The Big C

Vitamin C that is. You may be popping the fizzy orange tablet to ward off colds, but it’s just as effective applied topically to maintain a healthy and resilient skin.


Oh dear, some things about getting older are not fun. That bouncy glowing skin so unappreciated by the young is largely due to high levels of vitamin C, which diminishes as the years roll on – but you can fight back and replenish.

Skincare expert Neelu White is a devotee. Her Double Anti-Ageing Serum, €110, is super-charged with vitamin C: “One of its most powerful functions is in the production of collagen, a protein that gives skin its elasticity. As we age, collagen breaks down and wrinkles begin to form – stabilizing levels of vitamin C can help counteract wrinkle formation by stepping up production.” See

Dr Howard Murad believes vitamin C is one of the most potent skincare ingredients. “It’s so multifunctional – an excellent antioxidant and brightening agent as well as its role in the production of collagen.” His Intensive -C Radiance Peel, €59, is an at-home treatment that combats environmental damage and adds glycolic acid, accelerating cell turnover. Available at

The eye area is the first to show ageing, so it’s worth giving it special attention. The Vital C range from Image skincare includes a Hydrating Eye Recovery Gel, €36, a cooling collagen infused gel which rejuvenates and moisturises. Tel 01-832 1412 for stockists.

If you like natural alternatives, Ren is one of the most advanced ranges when it comes to formulas that deliver. A case in point is Keep Young and Beautiful SH2C Serum, €60, which has been dubbed “the natural alternative to Botox”. Wheat peptides, help plump out skin and vitamin C regulates and repairs skin tone. Available at Arnotts and

At the other end of the scale, the appliance of science is in action in Lancôme’s Advanced Genifique Serum, €73. The main ingredient is CG, a stabilised form of vitamin C, which is released gradually over a 24-hour period. Use morning and night under your regular moisturiser for best results

Cleansing oils are especially comforting as the colder weather closes in. Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil, €13.50, is infused with vitamin C and rosehip essential oils, leaving skin beautifully soft and nourished. Great value, too. €13.50 at Boots chemists

When it comes to professional treatments, I had a bit of a wow moment checking myself in the mirror after the Kerstin Florian Antioxidant Vitamin C facial. A combination of spirulina algae, proteins and minerals are worked into the skin during a muscle-boosting face massage, finished off with a pure vitamin C ampoule to maintain elasticity.

This would work wonders as a last-minute skin treat before a big event. It costs from €90 at Lyrath Estate Hotel and Spa in Kilkenny. (Ask for Jurante.)