Best vitamin C skincare products to brighten and transform dull complexions

When it comes to skincare, vitamin C isn’t an ingredient we should be ignoring. The powerful antioxidant boasts a wealth of skin-transforming benefits and combats dullness, fine lines, skin damage, uneven skin tone and signs of ageing – to name a few.

No matter your skin type, vitamin C is something everyone should include in their beauty regime. But with so much on the market, it’s hard to know what will work best for you.

We had our OK! beauty testing panel put seven new vitamin C products to the test to find the very best formula…

Pixi BeautifEYE Hydrogel Eye Patches (set of 30), buy it here for £22

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Use these for 10 minutes on clean skin to quickly brighten and energise your under-eye area. They also promise to help reduce puffiness and minimise dark circles.

Our tester says: "Great for sensitive skin as they feel very gentle and soothing. I put mine in the fridge so they were even more cooling and got rid of a lot of puffiness under my eyes. I'd definitely repurchase as they also helped make my concealer apply better and not look cakey."

Boots Vitamin C Sleeping Mask, buy it here for £4

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This night-time moisturiser coats skin in a nourishing, vitamin-packed formula, and forms part of a four-piece vitamin C range that claims to give skin a brighter look in just 14 days.

Our tester says: "It’s honestly the best thing I’ve ever used. The morning after I first used the cream, my skin looked really bright and like I had a holiday glow. The orange scent is lovely, and the formula isn’t greasy at all so sinks in and makes my skin feel so soft. I don’t want to use anything else now!"

The Inkey List 15% Vitamin C and EGF Serum, buy it here for £14.99

Made to deliver a potent dose of antioxidants and vitamin C to brighten skin, it stimulates collagen and elastin production to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

Our tester says: "I used it as part of my night-time regime before my regular night cream. On application it feels like a mask, it has a tightening effect on the face which I loved and I definitely think my skin now looks brighter after using it for a month. Although it says it's gentle enough for daily use, I think every other day would be better for sensitive skin."

SVR Masque C, buy it here for £30

This concentrated mask was tested on 31 people, and after a month of weekly use, 96% said their complexion looked brighter. It also promises to reduce signs of fatigue and improve hydration.

Our tester says: "It comes out like a mousse and feels like it should be going on my hair, but it’s definitely for the face! Feels lovely on my skin – very fresh – and it has a nice citrus smell. I leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse off, and my skin looks so much brighter after each time I’ve tried it."

Skin Proud Bright Boost 2% Vitamin C Multi-Vitamin Serum, buy it here for £12.99

Lightweight and packed with vitamin C, kakadu plum, vitamin B and E, this serum targets dullness and lacklustre skin to give it a brightening boost from first use.

Our tester says: "It can be used morning and night, but I chose just morning. I like it because it sinks in quickly so it’s perfect under my make-up. I’ve been using it for two weeks and I’m not seeing a massive difference in my skin tone, but it does feel a bit less dry."

Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum, buy it here for £72

This shields skin against the damage from daily aggressors like pollution. The formula also boasts a 55% higher antioxidant defence than traditional vitamin C, and contains glycolic acid to help lessen dark spots and improves luminosity.

Our tester says: "I loved this right from my first use. It made my skin more hydrated and glowy, and in under a week my skin texture looked so much smoother. I use it religiously every morning and I’ve had compliments on my skin a few times. I dread the day I run out!"

Sanctuary Spa Vitamin C 20% Daily Glow Serum, buy it here for £16.50

A serum which combines 20% pure vitamin C with plumping hyaluronic acid and antioxidant turmeric oil. In tests 86% of users saw more radiant skin after a single use.

Tester says: "Made my skin feel a little tingly at first but luckily I’d read on the pack that this was normal. I loved the smooth, silky feel it gave, and my skin definitely looked brighter right away. This serum plus SPF is now my morning skin regime – I’m addicted!"

Ask the expert

Dr Imogen Bexfield has the answers on why and how to use vitamin C.

* It’s a super powerful antioxidant. Free radicals cause cell damage, early ageing and inflammation. Vitamin C will help fight these. It also helps reduce the damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

*More mature skin will benefit from using a serum vitamin C as you get a higher absorption rate. Look for formulas with around 15% for maximum benefits.

*You can use a vitamin C morning or night but it can make your skin more sensitive to sun, so make sure you wear a factor 50 in the day. Our skin regenerates at night so you’ll likely find your treatment will be more effective if using it while you sleep.

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