#SkinSchool: The Beauty Benefits Of Vitamin C

Benjamin Vnuk for Harper’s Bazaar

Experts agree, vitamin C as a skincare ingredient can both brighten the complexion and iron out wrinkles when added to your daily routine. However, it’s not as simple as selecting any old product with vitamin C on the label and smothering your face in it – the vulnerable ingredient breaks down when it comes into contact with light, air and water.

One of our favourite products comes via DCL, a cult brand considered the best kept secret in skincare thanks to its potent formulas created by scientists in partnership with Yale University researchers. We asked Joel Rubin, their senior vice president of research and development, to translate the cosmetic chemistry of vitamin C in skincare. So, here’s how to choose and use the hero ingredient:

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What are the visible benefits of using vitamin C in your skincare regime?

“Vitamin C can build collagen by increasing fibroblasts, something that is known to increase collagen production. Over time, vitamin C will increase the skin’s visible radiance and offer significant antioxidant protection for skin cells.”

Can all ages and skin types benefit from this ingredient?

“As a skincare ingredient vitamin C works for everyone, of all ages. As it’s something that builds collagen in the skin – it’s especially beneficial when dealing with anti-ageing or age prevention.”

At what percentage will your skin benefit most from Vitamin C in skincare?

“Vitamin C, as a raw ingredient, is a difficult one to stabilise as mixing it with water can prevent it from working. DCL skincare have formulated a 30% pure vitamin C product without water and silicones [C Scape High Potency Night Booster 30, £108], which is absorbed into the skin over 12-hours, through a time matrix.”

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How can you tell if the vitamin C in your skincare product is stable?

“All products should be supplied in packaging with an airless pump which will protect the vitamin C from UV light as well as water. Both these elements are able to degrade vitamin C, therefore it won’t work as effectively. DCL skincare products are put through a complete stability test with regards to the actual formula and how well the packaging will protect it.”

What other mistakes do people make when choosing a vitamin C product?

“The vitamin C world is dominated by water based formulas which is a poor choice for consumers. Any water based vitamin C product will convert the ‘C’ to a form that will make it vulnerable and eventually will degrade the product. Look for a product that doesn’t contain water so it will last for a very long time – even when opened.”

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How much of a vitamin C serum should you apply?

“The product should be applied with one’s fingertips, at the 30% level, one doesn’t need to apply an overabundance of product as it will be a waste of product – that’s why our product size will last for a long time.”

Three more vitamin C products we love:

Niod Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid 30% Network, £50

Paula’s Choice Resist 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment, £48

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, £4.90

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK