This is what we do know: the antioxidant properties of vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid, are absolutely vital to the health of our skin. Vitamin C is the Daddy Warbucks to our collagen banks and it helps prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photo damage, it improves signs of aging including the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and the loss of firmness, while brightening skin’s complexion. Wow!
No matter how well we treat our skin, aging, yes, we are all aging, causes a decline in the levels of vitamin C in our skin and even everyday minimal exposure to the sun and the ozone degrades our levels. of C Now be warned, vitamin C is not a “sunscreen” because it does not absorb light in the UVA or UVB spectrum, rather, the antioxidant activity of vitamin C protects against UV-induced damage caused by free radicals but not , we repeat, the sun.
How best to absorb vitamin C and in what concentrations becomes a little less clear as the research is always developing but the greatest effects of vitamin C supplementation are seen when it is combined with other micronutrients, such as vitamin E, ferulic acid or zinc, so choose what works for you, considering how it feels, on your face and on your pocketbook. Any of our ‘Top 12″ should do the trick but when you purchase, double check the packaging, as stability is a major concern. Exposure to air, heat and light will degrade efficacy—a dark bottle with a good fitting lid is important and so is a commitment to use it everyday, wait a minute until it absorbs and then apply your sunscreen.
Many dermatologists , reviewers and the editors at ITG swear by the grand poobah of topical vitamin C made by SkinCeuticals. It has a 15% level of C, combined with ferulic acid, it absorbs quickly and although pricey, a bottle will last six months, about as long as you should keep it hanging around, anyway. The other end of the spectrum, price wise, is made by the slightly mysterious The Ordinary. This stuff is strong and can feel a little gritty, but when applied it feels like magic is happening.
Tatcha Violet-C Brightening formula gets high marks for being “natural“ and employing something actually called “Japanese beautyberry” to stabilize the finicky vitamin C. Women love this lightweight, colorless, odorless serum. Dr. Dennis Gross C plus Collagen gets extra points for including lactic acid into the brew.
A natural cocktail of goodness made by the facialist to the stars, Joanna Vargas. Rescue Serum lightens and brightens. Vargas’ believers have been “rescued and saved.” Sunday Riley Brightening Serum goes on smoothly but feels like a much richer cream. Great for use on the hands, a little goes a long way.
All of our recommendations are curated by Susan & the In The Groove editorial team. In some, but not all cases, we receive a small commission for leading you to what, how and where to buy all this wonderful stuff.