Want to get more vitamin C into your diet and lifestyle? In our spotlight series, health editor and registered nutritionist Tracey Raye puts the spotlight on top health trends to bring you simple, nourishing ways to include more of the good stuff in your daily life in a gentle way. Looking for more nourishing inspiration? Check out our vitamin C rich healthy breakfast recipes, then explore our colourful recipes collection.

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How does vitamin C benefit your skin?

I’m putting a spotlight on vitamin C for uber glowy, healthy skin. When I’m consistent with my intake of fresh fruits and veggies, I can visibly see the difference in my skin. It’s softer, brighter; more even – and research backs me up...

Studies suggest that vitamin C may:

  • Boost collagen levels and reduce the appearance of wrinkles
  • Protect the skin against sun damage
  • Support the management of hyperpigmentation or dark spots
  • Promote wound healing

Vitamin C in your diet

As vitamin C isn’t very heat stable, eating a salad is a great way to easily include plenty of this nutrient in your daily diet. This cavolo nero, grapefruit and walnut salad is one of my favourites as it not only offers plenty of vitamin C, but it also provides vitamin E from the walnuts and avocado which is anti-inflammatory and supports the vitamin C in delivering the above benefits.

Cavolo nero and pink grapefruit salad with walnuts and avocado on a dark background


Three more ways with vitamin C:


Vitamin C in your lifestyle

If I’m putting in the work on my plate, then I want to back that up with some wonderful skincare. Topical application of vitamin C will double down on the above benefits, encouraging bright and healthy-looking skin.

Some more benefits of topical vitamin C include:

  • Protects against pollution and other free radical damage
  • Protects and increases collagen production to preserve elasticity and skin firmness
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Brightens complexion and evens skin tone
  • Improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles through protection from sun damage
  • Supports wound healing

Serums are a great way to deliver topical vitamin C. As a serum is applied underneath other products such as moisturiser, spf etc, it encourages maximum absorption of the product. This vitamin C serum with added vitamin E and ferulic acid from Skinceuticals is an absolute holy grail product. It goes on like silk, giving me that little sense of luxury every morning, while helping to brighten and even out my skin tone over time.

What to look for in a good vitamin C serum?

  • 10-20% l-ascorbic acid*
  • Added vitamin E and ferulic acid
  • Dark or tinted glass packaging that is airtight

*If you have dry, sensitive skin, opt for a lower concentration of vitamin C to begin with and build up to 15-20% as your skin gets used to it.

Skinceuticals vitamin c, e and ferulic acid serum on a pastel blue background

Vitamin C serums we love:

Q: Why are the serums you recommend so expensive?

Like with most things, not all vitamin C serums are created equal. Factors such as the form and concentration of vitamin C, as well as other ingredients can really impact the benefits you'll get from your serum. Additionally, as vitamin C isn't the most stable vitamin, the packaging and dispense mechanism of your product is also very important for maintaining quality.

The combination of vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid has been scientifically proven to provide environmental protection from atmospheric skin ageing, as well as minimising free radical damage and improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness, so choosing a product with this combination is guaranteed to work hard for your skin. With that said, you can still get some benefit from a simpler serum, particularly for brightening and free radical protection.

beauty pie vitamin c capsules in a jar on a background of orange capsules

Budget-friendly vitamin C serums:

Tell me, do you use vitamin C in your daily routine? How do you include it? Food, supplements, skincare? Comment below and share your experience...

Tracey Raye is the Health Editor for olive and BBC Good Food. Tracey, MSc, is a registered nutritionist, holding a master’s degree in Personalised Nutrition. She is passionate about harnessing the power of all things health and wellbeing - in a way that enhances, rather than limits our lives. She covers our nourishing recipes and collections, oversees our health strategy and stays adrift of the latest health and lifestyle trends – in order to bring you the tools and inspiration you need to find what health means for you.

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Check out more health spotlights here:

Health spotlight: colourful foods and antioxidants
Health spotlight: detox and rejuvenate
Health spotlight: fibre and your gut
Health spotlight: focus and brain health

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