The beauty industry at any given time has an ‘IT’ or hero ingredient that it raves about. Whether it’s current favourites like retinol and salicylic acid, or old favourite hyaluronic; there’s always one ingredient that everyone raves about and gets skincare brands rushing to launch products to capitalise on the spotlight effect.
However, the one ingredient that has stood the test of time and never lost its cultish aura is Vitamin C. For decades new formulations of Vitamin C skincare products have launched and they’ve always been well received because the skincare benefits never go out of style.
As an ingredient, Vitamin C does two things – fight premature aging and keep skin radiant. As a powerful antioxidant, it neutralises the oxidative stress inducing free radicals in skin that leads to premature skin aging. It’s also essential to the production of collagen in skin cells, helping to support the skin’s structure and delay signs of aging.
Vitamin C also brightens skin by inhibiting the amount of melanin the skin’s pigment cells generate. It influences the production of tyrosinase – the main enzyme responsible for converting amino acid tyrosine into melanin, thereby reducing pigmentation
So having Vitamin C in your skincare routine makes dull complexion radiant and refines the skin’s texture. With such power to transform, Vitamin C is an ingredient needed all year round – no more so than in winter months when the weather is harsher and our complexion loses its glow.
No 7, the more scientifically astute arm of the Boots skincare brand launched their Radiance+ Vitamin C skincare range a while back and we’ve been putting it to the test just in time for winter when the effects of Vitamin C is most needed.
The Radiance+ Vitamin C range is extensive and has everything needed for a simple skincare routine – it has a cleanser, toner, serum and moisturiser. And promises to make skin more radiant and youthful looking.
Naturally, the more concentration of active ingredients there is in a product, the more effective it is so we were keen to try Radiance+ Vitamin C, checking its effectiveness at brightening, fighting signs of aging like fine lines and hydration.
We made the entire Radiance+ Vitamin C range (Cleanser, Toner, Serum and Moisturiser) our morning routine for 16 weeks.
Radiance+ Daily Energising Exfoliating Cleanser
As the first step in any skincare routine, a good cleanser has to be able to thoroughly cleanse to get rid of the dirt and grime of the day. Preparing skin for the next steps.
This Daily Energising Exfoliating Cleanser uses vitamin C and apricot seeds to clean and exfoliate away dead skin cells for a brighter complexion. It’s grainy in appearance but not in texture and is surprisingly mild on skin.
We were impressed with this cleanser because it’s gentle enough to be used everyday despite being a double texture and complexion refiner. There was no irritation despite daily use. It also does an excellent job of unblocking pores and improving skin texture.
Radiance+ Vitamin C Glow Toner
The next step in any skincare routine is a toner – to rid skin of any more dead skin cells that the cleanser missed. This Vitamin C Glow Toner uses 2% Vitamin C to refine the skin’s texture and minimise pores. Like most toners, it contains alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) which can dry up skin so we didn’t use it more than twice a week.
No7 Radiance+ 15% Vitamin C Serum
We followed the toner with this serum which we were nervous about because it contains a whopping 15% Vitamin C. For such a high concentration of active ingredient, we knew there was potential for the skin to react adversely and become irritated.
We’ve experienced other vitamin C products with less concentration that have caused irritation or at minimum harsh tingling. This Radiance+ 15% Vitamin C Serum turned out to have the opposite effect.
It’s lightweight, gentle and absorbs into skin very quickly – no irritation, not even a tingle to speak of. All that’s needed is 3/4 drops to reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone and pigmentation.
No7 Radiance+ Vitamin C Daily Brightening Moisturiser
We then used this Radiance+ Vitamin C Daily Brightening Moisturiser to lock in the serum. It promises to hydrate and make skin even brighter and feel nourished.
We found it to be a lightweight formula that also absorbs very easily. It worked as a great pick me up for dull and tired looking skin.
The No7 Radiance+ Vitamin C range proves why Vitamin C will always be an ingredient that doesn’t go out of style. It’s an excellent way to improve the skin’s texture and make it glow. And this No7 Radiance+ Vitamin C range does just that.
We love how absorbing it is, how gentle – despite the high concentration of active ingredients. And although we felt the Radiance+ Vitamin C Daily Brightening Moisturiser wasn’t hydrating enough, that isn’t a dealbreaker. Most people buy it for its brightening effect. We simply topped up on hydration by using the Simple Skin Radiance Boosting Oil with SPF 30.
This is because the oil gives an instant hydration boost but more importantly, it gives SPF protection. This is essential when using skincare products with such high concentration of active ingredients. ALWAYS apply sun protection when using such potent skincare products.
For those looking to incorporate Vitamin C into their skincare routine without investing in the entire range, we recommend two hero products; the Radiance+ Daily Energising Exfoliating Cleanser and Radiance+ 15% Vitamin C Serum which is one of the best Vitamin C serums on the market.
We believe incorporating Vitamin C this winter will ensure skin is protected within and also outside from harsh environmental aggressors. It’ll clear away dead skin cells and keep skin radiant throughout the season.
The No7 Radiance+ Vitamin C range is available at all Boots stores and online.