The Science Behind Adding Vitamin C To Your Skincare Routine
The Science Behind Adding Vitamin C To Your Skincare Routine

The Science Behind Adding Vitamin C To Your Skincare Routine

6 minutes read

When it comes to skincare, it’s crucial to make informed choices – because whether you’re a skincare beginner or an experienced pro, the key to achieving radiant and healthy skin lies in understanding the science behind your regimen. Here, Beauty Daily speaks to Clarins retail trainer, Julie Unwin, about the fascinating world of vitamin C skincare, and explores how this powerhouse ingredient can revolutionise your beauty routine.  

How does vitamin C improve skin? 

Vitamin C, often referred to as ascorbic acid, is a reputable superstar in the skincare world, as it boasts a huge range of benefits for your skin. First and foremost, it’s a potent antioxidant that fights off free radicals – those pesky molecules that can wreak havoc on your skin by causing premature ageing and dullness. While research has also shown that applying vitamin C topically can help protect your skin from environmental stressors like UV rays and pollution, which can lead to fine lines and uneven skin tone.  

But the magic of vitamin C doesn’t stop there. It plays a vital role in collagen production, the protein responsible for maintaining skin’s firmness and elasticity.

By stimulating collagen production and skin cell renewal, vitamin C can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and promote a more youthful complexion overall.  

“At Clarins, we use derivatives of vitamin C from powerful plant extracts. The derivatives tend to work more on the surface of the skin, and are great for boosting radiance, improving the skin’s texture and reducing pigmentation by decreasing melanin synthesis in the skin,” Unwin explains. “For an instant hit of vitamin C that will brighten up your complexion after just one use, try the Clarins Super Restorative Remodelling Serum, £113, which contains montpellier rock-rose, brimming with a vitamin C derivative that helps to reduce the appearance of age spots and restore evenness to the skin,” adds Unwin. 

Which skin types should try vitamin C? 

The beauty of vitamin C is its versatility. It caters to various skin types, whether you have dry, oily, sensitive, or combination skin, this ingredient can adapt to your specific needs. One of its standout features is its ability to even out skin tone and fade dark spots, making it a go-to for those seeking a brighter, more even-toned complexion.  

“Vitamin C packed skincare can be a miracle worker. “Those who are going through the menopause find that this is a time of life where hormonal changes can trigger melasma and make age spots more apparent on the skin. While those with Black and brown skin are genetically prone to developing hyperpigmentation no matter their age, making this gold standard ingredient a must. And people who get regular breakouts will find that their acne can trigger post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, making vitamin C a must have active in their skincare arsenal too,” explains Unwin.  

Read: What Causes Hyperpigmentation and How Do You Treat it?

Where does vitamin C fit into my skincare routine? 

Keen to try this powerhouse ingredient? To incorporate it into your routine and get the most out of your products, we recommend investing in a vitamin C serum, here’s how… 

  • Step 1: Cleanser :Begin your routine with a gentle cleanser to remove impurities and prepare your skin.  
  • Step 2: Toner : Apply a toner to balance your skin’s pH levels.  
  • Step 3: Vitamin C serum : Use a few drops of your preferred vitamin C serum, applying it evenly to your face and neck.  

my blend radiance superserum vitamin c

Try: myBlend Superserum Radiance, £65, which contains stabilised vitamin C, papain and radiance peptides to encourage skin cell regeneration and revitalise dull and tired skin.   

  • Step 4: Moisturiser : Follow up with your regular moisturiser to lock in hydration.  
  • Step 5: Sunscreen : To complete your morning routine, always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen for added protection.  

How do I apply a vitamin C serum? 

To maximise the benefits of your vitamin C serum:  

  1. Start with a clean face.  
  2. Dispense a pea-sized amount or a few drops of the product onto your fingertips.  
  3. Gently massage the product into your skin using upward and outward motions.  
  4. Allow it to absorb fully before moving on to the next step in your routine.  

How long does it take for vitamin C to absorb into the skin? 

Vitamin C is known for its fast absorption, typically taking only a few minutes. After application, you can proceed with your moisturiser or sunscreen without delay.  

What skincare works best with vitamin C? 

For a skincare synergy that’ll really give you your skin of dreams, consider pairing vitamin C with compatible ingredients like:  

  • Hyaluronic Acid: This hydrating powerhouse complements vitamin C by boosting moisture levels and plumping the skin.  
  • Niacinamide: Known for its skin-barrier-strengthening properties, niacinamide pairs harmoniously with vitamin C to enhance its overall efficacy.  

Explore more Skincare Ingredients

What should you not mix with vitamin C? 

While vitamin C plays well with many ingredients, some combinations can lead to irritation or decreased effectiveness. Avoid using vitamin C products alongside:  

  • Retinol: Both ingredients are potent, and using them together may increase the risk of irritation. Instead, consider using vitamin C in the morning and retinol at night. 

Read: Retinol Alternatives and Do They Really Work?

Are there different forms of vitamin C to look out for? 

When it comes to choosing products, you’ll find a variety of forms, each with its unique benefits. Some popular options include vitamin C creams and serums, or more targeted treatments such as Clarins Beauty Flash Fresh Ampoule Vitamin C Shot, £38, a 7-day treatment that contains 15% concentrated vitamin C for an intense radiance boost.  

 beauty flash ampoule
What are the best vitamin C creams? 

Vitamin C brightening creams are excellent for those who prefer a multi-tasking vitamin C packed product, as moisturisers are also designed to protect the skin barrier and provide long-lasting hydration, alongside protecting the skin from environmental aggressors.  

Try: Clarins Bright Plus Dark Spot-Targeting Gel Cream, £62, which moisturises, mattifies and helps to reduce the look of dark spots.   

What are the best vitamin C serums? 

If you’re seeking a lightweight option that absorbs quickly and penetrates deeply, vitamin C serums are a fantastic choice. They’re ideal for delivering concentrated doses of the ingredient to your skin, leaving you with a luminous glow.  

Try: Bright Plus Advanced Dark Spot Targeting Serum, £62, it contains an abundance of vitamin C rich acerola fruit, which works to even out skin tone and leave you with a glowing complexion. 

Bright Plus Advanced Dark Spot Targeting Serum

In a nutshell? Vitamin C might be the way forward for your skincare regime if you suffer from hyperpigmentation, scarring or lacklustre skin. Its antioxidant properties, collagen-boosting abilities, and adaptability to various skin types make it a must-have ingredient. By following the right order and application techniques, you can harness the full potential of vitamin C for brighter, healthier skin.  


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