Love it: my favourite Vitamin C formulas

The antioxidant properties of vitamin C (AKA ascorbic acid) and its role in collagen synthesis make the sunny-hued little beauty a vital molecule for skin health. Dietary and topical ascorbic acid have beneficial effects on skin cells, and some studies have even shown that vitamin C may help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photodamage. To break the news gently: you NEED the stuff on your face, as well as in your diet. Lucky for us there’s some clever skincare brands doing unique things with it, and formulas to suit every skin.
Drunk Elephant is one of my absolute favourite clean beauty brands, and a sensitive skin person’s dream come true due to its refreshing lack of essential oils, fragrance, alcohol, dyes, chemical screens or SLS. Their C-Firma Day Serum ($127.00) is a multi-award winner with good reason, and available locally at Mecca Maxima and A super-potent Vitamin C day serum packed with a powerful antioxidant complex, essential nutrients, fruit enzymes and a chronopeptide that provides the benefits of vitamin D, it aims to firm and brighten the appearance of skin while improving the signs of photoageing.
The revolutionary – and lovely to use – serum comes jam-packed with a 15 per cent potent antioxidant complex of l-ascorbic and ferulic acids plus vitamin E, which helps neutralise damaging free radicals while replenishing lipids and reducing the look of dark spots and wrinkles. It has also been formulated with pumpkin ferment and pomegranate extracts, so it enzymatically - and gently - dissolves dead surface skin cells for smoother texture. It’s pretty amazing, and if the huge volume of five star reviews it garners online are anything to go by, it does what it says and more. I also love the fact that C-Firma has what the beauty industry calls a “reservoir effect”, which means it will stay active on skin for up to 72 hours and cannot be washed or rubbed off. 
Also available from Mecca is Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten + Firm Vitamin C Serum ($124). Powered by a heady cocktail of skin-revitalising actives, it is a fast-absorbing gel-serum that repairs imperfections and recharges the skin for a healthy-looking glow. Other ingredients in the formula include collagen amino acids, carnitine and niacinamide to strengthen, soften the appearance of wrinkles, banish dark spots and boost radiance. 
Société’s Triple C Serum ($207) is a great choice if you really want to pull out the big guns on the Vitamin C front, as it combines three of the most stable forms of Vitamin C available in a neutral (non-acidic), non-irritating form. This allows it to be suitable for all skin types including problematic, sensitive and post-procedure skin, and it uses a water-based (not lipid-based) delivery system that won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. Its DNA repair mechanisms aim to reduce hyperpigmentation dramatically, and supports damaged cells so they can repair themselves over time.
Another Vitamin C-driven product that’s designed to awaken tired, dull skin is Murad’s Intensive-C Radiance Peel, which the skin specialists call an “at home spa treatment that dramatically reverses environmental aging caused by sun, smog and pollution” – who doesn’t like the sound of that? Part of their Environmental Shield range, it’s a powerful little number containing Vitamin C and Indian Fig that work together to stop free radical damage and enhance skin clarity, while Myrtle Extract supports collagen production to give skin extra resilience and elasticity. It's a triple threat that brightens, smoothes and hydrates skin in just one treatment, using Glycolic Acid to gently exfoliate skin and accelerate the turnover of damaged cells. Murad’s Intensive-C Radiance Peel is designed to be used up to twice a week (with my sensitive skin I’ve kept it to once for now) and is a ten minute-long exercise session for the skin if ever there was one. Easy to use and delivers results? Music to the ears.


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