All of the Most Potent Vitamin C Sources Your Skin Needs to Know About, STAT

Photo: Stocksy/Guille Faingold
As someone who's been told to not only regularly drink vitamin C (thanks, dad) but to put it all over my skin, you can say I'm familiar with the all-star ingredient's benefits. Mainly, that it's a big time antioxidant that boosts your immunity when you eat it, and brightens and restores your skin when you slather it on.

Though I like to consider myself savvy to the ingredient, even I get confused about how to get my vitamin C. Typically (and I think this is true for lots of people) I equate vitamin C with oranges. Or, at the very least, citrus. But you can reap that tried and true antioxidant from a whole platter of fruits, which makes your beauty product shopping that much more fun.

To begin, let's just be clear on why you really want to stock up on a vitamin C skin-care product: "Naturally derived sources of vitamin C have multiple skin-care benefits, since it's an antioxidant that helps to repair free radicals created from sun and environmental damage," says Naissan O. Wesley, MD, FACMS, a board-certified dermatologist and Arbonne scientific advisory board member. "It's also required in order to build collagen." On top of that, it combats oxidative damage and revitalizes lackluster skin for a true glow.

When it comes to the most potent source, oranges aren't actually the top dog. According to Jené Roestorf, biologist and founder of Luxe Botanics, a berry called camu camu has one of the richest amounts of vitamin C in nature. "It has 20 times the amount of vitamin C compared to açai, and 100 times of vitamin C per weight than oranges," she tells me. "Also, when you cold press the berry as a whole, its unique combination of other skin loving ingredients that make the vitamin C stable, enhancing its free radical scavenging properties to combat environmental aggressors, protect and repair the skin."

Another vitamin C superstar is an Aussie fruit called the kakadu plum. "Kakadu plum is a very potent natural source of vitamin C found in Australia," says Dr. Wesley. Then there are strawberries in skin care, which also have more of the brightening ingredient than citrus does. You can also reach for vitamin C MVPs like yuzu, a Japanese super fruit that's a major antioxidant. Or, you know, you can stick with citruses like oranges, clementines, and lemon in your beauty products. Whatever fruit you pick, just do your skin a favor and add one of these to your skin-care regimen for a happier, more even complexion.

Also key for a healthy beauty regimen? Adding in a plumping, hydrating hyaluronic acid serum, along with a retinol, which has anti-aging benefits.

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