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Ask Jean: Why Do I Need Vitamin C?

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Dear Jean, You say vitamin C’s the most important step in your morning skin routine—how do you apply it for the best results, and where does it go in your routine in terms of order? —Dara M.

Dear Dara, You could be a teenager or you could be in your seventies—doesn’t matter: Vitamin C gives your skin a glow that’s beautiful and noticeable, while improving it overall by fighting free radicals (compounds that break down our skin and age us). It’s been studied extensively, but try it for a week and tell me you don’t start getting unprompted compliments on your skin. Vitamin C really is that good.

  1. goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin
    C + Hyaluronic Acid
    Glow Serum
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The vitamin C is this new, two-part serum from goop. It’s powerful—20% is a high percentage—and it hydrates at the same time, treating different layers of your skin with three different molecular sizes of moisturizing hyaluronic acid. The combination leaves my skin glowy, dewy, plumped, and just better-looking, all day long.

  1. goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum goop, $125/$112 with subscription
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The surprise, for anyone who’s ever used a vitamin C serum before, is that it stays active and potent right down to the last drop. Many vitamin C serums degrade quickly in terms of potency—even those filled with preservatives—but the goop team has ingeniously solved this problem. Once you’ve got it home, take out the two adorable bottles (truly, I want to live inside the tall pointy one, a cross between something from Whoville, an architectural masterpiece high in the mountains of Paraguay, and the interior of a toasted marshmallow).

goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum woman with vitamin c serum

The brown bottle contains the powdered vitamin C, and the Whoville is the hyaluronic acid serum; you crack the top off of the hyaluronic, pour the contents into the bottle of vitamin C, screw on the cap with the dropper, and it’s ready—and it’s fresh. Meaning that instead of sitting on a shelf oxidizing and quickly becoming less active, your serum activates only when you mix it together that first time. And we’ve designed it so that if you use it every day, it should remain active from the day you mix it down to the very last drop.

THE ROUTINE

I do love it in the morning, first thing, but you can also use it at night. If you cleanse in the morning, cleanse first (I don’t, but if your skin is super oily or you love an a.m. cleanse, go for it). I press a few drops of the serum into my skin and wait a few minutes for it to really do its work, unencumbered. This waiting may well be superstition on my part, but I think it does a little extra something. I have some sips of coffee and figure out what to wear.

  1. May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon
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Then I go back in with some more moisture, because I am ancient. (You don’t have to be ancient to need moisture, but if your skin is oily, the serum plus SPF may well be all you need.) The Blue Cocoon from May Lindstrom in the ultimate in this department, a blue cacao-scented salve that soothes like nothing else as it sinks into skin.

  1. May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon
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Again I wait for a minute or two—invariably still undecided on what to wear—for the Blue Cocoon to fully do its ultramoisturizing, skin-calming work. With my skin plump with vitamin C, plant extracts, and hydration, I’m ready for mineral SPF. For every day (not the beach or Mount Everest), I use the world’s most flattering skin tint, which happens to be SPF 20. Called Dew Skin, it is a complexion-smoothing, glow-enhancing miracle that everyone should have.

  1. Beautycounter Dew Skin Moisturzing Coverage Beautycounter Dew Skin Moisturzing Coverage
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If what to wear is still a question, I go with my foolproof navy Erica sweater and white Mel Jeans. The glow I get from vitamin C changes the way I feel about my skin; the Mel-Erica combo gives me the same feeling: easy confidence.

  1. G. Label Lightweight Erica Cardigan G. Label Lightweight Erica Cardigan
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  2. G. Label Mel Jeans G. Label Mel Jeans
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  3. goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C +
    Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum
    goop, $125/$112 with subscription
    SHOP NOW

ABOUT THE SERUM

This new daily glow serum combines two skin-care powerhouses, L-ascorbic acid (proven in research to be the purest, best-for-skin form of the antioxidant vitamin C) and moisturizing hyaluronic acid (a hydrator that’s naturally present in the body). The unique two-part design maximizes potency and freshness, delivering a serum that stays active all the way through its use. Before your first use, mix the super potent 20% vitamin C powder with the hyaluronic acid serum. (There are three different molecular sizes of hyaluronic acid present to penetrate different layers of the skin, as well as the antioxidant superfruit Australian kakadu plum.) The ingredients work synergistically to help brighten the appearance of the skin, significantly improving its firmness, tone, texture, and hydration and leaving it looking radiant, luminous, and healthy.

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