The Latest Look: The Power of Vitamin C

vitamin c
Olivia Alcorn
by: Olivia Alcorn
Our monthly trends report for March looks at the power of vitamin C in skincare products and we explore why industry experts are loudly championing the brightening ingredient that’s got everyone glowing!

Over the last 12 months, search volume for vitamin C has significantly increased with consumers looking for harder-working products. We recently joined the Grazia skin sessions with leading Dermatologist Dr Emma Craythorne who covered all things vitamin C in skincare products and why it’s such a key ingredient, as well as the continual interest in Vit C that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. 

Here, we look at the search trends and sales growth for vitamin C-based skin products from 2020 and consider why consumers decided to invest in the best-studied antioxidant used in skincare. Before outlining how you can get in on this trend. 

The Power Of Vitamin C In Search

Lockdown saw more of us than ever considering our daily skincare routine with 43% of UK consumers admitting to simplifying their daily beauty regime. Time spent in lockdown appears to have made more people think about their skin, with a huge 96% of consumers stating they’d rather invest in skincare than make-up, which is reflected in the trends chart below.

Over the summer months, the search for vitamin C was at its highest with the reported sales growth of 37% for vitamin C serums in June 2020, according to Vogue Beauty reports. That’s the second most popular product behind vitamin B3, or Niacinamide, which saw a sales increase of 193%! This interest in the key ingredients in products, and not necessarily the brands, highlights the education and information consumers are looking for online.

Perhaps it was the lack of access to professional treatments that made consumers want to invest in a DIY-style hard-working regime? Or the fact that we spent the whole of 2020 staring at our faces on various screens? Whatever the driver, consumers are actively searching for educational and informal pieces on the best vitamin C products to invest in. 

As the search results show, consumers are looking for information on how to include vitamin C in their skincare routines, with ‘routine’, ‘serum’ and ‘products with’ being the top searched phrases.

There’s also a big difference when it comes to devices and people searching for vitamin C-related skincare products, as a huge 72.4% are using their mobile devices compared to any other device. This could be down to the source of their interest coming from social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, inspiring them to then look for products.

Why Consumer Interest Has Grown 

So, why is Vitamin C so important and why are skin gurus like Caroline Hirons and Dr Emma Craythoren telling us to use it every day? Well, it’s the best-studied antioxidant ever used in a skincare routine, thanks to dermatologists discovering that Vitamin C is important for fighting free radicals, pollution particles, and damage. 

Not only does it help protect our skin against UV, pollution and other oxidative stress like smoke, it also protects the DNA in our cells, helping to stop melanin from being overproduced which leads to brown marks or pigmentation.

As if that’s not enough, vitamin C has also been scientifically proven to act as a radiation screen, providing a solid barrier of SPF against the biggest skin ageing element, the sun. The science bit, shared on the #SkinSessions by SkinCeutical’s Dr Emma Craythorne is:

“[sic]… in it’s purest form, L-ascorbic acid targets (vitamin C) the water part of skin cells which means it’s also great for repairing the skin at night, helping to rejuvenate skin and lessen discolouration.”

It would also seem clear that behind every search term, consumers are actively looking to invest in products. Brands like The Body Shop and The Ordinary have been quick to recognise there is serious buying intent behind more generic searches too, with Google Shopping being the top feature for broad terms like ‘Skin care Vitamin C’. This type of display advertising is more expensive but the brands appearing in the top results recognise the return is definitely worth it.

How Brands Are Highlighting Vitamin C On their Sites

So, how are brands making the most of this surge in search to reach consumers who are actively searching for products containing vitamin C? Many are dedicating category landing pages to this popular ingredient, enhancing their chances of ranking in the top search results. 

The likes of Cult Beauty and Beauty Pie’s shopping experience for Vitamin C is a great demonstration of how brands can serve the customers effectively online. Search for Vitamin C and within the search bar it generates suggested products (their best selling, best reviewed Vitamin C capsules).

Following through with the search the user lands on a dedicated Vitamin C landing page, complete with well optimised, informative content on why we should use vitamin C, its benefits and even top tips. The search results serve not only informative content but the most relevant products.

Look fantastic dedicates an entire sub-category page to collating and listing all products it sells that has Vitamin C in, with clever page structuring from URL down. 

Cult Beauty has made an ‘ingredient focus’ series and features Vitamin C as their top one, offering consumers some high-level information about why it’s such a sought-after ingredient.

And, Boots allows you to shop all products with this ingredient while, in their page banner, encouraging users to click through and learn more about the benefits. 

In fact, the brands who are dominating this hugely popular search landscape are doing so by featuring the keyword throughout their website, collating all relevant products onto one handy landing page and letting that do all the hard work. 

Brands are consistently including the ingredient in the products name which not only helps with their organic ranking on SERPs for this term, but helps the user know the key ingredient in the products. 

Skin Ceuticals have taken this one step further and have an ingredients header in their menu, with all Vitamin C products being shoppable in just 2 clicks.

Their product pages cater for those looking for top level benefits, as well detailed product descriptions including ingredient percentages and composition with clear visuals depicting this information.

However, there is a growing trend where information is key when attracting consumers to visit a site and browse vitamin C based products. So, many brands, like Boots, also have guide-style content where users can read more around the topic should they want to. This is well-optimised for longtail keyword terms and makes sure to answer common vitamin C FAQs. 

Byrdie has a guide ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Vitamin C’, The Ordinary has ‘The Ordinary Guide to Vitamin C’ and Paula’s Choice ‘What is Vitamin C and How Does it Benefit Skin?’.  

Longtail-optimised content will be highly targeted, ensuring an engaged user, and the search volumes are higher than you may think:

  • why vitamin c is good for skin – 320/mo
  • best vitamin c serum recommended by dermatologist – 260/mo
  • vitamin c serum side effects – 170/mo
  • how does vitamin c help your skin – 90/mo
  • best form of vitamin c for skin – 50/mo
  • does vitamin c serum cause acne – 40/mo
  • is vitamin c good for acne prone skin – 10/mo

So, What Are Our Top Tips for Marketing Vitamin C Products?

  1. Google Shopping ads
  2. Writing a well-optimised landing page 
  3. Including the key ingredient within the product title
  4. Creating and linking your category page to longtail-focussed guide content

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