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Summer Dream Team: Why You Need To Pair Vitamin C With SPF

2 Eminence products in a beach bag with lemon and accessories

Summer Dream Team: Why You Need To Pair Vitamin C With SPF

Written By:

Taryl Stelmaschuk

When you think of the perfect summer, you may imagine an escape to a tropical paradise; sitting on a white sand beach with a refreshing cocktail (or mocktail) in hand, watching the waves roll in while the warm sun beams down. And your skin? Perfectly smooth, even and glowing, of course. 

While you may not have a trip to paradise planned, we can still help you achieve the skin of your dreams this summer – and it’s easier than you think!

When it comes to summertime radiance, you only need to reach for two products to get glowing: a potent source of Vitamin C and a sunscreen. Read on to learn how to make the most of your daily summer ritual with these two essentials. 

Why You Need Vitamin C

You likely already know that Vitamin C is an essential part of your diet. But beyond your morning glass of OJ, this powerhouse ingredient can do a lot to enhance your complexion. So what exactly does Vitamin C do for your skin?

When applied topically, Vitamin C can: 

  • Support your skin’s natural collagen production
  • Brighten your complexion by reducing the redness associated with environmental stress
  • Even skin tone by targeting dark spots
  • Neutralize free radicals, limiting skin damage
  • Prevent premature aging while visibly smoothing fine lines and wrinkles

An added bonus? This potent nutrient is often found in bright, juicy and delicious summery botanicals like oranges, blueberries, blackberries, Kakadu plum, camu camu, kiwi and pineapple.  

Why You Need SPF

You probably apply sunscreen when the sun is shining its brightest. But you may not know that it’s important to use sun protection each and every day, especially when you’re spending lots of time outside. With all the summer fun of lounging by pools, backyard barbeques and frolicking on the beach, you’ll need to layer on your favorite sunscreen before heading outdoors – and be sure to reapply at least every two hours.  

To get the most out of your sun care, ensure you’re applying SPF from head to toe, taking extra care to target your décolleté, hands, ears and feet. You can also pick up sun care products for your lips and scalp. And remember, when it comes to sun care, an SPF of 30 or more is ideal. 

Better Together: the Potent Power of Vitamin C With Sunscreen

Some things are better together. Case in point: Vitamin C and SPF!

For all its beneficial qualities, Vitamin C does have one drawback: It’s prone to oxidation, which diminishes its effectiveness. If you’ve used a Vitamin C serum before, you may have noticed that it comes in an opaque bottle or dark amber glass. This type of packaging blocks light from getting in, stopping oxidation before it starts. Not only could Vitamin C oxidize in the bottle, it may also oxidize on the skin. According to Lab Muffin, “Some vitamin C serums that contain ascorbic acid, [can cause] slightly darkened skin after a few days of use. The stained skin looks red or orange-brown, sort of like fake tan.” This tends to be the case when the Vitamin C is not paired with sun protection. But fear not! Layering SPF over Vitamin C helps prevent oxidation.

On her YouTube channel, London-based Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr. Sam Bunting explains these benefits. “No one gets 100% protection from UV from sunscreen,” she says. “ It’s almost impossible because we tend to underapply [sunscreen], it comes off through the day, maybe we’re not rigorous about topping up. We’re reliant on a second line of attack from an antioxidant serum, like a Vitamin C serum.” 

Another perk to this combo? Vitamin C can actually boost sunscreen’s protective power. Chicago-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Mandrea, explains in an interview with Real Simple that  “combining Vitamin C serum and broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect well against UVA rays has been shown to be more effective at neutralizing free radical damage from sun exposure than just using sunscreen alone.” 

A Summer Routine With Vitamin C + Sun Protection

Ready to get glowing? This vitamin-rich routine brings on a bright, luminous look for all skin types. 

Step 1 

Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser: This cleanser is perfect for smoothing texture without overstripping skin’s natural oils. A milky gel with a juicy scent, you’ll love this cleanser as a new addition to your skin care practice.

