You might know of vitamin C as a powerful antioxidant found in some of your favorite fruits like oranges, strawberries, and goji berries.
But if you’re skin-care obsessed like we are, you should know that it can do some major good when applied topically, too. (And no, we’re not suggesting smothering yourself in orange juice.)
Sure, the technical names for vitamin C that you’ll find on skin-care labels might sound like a foreign language (e.g. magnesium ascorbyl phosphate), but don’t let these terms scare you away from this free-radical-fighting ingredient that reduces the appearance of fine lines and evens out your skin tone. Try a gentle yet potent form of vitamin C like THD ascorbate, which is found in Sunday Riley’s C.E.O. C + E antiOXIDANT Protect + Repair Moisturizer. It will do all of the above and then some — and it’s even great for sensitive skin.
Because two (or more) is always better than one, look for multitasking formulas packed with other complementary active ingredients, like vitamin E or collagen. This OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Serum not only features vitamin C to brighten the look of your skin, but it’s also formulated with collagen to visually firm skin, plus orange and green-tea extracts to nourish and moisturize.
Think of boosters as concentrated serum-like formulas of active ingredients (like vitamin C) designed to be mixed in with your existing skin-care products (like moisturizer, serum, or cleanser). These are great for those who already have a routine they love but still want to reap the benefits of active ingredients.
Be careful when using your vitamin C in conjunction with retinols or beta and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs), as these ingredients can deactivate the vitamin C. To avoid any mishaps, try using your vitamin C serum in the morning, and save any chemical exfoliants for your p.m. routine.
If your skin leans toward the oily side, try starting your routine with a foam or gel cleanser, and then follow it up with an oil-free vitamin C serum and a gel-based moisturizer.
If you find your skin tends to be dry, amp up the moisture in your routine by cleansing with a hydrating oil or cream cleanser. Then, apply a rich, vitamin C-infused moisturizer.
Just because your skin is sensitive, doesn’t mean you can’t use vitamin C. Look for formulas containing the gentlest form of the active tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD ascorbate for short).