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Does Your Skin Need Vitamin A or Vitamin C? Or Both?

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Ah the world of skincare ingredients – another beauty minefield which can leave even the most knowledgeable a little dazed, but let’s talk about two of the most common (and powerful) – vitamin C and vitamin A. Read on to find out why these two vitamins deserve a place in your regime…

Skincare Benefits Of Vitamin C

“Because it is so versatile, vitamin C is one my favourite skincare ingredients,” explains brand founder and leading dermatologist, Dr Dennis Gross. “Not only does vitamin C protect against damaging free radicals, it also helps to lighten and break up pigmentation you might already have as well as preventing dark spots or sun spots from forming and increasing overall radiance. Yup – it’s a real brightening and radiance-boosting hero. Vitamin C also helps to diminish existing fine lines and wrinkles, while protecting against future damage making it a great anti-ager too,” he adds.

“There are many different forms of vitamin C – some more effective than others,” says founder of Allies of Skin, Nicolas Travis. “We (at Allies of Skin) are big believers in ethylated l-ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate as they are both extremely stable and able to penetrate deep in to the cells for brighter, plumper skin.”

Did you also know that when antioxidants (such as vitamin C) are exposed to air, they can break down so it’s always best to look for individual vials or air-tight, dark packaging. We love Darphin’s new Ideal Resource Renewing Pro-Vitamin C and E Capsules as they help to maintain the stability of the ingredients and therefore boost efficacy – as do Oskia’s Super C Smart Nutrient Beauty Capsules.

Skincare Benefits Of Vitamin A

Retinol (a derivative of vitamin A) is another well-regarded skincare ingredient – particularly when it comes to anti-ageing. “Retinol is the gold standard of anti-ageing skincare since it helps increase cellular turnover which stimulates your body’s production of new skin cells,” says Dr Dennis. Retinol can also come in many different forms and strengths. “We like to use the most effective form we can which is why our 1A Retinal + Peptides Overnight Mask and Bright Future Sleeping Facial use retinaldehyde – a form which is 20 time more potent than retinol,” explains Nicolas. “Our retinaldehyde is encapsulated and time-released so it provides all the great benefits of retinol without any irritation.” Similarly to vitamin C, vitamin A is also great for controlling breakouts and fading unwanted pigmentation.

How To Use Vitamin C And A In Your Routine

“Vitamin C and vitamin A should be an important part of any well-rounded skincare routine,” says Dr Dennis. “I recommend using vitamin C during the day to protect skin from UVA/UVB and pollution when you are out and about,” suggests Dr Dennis. “I then recommend vitamin A combined with a soothing moisturiser at night.” Regardless of your skin type, it is always best to build up a tolerance to retinol. Try mixing a low concentration retinol with your usual moisturiser three times a week and then gradually increasing. This will stop any redness or overly dry patches. Oh and don’t forget your SPF… vitamin A can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun so wearing an SPF every day is an absolute must.

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