Skincare junkie or not, you will have heard whispers of the many benefits a good vitamin C serum can bring to your skin. According to the founder of Smileworks, ‘Liverpool’s most popular Facial Aesthetics and Cosmetic Dentistry Practice’, Dr MJ Rowland-Warman “I swear by the use of a good Vitamin C serum. After a peel or as a part of your morning routine, I will always use a vitamin C because it increases the efficiency of sunscreen, it’s an antioxidant wonder product and it makes your skin feel good”.
The benefits don’t end there. Dr MJ is right to call vitamin C a wonder product. Did you know that vitamin C helps your body make collagen? If youthful, bouncy, and supple skin is what you’re aiming for then finding a good vitamin C topical serum is the first step to take, but it’s not just the visual results that makes vitamin C worth reaching for, it also protects your skin on a cellular level. Here are some of the ways that vitamin C can help maximise your skin’s natural beauty and keep it healthy:
- Helps to fade hyper-pigmentation - Vitamin C can brighten your complexion alongside reducing uneven skin tone, helping to lessen the appearance of dark marks and sun damage.
- Reduces inflammation – Vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory which means that it can help reduce redness and puffiness.
- Protects against sun damage – Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants which enables it to work hand in hand with your sun cream to help fight off those harmful rays.
- Boosts hydration – Vitamin C isn’t a quick fix but if used regularly it supports your skin’s hydration in the long term, perfect for hydrating and reducing dark under eye circles.
When shopping for a vitamin C serum it’s important to remember that not all vitamin C formulas are created equal, below are Dr MJ Rowland-Warrman’s top three picks for all different budgets.
Obagi Professional C Serum 15%
Pricing from around £100
Obagi makes three different strengths of serum, 10%, 15% and 20% but Dr MJ swears by their 15% serum and uses it most mornings as part of her daily routine. Obagi Professional C Serum 15% is free from any unnecessary nasty ingredients. Obagi keeps their ingredient lists short and sweet ensuring you aren’t smothering your face with potential irritants and leaves your skin without that dreadful tackiness. Dr MJ says, “This is the most high-quality vitamin C you’re going to find, but the downside is that it’s pricey”.
Timeless Skin Care – 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum
For those who don’t feel as comfortable splashing out on skincare, Timeless’ offering is a great option. As the name suggests, it is not pure vitamin C, there is added vitamin E and Ferulic Acid which can either be seen as a plus or a minus depending on your skin type and concern. Dr MJ suggests that a cheaper vitamin C serum is a good option if you’ve got a casual, low exposure day ahead of you “If you’re having a job where you are wearing a mask, you work indoors with minimal sunlight or you have to wash your face a lot, you really don’t need such a high cost product, something like Timeless works great here”.
Typology Radiance Serum 11% Vitamin C
If you are new to skincare and you want to dip your toe in the water without breaking the bank, Typology’s Radiance Serum is a very affordable option that comes in two sizes. The smaller 15ml is perfect for newbies but might be a disappointment for seasoned skincare pros. Typology’s vitamin C serum is cruelty free, vegan and ethically sourced which is a big bonus but it lacks the larger vitamin C percentage that the other two products that Dr MJ suggests.
Even though Vitamin C is a low risk ingredient for your skin there are some key points to keep in mind to get the most out of your skincare routine and protect your skin:
- Patch test - Before using a product on your face, make sure to do a patch test on your wrist to ensure there is no irritation, wait 24 hours before applying to your face.
- Apply in the morning before your sunscreen - As mentioned, Vitamin C is a great combat of UV rays but make sure you are getting the most out of your product by applying it at the right point in your routine.
- Store your products correctly – Dr MJ suggests that you keep your Vitamin C products out of direct sunlight and if possible, store them in the box that they came in. This is because vitamin C oxidises very quickly. A good rule of thumb is to look at the liquid colour, if it’s light yellow then it’s good to go, if it’s amber this means that the serum is off and ineffective.
Meet our Expert
Dr MJ Rowland Warmann is a dentist and aesthetician. Dr MJ is the founder of Smileworks, Liverpool. She been recognised by the organisation Save Face as an MSc qualified aesthetician.