Why your skincare should include Vitamin C

Article by Fashion Quarterly

Why your skincare should include Vitamin-C _hero image

Have you had your daily boost of Vitamin C?

Another day, another beauty innovation from Korea. While some K-Beauty products are game-changing (BB cream, cushion compacts, sleeping masks…), others are just plain gimmicky.

One of the latest has some serious substance, though, and beauty editors around the world are singing its praises. We’re talking about Vitabrid C12 — a new form of skin-penetrating vitamin C, developed by chemist Dr Jinho Choy from Seoul’s Ewha Womans University.

Most beauty brands have some sort of vitamin C offering, and this powerhouse ingredient has been enjoying a bit of a resurgence of late. But what’s special about Vitabrid C12 is its 12-hour time-release, which means it continues to infuse its potent blend into your skin for hours after it’s applied.

Although vitamin C has been a popular ingredient for some time now, in liquid and powdered form, lately there’s been an influx of vitamin C moisturisers, serums and cleansers designed to give  skin a major boost. “It’s a great way to improve the health and quality of skin — especially ageing skin,” says Clinique’s national training and education manager Tracey Pederson.

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The powerful antioxidant works to promote collagen production, helping you to look younger. It has an exfoliating action, strengthens capillary walls, and is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It also fights against environmental aggressors, such as UV exposure and pollution, that can cause oxidative stress in the skin. But its very best work might be in relation to hyperpigmentation and skin brightening.

“Vitamin C is clinically proven to prevent the excess production of melanin, resulting in a brighter complexion,” says Tracey.

Studies have shown it to be useful in the treatment of all types of hyperpigmentation, including melasma, age spots, sun spots and freckles.

Clinical educator for advanced skin technology Tania McKenzie says everyone should be using vitamin C. “With great scientific advances, there have been amazing new types and very stable forms of vitamin C molecules developed to suit all skin conditions and concerns. Twenty years ago, we didn’t have the choices that we have today. Now with improvements in formulating, we have amazing vitamin Cs that strengthen and support delicate skin and suit even extremely sensitive, reactive, flushing skin types.”

Vitamin C really is a beauty all-rounder, but finding the best concentration for you is key. A concentration of 3-10% will be effective, though for best results you might like to try a potency of 10-20%. Whether you’re a vitamin C newbie or a dab hand, we’ve broken down some of our favourite products, so you can find one to suit your skin…


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Murad Essential-C Cleanser, $78. With vitamins C, A and E, this antioxidant-rich option removes makeup and impurities to rehydrate and rejuvenate dull skin.

Ultraceuticals Ultra C Firming Eye Cream, $120. The vitamin C and peptides in this product work together to provide antioxidant protection from environmental aggressors while firming and smoothing the delicate eye area.

MAC Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion, $50. Seaweed extract and vitamin C in this spray brighten and prep the skin to receive the benefits of other products too.

302C Boost, $126. Restore sun- damaged skin with this offering (available at Auckland’s East Day Spa) that uses oil-soluble vitamin C ester to smooth, soften and reduce hyperpigmentation.

Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C, $60. This seven-day system gives you a good dose of vitamin C to brighten and retexturise skin. Start with the powdered vitamin C sachet to cleanse, then finish with the booster shot.


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Dr. Brandt Power Dose C, $109. A super-charged 20% vitamin C infusion, this protects against free-radical damage, firms and smooths fine lines.

Environ Evenescence C-Boost, $89. If hyperpigmentation is an issue for  you, this classic, non-greasy product will work to reduce your existing sun damage.

CosMedix Pure C, $81. Botanical ingredients are included in this formulation designed to help improve the appearance of scars, dark spots and pigmentation. Mix a few crystals with your favourite moisturiser or serum and apply to your face.

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester 15, $207. With a strength of 15%, these tubes pack a potent hit, working to reverse sun damage, and improve uneven skin tone, wrinkles and slackened skin.

Elizabeth Arden Pro Skin Brightening Serum, $180. This calms sensitised skin while using vitamin C to strengthen its protective barrier to guard against future flare-ups.

Words: Sarah Murray
Photos: Supplied and Getty Images