It's never too soon to start thinking proactively about your anti-aging skincare regimen. Dermatologists — Dr. Lancer included — have told me that wearing sunscreen is the single most important habit to adopt when it comes to preventative beauty. He's been quoted stating to always wear sunscreen "unless you need a flashlight to see," because photo-aging (i.e. sun damage) leads to the skin's first signs of age. But even after you've chosen a broad-spectrum coverage sunscreen — my dermatologist recommends Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 ($33) and my esthetician swears by PCA Skin Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45 ($46) — there are other steps you can take to help shield your face from the effects of the sun.
For starters, you can maximize your regimen's efficacy by incorporating an antioxidant-filled serum into your daytime routine. You've probably heard about the "free-radical fighting" effect of antioxidants. Well, this refers to their ability to mitigate the oxidative process that is triggered within your skins' cells upon UV-exposure. Vitamin C serums are among the most popular and effective antioxidant serums for the daytime used with this skin-protective quality in mind.
(Photo via Sunday Riley/Instagram)
Vitamin C: The Answer to Sun Damage
Dr. Patricia Wexler told The Fashion Spot that vitamin C's most treasured benefits include aiding the skin's reparative process; evening skin tone by reducing discoloration (i.e. hyper-pigmentation, acne scars, dark spots, etc.); and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. It's also worth noting that the vitamin brightens the appearance of your skin considerably, giving your face a fabulous glow that tricks people into thinking its flawless. (I'm serious.)
My favorite vitamin C serum — by far — is Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum ($85). This stuff is holy grail level amazing and contains a form of vitamin C — THD ascorbate — so potent that it's prescription-strength in Japan! I've featured it on B+C a ton and rave about the serum every chance I get because it works almost immediately.
I just ran out of another best-selling vitamin C treatment, SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic. The $165 antioxidant serum gets insane reviews among Beauty Editors. I still remember how excited I was to try the much-raved-out skin re-texturizer. SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF ($165) is another favorite from the line, said to have the slight advantage between the two C-powered products when it comes to improving hyper-pigmentation and acne scars. Unfortunately, they're not cruelty-free according to Phyrra.net. Animal testing is way too depressing to justify using a cult-favorite skincare product.
On that note, here are 10 top-of-the-line serums to try along with your SPF to improve your preventative anti-aging skincare. They're cruelty-free and varied in price.
(Photos via Instagram)
Shop Them Below:
1. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% ($5.80)
I'm dying to try this quasi-serum for two reasons. First, The Ordinary is an indie beauty co. that's safe for sensitive skin and is committed to ethical business practices, promising beauty with integrity. Second, hyaluronic acid (HA) is a powerhouse moisturizer that literally draws moisture from the air into your skin. I actually just pitched an HA-based roundup to my editor at Brit + Co. because I'm so fascinated with the buzzy ingredient.
2. The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F ($17.80)
This baby is a new addition to the line, and unfortunately it's sold out at Sephora. It's supposed to be extra-brightening.
3. Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum ($34)
4. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum ($48)
5. Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum ($80)
6. Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum ($85)
Duh. Sorry. It's just that good. Like I said, its stable formulation of vitamin C is so potent, it's prescription-strength in Japan! SR is herself a biochemist so she knows what's up.
7. True Botanicals Vitamin C Booster ($90)
Shout-out to Byrdie for cluing me in to this powder form of vitamin C that can be added to any water-based serum you already have.
*8. Root Science Youth-Enhancing Botanical Serum + Moisturizer in One ($50-120)
I discovered this hidden gem researching for a Brit + Co. article on Anti-Aging skincare products.
9. Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($185)
People are obsessed with this product, including beauty blogger Chelsea Cronin.
10. SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum ($281)
They sell this high-end line at plastic and cosmetic surgery centers and it gets crazy good reviews. But I read a seriously weird tidbit about it, which is that it's powered by a stem cells harvested from a newborn Korean infant's foreskin. (No, I'm not joking — and I'm aware that that is seriously disturbing. People are paying $280 to put this serum on their faces!)
Did I leave anything out? Tell me below!
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