My morning and nighttime skin-care rituals couldn't be more different. In the evening, you'll find me playing music and nestling in — heck, I might light a candle — before layering on a series of nine products. It's a real production. In the a.m., the vibe is more "slap on a few products so I can get on with my day." Lately, I've taken that to the extreme, pairing down my morning skin-care routine to a single product: Strivectin Super-C SPF 30 Vitamin C Moisturizer (Buy It, $69, amazon.com).
The key reason I've been able to downsize to just this one star skin-care product is that it combines three elements I previously had to break into separate steps: vitamin C, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Not only is a single-ingredient skin-care routine efficient, but it also eliminates the risk of layering too many products that don't work well together, which can cause irritation or, at the very least, lackluster results. (Related: The Best Moisturizers with SPF 30 or Higher)
First off, Strivectin Super-C SPF 30 Vitamin C Moisturizer checks all my sunscreen boxes. It offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection, surpassing the Skin Cancer Foundation's recommendation to use an SPF of 15 or higher. The vitamin C face moisturizer incorporates chemical filters, which I'm partial to since they're less likely to leave a chalky residue than mineral blockers. (Related: The Best Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serums That Will Brighten, Firm, and Protect Skin)
While sunscreen blocks damaging free radicals, antioxidants such as vitamin C can neutralize free radicals that inevitably get through. Vitamin C also boosts collagen production, brightens, and evens out skin tone, so I'd hate to miss out on it. What's even better is that my morning skin-care routine now caters to my specific skin needs. I've experienced stinging after using products containing L-ascorbic acid, the most potent form of vitamin C. So, instead, I look for tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (aka THD ascorbate), which, as it happens, is the form of vitamin C used in Strivectin Super-C SPF 30 Vitamin C Moisturizer. Compared to L-ascorbic acid, THD ascorbate isn't as irritating since it's less acidic, plus it penetrates skin more deeply and is more stable. (Vitamin C is notoriously unstable, and once it oxidizes — a reaction in which it loses electrons, often causing a skin-care product to change to an orange or brown color — it likely doesn't offer any benefits.)
On that note, you'd never guess this vitamin C moisturizer also contains sunscreen because it applies as seamlessly as any non-SPF moisturizer. I store the product in my fridge (doesn't hurt to be cautious even with THD ascorbate's stable rep), and the chill combined with the moisturizer's whipped texture and grapefruit scent makes for a lovely sensory experience. My skin has that fresh, dewy, dare I say plump feel after applying it. (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin C Skin Care)
Like J. Lo or Neil Patrick Harris, Strivectin Super-C SPF 30 Vitamin C Moisturizer is a true triple threat in my book. If like me, you're a part-time skinimalist (or just want to pare down your lengthy morning skin-care routine), it's worth checking out.