Alongside cleanser and sun protection, there’s one other type of product that my skincare routine is never without: a vitamin C serum.
Not only because it’s a superior antioxidant for the skin, particularly in a serum format, but also because it helps to brighten and firm the complexion. Plus, I find vitamin C key to helping to lessen the appearance of pigmentation (a skin concern I’m prone to).
The only thing is that it can be an unstable ingredient to use, and can oxidise quickly – which means as soon as the formula makes contact with the air, it will start to degrade. There are some ways around this – dark glass bottles, airless pump dispensers, and so on – but there are also some brands taking the freshness of their vitamin C one step further.
Take Drunk Elephant: I’ve long been a fan of its cult C-Firma Day Serum, but the product has been relaunched in a very clever format. Following simple instructions, with the C-Firma Fresh Day Serum you mix a liquid serum base with a vial containing 15 per cent L-ascorbic acid powder (the vitamin C powder) to create a fresh, potent serum.
You only need to do it once, to create a serum that’s good to use for six months. It sinks into the skin immediately, ready to be layered with other creams or serums. Use it as the first step after cleansing every morning, and it will crank up your skin’s brightness a good few notches.
Similarly, the Skinshot Serum by new brand Bloom & Halo also focuses on DIY and fresh ingredients. A syringe vessel separates a pure hyaluronic acid solution with a powdered vitamin C. When combined, the serum provides a brightening and a deeply hydrating effect on the skin. The packaging is clever, and entirely recyclable.
Finally, I can’t write about vitamin C without mentioning two other favourites. Vichy’s Liftactiv Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector is only 10ml in each dark glass bottle, to ensure a fresh, active formula on the skin.
Meanwhile, Allies of Skin’s 20% Vitamin C Brighten and Firm Serum, which comes in an airless pump, is a product I have used to the last drop twice in the past year. And my skin is looking much better for it, too.