The Beauty Benefits Of Vitamin C

Want brighter, tighter and more youthful skin? Vitamin C may well be the answer. Not just vital for a healthy diet, it’s an anti-ageing powerhouse when applied topically to the skin, helping reduce inflammation and pigmentation, and protect against pollution and boost collagen production. We spoke with skin specialist Dr. Benji Dhillon for the full scoop on this hero ingredient.

Why are people getting excited about vitamin C?

The benefits of vitamin C have been causing a buzz in the beauty world recently – possibly because we’re more concerned about how our environment affects our skin. For example, we’re more aware of the damage pollution, sunlight and free radicals can cause, breaking down collagen, stressing the skin and accelerating the ageing process. Vitamin C works to counteract this and can be used to treat a wide variety of other issues, explaining why it has become something of a hero ingredient.

What are the benefits of applying it directly to the skin?

As a natural antioxidant, vitamin C can help defend against free radicals - the particles found in pollution, smoke and UV rays, which are damaging to the skin; boost collagen production, which is crucial for a youthful complexion; and reduce brown spots and pigmentation.

Who will benefit most?

Vitamin C has strong anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ingredient to note if you struggle with acne or rosacea, but it works for all skin types and everyone should consider using it topically to maintain a healthy and youthful complexion.

When should you start using it?

There is no harm in starting to use a topical vitamin C serum from your early 20s; when it comes to preventing sun damage, vitamin C can’t protect like an SPF but it can help minimise the deep damage you can’t see, making it a powerful preventative ingredient.

What should you be looking for on the label?

It is offered by many different brands and comes in different concentrations, most commonly in serum form. However, not every product is suitable for every skin type so it’s worth having a consultation with a skin expert to determine what strength you should be using, and whether any other creams or serums should be used alongside it to further improve skin.

Are there any products you recommend?

If you’ve never used vitamin C topically, a good place to start is Skinceuticals’ CE Ferulic, £129; if you’re looking for a stronger option or have used vitamin C before, try the Obagi Professional C serums, from £64.50, which range from 10-15% in strength. However, these do require a consultation with a specialist prior to use as they are more powerful than most.

Anything else?

When buying a serum, keep an eye out for darker bottles – vitamin C is very sensitive and often inactivated by light exposure. The best quality products come in dark bottles, and in serum form, to retain their potency.
For more information on  Dr. Benji Dhillon visit

From cleansers to serums, here are the newest vitamin C-packed arrivals on the beauty shelves...

Biolumin-C-Serum, £81.50 | Dermalogica

Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum, £81.50 

WHY WE RATE IT: This high-performance serum harnesses the power of two kinds of vitamin C to

Gross C + Collagen Brighten + Firm Vitamin C Serum, £79 | Dr Dennis Gross

Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Vitamin C Serum, £79

WHY WE RATE IT: This genius gel serum offers powerful first aid for flagging complexions, delivering a boost of vitamin C and collagen amino acids to supercharge the skin’s repair functions.

Pro-Pure-Vitamin-C-Powder-Cream-Five-Pack, £145 | Dr Sebagh

Dr Sebagh Pro Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream, £145

WHY WE RATE IT: Transforming from a powder to cream upon contact with the skin, this patented formula leaves skin instantly glowing and radiant.

White Marble Dual Phase Vitamin C Peel, £85 | Erno Laszlo

Erno Laszlo Luminous Dual Phase Vitamin C Peel, £85

WHY WE RATE IT: The ultimate in pre-party skin-prep, this clever two-phase peel is packed with vitamin C, lactic acid and carrot seed oil to jumpstart the skin’s collagen production.

Ginger & Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask, £28 | Hello-Fab

Hello Fab Ginger & Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask, £28

WHY WE RATE IT: Having already been given the beauty blogger seal of approval, this high-street hero is a shortcut to a smoother, plumped-up visage.

Vitamin C Paste, £32 | Lixirskin

Lixirskin Vitamin C Paste, £32

WHY WE RATE IT: An innovative wash-off treatment that neutralises oxidised sebum, free radicals and UV rays to leave your complexion instantly vibrant, luminous and more toned from day one.

Vitamin C Ester Eye Serum, £45 | Perricone MD

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Eye Serum, £45

WHY WE RATE IT: This clever multi-tasking serum has been clinically proven to reduce the signs of ageing around the eyes and lips in as little as seven days.

Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser, £39 | Rodial

Rodial Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser, £39

WHY WE RATE IT: A wake-up call for tired complexions, this hard-working cleanser delivers a potent antioxidant hit as well as fruit AHAs to tone and tighten pores.

Power C High Potency Vitamin C Treatment Drops, £125 | Zelens

Zelens Power C High Potency Vitamin C Treatment Drops, £125

WHY WE RATE IT: Apply this vitamin-rich treatment serum daily to boost elasticity, diminish the visibility of dark spots and protect against UV damage.

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