Ask An Expert: What are the benefits of Vitamin C in skincare?


By Fiona Embleton

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Q A friend recommended I look for vitamin F in skincare. Is it better than Vitamin C - or can I use both?

A Marie Claire Senior Beauty Editor Fiona Embleton: ‘You take a multivitamin for a healthy body and the same approach can be applied to your skin. What’s important to remember is that vitamin F and vitamin C have different benefits for the skin but used together they can make even the most lack-lustre complexion sing.

‘Vitamin F isn’t exactly new in skincare but it’s definitely an unsung hero. One reason you may not have heard of it is because vitamin F is essentially a fat – and fats tend to get a bad rap. “But when it comes to skincare, the right fats are precisely what you need to keep your complexion soft, supple and hydrated,” says Chris Caires, Chief Scientist, Perricone MD.

‘Vitamin F is basically linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that is rich in omega 6, and keeps the protective surface layer of the skin strong. “It is a vital component of your cell walls and ensures water stays locked in,” explains Caires. “Another key reason the right fats are so beneficial to skin is their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. We know inflammation leads to damage in all organ systems including skin.”

‘Vitamin C, on the other hand, is first and foremost a brilliant antioxidant. On ingredients’ lists vitamin C appears as either L’ascorbic acid (its purest form) or vitamin C ester (the fat-soluable form of vitamin C) with both helping to brighten and strengthen the skin. Good vitamin C serums to add to your skincare routine include Omorovicza Daily Vitamin C and Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C, which delivers just the right daily dose. It’s also an ingredient added to foundation so slather Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base over the top.

‘You can turbo charge the effects of vitamin C by using it alongside vitamin F, says Caires. “They work synergistically. The vitamin C helps build collagen while vitamin F enhances the skin’s natural moisture barrier.” Try pairing a few drops of Perricone MD’s Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum, which boasts fatty acids for softening and repairing skin.

‘Find these same ingredients pre-mixed in Dermalogica BioLumin-C Serum or The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% with Vitamin F, which combines an oil-soluble derivative of vitamin C with vitamin F for all round skin perfecting.’

They work synergistically. The vitamin C helps build collagen while vitamin F enhances the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Fiona Embleton, Marie Claire Senior Beauty Editor

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