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The Best Vitamin C Serums for Brighter Skin

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Unfortunately very little Vitamin C makes it to the skin, which is why it is so important to topically apply products spiked with this powerhouse antioxidant.

When it comes to getting your daily dose, Vitamin C can come in many disguises; pure ascorbic acid, Vitamin C esters, silicone suspensions, powders and water-free formulas.

Regardless of the form of Vitamin C, unanimously all forms will help to reduce skin inflammation, irregular pigmentation and promote healthy collagen production.

As a powerhouse antioxidant, it can help protect the skin from pre-cancerous changes from UV light exposure by neutralising free radicals associated with sun damage, increasing the skins sun protection.

When it comes to this antioxidants super powers of brightening, it achieves this by intercepting the enzymes that lead to uneven tone, dark spots and pigmentation. 

Most of you are aware that Vitamin C is notorious for being very unstable, it highly oxidises when exposed to water, light or air and degrades easily. It’s delivery through the skin is also difficult and can be ineffective when it comes to penetrating the skin.

When Vitamin C is oxidised, it changes its potential from an antioxidant to a pro-oxidant. The pro-oxidant activity can increase sensitivity and irritation to the skin, not to mention leave your skin a slightly stained orange-brown colour, think fake tan effect!

Oxidation-resistant forms of Vitamin C are not as well researched, they also require your skin to work a little harder to convert them for availability, but the up side is they are able to penetrate the skin on a deeper level, less prone to oxidation, are aligned to the natural pH of the skin and are less likely to cause irritation and sensitivity.

Oxidation-resistant forms of Vitamin C are improving the consumers experience, including sensitivity that can sometimes occur with ascorbic acid. Keep an eye out for Vitamin C listed ingredients on your labels as:

ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (ATIP), magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THDA), sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP).

You don’t necessarily absorb more Vitamin C just because a product has a higher concentration of Vitamin C in it. Studies indicate that maximum absorption seems to happen with 20% Vitamin C and regular application is required every 8 hours. 

One major challenge to topical delivery is getting Vitamin C to the cells beneath the (dead) stratum corneum. The key to effective topical delivery of Vitamin C is exfoliation—removing the uppermost layer of dead cells allows Vitamin C formulas to penetrate more effectively. 

Apply a well formulated Vitamin C Serum of a morning after cleansing, and layer under your cream, follow with a sunscreen. Vitamin C boosts the effiacy of your sunscreen and also assists in skin repair after sun exposure. 


OCINIUM’s Luminosity Vitamin C Serum contains our highest percentage of ATIP. With great delivery to collagen boosting cells, oxidation resistance, alignment to the skins pH and specific activity in brightening the skin, the overall effect is tighter, brighter, firmer skin.

“Studies show that vitamin C's effects are more potent when it's combined with vitamin E and high polyphenol sources of botanicals.” – Founder, Cassandra Hilton.

This formula does just that, offering vitamin C, E, and polyphenols in each drop. And as for its dark bottle? "Vitamin C is a tricky ingredient because it's notoriously unstable. It breaks down quickly if it's exposed to light or air, dark glass packaging helps maintain this antioxidants shelf life.” 

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