This might sound crazy but Vitamin C is actually really good for your skin. But don't start exfoliating your face with Emergen-C powder just yet. The best Vitamin C products for your skin typically come in cream-form or as serums. Not as tangy drinks that may or may not help you avoid mono in your sophomore year dormitory.
If your skin is easily inflamed or at risk from too much sun exposure, you might need to add a topical Vitamin C product to your regimen. That’s because Vitamin C has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. We checked in with a dermatologist to find out why exactly, and which are the best Vitamin C products for your skin.
“It can neutralize free radical production,” says Jeffrey Fromowitz, MD, of Boca Raton, FL. “These free radicals can accumulate and lead to precancerous and cancerous changes in the skin.” Furthermore, as an anti-inflammatory, Vitamin C minimizes redness and irritation, whether you have sensitive skin or got a sunburn. It can also improve your collagen production. Fromowitz says topical Vitamin C minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, resulting in a firmer and smoother complexion. (Another way to put it: Vitamin C basically covers all the skincare concerns someone might, have living in Boca Raton.)
He says it’s important to look for a product with a high concentration of the vitamin. And, it’s important to note that the Vitamin C you ingest as an immune booster will not benefit the skin in same way that these topical products do. When dealing with skincare concerns, these products are infinitely more effective than chugging a glass of orange juice, a sugary yet undeniably delicious beverage popular in Florida.
Here are the best Vitamin C topical products to consider for various reasons—take a look and see which might be best for your specific scenario.
La Roche’s daily hydrator (with separate options for dry and normal/combo skin) targets fine lines by firming your skin and shielding you from skin-aging toxins. (Still, it’s best to pair it with an SPF.) It also evens the appearance of your complexion on contact, so that dark spots and other inconsistencies are less noticeable.
This lightweight youth serum absorbs quickly and has a high concentration of vitamin C (15 percent) to deliver all of the ingredient’s benefits. With vitamin E, it also restores the skin’s moisture-preserving lipids, and ferulic acid magnifies the effectiveness of both vitamins.
PCA promises visible results in just one week with this maxed-out concentration of Vitamins C (20 percent) and E (5 percent) to strengthen the skin barrier and combat free radical damage.
Cellex-C’s entire line is built around Vitamin C and its antioxidant benefits, and this gel specifically targets dark circles and discoloration beneath the eyes.
Another lightweight serum, this one blends vitamins A, C, and E with olive leaf extract to protect and fortify acne- and inflammation-prone skin, and to encourage rapid recovery from any such ailments.
With a high concentration of lemon oils and extracts, this balm also boasts high vitamin C levels by extension. And, seeing as your lips are so sensitive to the elements, they’re a prime candidate for this antioxidant-rich precaution.
This shouldn’t be considered a “topical vitamin C” like the others in this series, since it’s foremost a sunscreen. But with the deliberate inclusion of vitamin C in its blend, Supergoop boosts the antioxidant powers of this highly defensive sunblock. It’s a great shield for the whole body, and since you won’t be applying those 3-figure serums to your back and shoulders any time soon, it seems you could only stand to benefit from a touch of vitamin C all over.