Vitamin C

A Morning Essential for Everyone: Vitamin C for Your Skin


Whether your skin is normal, oily, or dry, whether you’re fourteen or twenty-four or forty-four or sixty-four, and no matter your gender, a quick bit of topical vitamin C when you wake up may do fantastic things for your skin (it’s great to use in the PM, too). The glow you can get after even a few days of use is just the visible part: All antioxidants help combat free radicals. At the same time, it’s very mildly exfoliating, so it can help to smooth skin and clear pores, and brighten and even skin tone, too.

In short, a vitamin C serum, gel, or powder first thing in the morning tends to make practically anyone’s skin happier—and smoothing it on is the perfect sensory wake-up call to start the day, as these four friends of goop will tell you. Here, they talk vitamin C, skin care, and mornings in general, from their routines to their must-have products:

  • Morning Essential: Vitamin C

    A journalist for more than twenty-five years (most recently executive beauty director of W Magazine), now a bi-monthly columninst at Coveteur, a Money Etiquette columnist for Wealth Simple, and food blogger (@theFraudulentChef chronicles her gastronomic endeavors, debacles, and insights that occur in and around her kitchen).


    “I wasn’t a morning person until two fairly recent additions to my life: a dog and kombucha. Remy, our standard poodle, stirs around 7 a.m., at which point, I do as well. When the image of my kombucha drink pops in my head, I’m excited enough to wake up. (I mix it with a few shots of espresso over ice. Admittedly, it is an acquired taste, but I like it, and I’m building up a healthy microbiome to boot!)

    Anyway, get up, brush teeth, walk Remy, feed Remy, then enjoy my kombucha cocktail while watching Morning Joe or CBS This Morning and catching up on emails and Instagram.”
Sunday Riley
Protect + Repair Moisturizer
Sephora, $65 “Vitamin C-based products have not always been friendly to my sensitive skin. This lusciously whipped moisturizer, though, contains a form of C that Sunday Riley considers the “gold standard” and that is also uniquely gentle. It does what C is known for—help diminish the look of wrinkles and give my cheeks a pleasant, bouncy feel—and doing it without any eruptions is appreciated by my easily irritated complexion.”
Captain Blankenship
Mermaid Hair Oil
Sephora, $34 “I’m less about the bi-weekly, sleek blow-dry and just want hair that feels soft and healthy (and if it has a little wave, so be it!). I’ve started finger-combing a couple drops of this oil through damp hair. On nights when I’m staying in, I’ll massage my scalp with it, then coat the rest into one goopy topknot and sleep on it. Next morning, I rinse it out and marvel at how it feels.”
Quattro Eyeshadow
Sephora, $53 “I typically keep my eye makeup neutral and clean. The shades of this quad cover everything: I use the taupe shade on the lid, dust a bit of the ecru color toward the brow bone, and, with a dip of the liner brush in water, the dark brown glides on along my lash line.”
  • Morning Essential: Vitamin C

    Digital influencer and creative director of Scout the City, a digital business focusing on her life in Dumbo with children Scout (6) and Rio (4 months), not to mention her favorite “miniature clothing lines suitable for children of all ages!”


    “I typically wake up around 5 a.m. to meditate for 15 minutes and write while my family is asleep: I like to set the tone for the day without any interruptions.

    My morning beauty routine is usually quick as possible since I’m then rushing to get the kids out of the house. After I drop them off, I go to SoulCycle and start my day.”
Sephora, $65 “Since my son was born, I find it’s hard to get a good night’s rest. I often feel that my eyes look tired, which is why I reach for this cream—to leave me with a well-rested look.”
Sephora, $32 “This balm works wonders for my dry skin. It repairs, protects, and hydrates without feeling greasy. It’s travel-friendly—I bring it everywhere with me.”
  • Morning Essential: Vitamin C

    Founder, Lillies and León, a blog about her journey with her two kids, Lillie Sol (2) and Lucas León (5), exploring their native New York City.


    “As simple as possible—with two kids running between my feet and dashing in and out of the bathroom, time is of the essence!”
Truth Serum
Sephora, $48 “I have finally joined the serum/vitamin C train, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I have been using this every day as part of my morning routine and it has made such a difference in the texture of my skin.”
Tweezerman Stainless
Steel Slant Tweezer
Sephora, $23 “I have faithfully used these tweezers for years (since college!). My current Tweezerman hasn’t been sharpened in about two years, and still works as well as the day I bought it.”
Josie Maran
100% Pure Argan Oil
Sephora, $48 “An all-around amazing oil that I use for just about everything. It smells divine and works on your skin and hair.”
  • Morning Essential: Vitamin C

    Actress (she currently plays Rachel Goldberg on Lifetime’s UnReal), director, producer, and mom of Natalie (4) and Owen (2).


    “I normally wake up without an alarm clock and on a good day, I run downstairs and do a Tracy Anderson DVD to get my body moving. Coffee, baby bottles, warm milk, school lunches…the morning is a total hustle.

    I shower and try to give myself a solid 10 minutes of beauty so I can feel good getting out the door. I like to leave the house as presentable as possible, but depending on the day, who knows which version of me the world is going to get.”
Fresh Pressed Daily Booster
with Pure Vitamin C 10%
Sephora, $19.50 “I’m thrilled I found this: It makes it so easy to add a little sparkle to my skin on a daily basis. I just add two drops to my moisturizer and I’m ready to go, no extra steps needed—it’s the perfect boost for my existing morning routine.”
Mia 1 Skin Cleansing System
Sephora, $129 “I bring a Clarisonic brush to my trailer when I’m shooting long hours. A quick, real wash with it has an immediate effect on my skin.”
The Original
Sephora, $20 “I want my look to be as natural as possible. The BeautyBlender really allows your face to hold your color while working in products easily on the skin.”

More Morning-Routine Essentials

Related: How To Get Clear Skin