Vitamin C: we know its benefits in our diet but what about in our skincare?

June 22, 2021

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

Vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) is widely known for its benefits both as a skincare product and to be included in our diet. So let’s explore this essential nutrient courtesy of Jade Sheldon, the medical facialist at Norfolk Skin Atelier…

Vitamin C: we know its benefits in our diet but what about in our skincare?

What are the benefits of including Vitamin C in your skincare?

  • Vitamin C is regarded as one of the most powerful skin rebuilding ingredients. It produces new collagen and GAGs in the skin by converting the amino acid proline into hydroxyproline. Quite simply, no vitamin C = no collagen.
  • Vitamin C inhibits tyrosinase (an enzyme that catalyses the oxidation of Tyrosine into melanin and other pigments) so, in short, it has a brightening effect on the skin and prevents pigmentation.
  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, neutralising free radicals before they cause damage to other cells.

What form of vitamin C should I be using?

The most bio-available active form of vitamin C used in skincare is L-Ascorbic Acid. Like Retinoic Acid, it is the form the cell accepts and utilises. However, this form of vitamin C can come with its challenges.

 Firstly it is a highly unstable ingredient, also water soluble, meaning it has to be a certain percentage (no higher than 20%) and a certain pH (around 2-3.5) to be accepted into the skin. Because of this, not all skin types can tolerate it. You shouldn’t accept something that your skin is not happy with just because it is the ‘gold standard’. There are other derivatives of vitamin C, such as Sodium Ascorbate or Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, that have the same benefits for the skin but are less acidic and more stable. Similar to Retinoids, it’s finding a formula that works for you and your skin.

How should I use Vitamin C?

Always follow the usage guidelines from the product manufacturer or your skin specialist, but most commonly Vitamin C is best used AM & PM in a serum formulation. Apply directly after cleansing and before your moisturiser and SPF. Never use with AHAs (Glycolic or Lactic acids) as this will adjust the pH level of the Vitamin C.

Top tip: Store your vitamin C in a dark cupboard and make sure it is sealed tight. It is highly sensitive to light, heat and oxygen.

  • Allies of Skin – 20% Vitamin C Brighten And Firm Serum £85
  • Medik8 – Pure C15 £39 RRP but £33.59 from Face The Future
  • Ósmosis MD – Catalyst AC11 Serum £121.50 RRP but £109.95 from dermoi
  • DMK – Direct Delivery Vitamin C £75. You will need a skincare consultation before buying this product.


The skincare industry is changing! The guessing game of finding what skincare is right for you is over. You can now have a thorough skin consultation from the comfort of your own home and within 24 hours receive a full homecare plan for your skin and skincare goals.

How it works:


Go onto and book a virtual consultation at a date and time that suits you. There is a consultation fee of £20 and the consultation will take place via Zoom or WhatsApp video. It takes 30-45 minutes.

Before this appointment, you will be asked to complete a medical profile form that asks questions about your skincare history, goals, current routine, and anything that could potentially be affecting your skin. Jade then becomes your personal shopper for your skincare cupboard. After the consultation, you will be emailed a full home care plan tailored to your individual skin and skincare needs. You can then look over this plan in your own time and purchase as many or as few of the products as you wish. Sometimes you even get sent samples of recommended products to try! They arrive in eco-friendly packaging with full instructions on how to use them. It couldn’t be easier.

You then have an account to go back and restock the products or perhaps ask for recommendations on a product for something you weren’t interested in before – like an eye cream or neck cream. It couldn’t be easier!

If you want to discuss this topic or any other skincare issues with Jade Shelden, Medical Facialist at Norfolk Skin Atelier, email: [email protected] or phone 07947103355 She would be happy to chat to you.

For more ‘skincare for 50 plus women’ articles by Jade Shelden, click HERE

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