Credit: Instagram @maartjeverhoef

If there’s one skincare question most thrown about it has got to be, ‘when is the right time to start an anti-aging skin routine?’ While every face differs and some formulations might instantly prove too rich for many younger complexions, there’s one potent ingredient that can slot seamlessly into most skincare routine from as early as your twenties: vitamin C.

Why? Consider vitamin C like a shield for he skin, protecting it against the day’s stress, sun, pollution and free radicals. “When used in a stable formulation at a safe percentage, it has been shown to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin,” explains skin specialist and head global trainer for Ultraceuticals, Tracey Beeby. “As a result, it can proiide added support for the essential structural framework of our skin, assisting with loss of firmness and lines and wrinkles. It has been also noted to reduce the effects of photo-aging of the skin.”

While we’re on that topic, what is a free radical?
Think of free radicals as evil molecules that age the skin on a daily basis. Beeby breaks it down for us more scientifically. “Free radicals are highly reactive oxygen based molecules. They are missing a simple electron and are in desperate search of another molecule that they can combine with to become “whole” or stable. They achieve this by attaching themselves to a stable molecule to steal (or rob) its stability in order to stabilise. A chain reaction is started and this becomes a continuous process whereby the newly unstable molecule then steals an electron from another stable molecule.”

How does it work?
First off make sure you’re using a product that contains vitamin C in its purest most stable form, Ascorbic Acid. “The hardest thing with vitamin C is to maintain the stability of it as it oxidises very quickly,” warns Beeby. “Unfortunately, it is difficult to know if a formulation is stable unless it is tested in a laboratory. If the product is not stable it won’t deliver a result. So, it is important to choose a brand that you trust, one that can offer you true visible results based on the formulation, not that are provided by ingredients suppliers.”

Does vitamin C work in the same way if you eat it?
Not so much says Beeby. “Supplements can work well in conjunction with topical. Topically can absorb more through the skin than a daily dose of oral VIT C. So essentially you excrete what you don’t absorb orally.”

Anything else worth considering?
As with anything active, vitamin C can have an inflammatory effect so watch out if you’re sensitive and build up your dosage. “It is generally prescribed initially for alternate days for one month and then daily thereafter,” says Beeby.

Ultraceuticals, Ultra C10+ Firming Serum, $106. SHOP NOW

Ren, Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial, $69. SHOP NOW

Paula’s Choice, Resist C15 Super Booster, $60. SHOP NOW

Dermalogica, PowerBright C-12 Pure Bright Serum, $133. SHOP NOW

Peter Thomas Roth, Camu Camu Power C x 30 Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Mask, $125. SHOP NOW

Sephora Collection, Jelly Mask Moisturizing & Energising Vitamin Cocktail, $26 for 6. SHOP NOW

SuperGoop, Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Mist with Vitamin C SPF 30, $20. SHOP NOW


Cover Image: Instagram@maartjeverhoef
Title Image: Instagram @dolcegabbana