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Vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient in skin care, able to reduce wrinkles, fade hyperpigmentation, curb inflammation, enhance sunscreen protection, retain moisture and bolster the skin's immune system. It achieves these benefits by stimulating and regulating collagen protection, by reducing free radicals and their existing damage to the DNA and by suppressing UVB-induced skin pigmentation. In the past, though, these benefits came with a price tag — namely that the basic form of vitamin C known as L-ascorbic acid was unstable and drying. Formulations required the right balance of a high concentration of ascorbic acid (10%+) and a low pH level (< 3.5) for maximimum effectiveness, and this usually meant they would irritate the skin. Fortunately, there are now more options for skin care, as vitamin C has been synthesized into various different forms to make it more stable and less irritating. These derivatives maintain much of the potency while being relatively gentle, allowing your skin to reap the benefits of this potent antioxidant.
The following anti-agers utilize stable and non-irritating forms of vitamin C, and round out their formulas with ingredients such as vitamin E, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, grapeseed and soothing botanicals, resulting in balanced skin care that will nourish, resurface, revitalize and brighten skin and give you a younger and more radiant complexion.
Your Best Face Advanced CE Concentrate ($50 in the shop) is a lightweight, non-irritating facial lotion with a potent 8.7% concentration of vitamin C in three stable forms: ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate and ascorbyl phosphate. Gentle enough even for sensitive skin, it helps to even out tone and calm skin.
M.A.D Skincare Spot On Targeted Skin Brightening Serum ($42) utilizes magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, a stable form of vitamin C that helps inhibit melanin production and stimulates cell turnover, as well as bearberry to improve discoloration. It minimizes dark spots and uneven tone while adding radiance to dull, tired skin.
Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin C Serum ($68 in the shop) contains a potent blend of antioxidants from organic green tea and sea buckthorn oil, as well as vitamins A, C, D and E, to naturally brighten skin and promote a radiant, even-toned complexion. It also hydrates skin and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with omega fatty acids.
Medik8 C-Tetra ($70 in the shop) is an ultra-stable, non-irritating vitamin C serum that helps combat discoloration from sun damage, boost collagen production, increase skin's elasticity, brighten the complexion and improve overall texture. This serum also helps protect against free radical damage and minimize hyperpigmentation.
Medik8 CE-Thione Rechargeable Vitamin C Serum ($150 in the shop) is a potent 15% vitamin C serum that is specially enhanced with vitamin E and L-glutathione for superiority stability. Its pH is optimized to avoid irritation while preserving the effectiveness of the actives. This serum protects against the free radicals that cause photo-aging while minimizing dark spots and improving skin's texture and firmness.
Nutra-Lift Maximum C Plus Growth Factors ($36) uses a high-performing 20% concentration of vitamin C ester, along with human growth factors, hyaluronic acid, DMAE, CoQ10 and vitamins D and E to fade discolorations, hydrate dry skin, reduce lines and wrinkles, defend against free radicals and increase radiance.
E'shee Clinical Esthetic Vitalizing C Serum ($119) contains a powerful 20% concentration of vitamin C with a high-tech delivery system that improves stability and increases potency to treat dark spots, even skin tone and increase radiance. Ingredients such as copper peptides assist with repairing fine lines and wrinkles while boosting collagen for younger, healthier skin.
Snowberry Bright Defence Face Serum ($69) uses antioxidants from vitamin C and grapeseed to safely and gently reduce melanin synthesis for a brighter, more radiant complexion. Its anti-glycation and anti-free radical formulation reduces discoloration and promotes a more even skin tone.
M.A.D Skincare Radiant Brightening Mask ($38) contains a multi-vitamin C complex along with botanicals and actives such as licorice and elderberry extracts to revitalize dull, tired skin at the cellular level. It reduces age spots and prevents photoaging and sun damage for a healthy, glowing complexion.
Astara Nourishing Vitamin Mask ($56) is fortified with soy phosopholipids, royal jelly, hydrolyzed oat protein, hyaluronic acid, wheat amino acids and vitamin C for potent skin nourishment. It hydrates and revitalizes tired, dry and dull skin, leaving it softer, smoother and brighter.
The Osmotics Micro Peel Resurfacing System ($86) is a three step system consisting of an exfoliating charcoal mask, a collagen-boosting micro peel and a protective barrier cream. Together, they work to resurface skin's texture, refresh and brighten dull skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Sciote Vitamin C Eye Treatment ($65) contains 5% vitamin C, a hydrating peptide complex and soothing cucumber to reduce puffiness and dark circles. This gentle but effective formula firms, hydrates and revitalizes the eye area.
VOYA Bright Eyes ($68) contains a rich blend of antioxidants, with seaweed extract, vitamin C and other certificated organic ingredients. This firming eye creme helps to hydrate and brighten tired eyes for a more youthful appearance.