It is part chemical exfoliation and part manual exfoliation, as it does have a slightly rough texture due to the tiny granules in it designed to buff away dead skin cells.
I find that it really preps my skin for the rest of my morning skincare routine, and it’s definitely gentle enough to use of my skin every day. It’s also suitable for Vegans.
It’s a face mask that’s designed to illuminate the skin and give it glow. Antioxidant and antibacterial Kadaku Plum, and other Vitamin C-rich super fruits, adds radiance to the skin. Vitamin C (MAP) brightens and improves skin tone and texture, and Rosemary Extract stimulates the skin and improves circulation.
This mask contains a type of Vitamin C known as Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP). It’s a water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C. It is more stable in water but it is less potent than L-Ascorbic Acid. The Ordinary say that “it is compatible with water but higher concentrations cannot be offered in a low-viscosity serum format and requires emulsification to form a cream”.
This is a relatively gentle but effective quick boost to your skin’s luminosity. I’d definitely recommend you give it a try.REN Radiance Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream – £38, REN Skincare
This product from REN is a moisturiser that’s gentle enough to be used daily, morning and night. REN say that it’s irritation free and friendly to all skin types. I love the light gel-cream texture of this, as well as it’s awakening citrus scent. It moisturises the skin, evens skin tone and increases luminosity.
As well as the radiance-boosting Vitamin C, other ingredients include anti-inflamatory Tara Pod Extract, which evens skin tone and discolouration. There’s also Magnesium to improve cellular processes and the general look of your skin.
The type of Vitamin C we see in this is Ascorbyl Glucoside – a water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C. It’s an very stable Vitamin C derivative, but in this light gel-cream formula the potency isn’t high. Aside from the general benefits of Vitamin C, Ascorbyl Glucoside has been shown to offer specific skin brightening benefits, which is why REN will have chosen it for this moisturiser.Anew Vitamin C Radiance Booster Capsules*** – £18, Avon
This little pot of capsules are great for travel, as they are compact and it basically means you can turn any of your moisturisers into a brightening Vitamin C one. It cuts down on the amount of products that you need to take. Each little capsule contains a power shot of 20% concentrated vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid, so not natural Vitamin C (which would would be L-Ascorbic Acid). Each little capsule contains a light, white cream that’s contains really concentrated, potent, and most importantly, stable Vitamin C. Avon claim that the Vitamin C stays active on the skin for 48 hours, but I very much doubt this, as Vitamin C loses it’s potency (is not stable) as soon as it’s exposed to light and air. Despite this claim, it does still give you an instant boost of this brightening and anti-ageing ingredient. This is the only product in this list that I didn’t feel that tingle from when you apply it to your skin. However, it really works, and if you don’t layer some hydrating serums and moisturisers on top, you will have dry skin by the next day. So keep your skin moisturised and happy after apply one of these capsules.
You definitely don’t want to have all these products in your routine at once, so look at your skincare product line-up and see where a Vitamin C product would best sit for you in relation to the other active ingredients on your shelf.
***This post contains press samples, but all opinions are my own.
To see more of what I’m loving, and what I’m doing, check out my Instagram.