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The Benefits of Vitamin C For Your Skin

From the Experts | Apr 17, 2024
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It's one of the most celebrated ingredients in the skincare world – but what are the true benefits of vitamin C for skin? (And, most importantly, are you missing out?) You've seen it praised on TikTok, hailed by dermatologists and lauded by beauty editors. Now let's explore how it really works to reduce wrinkles, boost brightness, and so much more…


What does vitamin C do?

Vitamin C is known to be good for your body and mind. The healthy heavy weight has become a skincare staple, renowned for being one of the richest sources of antioxidants. This means, when your complexion is exposed to aging, drying and blemish-causing free radicals (such as those found in pollutant particles), the vitamin unleashes antioxidants to neutralize them before they can wreak havoc. So, if you live in or near a busy city, or even a hard water area, that's one very good reason (of many) to treat

But its powers are more than just preventative and protective. Vitamin C skincare also has anti-inflammatory effects, making it a popular pick for those dealing with angry acne breakouts and even rosacea. Plus, it helps to improve your natural production of collagen, the vital protein that's needed to keep skin strong, but depletes as we all get older. So if you're looking to firm and tighten your complexion, vitamin C skincare is known to help.

5 vitamin c skincare benefits to know


1. Boosting brightness

The biggest benefit of vitamin C skincare – and the one you might have heard the most about – is enhanced brightness. When skin looks dull, this radiance revealer works to revive your complexion. This isn't just great for all-over luminosity; it helps with more localized skin concerns too. So, if you're hoping to fade dark spots or post -blemish scars, this hero vitamin is your secret weapon for a more even skin tone.

How, exactly? When dark spots and acne scars appear, it's usually due to a build-up of melanin, which is the pigment responsible for the color in your skin. Vitamin C has been shown to inhibit the production of this pigment, in turn helping to reduce hyperpigmentation and leave your complexion glowing.

2. Reducing wrinkles

One of your skin's most vital plumping proteins is collagen. Think of it as the building blocks of your skin, maintaining the structure to keep your complexion strong and sturdy. When that collagen breaks down – which happens naturally over time – lines and wrinkles can start to appear, but there are ways you can top it up to restore strength and resilience. Vitamin C skincare actually encourages the production of collagen, working in synergy with your skin cells to reduce wrinkles over time. While it won't make existing lines vanish, it may prevent new wrinkles from appearing. Add in boosted brightness, and the youth-enhancing benefits of vitamin C just get better.

3. Calming complexions

Are you prone to skin inflammation and redness? As an anti-inflammatory, vitamin C can help calm certain inflamed conditions, such as cystic acne or rosacea. This all comes down to the dose of antioxidants, which fight off irritating free radicals, so the risk of redness, puffiness and swelling is reduced when breakouts threaten to appear.

4. Disguising dark circles

The brightening power of vitamin C doesn't stop at dark spots and dullness. Even the most stubborn dark circles can benefit from a vitamin C-infused eye cream. However, because it's a potent ingredient and the under-eye area is delicate, it's important to introduce vitamin C eye care gradually into your routine. Start by applying it two to three times per week at first, then slowly build up week by week until you're using it daily.

5. Maintaining moisture

If your skin is struggling to maintain hydration, vitamin C might be the answer. Like another famous moisture magnet, hyaluronic acid, it helps prevent water loss, so skin stays plump and nourished. This is one of the lesser-known benefits of vitamin C serums and creams, but it means that when you're treating other skin concerns – like wrinkles, redness and dullness – you'll get a boost of hydration too.

How to use vitamin C on your face

Yuzu-C Eye Awakening Essence

Reduce signs of fatigue around tired eyes with this refreshing, fast-absorbing jelly. It teams yuzu with vitamin C to reduce puffiness by 31%* and dark circles by 35%*. Meanwhile, a blend of light reflecting powders lend an instant brightening effect, so you can start your day with a reawakened look – even on the most sleep-deprived days.


Yuzu-C Beauty Sleeping Mask

An overnight success, this hydrating sleep mask harnesses vitamin C capsules to wrap the skin in dewy moisture, giving you a rested glow by morning. After one week, skin feels softer and has fewer dry patches**, while the key signs of poor sleep – dullness and dehydration – are targeted. Apply before bed, then let it do the hard work while you rest..

