Why is topical vitamin C important for skin health?

We hear a lot about the benefits of vitamin C for the skin, but what’s less well known is just how vitamin C works, and how it can be integrated into a skincare routine for seriously glowing results.

A potent antioxidant, vitamin C really is one of the best scientifically backed topical ingredients out there. From firming and brightening to environmental protection, there's not much it can’t do.

Read on to find out more about the benefits of vitamin C, and why we think it’s essential for complexion health.

What Is Vitamin C?

Topical vitamin C is a scientifically backed ingredient that falls into the antioxidant category. Its main function is to defend against free radicals, which are ever-present in the environment (air pollution and cigarette smoke are the main offenders), as well as in our bodies, usually as a by-product of the metabolism. Free radicals destabilise our cells, triggering photo-ageing, collagen breakdown, pigmentation irregularities and general skin damage: vitamin C is a key player in the fight against free radicals, and will keep your complexion brighter, bouncier and more youthful for longer.

What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin C For The Skin?

Not only does vitamin C prevent environmental stress by neutralising free radicals, it can also correct the look of dark spots, acne scarring and pigmentation.

Vitamin C plays an essential role in the production of collagen and elastin, too, (which is why it’s recognised as a brilliant anti-ager). Collagen and elastin work together to provide our skin with structure and support, like a scaffolding system beneath the surface. But age and environmental assaults break it down over time, resulting in lines, wrinkles and sagging. Topical vitamin C slows this process, as well as stimulating new collagen for renewed skin firmness, plumpness and bounce.

The Best Form Of Vitamin C For Skin Health?

L-ascorbic acid is the most common form of vitamin C used in skincare. It’s widely considered the most biologically active (not to mention, the most widely researched), so it produces seriously impressive results.

But L-ascorbic acid is notoriously unstable, so needs to be expertly formulated for it to work effectively. That’s why ours comes in a powder format, which ensures it retains stability and potency, right up until the moment it’s applied to the skin (more on this formula below).

Thanks to innovations in skincare, we now have natural sources of the ingredient at our disposal as well. One of our favourites is Kakadu plum, an Aussie native that’s rich in natural vitamin C, which also possesses superior brightening capabilities, and can be tolerated by all complexions, even sensitive skin.

How To Use Vitamin C In Your Skin Care Routine?

Because vitamin C fights off environmental damage, it’s great used in the morning underneath your moisturiser and sunscreen. Of course, you can apply it in the evening as well, but just be mindful of what you’re mixing it with.

Here’s a breakdown on those ingredients that play nice with vitamin C, and those that don’t:

Pairs well with:

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Niacinamide
  • Retinol and other vitamin A derivatives*
  • SPF filters

Avoid using it with:

  • Leave-on acids (including glycolic, salicylic and lactic – however rinse-off acids are fine).
  • Copper peptides**

*Generally speaking, this would be a no, but Skinstitut Vitamin C Powder and our Retinol Serum have been specifically formulated to be used together… smart!

**In the case of copper peptides and vitamin C, the two destabilise each other, so keep them separate.

The Best Vitamin C Skincare Buys:

If you’re looking for our top recommendations for vitamin C products, look no further than the list below:

Vitamin C 100% Powder

This 100% pure L-Ascorbic Acid powder is a game-changer. Not only does it deliver glow in spades, it works to correct pigmentation and dark spots while boosting collagen production to diminish the look of lines and wrinkles. Try adding a rice-sized sprinkle to your moisturiser or sunscreen, or into a complimentary serum. Added bonus? The powder format means it stays potent and stable – how good is that!

Moisture Defence Normal

If you want a subtle antioxidant boost with a side of hydration, Moisture Defence Normal contains native hero and Vitamin C-rich Kakadu Plum. When paired with your sunscreen, it’s a top choice for skin that’s protected all day long.

Expert Restore Niacinamide Replenishing Cream

This formula also contains Kakadu Plum for antioxidant protection, alongside Niacinamide to balance and soothe. It’s a little richer in texture, making it a treat for dry skin in need of TLC. 

Multi-Active Mist

Not only is Multi-Active Mist super refreshing, it’s also formulated with a gentle Vitamin C derivative (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) for extra environmental protection. Spritz it onto freshly cleansed skin (beneath your serum), and whenever you need a boost throughout the day.

Want to explore some other brilliant brightening formulations? Check out our range of cosmeceutical solutions right here.

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