By Manna Zel
Say goodbye to fine lines and dull skin with a vitamin your skin loves—vitamin C. There’s a reason it is so popular in skincare, between its firming, brightening, and antioxidizing benefits. As Laura Cline, Youth To The People’s Director of Education, asks, “What doesn’t it do?”
Vitamin C helps your skin build collagen, which helps to firm the look of skin. Our bodies naturally decrease the production of collagen over time, and because our bodies can’t naturally produce vitamin C, routinely consuming or applying it topically helps your skin increase the rate at which it synthesizes collagen. Along with elastin, another protein, collagen is also responsible for the elasticity of your skin, and the more elastic your skin is, the more easily it bounces back into place when stretched, which helps to deter signs of premature aging.
If you experience stubborn dark spots or hyperpigmentation, vitamin C’s brightening effects might be the boost your skin needs for more even skin tone. It slows your skin’s production of melanin, a pigment that can create dark spots when overproduced—and even though it brightens dark spots, vitamin C still manages to preserve your skin’s natural pigmentation. “Vitamin C doesn’t actually lighten your skin like bleach,” Cline says. Rather, “It inhibits the enzyme linked to melanin production which then inhibits hyperpigmentation.”
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from harmful free radicals that come from exposure to stressors in the environment including sun damage, air pollution, UV light, or smoking. Free radicals look for unprotected, unsuspecting skin cells that they can latch onto (and steal oxygen from) but antioxidants like vitamin C neutralize the threat, boosting the overall health of your skin.
For a go-to radiance boost, try a super-stable form of vitamin C called THD ascorbate, as found in the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask. Cline recommends pairing the Dream Mask with the Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner, giving the toner a minute or so to dry before applying the mask.
“The toner partners in the brightening process by taking away the dull, dead skin cells that don’t need to be there, and allowing the new, vibrant cells to show through,” says Cline.