The One Ingredient You Need for Glowing Winter Skin

vitamin c skin care
Image via Keishikibi/Repeatly
Transitioning into fall should extend well beyond your wardrobe. With the new season comes changing conditions for your skin, which is why it’s time to update your beauty routine. I asked some experts exactly what this skin care update should look like, and they all responded in the same way. First of all, hydration is key during drying winter months (duh). Second, we should all be ramping up the topical application of vitamin c. Nope, it’s not just for your immune system.
When lathered onto your skin, the vitamin commonly associated with oranges is a powerful anti-aging agent and helps protect against damaging free radicals – one dermatologist told me that it’s one of the most highly-recommended ingredients in his profession.
However, this alone isn’t the reason why you should be lathering your face in vitamin c serums right now. Rather, it’s the ingredient’s ability to treat pigmentation and sun damage at the end of summer, by brightening and evening out the complexion and skin tone, that’s most relevant right now.

Dermatologist and RealSelf contributor Dr. Schlessinger told me that there are multiple words we should look out for on the back of your beauty products to identify the varying forms of vitamin c – some botanical and others created in a lab, including “L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate and citrus extracts.”

Dr. Schlessinger suggests beginning with a product containing around 10 percent, or even less, vitamin c two to three times each week as overuse can have side effects like redness and peeling. Over time, you can begin using more regularly.

I started with the Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power Vitamin C Sleeping Mask ($62), massaging a generous amount straight onto my skin several nights a week, and then layering my regular routine of jojoba oil and eye cream over the top. It smells delicious (like orange!), and I didn’t experience any of the breakouts that occasionally occur after introducing new creams to my routine, so I ramped up the frequency to five nights a week. Still no side-effects!

 

Vitamin C Skin Care
This smells good enough to eat. Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power Vitamin C Sleeping Mask, $62
Feeling game, I began adding a first layer each night of Hylamide Booster C25 ($33) – a concentrated, oily vitamin c serum that two friends recommended. This was clearly overkill, as my skin appeared more congested (ugh, blackheads) within a few days and I quickly pared back to just the sleep mask again.
At around the same time I also decided to get professional help, heading to  esthetician Hanna Naranjo at Haven Spa in New York’s West Village. She administered a nourishing vitamin c facial to kick-start my new routine. “It helps to revitalize the skin’s surface, especially after a long summer in the sun. It also stimulates the synthesis of collagen, fights against free radicals, reduces the inflammation, and helps to even your skin tone,” Naranjo said of the berry antioxidant mask, which is packed with vitamin-rich goji berries so smells damn delicious.
After using the at-home mask and spa treatment over a five-week period, I’ve noticed real differences. Haven’s potent concoction left my skin instantly glowing, but the regular use of Peter Thomas Roth’s formula has helped diminish some of the very light pigmentation around my cheekbones. I also always feel as though my complexion glows the morning after an overnight mask – it literally works miracles on your skin while you sleep.