Vitamin C skincare | What you need to know about
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Think you know all about Vitamin C skincare? Photography: Amelia Ang

Do we actually need to add an additional step to our skincare routine? The answer is a solid hell yeah!

As kids, we’ve all been told to fuel up on vitamin C with a daily dose of OJ and supplements. From boosting antioxidant and immunity levels to reducing the risk of heart disease, this water-soluble vitamin has phenomenal benefits for the body. Just imagine what it could do for your skin. This is exactly why vitamin C is all the rage in the beauty scene right now and you should totally get on board.

What does vitamin C do to our skin anyway?

As an antioxidant and ascorbic acid, vitamin C is proven to protect the skin from free-radical and UV damage. It also stimulates collagen and elastin production – which decreases in your 20s btw – to prevent wrinkles and smooth fine lines. By applying vitamin C topically, you can target common concerns like acne scars, hyperpigmentation and early signs of ageing and pave the way for glowing, supple skin.

Will the best vitamin C solution please stand up

We’ll admit it – this isn’t a one-serum-fits-all scenario but you can start educating yourself on different forms of vitamin C and work towards a serum that suits your skin type. Most formulas are packed with the potent l-ascorbic acid (for normal or oily skin) but you can also find serums with sodium ascorbic phosphate, tetrahexyldecyl (THD) ascorbate, ascorbic glucosamine for various concerns.

More Vitamin C serum tips…

It’s also crucial to find a serum with a lower pH level below 3.5 so it seeps deeper into your skin and reaps all the benefits. Also, formulas with a concentration of 10-20% l-ascorbic acid are sufficient but if you’d like something stronger, go ahead.

If you’re using retinol or Benzoyl Peroxide in your routine, it’s best not to mix ‘em with your vitamin C serum as the pH levels will clash resulting in an ineffective serum.  

Steer clear of colours that have turned a dark orange or smell funky – it’s clearly been oxidised and you don’t wanna put that on your skin.

And now for the Vitamin C products worth trying…

EDITOR’S PICK: Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

Vitamin C skincare explained | Drunk Elephant
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Photography: Drunk Elephant via Facebook

I’ve been using this baby for a month and the uninvited dark spots that have been on my face for years are finally fading away. It’s packed with an antioxidant formula of 15% l-ascorbic acid, 0.5% ferulic acid and 1% vitamin E that aids in neutralising pollution, environmental stressors and damaging free radicals. The pumpkin ferment and pomegranate extracts dissolve dead surface skin cells, leaving you with a silky-smooth texture. The C-Firma serum also has a reservoir effect so the vitamin C stays active on the skin for up to 72 hours. Score!
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, $114, available online

For dry skin: Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum

Vitamin C skincare explained | Sunday Riley
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Photography: Sunday Riley via Facebook

Another iconic Vit C serum in the scene, this serum is infused with 15% THD ascorbate that’s a key ingredient to fight ageing and skin brightening. The lightweight and oil-soluble formula might have a thicker consistency but it’s non-greasy and absorbs into your skin almost immediately. It also has Glycolic Acid to maintain pH levels.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum, $120, available online

For fast results: Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum

Vitamin C skincare explained | Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum
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Photography: Peter Thomas Roth via Facebook

A little on the pricier side but the name of the serum should tell you just how powerful it is. The serum has 20% THD ascorbate and together with antioxidants, 3% vitamin E and 2% ferulic acid, it’s the ultimate elixir that improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, firmness, uneven skin tone, texture and brightness in just seven days.
Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum, $149, available online

For sensitive skin: Allies of Skin Vitamin C 35% Collagen Rebuilding Serum

Allies of Skin Vitamin C 35% Collagen Rebuilding | Vitamin C skincare explained
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Photography: Allies of Skin via Facebook

What if we told you there’s a brand that’s formulated the world’s first vitamin C serum without water and it’s based right here in Singapore? Yup, it’s true. Believe or not, Allies of Skin has done the impossible with its 25% ethylated l-ascorbic acid and 10% THD ascorbate formula. Since it’s a water-less serum, it doesn’t have a pH which is great for sensitive skin. A few tries and you can kiss dark spots, wrinkles and fine lines, free radicals and inflammation goodbye.
Allies of Skin Vitamin C 35% Collagen Rebuilding Serum, $175, available online

Bang for your buck: Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster

True to its name, this serum gives your skin a much-needed lift in terms of texture and colour-correction by diminishing signs of ageing and brightening those stubborn dark spots. And it’s all thanks to the formula of 15% l-ascorbic acid, vitamin E, ferulic acid, and skin-smoothing peptides. It’s guaranteed to strip a couple of years (or even more) off your age in good time.
Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster, $68, available online

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