BFF (Beauty Find Friday): Fight Sun Damage with Vitamin C

A lemon a day keeps sun damage away. Here's how you can even out your skin tone with the power of Vitamin C.

Citrus fruits via Shutterstock

Citrus fruits via Shutterstock

Remember that time you didn’t use SPF this summer? Your skin does, at it’s showing you its appreciation with lovely brown spots—you can call them cute freckles, if it makes you feel better.

You might have heard the old wives’ tale about rubbing lemons on freckles to lighten them. Well, those old wives knew what they were talking about. When topically applied, Vitamin C (a/k/a citric acid, an all-natural antioxidant) has a skin-rejuvenating effect that can fade freckles. And plenty of local salons and beauty-product purveyors are harnessing that sour power.

Here are a few ways you can Vitamin C the light.


Remarkable Radiance-Enhancing Facial
Boston Harbor Hotel’s Rowes Wharf Health Club and Spa

This facial that uses Yon-Ka products (they’re rich in Vitamin C for sun damage), so it’s super fruity. The fruit acids of the soft peel brighten up and hydrate your skin. On the flip side, they also help you say good bye to fine lines. It’s a treatment that’s recommended for dull complexions, or dehydrated or sensitive skin that will renew the natural radiance of your face. (80 minutes, $195)

Pomegranate Peel
Bella Sante Day Spa

An exfoliating concoction of pomegranate, papain enzyme, and lactic acid, Bella Sante‘s anti-inflammatory peel go straight for the skin-damaging free radicals to dissolve away dead skin cells. It boasts the effect of “softened, evened skin tone; especially beneficial for hyper-pigmentation and sun damage.” (30 minutes, $125)

The Time Reverse Facial
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental

This “results-driven nourishing treatment” is based on a formula of vitamins, including Somme’s Serum with a high concentration of Vitamin C. It helps with smoothing over fine lines, reversing sun damage, and adjusting brown spots. (80 minutes, $200-$220)


If you’re a DIY gal, take matters into your own hands by adding potent Vitamin C to your at-home skin regimen. When searching for a Vitamin C product, be sure to look for darker bottles. Sunlight can make the antioxidant less potent.

Peter Thomas Roth Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Mask

Giving real meaning to the term beauty sleep, this cream has the power of the camu camu berry, a little red bundle that is claimed to house 30 times the Vitamin C of an orange. And in fact, the cream goes on orange-colored, but it’s an overnight treat, so no one will see. (Available at Sephora stores)

Be Curly Aveda Collection

This hair treatment also benefits from a Vitamin C boost: From its rich intensive detangling masque to every day co-wash, this line improves the look of your curls. Vitamin C exfoliates the hair so it curls better and shines. (Available at Pyara Aveda Salons, 1050 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, and 101 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington)

Philosophy Turbo Booster C Powder

Just a dusting of this powder and you can turn your favorite moisturizer or eye cream into a superpower. It boasts 99.8% potency, fighting free radical damage while also lightening hyperpigmentation. The result: a more even skin tone. (Available at Sephora stores)

DIY Lemon Juice Treatment

Or simply hit the fridge. Pure lemon juice has lightening properties to help bleach dark spots quickly. Dab on freshly squeezed juice to the affected area, massage in for about 15 minutes, and then rinse with warm water.

Consider this: When life gives you lemons, now you can use them to get brighter skin.


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