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Notes On… Vitamin C

An antioxidant serum is a non-negotiable in every skincare routine, regardless of age, concern or skintype – and an antioxidant serum that is high in Vitamin C is often the best choice for many skin concerns.

Vitamin C is one of my all-time favourite skin heroes…a miracle ingredient that is as effective in your juice as it is in your facial serum. Though it’s become become a buzzword synonymous with skin brightening, it’s benefits extend much further than that. Vitamin C neutralises free radicals (caused by exposure to pollution and UVA/UVB), stimulates collagen production and reduces inflammation. It’s also a powerful anti-ageing tool working hard to minimise the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage and dark spots. A true multi-tasker. It’s also great from a preventative standpoint, as it interferes with pigment production, making it a particularly useful antidote for those of us prone to discolouration and sun damage. 

There are a few different Vitamin C variants – I have listed a few of these below, to help you make an informed decision about which may be best for your skin.

Aminopropyl Ascrobyl Phosphate (derivative of Vitamin C)

Less potent that L-Ascorbic Acid.

Best for antioxidant protection, brightening, evening out skin tone and fading pigmentation – though less proven than other Vitamin C derivatives.

Ascorbyl Glucosamine (derivative of Vitamin C)

Best for antioxidant protection and brightening.

Ascorbyl Glucoside (derivative of Vitamin C)

Best for antioxidant protection, brightening and fading dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Ascorbyl Methylsilanol

Best for antioxidant protection.

Ascorbyl Palmitate (derivative of Vitamin C)

I would not recommend, as other forms of Vitamin C have more robust stability.

L-Ascorbic Acid/Ascorbic Acid (active form of Vitamin C)

L-Ascorbic Acid is the active form of Vitamin C and is likely the one you are most familiar with. Remember to be careful with this ingredient, as it is extremely unstable and oxidises very quickly when exposed to light and air. It can cause irritation so it’s best to steer clear if you experience sensitive skin.

Look for L-Ascorbic Acid if you are after high antioxidant protection, brightening, evening out skin tone, fading dark spots and hyperpigementation, boosting collagen production and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Also look for products that combine L-Ascorbic Acid with Vitamin E or Ferulic Acid as these ingredients will optimise its absorption.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (derivative of Vitamin C)

Best for antioxidant protection – however, I would not recommend this as the variant of choice as the ingredient is extremely unstable.

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (derivative of Vitamin C) 

Ideal for evening out skin tone, fading pigmentation and discolouration, treating acne and antioxidant protection.

So, how to incorporate into your routine? Layer a serum, rich in Vitamin C, underneath your moisturiser morning and night, to protect against free radical damage, calm, revitalise, and of course, brighten, dull looking skin. Always follow with a sunscreen that has broadspectrum protection. If you don’t know where to start, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is gold standard when it comes to Vitamin C serums. Apply each and every morning post-cleansing, pre-moisturising.