Aisling on Beauty: Give your skin some sun with vitamin C products

This is a good way to perk your skin up during the dark months


Vitamin C is something we could all do with at this time of year. If you’re feeling a bit dull and grey, using vitamin C in your skincare can really perk it up.

It is used in so much skincare because scientists have found a way to stabilise ascorbic acid as a cosmetic ingredient. Vitamin C used to be notorious for going off and turning lotions and potions into stinky goo. However, all that has been done away with, and I’ve been using vitamin C-rich products for a few years. Much of the skincare I rate highly contains it.

So why is vitamin C such good news? Using serums or moisturisers with this vitamin helps to keep skin firmer by strengthening collagen. This means the look of wrinkles and lines can decrease, and it helps prevent formation of further lines. It also gives a low level of sun protection.

Vitamin C also brightens skin, fades sun spots and evens out tone. As soon as I see a product that promises to fade hyperpigmentation, I need it urgently in my life. At the moment , I’m using Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spots Solution because it uses a faster-acting version of vitamin C, which can be absorbed quickly into the skin. I find that once it has dried in, I can layer another serum on top if I want more moisture.

It’s generally agreed that 10 per cent or more of vitamin C in a product is the optimum level to make a real difference to skin. Don’t be put off if your potion of choice contains less than this amount, however. It will still work, albeit more slowly, and will be kinder to sensitive skin. The Body Shop Vitamin C range, as well as looking deliciously juicy, will give you some of the benefits.

The effects of vitamin C are amplified by other complementary ingredients. When it is mixed with other antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, it becomes more potent. Depending on the brand, you’ll find it mixed with lots of other ingredients, from liquorice (a pigment fader) to hyaluronic acid (a moisturiser), which all provide different skin benefits. In other words, vitamin C is a real team player. Twitter@aismcdermott

GARNIER_WEB Garnier Skin Naturals Dark Spot Corrector €13.99
The 5 per cent concentration of vitamin C will help to fade blemishes caused by sun damage, spots and acne. With repeated use, it will help to even skin tone and to moisturise skin. This formula has been designed to suit all skin types, so if you have sensitive skin and are longing to try a dose of the sunshine vitamin, start with this. 
PHILOSOPHY_WEB Philosophy Turbo Booster Vitamin C Powder £38
To my great sadness, Philosophy has pulled out of Ireland and the UK. However, it is still possible to get a limited number of its products on and from whatever stock remains on other big sites that ship to Ireland. This vitamin C powder is an add-on product: add a little of it to your moisturiser or serum to ramp up the benefits. It will turn your ordinary water-based moisturiser or serum into a much stronger and more potent skin firmer and brightener.
SKINCEUTICALS-C-E-FERULIC-72DPI_WEB SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment €150
I’ve been using this for ages, and it’s brilliant. With 15 per cent ascorbic acid combined with ferulic acid and vitamin E, this serum works to make your skin stronger and offers a level of sun protection. A low pH3 ensures the ingredients remain stable. With most SkinCeuticals products, you must expect to go hard or go home; they’re expensive but they deliver. Not one for sensitive types, though.
DERMALOGICA_WEB Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Firm €49
There are some products that have stayed the course for years, and that’s because they work. 
I think the masque in this range was one of the first decent skincare products I ever used. 
I was astonished by how good it was. A good helping of vitamin C along with the other antioxidant vitamins, A and E, plus plant extracts will help to reinforce the skin’s barrier and make it stronger.
BOTANICS_RADIANT_YOUTH_R09072013_WEB Botanics Radiant Youth Replenishing Night Cream €11.49
I’m very fond of Botanics. This intensive moisturiser is packed with skin-friendly ingredients. Vitamins C and E, Ginko, provitamin A and hyaluronic acid all work in happy harmony to freshen and hydrate skin.



If fading age spots and evening out skin tone along with helping to firm skin are your main concern, I would highly recommend this serum. Vitamin C throws a little party with yeast enzymes and hydrating ingredients. Also included is salicylic acid, which acts to clear blocked pores, giving skin a much smoother appearance.
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