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Is Vitamin C the holy grail of skincare? (plus, 11 best products to invest in)

When it comes to skincare there are no instant ramifications but there are game-changing formulas that work like magic. Amongst them is Vitamin C, an ingredient that has gained popularity due to its immunity building and antioxidant properties.

While Vitamin C has been present in immunity-boosting food as well as skincare products, its monumental rise can be associated with the pandemic. According to reports, there has been a 70% spike in its usage as it’s considered a powerful barrier against viral infections. While Vitamin C has been present in skincare formulas for years now, its omnipresence can be felt everywhere — from racks of Sephora to carts on Nykaa.

Why Vitamin C?

This immunity building ingredient works wonders for the skin as it boosts collagen production, heals wounds, helps absorb iron, and improves skin’s texture. Keeping all these properties in mind, Vitamin C serums, face washes, and lotions have become the go-to products for skincare.

“Vitamin C is gaining popularity because of its antioxidant and photoprotective properties especially for Indian skin because we live in a tropical climate where are always exposed to UV radiation that leads to pigmentation on our skin type over the years. When you apply it before a sunscreen, it forms an extra layer of photoprotection,” shares Bengaluru-based cosmetic dermatologist, Dr Chytra V Anand.

Even though Vitamin C is said to be a no-hassle addition to any skincare routine, it is important to keep a few things in mind while using it. “It should be used with caution in people with active acne or breakouts and with rosacea as these skins can break outpost application, but it is suitable for most other skin types,” shares Dr Anand who is also the founder of Kosmoderma Clinics, chief formulator at Skin Q Beauty and a celebrity favourite. While Vitamin C serums are the most effective form of application, there are a host of new skincare products that are making waves with their fresh formulation and citrusy scents.

A Vitamin C serum is the most effective way to add that natural glow. The Mantra Herbal serum (Rs 999) is powered with Hyaluronic Acid and Arbutin. Hyaluronic Acid helps keep the skin moisturised while Vitamin C protects sun damage, corrects even skin tone and fade acne scars. It’s quick-absorbing and suitable for all skin types.

One of the most troublesome areas of our face, the eyes, often need maximum attention. The Rustic Art Rustic Art Invigorating Under Eye Fluid (Rs 550) is an agent to help you in this journey. The serum concentrate with Vitamin C acts as an invisible shield, protects against blue light and generally, calms and brightens your under-eye area.

Vitamin C serums are sold by the dozen, so it’s important to pick one that is suitable for your skin needs. The Suganda Antioxidant Serum (Rs 599) is a great choice for a newbie with a potency of 10% and other antioxidant ingredients like Sodium Ascorbyl Phospate, Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid and Centella Asiatica. Shield your skin against environmental stressors and notice natural brightness.

After hearing the magical properties of Vitamin C, we are ready to add it to all our skincare products. Beginning with the Wow Skin Science Vitamin C Hand & Nail Cream (Rs 349) that is sure to nourish and hydrate your skin. Prevents nail breakage, softens the nail bed and even strengthen the nails. Infused with shea butter, it really is a winter go-to.

Hyperpigmentation, skin dullness, stubborn marks or sagging skin — the uses of Vitamin C are plentiful, and Nykaa SKINRX 20% Vitamin C Serum (Rs 1199) addresses them all. The potent formula also contains 1% Hyaluronic Acid and 0.5% Ferulic Acid to reduce signs of ageing. Apply a layer of sunscreen after the serum for maximum efficacy.

While serums are the more effective form of absorption, there are a host of products that contain Vitamin C to enhance the experience. Amongst them is The Skin Pantry In The Pink Superfoods Mask (Rs 1,300) that is made of French pink clay for detoxification and enhanced with beetroot, pomegranate, tomato and Geranium Oil. Each of the ingredients provides a high level of nutrients to the skin and leave it with a healthy, natural glow.

Traditionally, we were pairing Vitamin C with Retinols or Retinoids as a part of our nightly skincare routine. The combination of the two in The Ayurveda Co Serum (Rs 749) has been a game-changer. The presence of retinol improves the complexion, reduces the appearance of fine lines, smoothens crows feet and reduces dark circles. It also boosts collagen production and helps skin heal naturally.

The presence of natural antioxidant-rich ingredients like mulberries, orange, and lemon add to the Vitamin C content of Ilana’s Mighty Mulberry Mask (Rs 552). The powerful ingredients depuff your skin and leave it hydrated. Regular use lightens spots, pigmentation, and softens your skin.

From tanning, blackheads to blocked pores, a gentle exfoliant scrub can do wonders to your skin. The Mellow Anti-Pigment Face Scrub (Rs 250) is filled with vital orange nutrients and vitamins. The ingredients also are great for evening out dark patches with regular use.

The best thing about Vitamin C centric products is their citrusy aroma. Case in point, the Skinella Orange & Lemon Vitamin C Facial Foam (Rs 395). It gently exfoliates your skin with the built-in silicone face massager on this foaming wash. The orange and lemon extract strips away the grime without leaving your skin dry.


Ageing is one factor that’s looked out for by all at an early stage to avoid any issue later. Many will look for products that help prevent the signs of ageing when deciding what to add to their skincare routine. Collagens are another aspect that’s always kept in mind while choosing a skincare product. iS CLINICAL GeneXC Serum SERUM (Rs 9,500) is revolutionary, formulated with a powerful combination of botanically sourced enzymes, antioxidants, and fruit acids sourced from land and sea, and helps tackle both factors.

Header and Featured image: Courtesy Shutterstock 

Akshita Nahar Jain
Sr Associate Editor
Akshita Nahar Jain has worked with various publications, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar Bride, and Time Out Delhi, and written extensively on fashion and lifestyle. A sucker for alliteration and stylish sitcoms, she enjoys scrolling the web for less travelled destinations.