How to Add Vitamin C to Your Skin Care Routine

You already know vitamin C is great for your immune system, but what about your skin? A glass of OJ can stop an oncoming cold dead in its tracks, but it turns out the same ingredient responsible could have a similar effect on the aging process. In a sea of ingredients promising miracle-like results, dermatologists agree that vitamin C is one of the most effective and longest trusted antioxidants for boosting collagen production and fighting premature wrinkles.

So how exactly does this work? Can we all just start rubbing orange peels on our faces in hopes of looking forever young? Not exactly.

When used in certain forms and applied to the skin, this antioxidant works to neutralize free radicals such as UV rays or pollution that are often the cause of premature aging. So if building and keeping collagen is on your skin care to-do list, you definitely want a good dose of vitamin C on your team.

However, if you’re like many 20-somethings and don’t have anti-aging on the forefront of your mind just yet, it doesn’t mean you should forget using vitamin C altogether. Beyond its anti-aging benefits, this powerful ingredient also has a brightening and evening effect on skin of all ages and maturity levels. If dark spots or an all-over dull complexion are keeping you from going foundation free this spring, vitamin C may be just the fix as temperatures begin to rise.

Here are Valley’s top picks for vitamin C-packed products that’ll give you your brightest, most even and forever young-looking skin yet.

Turbo Booster C Powder by Philosophy

Don’t let its size fool you; this tiny vial of powdered vitamin C packs a punch when it comes to brightening your complexion. Sprinkle a teeny bit (about one and a half scoops using the provided scooping tool) into your moisturizer both day and night for skin with a seriously healthy glow. You can find this Philosophy pick at Sephora for $39.

Vitamin C Serum by Mario Badescu

Boasting a powerful concentration of vitamin C, Mario Badescu recommends applying just two to three drops of this into your routine every other night. To use, pat this product into skin with your fingers before moisturizing or even mix into your favorite moisturize to apply all at once. By morning, you’ll look like you’ve had a good 8 hours of rest (or at least as if you weren’t drinking all night.) Find your vial at Ulta for $45.

Clearly Brighter Daily Moisturizer by Garnier

Just because you’re on drugstore budget doesn’t mean you have to forget vitamin C skin care products. Look to Garnier for an SPF 15 moisturizer that not only protects from UV rays, but also uses vitamin C to reverse any previous sun damage. Boost your radiance every morning with this $12 pick from Ulta.

The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths by Ole Henriksen

Here’s a product sure to please all of us in the lazy girl club. If adding just one more step into your skin care regime is out of the question, fear not. Replace your favorite makeup removing wipes (a lazy girl must-have) with these radiance-boosting and vitamin C-packed cloths from Ole Henriksen. They, too, will work to remove makeup, but will one-up your current fave with added brightening and evening results. Try throwing these in your gym bag to quickly refresh and cleanse a sweaty hairline post-workout. You can order on Sephora for $8-15.

Let us know if you try any of these vitamin C picks out by tagging @ValleyMag on social media.