'It's my job to write about beauty. These are my 6 "rules" for using vitamin C.'

Thanks to our brand partner, SKINCEUTICALS

Vitamin C really is the G.O.A.T of the skincare world. 

It boosts collagen production, which smooths out fine lines and wrinkles, it brightens a dull complexion, it helps reduce inflammation, improves skin texture, plus it’s a powerful antioxidant… 

About the only thing it won’t do is bring you breakfast in bed, tbh. 

But not all vitamin C serums are created equal. Things like the concentration and form of vitamin C, plus any additional ingredients and your skin type and concerns all factor in when choosing the right vitamin C serum.

I’ve been writing about beauty for a long time – like, a really long time –  and I’ve tried a whole lot of different vitamin C serums out there, but the one I keep coming back to is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Vitamin C Serum


Because it works. (You don’t get voted the winning serum in the 2023 You Beauty Awards for nothing, guys!)

Image: SkinCeuticals/Mamamia.


SkinCeuticals is all about clocking up clinical research to back their products – and as a science kinda gal, this speaks to me on a soul level. Being backed by more than 30 years of research has made SkinCeuticals a respected and trusted brand in the beauty industry, and their products are often recommended by skincare pros and those in the know (*waves enthusiastically*).

But it’s not just about what you’ve got right? It’s how you use it that counts. So let’s dive into my six rules for using vitamin C.

1. First, know your Cs.

Like I said, not all vitamin Cs are created equal. Different forms have varying degrees of effectiveness and stability, as well as having slightly different effects, so it’s important to pick the right C for both your skin and your goals.

L-ascorbic acid is vitamin C in its purest form and works wonders to neutralise free radicals and reduce signs of ageing and skin damage. It’s highly potent, which means it works hard, and also just happens to feature in all SkinCeuticals’ vitamin C serums.

Concentration also plays a huge part in the formulation of L-ascorbic acid products (this is because pure vitamin C can become unstable and degrade if they’re not formulated properly). Look for L-ascorbic acid products formulated with low pH levels and at a concentration of 10 per cent to 20 per cent.


If your skin’s a sensitive little soul, be warned, L-ascorbic acid can cause irritation – you might be better off with ascorbyl palmitate – a stable, gentler form of vitamin C that can be less irritating – or tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, another highly effective form of vitamin C and a great pick for sensitive and damaged skin, as it delivers similar antioxidant benefits without causing irritation.

2. Pick your product wisely

Okay, so now you’re armed with the knowledge you need about the different forms of vitamin C out there, the next step is to choose the right one for your concerns. There’s a whole lot vitamin C can do, and you can tailor to your personal needs by checking out what else it has been formulated with.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Vitamin C Serum, for instance, is a winner for improving visible signs of ageing (hello, lines and wrinkles), thanks to the blend of vitamin C, ferulic acid (another powerful antioxidant) and hydrating vitamin E. It’s a top-notch option for people with normal or dry skin, and if your complexion tends to be on the oilier side, SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF Vitamin C Serum could be a better pick for you. It still offers similar antioxidant protection and anti-ageing benefits, but with salicylic acid and an oil-free formula, it refines skin texture and reduces oiliness and the oil oxidisation that can lead to breakouts. 

If you’re looking to banish pigmentation and discolouration, though, something like the Phloretin CF Vitamin C Serum could be a better pick. 


3. Choose the right partners in crime.

Vitamin C is a powerhouse on its own. But paired with the right ingredients, you can supercharge your skincare routine. Ferulic acid is the perfect ingredient to partner with vitamin C, as the antioxidant can actually help stabilise L-ascorbic acid, boosting the benefits of both. 

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that pairs beautifully with C, with the duo providing more protection against free radicals than using either ingredient on its own. (Hot tip: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Vitamin C Serum contains all three). 

Peptides can also help bump up vitamin C benefits, helping bond skin cells together to improve texture. Super-moisturiser hyaluronic acid is also known to play well with vitamin C, plumping and hydrating skin to help blitz the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Niacinamide (aka vitamin B3) is usually fine to use with vitamin C for most skin types, but to play on the safe side, use products containing vitamin C in the morning and niacinamide at night. And if you have sensitive skin, monitor this mash-up a little more closely. 

 4. And while you're at it, avoid the wrong mash-ups.

Some ingredients just don’t play well with others, so it’s important to know what NOT to use with your vitamin C. For example, retinol is a product to be careful with when using vitamin C. Neither will lose its effectiveness if you use them together, but you might end up with irritation or sensitivity if you slather them both on at the same time, so if you’re set on using both, make sure you’re using your vitamin C in the morning and your retinol at night.


5. Apply it right.

Vitamin C is a potent power player, so a little goes a long way. You only need to apply her once a day, preferably in the morning, as part of your regular daily skincare routine, apply a few drops of serum to the palm of your hand and pressing (rather than rubbing) into your face, neck and decolletage. This helps it penetrate deeper. Follow it up with your regular moisturiser, eye cream, etc – and don’t forget to finish with sunscreen.

Watch: Exactly how to apply vitamin C serum. Post continues below.

Video via Instagram/SkinCeuticals.

6. Always, always, always SPF. 

Guys, this is important enough that it deserves its own rule. Sunscreen every day should pretty much be your life motto anyway to guard against premature ageing, but regular SPF is especially important when you’re using a vitamin C serum because it increases skin’s sensitivity to UV light – meaning increased risk of sun damage… hard pass.

If you’re looking for your anti-ageing, antioxidant hero, make vitamin C your new best friend.

Shop SkinCeuticals Vitamin C Serums online, and sign up to recieve 10 per cent off your first order and be the first to know of their exclusive deals and offers.

Feature Image: Supplied.

Explore quality skincare backed by science at SkinCeuticals Australia and shop our comprehensive range to target specific skin concerns. Backed by 30 years of scientific research, experience visible results from SkinCeuticals, the anti-oxidant authority.