The best vitamin C skincare to buy now
This powerful ingredient should be in your skincare arsenal right now
According to research by Mintel, there’s been a hike in vitamin C based products being launched and it’s been one of the most pinned products on Pinterest too. The reason? Scientists have worked out clever ways of stabilising the notoriously tricky ingredient, and re-jigging the formulas for maximum efficacy and, in turn, we’re reaping the benefits in our dermis both instantly and for long-term goals too.
The ingredients you need to look out for are: ascorbic acid (vitamin C itself), magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and ascorbyl palmitate, and products containing them should be in a protective glass, pump-action and air-free container to keep them stable.
Nausheen Qureshi, biochemist, formulator and founder of Elequra skincare says: 'Topically applied vitamin C should play a main role in any skincare routine. It's an incredible antioxidant, helps to protect us against internal and external stressors, brightens the skin and smoothes and refines its texture. It's unfortunately also a very unstable ingredient so we've had to be a bit cleverer with how to make it last longer and perform more potently when designing our skincare formulations.
'Pure ascorbic acid is vitamin C in its natural form. You can now also get two other types of vitamin C: esters of vitamin C which convert into vitamin C after reactions occur on the skin to release it, and encapsulated vitamin C which is coated in a fatty layer to prevent it from prematurely oxidising (it sheds its layer when applied to the skin and releases the pure vitamin C).
'At Elequra, with our Radiance Accelerator Serum, we went a step further in our quest towards protecting the skin by having active forms of vitamin C deposit on the skin even 16 hours after first application by using a combination of a vitamin C ester and by encapsulating a vitamin C ester. All these carefully designed time-released methods of releasing vitamin C are a modern approach to ensuring your skin is continually provided all the benefits of vitamin C without worrying about the lack of potency nor its degradation.'
Super-facialist Ole Henriksen, who has clocked up over 50 years in the industry is in agreement. He calls vitamin C the ‘sunshine vitamin’ and credits it with giving his A-list clients their glow. Nobel Prize-winning scientist Linus Pauling developed his range, and his new Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum, £54, sold 17,000 when it launched at the start of June last year, and the number is rising every day. He says: 'As the most researched antioxidant, it’s proven to improve the skin’s youthful elasticity, help fade uneven skin tone and hydrate the skin. It’s also quite calming and soothing. There are a lot of benefits.'
There’s also a zesty treatment range from the science-based luxury brand, Natura Bissé, which also employs different forms of vitamin C, with MacroAntioxidants® – cutting-edge ingredients patented by the National Spanish Research Council.
Jane Scrivner’s Circadian vitC, is an all-natural, vegan high-potency product, that the brands describes as a ‘wake-up call’ for skin - you add it over your usual moisturiser the zest up your existing skincare range.
Read on to see how this potent topical ingredient can support your skin – and the best vitamin C serums, creams and lotions to buy now.
THE BEST VITAMIN C PRODUCTS, 2023
Dr David Jack Good Morning Vitamin C Serum, £89
This combines three powerful antioxidants in a stable vitamin C 10% strength formula – meaning you’ll see a noticeable difference in pigmentation damage, redness, and inflammation. It also helps the skin defend itself against daily aggressors, so it’s in tip-top condition, 24/7 and prepared for summer.
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum, £67
Vitamin C is a notoriously tricky ingredient to stabilise, so this clever idea ensures it is as fresh as possible. You mix the vial containing 15% l-ascorbic acid powder with a liquid serum base and shake it on first use. It’s stable for 6-months – and the tingling effect you get on the application – means (hopefully) it’s working its magic.
Medik8 C-Tetra Luxe, £59
If you are looking for eco-friendly waterless products, this could be your favourite vitamin C find. The innovative water-free and 100% stable formula contain a unique combination of skin pampering oils and the anti-ageing properties of Vitamin C to help combat sun and pollution-induced damage.
Medik8 C-Tetra Luxe, £59 – buy here
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum, £56
This is like a glass of orange juice for your face and makes for a zesty start to the day when included in your skincare regime. The 15% vitamin C, 5% PHA and hyaluronic acid targets signs of ageing, dullness, fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, pores and dark spots.
Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Body Cream, £94
A rich, creamy emulsion dedicated to hydrating, firming and revitalising from top to toe.
Elequra Radiance Accelerator Serum, £98
A time capsule vitamin C, which releases at four and eight hours after application to lighten and brighten, along with retinol and glycogen for the ultimate in skin refinement.
SkinCeuticals C+E Ferulic, £114
One of the biggest sellers and one of the best vitamin C serums around – this potent product claims to give a good glow for a minimum of 72 hours.
MZ Skin Brighten & Perfect, £250
From the brilliant Dr Maryam Zamani’s range of MZ Skin products, this is clinically proven to reduce pigmentation and brown spots by 39.7%.
Dermalogica Biolumin-c Serum, £85
Scientific studies have revealed that this can deliver three times more vitamin C into the skin than some leading competitors, courtesy of the ultra-stable vitamins and peptide combination.
Rodial Vit C Energising Face Mask, £43
Great for on-the-go glow – these face mask sheets restore some radiance in 15 minutes flat.
Murad Brighten Trial Kit, (was £78), now £45
A great starter kit with a cleanser, moisturiser and serum for a targeted three-step regime with all the benefits of vitamin C.
This Works Morning Expert CBD Booster and Vitamin C, £38
This contains 20% vitamin C and is high-strength stuff, so you’ll certainly see some benefits immediately – like balanced, soothed and brighter skin.