It may not be able to tell you verbally, but your skin will really thank you if you add a Vitamin C serum to your daily skincare regimen. Vitamin C, lauded for its brightening and anti-ageing benefits, has skinthusiasts adding to cart products containing this powerful antioxidant. It’s used to treat hyperpigmentation and acne, among other common skin conditions.
Here's everything you need to know about Vitamin C for the skin and why you should try it as soon as possible.
Why is Vitamin C so popular?
One of the main reasons why Vitamin C is popular is because it's one of the most well-studied and researched skincare ingredients. The powerful antioxidant has been proven to protect your skin from photoageing and promote collagen production — just what you'd want for skin that's clear, smooth, supple and youthful-looking. L-ascorbic acid (LAA) is the chemically active form of Vitamin C used in skincare products, so if a brand lists it as one of its product’s ingredients, it usually refers to LAA. However, it has also been found to be quite unstable and finicky, making it hard to deliver the perfect dosage into your skin. Even so, researchers continue to try to find more stable iterations of the antioxidant because its skincare benefits are just that good.
Can you ingest Vitamin C to get clearer skin?
You can get your dose of Vitamin C in multiple forms. In skincare, it’s typically applied in the topical forms of creams, oils, serums, and the like. But can you get your daily dose of it orally? The simple answer is yes — if you're thinking about your physical health. Aside from being present in refreshing fruits like oranges, lemons, kiwi, and pineapples, there are supplements that claim to provide the needed dose of the antioxidant. Health-wise, Vitamin C is essential. It could prevent colds and improve your eye health. However, ingesting it is not the most effective way if you’re aiming for its skincare benefits.
What's the best way to apply Vitamin C on the skin?
If you’re turning to Vitamin C for its lovely skin-brightening and toning perks, it’s best to look for it in serums. Aside from helping your skin absorb other skincare products better, serums have a high concentration of active ingredients compared to other skincare products. However, even the most potent of serums can be neutralised if paired with the wrong skincare product. If you’re going to use a Vitamin C serum, avoid using benzoyl peroxide right after. If you also have retinol in your line-up, you'll find it beneficial to apply Vitamin C first — but make sure you're skin's not too sensitive.
What to look for when shopping
Because of its popularity, there are a lot of options that make shopping for Vitamin C serums a tedious task. One factor you need to consider is the packaging. Look for dark-tinted bottles with tightly sealed covers, since exposure to light and air can degrade the potency of Vitamin C. You should also look for formulations that contain ferulic acid and Vitamin E because these boost the effectiveness of the antioxidant. And finally, check the concentration. If it’s higher than 20 per cent, stay away from it since this can cause skin irritation. For folks with more sensitive skin, it's best to stick with the lower concentrations. Remember: patch test it before applying it on your face!
Now that you’re armed with more information about Vitamin C, here are some that you could get your hands on ASAP:
For those who have fallen in love with K-beauty, the innisfree Brightening Pore Serum (SGD52) is a great pick. This serum is made with Vitamin C and Jeju Hallabong peel extracts. Together, the two improve the skin’s tone, firmness and elasticity. Plus, the serum also has Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) and B5 (panthenol) that treat pigmentation. Acne marks? Gone in a pinch. Thanks, vitamin C.
As its name hints, the LA ROCHE-POSAY Pure Vitamin C10 Serum (SGD55.93) contains 10% pure vitamin C serum. With this potent amount, the product leaves the skin softer, visibly brighter and hydrated. It also contains salicylic acid and neurosensine (for easing skin discomfort caused by irritants) so it's great for those who have sensitive skin.
Think of the Fresh Vitamin Nectar Antioxidant Face Serum (SGD60) as a multivitamin for your skin. This lightweight serum doesn't just contain vitamin C but is also boosted with other complementary ingredients like vitamin E, vitamin B5, minerals, and antioxidants. It has a fast-absorbing texture so it's a good choice for those who prefer their daily dose of vitamin C quick and easy.
Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules (SGD65) comes in a tightly sealed, travel-friendly golden capsule that contains the perfect amount for a single application. The formula also contains Vitamin E and ceramides, which is ideal for retaining moisture in dry skin.
You may also want to check out our review here.
Aside from protecting your skin from free radicals, Avène A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum (SGD79.90) also visibly blurs imperfections, pores, fine lines and wrinkles. This lightweight serum also has hyaluronic acid for added hydration. The result: clear, bright skin.
Vitamin C is highly effective in dealing with hyperpigmentation. So it’s no wonder that the best-selling Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution (SGD94), made for treating dark spots, features it as its main active ingredient. The activated Vitamin C is complemented by white birch extract to even out skin tone and peony extract to clear up skin for a more radiant complexion.
OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum (SGD96) is a triple threat. It nourishes deeply, gently exfoliates and brightens instantly thanks to three key ingredients: 15% vitamin C, exfoliating acids and banana powder-like pigments.
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum (SGD112) boasts a brightening antioxidant complex that contains 15% L-ascorbic acid, 0.5% ferulic acid, and 1% vitamin E to target dark spots and swiftly deliver clear, bright skin.
Aside from that, this serum is housed in sealed packaging that comes with a convenient pump so you can be sure that the product stays fresh.
Want to use a vitamin C serum not just for fading dark spots but also for anti-ageing benefits? Go for Dr. Dennis Gross C + Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum (SGD115). This gel-like serum has CoQ10 for reducing skin damage due to everyday sun and pollution exposure, superoxide dismutase that protects the skin from free radicals damage, carnitine for moisture, and niacinamide for strengthening the skin's barrier. All of these contribute to ensuring good collagen production that keeps the skin plump and healthy.
Arguably one of the most potent Vitamin C serums available, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic (SGD248) ticks all the boxes for a good serum. It contains Vitamin E and ferulic acid that amplify the powers of L-ascorbic acid, comes in a dark-tinted bottle to maintain vitamin C's efficacy, and has a concentration of LAA that is smack dab in the middle of the recommended dosage at 15%. While pricey, you truly get what you pay for with this little treat.
Next, get to know the exfoliating powers of Japanese peeling gels.