Vitamin C
Ask a dozen dermatologists about their favorite skin care ingredient, and you’ll likely get a dozen love letters about vitamin C. “It’s one of the few ingredients that both protects and repairs skin, but is also tolerated by a vast majority of patients,” says Dr. Titilola Sode, a board-certified dermatologist in Dallas. But not all vitamin C serums are equally effective, and the wrong formula, packaging or even application can render it useless. So before you stock up on serums, make sure you’ve got these seven vitamin C facts straight.
There are a zillion forms of vitamin C.
Most vitamin C derivatives are thought to have the same effect (they can tone down redness, hyperpigmentation and signs of aging), but some forms have added benefits and are better studied, says Dr. Sode. The most popular and effective:
L-ascorbic acid—i.e., pure vitamin C—has the most research behind it and tends to be the strongest (but most sensitizing). Try: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is fat soluble, meaning it can penetrate deeply and effectively into your skin. Try: Revision Skincare® C+ Correcting Complex 30%™
Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate can increase hydration levels in dry skin and prevent water loss. Try: 100% Pure Vitamin C Serum
Sodium ascorbyl phosphate tends to have a neutral pH (making it gentle on sensitive skin), along with acne-inhibiting effects. Try: IMAGE Skincare VITAL C Hydrating Antioxidant A C E Serum.

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