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Vitamin C Serums

Written by: Becki Murray

Last Updated: 18 February 2024

Vitamin C is a great anti-ageing ingredient that is, amongst other things, a potent antioxidant. That means it can help protect your skin from pollution and other environmental aggressors, which otherwise lead to signs of premature ageing, such as wrinkles and dark spots. It is particularly known and utilised for its brightening effect on your skin, making vitamin C serums a popular part of modern skincare routines, especially as they can help boost your skin’s natural collagen production too. Read on to discover how vitamin C serums have their skin-boosting effect, as well as what the best forms and concentrations are to use.

vitamin c serum

How does vitamin C serum benefit ageing skin?

It’s an antioxidant: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which means it helps neutralise free radicals, which are molecules that can damage skin cells and accelerate ageing. By protecting the skin from oxidative stress, vitamin C helps prevent the formation of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of ageing.

It boosts collagen production: Vitamin C also plays a crucial role in collagen synthesis, the protein responsible for maintaining skin firmness and elasticity. By promoting collagen production, vitamin C serum helps improve skin texture and firmness, resulting in a more youthful appearance.

It brightens too: Vitamin C has brightening properties, which can help reduce the appearance of mild age spots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone, promoting a more radiant complexion.

How does vitamin C serum help in reducing wrinkles?

In an anti-ageing skincare routine, incorporating vitamin C for wrinkle reduction is highly beneficial. That’s because vitamin C stimulates your body’s natural collagen production – the protein that gives skin its structure and support. This helps improve skin firmness and elasticity, thus reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Additionally, vitamin C’s antioxidant properties protect the skin from oxidative stress and UV damage, which are major contributors to premature ageing and wrinkle formation. So, incorporating a vitamin C serum into your routine can also preventively prevent wrinkle formation for smoother-looking skin for longer.

Are vitamin C serums suitable for all skin types?

Vitamin C serums are generally suitable for all skin types, including normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive skin. However, individuals with very sensitive skin may experience irritation or redness when using vitamin C serums, especially those with higher concentrations of vitamin C.

For that reason, if you are prone to irritation try starting with a lower concentration and working up. Also, always patch test before applying the serum to the entire face to check for any potential sensitivity.

Can vitamin C serums brighten the skin?

Yes, vitamin C serums can brighten the skin. The ingredient does so by helping inhibit melanin production, as well as promoting skin cell turnover, which in turn can help fade dark spots and stop them from emerging in the first place/ This leads to a more evenly toned, brighter-looking complexion.


What are the best vitamin C serums for collagen production?

If you are looking for vitamin C serums to specifically boost collagen production, you typically need to use a serum that has a high concentration of vitamin C. Not just that, it should preferably be in the form of L-ascorbic acid, which is the most stable and effective form of vitamin C for skincare.

As for the specific percentage you need, look for concentrations ranging from 10% to 20% for optimal collagen-boosting benefits. These are often marketed on the packaging nowadays which makes things simple.

You may also want to check the ingredient list for other collagen-boosting ingredients, such as peptides, and skin-plumping hydrators such as hyaluronic acid that give you a more immediate lift.

Can vitamin C serums improve skin elasticity?

Yes, vitamin C serums can improve skin elasticity. That’s because vitamin C stimulates the production of elastin too, another protein like collagen that is essential for maintaining skin’s ‘bounce back-ability’ and its plumpness. This increased firmness and elasticity leads to the appearance of smoother, supple skin.

How often should vitamin C serum be used?

Vitamin C serum is typically suitable for daily use, and you can apply it once or twice a day depending on your preference. If you are using other active ingredients for example retinoids, you may wish to apply your vitamin C serum in the morning – where its antioxidant action can help protect your skin from environmental damage – and just your retinoid at night, as otherwise you may increase the risk of irritation.

What should be considered when choosing a vitamin C serum?

