5 Very Good Vitamin C Products for Radiant Skin (That Aren't Serums)

vitamin-c-skincarevitamin-c-skincare

If antioxidant skin care was a kingdom, vitamin C would be our fearless leader.

It's the Mufasa of brightening and protective ingredients, if you will. Or is it Simba, with young skin plumped full of collagen and elastin?

Vitamin C is beloved for reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, brightening uneven skin tone and protecting the skin from free radical damage (free radical damage would definitely be Scar).

There isn't much it can't do, except wrap up this Lion King analogy.

That said, many popular vitamin C serums can be irritating for those with sensitive, sensitised or acne-prone skin.

If you think vitamin C serums break you out or don't agree with your skin, you’ll be happy to know you can still incorporate gentler forms of this antioxidant into your skincare routine.

Why should serums get all the glory anyway?

From masks to moisturisers, here are five underrated vitamin C skincare products to try for radiant skin.

What Is Vitamin C Again?

You'll find a lot of articles on what vitamin C does for skin on BeautyIQ, but let's quickly recap.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant ingredient and the most common form with the most clinical evidence behind it is L-ascorbic acid.

For more info, watch this helpful YouTube video on the different types of vitamin C below.

As dermal therapist Yadira Galarza Cauchi explains in this article, "The benefits of using a vitamin C serum include: protection against free radical damage, photo damage and pollution, increased collagen synthesis and the appearance of brighter, more radiant skin."

So pretty much, it's an all-round gem. You can use vitamin C skin care morning and/or night, however you'll make the most of its ability to defend against environmental aggressors by applying in the morning underneath sunscreen.

Vitamin C Skincare Products.

OK, are you ready to add radiance to cart?

Let me tell you about five different ways to get vitamin C into your skincare routine (and my thoughts on what these products are like).

1. The Best Antioxidant Face Mist.

What: Ella Baché Radiance C Antiox Defence Mist

A hydrating face mist to revive dull skin throughout the day.

Main ingredients:

  • Sodium ascorbyl phosphate - A gentle, non-irritating, water-soluble form of vitamin C.

  • Witch Hazel - A plant extract known to have antioxidant properties. Sensitive skin types might find this a little harsh on the skin. 

  • Rich antioxidants White Tea Leaf extract and Pomegranate Extract help to soothe skin and target damage caused by environmental aggressors.

Oh, don't me me spritzing this delightful mist to bring my makeup back to life before dinner! Because let's be real, who can be bothered re-doing a full face of makeup after work?

How to use it and why it’s great:

This vitamin C mist imparts a gorgeous glow, and I enjoy the citrusy smell.

Besides refreshing hours-old makeup and keeping your skin feeling fresh, face mists are a great vehicle to help other products like your serums and moisturisers to absorb seamlessly into the skin.

My favourite way to use this product is over makeup. Holding the bottle about 10cm away from my face, I pump the product evenly all over, then pat it in very gently with my fingers.

2. The Glow-Giving Vitamin C Exfoliant.

Vanessa Megan Probiotic Skin Polishing Exfoliator.Vanessa Megan Probiotic Skin Polishing Exfoliator.

What: Vanessa Megan Prebiotic + C Skin Polishing Exfoliating Powder

Made with 100 per cent natural ingredients, this alcohol-free, mineral oil-free and Australian made powder exfoliator promises to gently whisk away dead skin cells to reveal a smoother and brighter complexion.

Main ingredients: 

  • Rice flour will soften skin, while kaolin clay absorbs excess oil. *My forever oily nose was very happy when I read this. 

  • Vitamin C-rich Grapefruit oils and extracts help to brighten the appearance of skin.

  • A blend of yoghurt enzymes and soybean extract addresses uneven skin tone and the appearance of signs of ageing.

How to use it and why it’s great:

This product has a lot of five-star reviews. After reading one review that said, “my skin felt like velvet”, I was pretty amped up to try it.

Simply mix the powder with some water to make a paste with a physical exfoliant (i.e. scrub) consistency, and very gently rub into the skin in circular motions.

Not kidding on the go easy part. My skin did feel a little sensitive after the first time I tried the product, but did it also feel like velvet?? YES.

Vanessa Megan Probiotic Skin Polishing Exfoliator.Vanessa Megan Probiotic Skin Polishing Exfoliator.

I don't think my skin has ever been this soft. It literally feels like a baby's bottom - SOFTER even. Plus, my complexion looks clearer and brighter after use.

