Favourite Vitamin C Skincare Products

It is no secret that Vitamin C is one of the skincare ingredients that is known for brightening the skin, improving radiance, fighting free radicals (that cause premature ageing & damage the skin) and helps combat hyper pigmentation. Apart from its brightening properties, Vitamin C also has anti-oxidant properties and helps with collagen production (which keeps the skin plump). It all depends on the formula used, quality of the ingredients and the percentage of Vitamin C contained in the products. I have tried a good range of products that contain Vitamin C derivatives and I thought I should do a little round up since it appears that Vitamin C is the going to be on trend this year. There are different formulas for different budgets so there is something for everyone depending on your preference.

For reference, I have combination-oily skin which gets dehydrated pretty quickly. My main skin concern is hyper pigmentation and blemishes especially around my cheeks and that's the main reason why I use Vitamin C products because I know it helps improve the appearance of dark spots/hyper pigmentation. Vitamin C is derived mainly from citrus fruits which includes orange, lemons, tangerine, lime, etc. The active ingredient can be derived from natural sources or they may be synthesized molecules. I won't go into the nitty-gritty because I am not a skincare professional as such. Vitamin C can be incorporated into different formulas including serums, creams, masks, peels etc. It is an unstable active ingredient so it needs to be in the right formula to prevent degradation.

To make matters worse, Vitamin C is unstable with sunlight and in many other normal conditions so it usually loses its efficacy. This is why there are different derivatives of Vitamin C which are synthesized to work as the original but remain stable in normal conditions. Some derivatives of Vitamin C include L-Ascorbic Acid (purest & potent stable form & water soluble), Ascorbyl Palmitate (lipid soluble, highly stable but not as potent as L-Ascorbic Acid), Magnesium Ascorbyl Palmitate (collagen booster, antioxidant properties like the pure form of Vitamin C), etc. Vitaimin C and its derivatives makes the skin sensitive to sunlight which is why it is very important to use sunscreen whenever you use any products containing Vitamin C except at night. Right let's get into my favourite products that contain Vitamin C. Let's get into the post....

Institut Esthderm Intensive Vitamin C Cream* // Link //£64
The first product on my list is the Institut Esthederm Intensive Vitamin C cream which I have been trying out for almost two months. I am yet to try any product from this brand that has not lived up to my expectations and in many cases, surpassed my expectations. I particularly like their Intensive range because the products seem to have a higher concentration of ingredients which target problem areas more effectively. The Intensive Vitamin C Cream is defined as a soft lavish cream that is concentrated with Vitamin C (they have combined two stable Vitamin C derivatives) and targets dark spots and wrinkles. It also stimulates collagen synthesis, re-balances pigmentation and fights against harmful free radicals (which contribute to premature ageing).

I don't have wrinkles but I do have dark spots/hyper pigmentation on my cheeks which are the bane of my life. This is why I was very excited to try out this Intensive Vitamin C Cream. I love the packaging because it looks and feels luxurious. It even comes with a small spatula which makes it very hygienic to use and you know there are limited chances of cross contamination. The texture is possibly one of my favourite textures because it is very silky and smooth on the face. It provides the right amount of hydration that my skin needs and it does not feel greasy at all. This is why I am able to use it during the day and at night. I can wear my makeup straight after using it because it gets absorbed really easily on my skin.

The first thing I noticed is the natural glow my skin has with and without makeup which makes me happy. My hyper pigmentation marks are slowly but surely fading and I can see an improvement although I am also using other products. I would definitely say it provides an additive effect with the other products I am using. I do have to say that I feel like this product is very stable because I have not noticed any darkening/browning of the cream which usually happens when unstable ingredients are used (and it is oxidised by light/sunlight). I am still using this as my everyday cream and I absolutely love it. It is expensive but I do think it is worth it especially if you are looking to have brighter/glowing skin.  I have only used 1/4th of the tub and I am on Month 2. I have used this cream since I got it in January and it has really helped my skin and it is the only Vitamin C product that I have tried for the longest time in a row.

Oskia Renaissance Brightlight Serum // Link //£88 (Currently on offer in Beauty Bay for £66)
I had my eyes on this Oskia Renaissance Brightlight Serum for ages and I even popped into Space NK for a sample so I could see if my skin would love it. My skin loved it and I purchased it the next time a sensible discount code came up. I used the Caroline Hirons 25% discount code so I got it at a reasonable price. The Renaissance Brightlight Serum is described as an intensive daily correcting serum which combats hyper pigmentation, sun damage, dark spots and ensures a visibly brighter even complexion. I feel like I still need to do a full review of this product but for now, I am just going to give a brief overview. It has other brightening ingredients including Vitamin C. It has two types of Vitamin C- Vitamin C Phosphate and Vitamin C Palmitate. I love the gorgeous packaging complete with a pipette. I particularly like it because it is designed in such a way that you only get the exact amount of product you need and the pipette really helps with that. It is a serum as the name suggests and it feels slightly tacky on the skin when I first apply it. It does sink in within a short time which is great for when I am in a hurry. It does not sting or feel irritating on the skin which is amazing and I feel sensitive skin types may tolerate it. The results I have noticed is radiance to my skin. Whenever I use this the night before, my skin glows the next day and I love it. I top up the radiance with my other vitamin c creams and love the results. I am putting together my thoughts on products that work for hyper pigmentation so I will share my full thoughts on that post. They currently have it on offer in Beauty Bay for £66 here.

