With an increase of 3,000% plus of ‘saves’ on Pinterest, Vitamin C is officially set to be the trendiest skincare ingredient of 2018. And while we’re all probably familiar with its nutritional worth when it comes to fending off the dreaded flu (or the slightly more retro scurvy), it’s equally considered a veritable ‘cure-all’ by dermatologists; promising brighter, tighter, and generally better-looking skin.
When added to your skincare routine (morning and/or night), the powerhouse ingredient neutralizes free radicals created in skin during oxidative stress (aka. sun damage and pollution), boosts healthy collagen production, aids in the skin's ability to heal itself and reduces inflammation. Fixing damage, as well as preventing it…. Eh, #WIN.
So, you're sold....Vitamin C sounds simple and essential addition to your routine, right? Well, it is. But there are a few things to bear in mind, before jumping face first, into a vat of the skin-fueling stuff.
First Up: The Type Used.
When it comes to looking for a suitable vitamin C product, it’s important to know that there are several different types available. Ascorbic Acid, or L-ascorbic acid, is the most common when it comes to skincare, as it absorbs quickly and has the highest potency when applied topically. But it’s also the most temperamental to formulate – it’s v. sensitive to light, air and water. Other popular and slightly more stable forms include Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Ester C.
Next Up: The Concentration
Vitamin C products are highly active and therefore, can cause irritation when applied at an overly high-concertation. As a general guideline, any potency between three and 20 per cent will be the most effective – anything above that mark proves redundant in terms of actual skin-absorption.
Lastly: The Packaging
As mentioned above, Vitamin C is rather difficult to stabilise and tends to lose efficacy should it come in contact light, air and/or water. The PH of the carrier substance needs to have a suitable PH too. See? We told you it was fussy. So, to get the most out of your product (and your money), buy small and also look for opaque glass or plastic containers with an air-restrictive pumps. So with all of that red tape (or maybe, orange in this particular case) out of the way, here are our 5 fave vitamin-enriched superhero products. *The tingly-er the better.