Legendary Enmei Ultimate Luminance Serum

Unrivaled luxury meets next-generation technology in this sumptuous anti-ageing serum, which features vitamin C in its concentrated Legendary Enmei Complex***. When luminosity is at the top of your skin agenda, it's your glow-bestowing secret weapon, enriched with rare ingredients found in Japan's lush nature to restore true radiance.


4 expert tips to maximize the benefits of vitamin C

Get more of your vitamin C skincare by enhancing its effects with these expert tips…

1. Custom-blend your skincare

Ask yourself, what are the vitamin C skincare benefits you're most drawn to? You can then heighten them by layering the vitamin with other ingredients that target your skin goals. For example, if it's hydration your skin craves, you could pair up vitamin C with a hyaluronic acid day cream, such as Essential Energy Hydrating Cream . Or, if you want to elevate the vitamin's antioxidant effects, try combining it with other free radical fighters, like those found in the Treatment Softener.


2. Let it absorb

You want your pores to really soak up the benefits of vitamin C skincare, so after applying your serum or cream, leave enough time in your daily ritual to let it absorb. Wait at least one minute before moving on to the next step. This way, the vitamin can penetrate deeply to deliver the most luminous glow.


3. Wear SPF underneath

Did you know? Vitamin C's protective powers extend to UV damage shielding, making it the perfect ingredient to layer underneath your daily sun cream. (Remember: you should use them together – vitamin C mustn't replace sunscreen.) So, if you're applying a vitamin C serum or cream in the morning, make sure you finish your skincare routine with a high level SPF, such as Expert Sun Protector Face Cream SPF50+.

4. Apply at night-time too

While fending off UV damage, vitamin C can lose some of its potency in sunlight. That's why, for optimal results, we recommend applying it both morning and night. You might not be doing this right away – if skin is sensitive, you will only want to apply it two to three times per week at first. However, once your pores are used to its powerful effects, twice-daily use will let you unlock radiance like never before.

Vitamin C skincare FAQs


What does vitamin C do for your face?

As well as brightening skin to help fade dark spots and acne scars, vitamin C applied to your face can increase your natural production of collagen. This is the key to preventing wrinkles and fine lines, and tightening your complexion, making it one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients out there. Meanwhile, it's a potent antioxidant that keeps pores protected from UV and pollution damage, working in tandem with your sunscreen to shield skin from these aging aggressors. Plus, as an anti-inflammatory, vitamin C works hard to reduce swelling and redness – ideal if you suffer from acne breakouts, rosacea flare-ups and even dark circles.

Does vitamin C lighten the skin?

Vitamin C does not lighten your skin, as it has no effect on your natural skin colouration. Instead, it illuminates and brightens by targeting the abnormal pigmentation that leads to dullness or dark spots. This pigmentation is usually caused by excess sun exposure, and it tends to fade over time – but by using vitamin C skincare, you can speed up the process for a fresh, even skin tone.

Is it OK to use vitamin C on your face every day?

If you're just getting started with vitamin C skincare, we recommend introducing it slowly at first. This is especially important if your complexion is sensitive and prone to irritation. Try applying your serums or creams two or three times per week at first, then increase gradually until you're getting a daily (or twice daily) dose for the best results.

Are there any potential side effects of vitamin C skincare?

Like all potent skincare, vitamin C can have some side effects – the main one being irritation, especially if your skin is prone to sensitivities. So, when you add it to your routine, it looks out for redness, dryness or flaking. These are signs that you might need to use a lower percentage of vitamin C or apply it less frequently. If irritation persists even after you've dialed down your dose, it may even be that vitamin C isn't right for you. The good news? There's a world of other ingredients out there that will suit your complexion perfectly.

To discover one of the gentlest (yet still powerful), read our guide to the benefits of hyaluronic acid skincare.

*Clinical test on 31 women after 1 month of use.
**Consumer test on 100 women ages 22-40.
***Enmei herb Extract, Green Treasured Silk Extract, Skingenecell 1P, Vitamin C Ethyl II.