It’s the skincare ingredient on everyone’s lips… or rather, faces: Vitamin C.
But you may be wondering what it actually does, and just why it’s the skincare superhero you should add to your beauty routine ASAP.
marie claire’s Beauty Director Sally Hunwick sat down with specialist dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald to get all the facts about this powerful ingredient.
Watch the video above for the full interview.
What is Vitamin C?
We’ve heard of the benefits of Vitamin C in fighting off illness, because it’s a natural booster for our immune system.
But, it also boosts the production of collagen, the protein that keeps our skin firm, plump and looking youthful.
It’s also acts as an antioxidant, neutralising the free radicals that are found naturally in our body as by-products of cellular processes and in the environment from pollution, UV rays and an unhealthy diet.
“Free radicals are bad, and antioxidants of all types actually mop them up,” says Dr. McDonald.
Who should be using Vitamin C?
Just about everyone of all ages can benefit from adding Vitamin C to their skincare routine, according to Dr McDonald.
“We all need to eat Vitamin C and have it in our diet to stay healthy, so we should also have it in our skin diet,” she says.
“As we start to get older and see ageing concerns, like fine lines, wrinkles and complexion issues – we need it more and more.”
How do I know which Vitamin C product is best?
When it comes to Vitamin C serums, the options can sometimes be overwhelming, but for Dr. McDonald, it’s all about choosing products that do what they say they are going to do for our skin.
“I look for brands that have science, studies …where you can actually see the difference between those using this particular product [and those that aren’t],” she says.
“SkinCeuticals is a wonderful brand because they have a lot of research and development behind all their products, and any product from their range has science to back it up.”
And it’s not just about the ingredient itself – products need to have the right formulation of ingredients to make them work for our skin.
SkinCeuticals’ Vitamin C serums utilise pure l-ascorbic acid (a potent form of Vitamin C) instead of derivatives for maximum efficacy. It’s then combined with other antioxidants for formulas that work to target specific skin concerns and skin types.
How do I know which serum works best for my skin?
“If you’re not sure, it is great to see an experienced dermal clinician or skin therapist who can assess your skin and give you the best product for you,” says Dr McDonald.
But, she has three distinct favourites when it comes to her morning antioxidant serum routine.
“Their cult product is C E Ferulic – that is Vitamin C, Vitamin E and ferulic acid in a combination,” she says.
“It’s really targeting those anti-ageing effects. It’s for fine lines, wrinkles and prevention of premature ageing.”
There’s also Silymarin CF, which is specifically formulated for acne-prone skin.
“It actually combines those Vitamin C and other antioxidants with a low strength of salicylic acid, and that’s great for breaking down the dead skin cells and reducing oil production,” she says.
And if you’re looking to target pigmentation, you can’t go past Phloretin CF.
At the end of the day, Dr McDonald says, there are three main things to remember when choosing a serum: “Choose a product that targets your concerns and has that combination of ingredients, formulation and science to back it up.”
Learn more about the powers of Vitamin C by watching the video above.
Sponsored by SkinCeuticals.