Ingredient to Know: Vitamin C

vitamin c skincare products for brighter skin

Vitamin C is the popular skincare acid ingredient of the moment. But even after it leaves the spotlight, it’s worth remembering that it is a very effective ingredient proven to work. The thing is there are so many different types of vitamin C and not all are created equal. The main drawback of some vitamin C formulations is their stability. For example, some start to oxidise and lose potency on contact with air. You also need to be aware of the bioavailability of vitamin C in a formulation. This tells you how the skin metabolises it. 

How can you tell if a vitamin C formulation is oxidising? Usually it starts to turn a darker colour or the smell changes. At best it has lost its effectiveness but at worst it’s not good for your skin. The key is to choose a really stable form of vitamin C that’s going to be effective in brightening the skin and boosting radiance. Here are some of my favourite vitamin C treatments. Always remember that even though I’m sharing with you my favourites, you need to find the best formula and concentration for your skin. 

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top vitamin c skincare products to try for brighter complexion

Allies of Skin 20% Vitamin C Brighten + Firm Serum*

A potent formulation with a very stable form of Vitamin C at 20%. Not only is this an incredible antioxidant boosting serum but it contains a cocktail of ingredients to firm, smooth and brighten skin alongside strengthening that all important skin barrier. Can be used daily if your skin is tolerant.

Estee Lauder Rapid Brightening Treatment*

A brilliant choice if you need something that will work on the skin gently and not irritate it. It has a blend of vitamin C alongside ferments which really work well for my skin. I’ve seen amazing results in helping to fade my pigmentation with this. You can read my in-depth review on the Brightening Treatment here.

Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil*

I’ve been obsessed with the Biossance range since it launched. This is a lovely antioxidant blend with brightening vitamin C and hydrating rose all brought together with squalane oil. Although this is an oil based treatment, squalane is a non-oily oil that even oily skin can tolerate so don’t be put off. This really does revive dull skin and delivers that healthy glow!

Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules*

I love the Ceramide Capsules range and the Vitamin C version is ideal for brightening and evening skin tone. Brilliant for not only targeting dullness and discoloration, but it does of course contain ceramides which are essential for building a strong and healthy skin barrier. 

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic*

Developed to be used during the day, this face serum is a potent blend of 15% pure vitamin C, 1% vitamin E and 0.5% Ferulic acid. It’s an effective combination to improve skin texture and firmness, brighten and protect against free radicals and other environmental aggressors. A brilliant choice that absorbs into the skin quickly and layers well with sunscreen.

Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial*

This treatment is well suited to those seeking brighten, smooth and refine skin texture on a dull complexion. It’s a triple layered exfoliant with physical, chemical and enzymatic exfoliating ingredients to deliver a non-harsh resurfacing treatment. 

Biossance Squalane Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum*

If you would prefer a lightweight serum to a facial oil then this Biossance formulation with Vitamin C is a great choice. A lightweight yet potent serum with 10% vitamin C to brighten dark spots and areas of hyperpigmentation. It also has squalane and white shiitake mushrooms to help fade dark spots over time.