Ingredient focus

Why your skin needs its daily dose of vitamin C

Last Updated: 26/07/2022

Not just for keeping those seasonal sniffles at bay, {vitamin C} – often listed as L-ascorbic acid – is one of {skin care’s} greatest players. An excellent antioxidant (it helps to deflect the effects of pollution), it’s also ideal for those eager to lessen the look of dark spots and the signs of {sun damage} while helping to supplement skin’s own defences. Brilliantly brightening, it works to promote luminosity (great if you’re looking a little lacklustre) and is crucial for collagen synthesis, supporting the manufacture of the ‘stuffing’ that’s responsible for keeping your complexion plump and supple.

Found in a bevvy of topical treatments – from {Drunk Elephant} to {The Ordinary} – it’s suitable for all skin types and ages, bolstering the efficacy of your sunscreen when applied to your face, neck and chest every morning. Whether you opt for a serum, a powder or featherlight mist, we recommend you get your daily dose…

It prevents and repairs signs of sun damage

This is the major one – it’s one of the most potent antioxidants you can get. To the uninitiated, antioxidants work to fight ageing free radicals caused by sun exposure and environmental pollutants. While free radicals can damage healthy skin tissue, antioxidants counterbalance their effects and help arrest the everyday assault. So while you shouldn’t forgo your daily sunscreen, think of vitamin C as its vital ‘wingperson’ – not only protecting but also repairing (it’s an essential if you live in busy cities).

It brightens and reduces pigmentation

Dull, uneven skin tone and dark patches are caused by melanin (a pigment made by special cells called melanocytes, found deep within the skin). Melanin activity can be increased due to factors such as sun exposure and pollutants (there they are again), certain medications, pregnancy and inflammation. So what vitamin C does is slow down melanin production and also helps speed up cell turnover. Hence dull, uneven patches are made less visible over time – leaving you with a brightened, glowing and more even-toned complexion for your troubles.

Why not try Glow Recipe’s {Pineapple-C Bright Serum} – bursting with a potent cocktail of three forms of antioxidant-rich vitamin C including 22% pineapple juice (one of the most powerful forms of natural vitamin C), pure ascorbic acid, and stable 3-O-Ethyl ascorbic acid, this powerful serum combats acne scars, dark spots, and hyper-pigmentation leaving skin glossy and even. Meanwhile, the natural AHAs and bromelain enzymes from pineapple gently exfoliate while the built-in skin soothers (chamomile and aloe) ensure that skin stays happy and refreshed.

Model leaning back, her face in the sun

It firms and helps to lessen wrinkle depth

You might hear a lot about collagen when it comes to skin care. That’s because it’s basically the ‘stuffing’ of your skin – responsible for keeping it looking firm, plump and youthful – but it sadly depletes with age, stress and environmental exposure (boo!). Think of it like feathers in a pillow – the older you get, the less ‘feathers’ they are, leading to sagging skin, lines and wrinkles etc. Vitamin C stimulates fibroblast activity, which is crucial in collagen production to help maintain the levels and in turn, keep lines at bay.

It’s proven to help combat inflammation

If you’re plagued with acne and/or rosacea (permanent redness and broken capillaries), studies have shown that vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid – found in The Ordinary’s innovative {100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder} – can help constrict dilated blood vessels, reducing the inflammation that causes these common skin issues. 

It’s suitable for all skin types (and ages)

Whether you’re just starting to venture into the world of anti-ageing, or dealing with persistent wrinkles; whether you’ve got ‘problem skin’ or just want it to look a little perkier, vitamin C is the go-to ingredient for all. It plumps up mature skin, helps regulate oily skin and calms and soothes sensitive skin. In short, it’s a wonderful multi-tasker no skin care regime should be without.

Best of all, it can be mixed and matched with other vitamins (tag-teaming if you will) to maximise the benefits it brings to your skin. For example, if you have deep lines and severe ageing concerns, combine a vitamin C serum in the morning, with a vitamin A serum at night. Otherwise if you’re concerned with pigmentation, use the vitamin C serum in the morning, and apply vitamin B (also known as {niacinamide}) before bed.


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…