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  • Beauty: The beach-fast rules
    New research shows it’s more potent than we first thought. DANIELLE FOX reports

    WHAT IT DOES

    Think of vitamin C as your skin’s under armor, protecting against sun, stress, pollution and free radicals (rogue molecules that age skin on a daily basis). Not only does it boost collagen production and reduce inflammation, but vitamin C can also help increase the effectiveness of SPF and your skin’s natural UV defenses.


    HOW IT WORKS

    Vitamin C loses 85 percent of its potency within an hour of being in contact with air, so if you want to reap the reward of antioxidant-rich products, buy formulas with stable vitamin C. “Look for products that contain ascorbyl palmitate, ferulic acid [both stable forms of vitamin C], and vitamin E, which helps the

    body better absorb vitamin C,’’ says dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe. “Air-restrictive packaging will help keep the formula stable.”


    THE INSIDER TIP

    Vitamin C can have an inflammatory effect if you have sensitive skin, so look for products with it in lower concentrations to avoid irritation – research has shown that low doses still provide antioxidant benefits. You can also try topping up with a vitamin C supplement. “It acts as a free-radical scavenger and will help boost any topical vitamin C skincare,” explains Dr Lowe.

    Vitamin C Essentials

    “Not ONLY does it BOOST collagen, but vitamin C can increase the effectiveness of skin’s NATURAL defenses”

                        
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    Photograph: Donna Trope / Trunk Archive

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