When choosing a vitamin C serum:

  • Look for serums with stable forms of vitamin C, such as L-ascorbic acid
  • Aim for concentrations ranging from 10% to 20% for optimal effectiveness while minimising side effects
  • Consider the formulation and texture of the serum, as well as any additional ingredients that complement the benefits of vitamin C, such as hyaluronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants.
  • Choose serums packaged in dark or opaque bottles to protect the product from light and air, which can degrade the potency of vitamin C.
  • Perform a patch test before applying the serum to the entire face to assess for any potential sensitivity.

How do vitamin C serums hydrate the skin?

Vitamin C itself isn’t inherently hydrating, but many vitamin C serums include hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin to provide moisturising benefits alongside the antioxidant effects of vitamin C. Additionally, vitamin C can help to maintain skin hydration by protecting the skin from environmental stressors like UV radiation and pollution, which otherwise could contribute to dehydration.

What are the benefits of antioxidants in skincare?

Antioxidants can play a crucial role in skincare as they neutalise the damaging free radicals that are generated in your skin by oxidative stress and environmental damage. This means they help prevent signs of premature ageing including wrinkles, reduce inflammation, and support skin repair. Vitamin C is a particularly good, and popular, antioxidant for use in skincare.


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Alice answers your question. Want to ask Alice a question? Pop it in here and check back in a few days for the answer.

You say you would do the EM face treatments were you in your 40s. I am in my early 70s and I suppose it is too late for that now?

Hi, I think it is rarely 'too late' to try any of these tweakments - what you need to keep in mind is that the older we get, the less response there is in our skin and muscles to the treatments that are designed to stimulate them. So what you need to ask your practitioner before you start, is whether they think, after assessing your face, that the treatment will make a difference.   Often, we need more treatment in order to show a result as we get older (I need three rounds of Profhilo in my neck, for example, before I can really see the results, whereas someone 20 years younger should get a decent result from two...

Which treatment is best for hyperpigmentation due to sun damage? IPL or chemical peel? I live in Barbados and that’s all that’s available here. Thanks!!

Hi, I'd find the most experienced dermatologist or other cosmetic physician on the island and ask for their advice - and also plan carefully how, if you go ahead with treatment, you are going to protect your treated skin from the sun. In the UK, it's best to do these things in the winter; you will have to commit to buckets of SPF 50 and a hat afterwards to minimise further pigmentation developing.

Can I ask what you think of the Skin Laundry company, its memberships and in particular its Ultra Duo facial? Many thanks

Hi, Skin Laundry offers some great treatments, though I haven't tried any of them for a while. I can't comment on its membership offers or the Ultra Duo - but I know the company uses top-quality devices and their therapists are well-trained.

Hi Alice, I am 55 and take good care of my skin: LED, NuFACE, fillers, toxin, RF. I use ferulic vit C and the peptide serum you recommend as well as prescription retinol 2/3 times a week. I am interested in the Calecim cream you list and also the...

Wow, that sounds like quite the regime! Yes, Calecim is great, you could use it on nights when you are not using the prescription retinoid. I like it for skin recovery after procedures. The Neostrata neck product is fab, I'd use this after the vitamin C and before moisturiser/ sunscreen in the morning, and use it at night, too. If you're using the retinol on your neck, you could use this either afterwards or before the retinol, and see how it works for you....

What is the best treatment for dark spots?

Laser or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). You can read more about these treatments at those links. It's also worth using a vitamin C serum to help on the surface of the skin, and always using sunscreen to prevent dark spots becoming any worse.

I’m presently using Alumier EverActive C&E+ Peptide serum. Could you give me your opinion on the serum, and which vitamin C serum would you recommend?

It's a great product. I'd stick with that and give it a few months to assess what improvements you are seeing from it. The vitamin C products that I have chosen for the TTG shop are listed here.

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Buying from your website post-Brexit – I live in France... will I be charged import taxes?

There's always a chance you'll be charged import taxes but we can't say for certain either way. Please email us at [email protected] with details of what you'd like to order and your address, and we will give you a shipping quote which will include any extra costs/ taxes we are informed about.

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