Murad Intensive C Radiance Peel* // Link //£55
Murad is another tested, tried and loved skincare brands and I have loved all the products I have tried from them. I already have a review of the Intensive Radiance C Peel which you can find here. Murad describe it as an intensive treatment that instantly brightens the skin to reveal a radiant complexion whilst helping to reduce premature ageing. I particularly love this product because it also exfoliates my skin and hydrates my skin. I usually apply it on cleansed skin and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off. It is an intense treatment as the name suggests so if you have sensitive skin, I will suggest trying it out lightly at first (and for shorter periods). It contains Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) which I think is just the best combination (in my opinion) for my skin problems. It stings my skin and it's something I have come to accept (at least I know it is working). I try and keep it on for as long as I can tolerate. When I rinse off my skin, my skin looks so radiant, healthy and glowing. I don't think I have used any other product which provides such immediate effect and this effect lasts for a few days. I would highly recommend this product if you want a product that both provides radiance, glow and exfoliation.

The Ordinary 
I know there is a lot of controversy about The Ordinary products which is such a shame as I enjoyed the products. I won't be addressing the drama for now but I do hope the brand gets business in order and asap!! Anyway, I have two favourite Vitamin C (including derivatives) products that I have enjoyed from the brand and they are targeted at brightening and giving the skin that much needed radiance.

The first product is the Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone // Link //£5.80 which is described as a water-free suspension of L-Ascorbic acid (30%) in light silicones. It is designed to help reverse multiple signs of premature ageing as well as brightening the skin. There is another version which contains 23% Vitamin C but I read some reviews which were less than glaring and decided to stick to this version. I was really excited to try this out because I don't think I have tried anything with such a high concentration of Vitamin C. The first thing I noticed was the tingling sensation which I still feel depending on how my skin decides to behave. It contains silicone as the name suggests so it almost feels like you are applying a primer as it has that primer feeling. However, it's not one I tend to use during the day. I prefer to use it at night. It does not really give my skin a radiant or glowing feel I get from other Vitamin C products. However, I do feel like it has helped with some of the hyper pigmentation/ dark marks on my skin compared to the other Vitamin C products I have tried. It is one I definitely want to use for longer so I can see how well it works over time. You do have to exercise patience with using it as with any other skincare product that may take a while to see sensible results. If you have dry skin, I don't think you would like the texture because I feel it may be drying on the skin. However, I don't mind how it feels on my combination oily skin. If you still want to try it out, I will suggest using a thin layer because a generous amount will end up balling up on your skin (regardless of your skin type) and it's not a great look or feel. I experienced this balling up effect the first few times I used it and was almost put off until I started using thin layers and things got way better. For the price and concentration of active ingredient, I think it is worth a try. I would say start off with other gentler versions of Vitamin C before jumping into this intensive 30% strength.

The second product is actually one I absolutely enjoy and it's the Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% // Link //£7.80. I used this all through December along with my other skincare products and I loved the results I got. The Ordinary describes the MAP 10% (as it is called) as a brightening hydrator with stabilized Vitamin C derivative. I definitely prefer the texture of MAP to the Vitamin C 30%. It feels more hydrating on the skin and I feel will work better with many skin types. I tend to reach for this in the morning because it works well as a moisturiser and allows my makeup apply really smoothly. It also works well with other skincare products like my serums, other moisturisers and sunscreen which is really important for me. With MAP, I definitely noticed an immediate and sustained glow to my skin. My dark spots appeared less visible and I was not breaking out as much. I combined it with the Azeliac Acid Suspension and Alpha Arbutin and my skin really looked fantastic despite all the junk I ate in December. I did not experience any tingling sensation with this formula to my delight. This is one of my favourite budget friendly Vitamin C products and I already repurchased it because I don't want to suddenly run out. I will highly recommend giving this a try if you wanted to foray into Vitamin C without breaking the bank.

There are other amazing Vitamin C products from other brands which I love but these are my current favourites. I know Body Shop makes fantastic Vitamin C products especially their Glow Boosting Moisturiser which I am tempted to repurchase because I absolutely enjoyed using it and finished my entire tub. That's all from this end. Have you tried any of these Vitamin C products? What are your recommendations?
*PR Samples + Affiliate links used, read my full disclaimer here


  1. Sounds like we have really similar skin types! The Murad sounds amazing and I have both of these products from the Ordinary :)

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    1. I think we totally do and that's why I enjoy reading your blog posts!! Murad is definitely a great brand to try and I absolutely adore The Ordinary products (despite all the drama)....xx


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