The grapefruit scent wasn’t too much either. And I've been noticing how smooth my skin's feeling when I do my evening cleanse. But again, definitely not for easily irritated skin.

The bottle says to use one to three times a week but I’ll keep it for my weekly Sunday night skincare ritual.

3. The Buzzy Vitamin C Moisturiser.

 Laneige Radian-C Cream Laneige Radian-C Cream

What: Laneige Radian C Cream

This product has only recently launched. It's a rich moisturiser that hydrates, brightens and improves the appearance and texture of your skin. 

Main ingredients:

  • 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid - A non-irritating form of vitamin C designed to be tolerated with daily use.

  • Antioxidant vitamin E and super hydrator glycerin support your skin barrier.

How to use it and why it’s great:

Vitamin C moisturisers are great if you find potent serums irritating. This is because they often contain gentler vitamin C derivatives that can work quietly over time in an emollient, hydrating moisturiser base.

I found the Laneige vitamin C cream absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn’t feel too heavy. The packaging is gorgeous, plus the citrus scent is very subtle.

Normal to dry skin types (and oily skin that's dehydrated!) will like this product. What I loved most about it is how it creates a beautiful, smooth canvas for makeup application like a hydrating, glowy primer.

The comforting, gentle formula also felt lovely - it coddled my face through a stressful week!

4. The Juicy Vitamin C Mask.

SOME BY MI Yuja Niacin Brightening Sleeping MaskSOME BY MI Yuja Niacin Brightening Sleeping Mask

What: SOME BY MI Yuja Niacin Brightening Sleeping Mask 60g

This korean skincare mask is cruelty-free and alcohol-free, and works its magic overnight to give you intense hydration while you snooze.

Main ingredients:

  • 70 per cent Citrus Junos Fruit Extract - Korean Yuja Extract is a powerful antioxidant rich in vitamin C sourced from the yuja fruit.

  • Five per cent niacinamide (vitamin B3) to support the skin barrier and brighten the complexion.

  • Glycerin and jojoba seed oil give your skin the nourishment it deserves. 

How to use and why it’s great:

If you're interested in Korean skin care, you'll want to try this mask.

The experience of using it will feel different if you haven't tried Korean skincare products before - the mask has a yellow gel-like texture that applies clear. It does feel a little sticky, so I made sure to wait a few minutes before laying my head on the pillow.

Did I look less tired in the morning? Not really, but my skin did feel really soft. Plus, you've got to give the amazing ingredients in this mask time to work over time.

5. The Best Vitamin C Serum for Sensitive Skin.

Avène A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defence Serum  Avène A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defence Serum

What: Avène A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defence Serum 30ml

So I know I said we weren’t gonna talk about vitamin C serums in this article, but this one’s special.

Why? Because it’s made with slow release technology specifically to mitigate the irritating side effects of traditional vitamin C serums.

Main Ingredients:

  • 15 per cent Ascorbyl Glucoside (a gentle vitamin C derivative) is released gradually throughout the day, so your skin can absorb and tolerate it better with long-lasting protection. Clever, clever!

  • Vitamin E - Did you know vitamin E helps vitamin C to do its job even better when the ingredients are formulated together? It's an undercover superpower. They should have their own Marvel movie.

  • Avène Thermal Spring Water to soothe skin.

How to use it and why it’s great:

OK firstly, this gentle serum isn’t just great. It’s REALLY great.

When I read the impressive stats (after five days of use, 95 per cent of participants in a study said they saw brighter-looking skin and 92 per cent said their pores appeared smoother), I was like nope. No way.

Skincare products need time to work, but some are formulated to deliver a superficial, instant result to keep you happy while you wait. As soon as I popped this serum on my skin, my complexion appeared less dull. I know that sounds ridiculous, but that's what I saw.

I just knew this was going to be an ‘I'll keep repurchasing this’ product. The texture is fast-absorbing, it smells really good (like a soft floral-y scent) and the best part?

It comes in pump packaging that twists open and shut. Might not sound exciting, but it's super important for maintaining the integrity of the serum as vitamin C products can oxidise when exposed to air and light.

Since introducing some of these vitamin C skincare products into my ongoing routine (they pair nicely with the Dermalogica Dark Spot Serum I rate), I've seen a visible change in my skin.

Think dialled-up radiance and a more even-looking complexion. Happy days!

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