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Spend 30 seconds in the skincare aisle of any pharmacy or department store and you will almost certainly be bombarded with labels promising skin-renewing, anti-aging and nourishing something or another properties.
Anti-aging is big business. While thousands of products compete to be the top dog in wrinkle avoidance, a quick scan of their ingredient lists reveal one super-ingredient they all seem to share: vitamin C.
Topical vitamin C has a range of skincare benefits like no other. The powerful antioxidant can help brighten skin, increase collagen production, even out skin tone, and target dark spots. It's also a notoriously effective anti-aging ingredient.
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As collagen production is negatively impacted as we get older, L-ascorbic acid has been shown to boost collagen and elastin in the skin, which, in turn, may help keep skin firmer for longer.
SHOP IT: The Ordinary, $5.80
However, vitamin C is also highly unstable and prone to a short shelf life. Exposure to air, light, and heat oxidizes the antioxidant, rendering it more-or-less useless if it's not kept in perfect conditions.
Enter: L-ascorbic acid powder. The powdered version of the antioxidant has all the same benefits as other vitamin C derivatives but is highly stable. This means you can mix and match your powdered vitamin C with other (non-acidic) treatments and reap all of its benefits.
The Ordinary's 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder has become a cult-hit for this reason. If you're familiar with Deciem and The Ordinary brand, you probably know the item has a waitlist more often than it doesn't. The no-fuss topical powder is drastically cheaper than other vitamin C-based products, ringing in at less than $6.
To use The Ordinary's Vitamin C powder, combine a tiny bit of the powder (1/5 of a teaspoon) with a water-based product (for example, a serum or lotion) and apply it to the skin at night. It's normal to experience a slight tingling sensation for the first couple of weeks while your skin is getting adjusted to the new product.
"I'm 40 years old and have normal to dry skin. [The Ordinary's 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder] improves my skin tone, radiance, tightness dramatically - from one day to another," according to one user. "My skin looks just wonderful! Younger! I mean, I look in the mirror and love what I see."
When using the powder, it's important to read the label and not combine it with certain other ingredients like EUK 134 and Niacinamide.
"This has done wonders for my 72-year-old skin. Since using it, I am frequently told I look much younger than I am," writes another reviewer.
The Ordinary's product is infamously always out of stock, so if it sounds like the anti-aging product you've been searching for, you better act quickly. And for less than the price of a Starbucks latte — what do you have to lose?