Vitamin C was the most searched-for skincare ingredient in 2017 and for many good reason too. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic or L-ascorbic acid is a vitamin found in food and the body can’t store it, which means we need it in our diet daily. L-ascorbic acid can be found in fruit and vegetables like oranges, peppers, strawberries and sprouts and one of its many uses is to absorb the iron in food. Additional functions include protecting cells and keeping them healthy and assisting with wound healing.
In skincare, vitamin C plays an antioxidant role. Research has proven using as little as 0.6% of Vitamin C in a product will help to successfully protect the skin from harsh environmental factors and therefore, ageing. Because the ingredient effectively shields the skin away from pollution, collagen production naturally increases leading to a more youthful, smoother appearance. Vitamin C also has a clever brightening effect on the skin – with regular use, it can even skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation.
L-absorbic acid can appear in all kinds of concentrations in skincare, so it is best to start of small and gradually build up to daily use. Vitamin C can appear on the ingredients list as not only L-asorbic acid, but sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palitate and retinol ascorbate. This ingredient is best used in the morning and like any antioxidant, is the perfect partner to your SPF yet some formulations advise to be used at night, as a treatment. If you are wanting a high-strength Vitamin C -based product, Park Street Clinic recommends ZO Essential C-bright serum plus 10%, to start you off.