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The Beauty Edit

A Comprehensive Guide To Vitamin C Skincare

With all the sun, surf, and sea (from the revival of travel) of the summertime months, our skin has weathered all of the elements, particularly during an unprecedented heatwave.

More than ever, we are looking for products that can work in conjunction with our busy lives and schedules. Luckily, there is one ingredient that has taken the beauty world by storm as a catch-all elixir: Vitamin C. As the popularity has intensified, every brand on the market has tried to formulate various Vitamin C tinctures, from lotions to serums, even to sunscreen. It can be overwhelming to choose which product is going to work best for your individual skin type and give you the results you deserve.

In Partnership with Elemis

So, what is Vitamin C?

Why has Vitamin C ridden such a wave of popularity and gathered an audience of adoring fans? Well, it’s one of the only ingredients that has been proven time and time again to benefit the skin in multiple ways. This might incline you to jump up and gather as many oranges as you can get your hands on, however, there is a better way to achieve the California inner glow. When we ingest Vitamin C, only a very small percentage seeps into our skin, so adding topicals become vital within the skincare routine.


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Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that actively helps block oxidative stress. What is oxidative stress you wonder? Things like sun, pollution, smoke, and other stressors of life that cause havoc to the skin. Oxidative stress produces something called “ROS” or reactive oxygen species, which eats away at skin’s collagen. Vitamin C can neutralise the effects of oxidative stress in more ways than one. Firstly, it boosts your SPF. In no way should Vitamin C be used as an SPF replacement, but under an efficient SPF, Vitamin C can work wonders. It mitigates the sun’s damage, soothing redness and inflammation that can be caused by consistent sun exposure. All while helping your sunscreen last for longer throughout the day. Next, it boosts collagen production as a cofactor for two enzymes that help with this process: lysyl hydroxylase and prolyl hydroxylase. Lastly, Vitamin C is a crucial element for evening out skin tone, decreasing pigmentation as it eats up the copper that is used in the melanin-reaction causing sun and acne spots.

Which vitamin C is right for you?

Vitamin C has many forms, part of what makes it so popular – there is a version for every person. Similar to a retinol, the percentage of Vitamin C used on your skin is buildable. As your skin becomes accustomed to the product, you can up the percentage. Anywhere between 8-20% however, is going to be most effective. Vitamin C comes in both active and in-active formulations, which each offer specific advantages. One of the most popular active forms of Vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid, which is highly effective for oily or normal skin. It is one the most potent Vitamin C formulations on the market. However, it needs to be used quickly because it’s an unstable ingredient that is very strong and often needs to be protected from the elements. It’s recommended to buy products with L-ascorbic acid in small quantities, so you can use it quickly while the ingredients are still active. When it comes to inactive ingredients, they are chemically inactive, but they are activated once applied to the skin. There are several kinds of in-active Vitamin C formulations that work wonders as well: sodium ascorbyl phosphate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate,ascorbyl glucoside, and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. These ingredients are more stable, and can often last longer, while providing very similar results to L-ascorbic acid. While Vitamin C is often not an irritant and is helpful for everyone within their skincare routine, each one offers different values that can help your individual skin type.

How do you build it into your skin care routine?

Vitamin C’s versatility has also secured it as a never-skip within the skin care routine, being the perfect base for the day and reparative in the evening. It’s often recommended that a serum is the best way to apply Vitamin C, assuring that you get the most concentrated version of the product. However, if your skin is more sensitive, you can always blend the serum in with a moisturizer. It’s all about the long game, and the skin needs time to adjust when you are incorporating anything new. Start by adding Vitamin C three times a week, and then slowly you can build up to daily use. When used in the morning Vitamin C is incredibly beneficial before SPF use, so make sure to layer it below your sunscreen and moisturiser to utilise it in the most effective way. Vitamin C is like the friend you could bring to every dinner party, she mixes with everyone. There are very few products or ingredients that don’t work well with Vitamin C, in fact, retinol is even shown to work effectively when both are used together. It’s an easy-to-use-and-mix product, that harnesses the most incredible results.

So what’s our product recommendation?

Luckily, we have found the holy grail of Vitamin C formulations, and that product is the new Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Super-C Serum.


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There are many forms of Vitamin C, however, the Dynamic Resurfacing Super-C Serum has properties that help reduce visible signs of pigmentation within 5 days. It’s a superstar Vitamin C, that has Red Clover Extract, Mediterranean Mullein Extract, and a specialty Swiss Alpine Blend. This will have you shining even into the night, and will hydrate you and plump your skin to its utmost ultimate radiance. Watch as magic is captured in a bottle, and transforms your skin from drab to fabulous in only a number of days.


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Any Questions or Tips to add?