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Harper’s BAZAAR Australia · Everything you need to know about vitamin C serums, including the 11 best ones to brighten your complexion

Vitamin C is a firm fixture in the ABC of skincare. With promises of glowing skin, additional environmental protection and anti-ageing properties — vitamin C works overtime to give great results.

So why can’t we just drink litres of orange juice? While a balanced diet inclusive of a wide range of foods and vitamins is a great step in promoting healthy skin, only a small fraction of ingested vitamins are directed to the skin. By applying vitamin C topically (that is, directly on the skin), you can potently target areas of concern effectively and safely.

Like most active ingredients, vitamin C is often found in serums, which allow the ingredients to penetrate deeply into the skin. But with so many options available, we’ve selected the top players to make it easy to choose the one right for you — with a few handy tips from CHANEL skincare expert, Melanie Grant.

What does vitamin C do for your skin?

Vitamin C serums are primarily targeted at reducing the appearance of and defending skin against signs of ageing — think wrinkles, fine lines, and pigmentation. But let’s hear it from the expert:

“Unlike hyaluronic acid and collagen, vitamin C isn’t produced by the body on its own accord. So, sourcing it externally through a diet rich in foods like berries, citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables is immensely beneficial, as is incorporating high-performance serums and creams that deliver it directly into the skin, topically,” explains Melanie Grant, Chanel Australia’s first official skin expert. But what benefits exactly does it provide for your skin, when applied topically?

“Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and is one of the most extensively studied ingredients when it comes to brightening pigment, preserving and promoting collagen and shielding the complexion from age-accelerating free radicals,” she tells BAZAAR.

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