Step 2

Pineapple Refining Tonique: Tropical and vibrant, this toner smells like fresh pineapple juice! This daily formula combines gentle bromelain and PHA to exfoliate all skin types, including sensitive. Chemical exfoliation may sound daunting, but PHA and bromelain are gentle enough to get the job done without irritation.

Step 3

Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum: Bring on the brightness with this award-winning serum.

Made with stabilized Vitamin C, Vitamin E, avocado, leafy greens and citrus oils, this serum is well-loved for its ability to reveal skin that looks youthful, plump and bright. 

Product picks first

Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum

Product picks second

Superfood Booster-Powder Lilikoi Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 40

Body second

Step 4

Arctic Berry Peptide Radiance Cream + Superfood Booster-Powder: Conquer dullness and dehydration with two illuminating formulas. First, reach for the Arctic Berry Peptide Radiance Cream. This hydrator firms and brightens the skin’s appearance with antioxidant-rich berries and our Peptide Illuminating Complex. Take it to the next level by adding a scoop of the Superfood Booster-Powder. This fine powder blends seamlessly into the moisturizer and indulges skin with Vitamins C, B3 and K from Kakadu plum, coix seed and spirulina.

Step 5

Hibiscus Ultra Lift Eye Cream: A bright summer routine wouldn’t be complete without a revitalizing eye cream. Made with hibiscus, ice wine actives and caffeine, the Hibiscus Ultra Lift Eye Cream de-puffs, lifts, brightens and tightens. All that in one quick and easy step! Plus, the cooling applicator feels super refreshing on the skin, especially on a hot day.

Step 6 

Lilikoi Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 40: Protect skin with this broad-spectrum UVA and UVB SPF, enhanced with Vitamin C-rich lilikoi (aka passionfruit). The Lilikoi Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 40 uses zinc oxide to provide sun protection. This formula also contains cocoa seed extract and satsuma mandarin peel, which helps improve the look of skin exposed to environmental stressors like blue light and pollution. Perfect year-round, especially for those sunny beach days!

Body third

Tailor by Skin Type

This routine is a phenomenal way to introduce vitamin-rich skin care into your routine. Plus, it ensures you’re protected from the summer sun. But if you have specific skin concerns, you can make these smart switches to cater to your unique skin type and concerns. 

Dry Skin 

While the Pineapple Refining Tonique works for all skin types, dry skin may like the Bright Skin Licorice Root Exfoliating Peel instead. This peel is designed to be used just one to three times per week rather than daily. Less frequent exfoliation helps dry skin retain moisture.

Dry skin will also love the Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil. Vitamins C and E work hand in hand with rosehip, jojoba and seabuckthorn oil to give dry skin much-needed hydration. Apply before your SPF.

Oily Skin

Dealing with excess oil, large pores and breakouts? Grab the Mangosteen Gel Moisturizer. This lightweight formula quenches oily skin without adding grease or shine. Plus, this formula contains illuminating antioxidants to bring out the appearance of a summery glow. 

Enhance your routine with the Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Concentrate. Large pores don’t stand a chance against this dreamy formula’s mix of lactic acid, ribose and mangosteen. 

Normal Skin 

Normal skin should be good to go with the routine mentioned above. But if you like to go the extra mile, these formulas will enhance your bright glow while keeping your skin in perfect balance. The Kombucha Microbiome Luminosity Serum helps balance your skin’s microbiome for a healthy-looking glow.

The Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Masque also gives your skin some extra radiance. Its delightful gel-cream texture smooths on easily and illuminates the skin through a botanical blend of ripe citrus fruit oils, avocado and leafy greens. 

Sensitive Skin 

You may be wondering if it’s possible to go overboard with Vitamin C: in some cases, yes! You’ll want to tread carefully when using Vitamin C on sensitive skin. Start slowly and consider reaching for the Kombucha Microbiome Luminosity Serum in place of the Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum. This calming serum reveals glowing skin without irritation. 

You can also add on the Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil to gently introduce Vitamin C while hydrating dryness associated with sensitivity. 

Have you tried Vitamin C and your SPF together? If not, use our Spa Locator to find an Eminence Spa near you. An esthetician can help you pick out the right products so you’re ready to glow all season long.

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