The importance of wearing sunscreen daily—and reapplying throughout the day—is no secret. In fact, it’s one of the skin care rituals experts swear by to help keep that youthful glow. It helps prevent skin cancers, sunburns, sun poisoning and, when applied regularly, can aid in the prevention of fine lines and wrinkles. Want to know how to take your skin protection to the next level? Enter vitamin C: a powerhouse antioxidant that helps reduce hyperpigmentation and fine lines, protects against environmental aggressors, and brightens your skin for a gorgeous glow. When paired together, vitamin C and sunscreen become game changers—more effective in neutralizing free radical damage and doubling their effects. We’ve rounded up a list of our perfect vitamin C and SPF pairings to easily integrate into your routine.
Why You Should Pair Vitamin C With Sunscreen
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can enhance the efficacy of sunscreen by neutralizing free radicals before they can cause damage to the skin. Applying a vitamin C serum prior to sunscreen can help optimize your sun protection and reduce the risk of sun damage and premature aging. In fact, a study has shown that combining vitamin C with sunscreen can provide up to four times the protection against UV damage than using sunscreen alone. So, if you're looking to boost your sun protection game, consider adding a vitamin C and sunscreen combination to your skincare routine.
Wondering how Vitamin C can work for your skin when you’re not out and about? Read our blog about the night time benefits of vitamin C here.
How to Use Vitamin C and Sunscreen Together
Using a combination of vitamin C and sunscreen in your routine will take your skincare to the next level. We recommend applying a vitamin C serum as the first product on your skin after cleansing, under your daily moisturizer, and layering SPF on top. Keep in mind that the purest form of vitamin C will be the most effective in protecting your skin, but the high level of acidity might not be the best fit for everyone’s skin- especially those with dry or sensitive skin types. Try starting slow with vitamin C to make sure your skin does not have a negative reaction to the product.
Our Perfect Vitamin C + SPF Pairings
SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOXis an anti–aging serum that features 10% pure vitamin C alongside 0.2% ferulic acid. It visibly boosts skin’s radiance while helping to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and the ferulic acid enhances the benefits of the vitamin C. SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense SPF30 is a perfect match for the serum. The zinc oxide physical filter will protect your skin from UVA/UVB rays, and the mineral formula provides a lightweight tinted finish that helps even your skin tone. This formula works great for those with sensitive skin and contains ingredients that help repair your skin barrier. For a more mattifying SPF, try the weightless SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF50 that will mattify your skin and leave a transparent finish.
The Sunday Riley C.E.O. Afterglow Brightening Vitamin C Cream supercharges your skin with high potency, vitamin C to brighten and even your skin tone while aiding in hydration to offer long-lasting moisturization. Sunday Riley Light Hearted Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreenis a lightweight, 99.99% oil-free sunscreen with antioxidant turmeric for pollution protection. It’s perfect for all skin types and formulated with plant-based xanthophyl to provide blue light defense.
iS Clinical Super Serum Advance Plus is a powerful serum that holds a 15% concentration of vitamin C with Copper Tripeptide Growth Factors. This serum is your anti-aging superstar, containing even more powerful antioxidants to increase collagen production, skin tone, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is one to avoid if you have very dry or sensitive skin, but don’t worry, theiS Clinical PerfecTint Powder SPF40is great for any skin type. This super convenient powder SPF provides subtle coverage to even your skin tone and absorbs oil on the surface of the skin, minimizing pores and keeping you matte even in hot summer weather. Our favorite part about this product is that you can throw it in your bag and have it on-the-go all day so you don't have to worry about reapplying and staying protected all day long.
The Revision Skincare Vitamin C Lotion 15%, formulated with THD ascorbate, is jam packed with other ingredients like Vitamin E and Coenzyme Q10 which will help reduce fine lines and brighten your complexion. The vitamin C will help boost skin elasticity as well, so your skin will feel supple, full, and soft on top of the beautiful radiant glow you'll have. Apply to clean skin before your moisturizer for the best effect! We love pairing this lotion with the Revision Skincare Intellishade Matte Age-Defying Tinted Moisturizer SPF 45. This product is a 5-in-1 daily tinted moisturizer that’s formulated to help correct, protect, conceal, brighten and hydrate your skin. It helps reduce visible signs of aging and works to enhance skin’s natural moisture barrier while protecting it from UVA/UVB radiation.
REN Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream is a weightless moisturizer that touts a combination of vitamin C, magnesium and tara pod extract that all work to brighten your skin, balance its tone and improve overall texture. Gel creams are so soothing and cool on the skin, and REN's even works great for sensitive skin. With bonus glycogen added in the formula for a plumping effect, your hydration will be locked in all day making this product a no brainer! A great option for oily skin, the REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 helps protect your skin against premature aging caused by UVA/UVB exposure. It’s formulated with 22% non-nano naturally derived zinc oxide to offer broad-spectrum protection while passionfruit extract (which is known as an antioxidant) supports your skin’s defense against free radicals.