Known for its potent anti-oxidant properties, vitamin C in skincare is touted for its brightening, balancing, and fortifying effects on the skin. It donates electrons in order to neutralise free radicals after our skin experiences oxidative stress and even prolongs your sunscreen’s effectiveness when worn together. So what’s not to love? Well, quite a lot apparently. It is sensitive to light and notoriously unstable. There are also various derivates of vitamin C in the market without a ton of data to back its claims.
When in doubt though, look for L-ascorbic acid. With clinical studies backing its claim, ascorbic acid is considered the gold standard of vitamin C—the most potent and easily absorbed. Then there is Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a synthetic, water-soluble derivate that is a little less effective but much more stable. A useful tip when going on your vitamin C spree: always choose products with airtight and opaque packaging wherever possible. They help to reduce the effects of degradation on its contents due to oxidation. While Skinceuticals’ C E Ferulic is our long-time favourite, other close contenders include: Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum, and Aesop’s B Triple C Facial Balancing Gel. And don’t forget incorporating them in your diet. Vitamin C is water soluble and cannot be stored by the body, so daily consumption is vital to yield best results and for its upkeep.