Why you should use a Vitamin C serum right now

Vitamin C is your friend if you have any sort of skin pigmentation or just general dullness

This time of year tends to make us particularly aware of changes in our skin. The light drastically shifts, causing pigmentation and, if you’re not careful, the first mindless sunburn of the season.

Sun exposure brings out freckles and patches that hint at sunburns past, and the clarity of light outdoors when the weather is good can make us realise that skin which hasn’t seen sun in several months tends to look a little dull and pallid.

If you have any sort of pigmentation – from marks caused by the sun to red pigmentation scarring from breakouts or just general dullness, Vitamin C is your friend. It also improves the skin’s elasticity and firmness.

While retinol is often hailed as the miracle skincare ingredient, Vitamin C deserves more credit than it gets and paired with an SPF, offers environmental protection along with all its other benefits. If you live in a city, it’s a must.


Vitamin C tends to be unstable, so when making a purchase, make sure that the product is in light-and air-proof bottle (there are some exceptions to this rule and one is a product mentioned below). In general, however, if you have a tub of ‘Vitamin C cream’ with a screw top, it’s highly unlikely to be doing anything after a short period of time.

Vitamin C is an ingredient used to treat skin issues, and serum is always the most potent treatment product. If you are serious about wanting to make some changes to your skin with one topical Vitamin C product, a serum is a much better investment than a cream. Adding a good cream certainly won’t hurt, but a serum is the best place to start.

Murad Vita C Glycolic Serum (€84 at murad.co.uk) is a new serum offering that also incorporates glycolic acid – a highly effective skin resurfacer. Use it at night to tackle dullness and pigmentation. You'll reap the benefits quite quickly.

Oskia Super-C Capsules (€74 at Space NK) contain a potent form of oil-soluble Vitamin C. Each biodegradable capsule contains enough for one use, and protects the oil inside from being compromised by light or air. They also contain nourishing squalane, so your skin will feel deeply moisturised. I use it at night.

For a more affordable option, try The Inkey List 15% vitamin C and EGF (€19.49 at boots.ie). It's silicone-free, so it won't cause that unpleasant pilling effect when paired with other skincare and makeup, and it effectively brightens the skin.

Indeed Labs Vitamin C24 (€33.99 at boots.ie) incorporates hyaluronic acid, making for a smooth, hydrating serum that reduces inflammation and tackles dullness. I like this one for morning.

Finally, Zelens Power C High Potency Vitamin C Treatment Drops (€57 for 10mls at cloud10beauty.com) is the exception to the packaging rule. The serum is oil-based and incorporates a highly stable form of vitamin C, so it won't go bad or just suddenly stop giving results.

This is highly effective – it faded my red pigmentation from a breakout in weeks and is wildly beloved by beauty editors.