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C—your skin’s favourite vitamin

With all of the high science skincare trends to keep up with it can be easy to forget about one of the best and basic necessities for the skin

Vitamin C is the most bountiful, naturally occurring antioxidant in the skin. It works to rejuvenate the skin, fight signs of ageing, and improve collagen production.

Your daily dose 
The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 65 to 90 milligrams a day, but it can't be stored in the body so you need it in your diet every day. Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, including broccoli, oranges, potatoes and strawberries. It is an important nutrient for overall health, but little actually reaches the skin when it’s eaten. So, it’s good to know that it can be worked in to your skincare regime—from morning cleansing to bedtime moisturising.

The many faces and functions of vitamin C
Included in your daily skincare regime, vitamin C provides wide ranging benefits, from evening out your skin tone, protecting against free radicals, improving hydration—and keeping your skin looking younger for longer.

“I love topical vitamin C”, says cosmetic dermatologist Dr Anamica Prasad at Faciem Dermatology. “It’s ability to regulate cellular function means it can improve your skin in a number of ways. It is a potent anti-oxidant fighting free radical damage and so provides photoprotection, although you must also combine it with sunscreens for optimal sun protection. It increases collagen synthesis, prevents collagen degradation and has anti-pigmentary properties by reducing melanin synthesis.

“To obtain and deliver these benefits to the skin I advise stabilised topical vitamin C as not all vitamin C products are created equally. It can be hard to package and is often unstable in skincare. Once exposed to air and sunlight, it begins to break down and often by the time people apply vitamin C it’s of a very low percentage. I advise using a high medical grade vitamin C that will remain stable and bio-active to give you these wonderful benefits to the skin.”

 More flexible than you may think, this skin saving nutrient comes in many forms, which can be used in a targeted way to address specific skin issues—extra to its general appearance enhancing benefits. Whether your concern is sensitivity, dryness oily-ness or repair, there is a vitamin C treatment for you.  

Ascorbic Glucosamine is a water-soluble form of vitamin C. It is most frequently used for its antioxidant and skin-brightening properties and is the go-to vitamin C derivative if you are looking to treat hyperpigmentation.

Protect and serve 
Ascorbyl Palmitate is a stable form of vitamin C often used in oil-based skincare products. This is a good option for combatting free radical damage and repairing skin.

Overall skin health
L-Ascorbic Acid (LAA) is one of the most researched forms of vitamin C and the most potent. Well known for its effectiveness, it is a safe bet for results. However, it can irritate some sensitive skins.

Sensitive skin
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is the water-soluble derivative of vitamin C, which makes it long-lasting and less likely to cause skin irritation. This can be a good option if you have dry or sensitive skin.

Brighten and heal 
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a water-soluble form of vitamin C, which is gentle on the skin and works to brighten skin and counter free radical damage.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is the vitamin C newcomer that is more lipid soluble than the other forms and so has higher affinity for the deeper layers of the skin. Dr Prasad says, “most medical grade topical vitamin C will have L Ascorbic acid, but look for Tetra-hexyldecyl ascorbate as this has a unique ability to penetrate and have deeper dermal benefits. It stimulates collagen production as well as suppressing twice as many chemicals produced during sun damage than L-Ascorbic, giving you potent anti-aging benefits.”