Brighten Up: The Power of Topical Vitamin C for Your Skin

 Professional-C Serums Collection

Vitamin C isn't just a go-to remedy for sniffles and sneezes. It's a skincare superhero that's proven to transform skin to its most radiant. Think of this powerful antioxidant as the ultimate “glow up” in a daily skincare regime, a multitasker that's all about leaving skin looking brighter and healthier.

It’s no wonder vitamin C has its own spot on the calendar, with April 4 marking Vitamin C Day, a day when skincare enthusiasts across the U.S. unite in their love for this radiance-boosting ingredient. So, what are the facts about vitamin C serum, and how can you add it into your daily skincare routine? In celebration of Vitamin C Day, let’s take a closer look at this vital ingredient.


Total Skin Transformer

When it comes to transforming your complexion, vitamin C is a proven game-changer. The benefits of topical vitamin C, especially in its most potent form as L-ascorbic acid, have been widely studied. It’s known for its ability to stimulate collagen production—vital for skin’s structural integrity and elasticity—and for neutralizing free radicals, unstable molecules that can accelerate aging by damaging skin cells. According to a study in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, consistent use of vitamin C serum over a period of 12 weeks can markedly diminish the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology also found vitamin C capable of inhibiting melanin production, which in turn, lightens dark spots and leads to a more even skin tone. And yet another study found vitamin C reduced the appearance of dark patches or age-related freckles in 19 out of 35 people who used it.


More Than Just a Pretty Face

Beyond its aesthetic benefits, studies in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found topical application of vitamin C increases healing, effectively reducing the redness and inflammation associated with sun exposure, which may minimize the risk of long-term damage caused by UV rays. Vitamin C acts like a hydrator as well. By promoting collagen production and enhancing moisture retention, it helps plump and hydrate the skin from within, resulting in a more dewy, youthful glow.


What to Look For

Not all vitamin C serums are created equal. The most powerful and beneficia form of vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid. Unlike traditional vitamin C serum, L-ascorbic acid is a water-soluble antioxidant that boasts superior stability, making it the gold standard in skincare. It’s also the form of vitamin C that Obagi includes in its Professional-C® Collection daily vitamin C serum formulations. To maximize efficacy, Obagi formulations are based on skin types with options that include 10% for dry, sensitive skin; 15% for normal to combination skin; and 20% for oilier skin types.

Professional-C Vitamin C Serums
Professional-C Vitamin C Serums

The Dynamic Duo

If you think vitamin C on its own is amazing, when you pair it with peptides the benefits are even more amplified. Peptides are short chains of amino acids—the building blocks of proteins—that play a crucial role in supporting the skin's structure and rejuvenation. Peptides work by penetrating the skin’s upper layers and “signaling” the skin to increase collagen synthesis, improving firmness, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Combined with vitamin C, skin benefits from enhanced anti-aging benefits including improved skin texture and increased resilience against external stressors. Obagi’s Professional-C Peptide Complex Serum is the ideal addition to your routine as it contains amino peptide acetyl octapeptide-3 to smooth skin and visibly reduce the appearance of the depth of wrinkles.


Vitamin C Routine Basics

Eager to get that vitamin C glow? Here are some Obagi routines that can seamlessly integrate vitamin C and peptides into your daily regimen:


Morning Routine: Protect & Glow

  1. Start with Obagi Nu-Derm® Foaming Gel Cleanser.
  2. Smooth on your chosen Obagi Vitamin C serum to clean, dry skin.
  3. Smooth on Obagi Hydrate® Facial Moisturizer.
  4. Finish with Obagi Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen to protect against UVA/UVB rays.

Evening Routine: Repair & Rejuvenate

  1. Start with Obagi Nu-Derm® Foaming Gel Cleanser.
  2. Apply Professional-C® Peptide Complex.
  3. Add a pea size amount of Obagi360® Retinol 1.0, avoiding lips and eyes.
  4. Finish with a rich overnight moisturizer like Obagi Hydrate Luxe®.

Special Occasion: Immediately Brighter Skin

  1. Start with your favorite Obagi cleanser.
  2. After drying, apply Professional-C® Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask and rinse as directed.
  3. Dry skin before applying your chosen Obagi Vitamin C serum (% based on your skin type).
  4. Lightly apply Obagi Nu-Derm® Clear Fx to help even out skin tone.
  5. Smooth on Obagi Hydrate® Facial Moisturizer.
  6. Finish with Obagi Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen to fend off UVA/UVB rays.

By welcoming vitamin C serum with L-ascorbic acid into your beauty routine and pairing it with the firming force of peptides, you're all set to unveil skin that's not just glowing, but radiantly healthy-looking.


1. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications.
2. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. The effect of Vitamin C on melanin pigmentation – A systematic review.
3. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Inhibitory effect of magnesium L-ascorbyl-2-phosphate (VC-PMG) on melanogenesis in vitro and in vivo
4. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications.


with clinically-proven results
Serum 20% Serum 20%
Serum 20%
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Peptide Complex Peptide Complex
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Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask
Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask
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Serum 15% Serum 15%
Serum 15%
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Foaming Gel Foaming Gel
Foaming Gel
Regular price $45.00
Clear Fx Clear Fx
Clear Fx
Regular price $113.00
Hydrate® Facial Moisturizer Hydrate® Facial Moisturizer
Hydrate® Facial Moisturizer
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Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50
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Retinol 1.0 Retinol 1.0
Retinol 1.0
Regular price $79.00
Hydrate Luxe® Hydrate Luxe®
Hydrate Luxe®
Regular price $78.00