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POPSUGAR / paid for by / Sephora

Curious about vitamin C, niacinamide, and lactic acid? We've partnered with Sephora to answer your questions about these skincare heroes.

Forget about a woman tied to the train tracks— after a particularly cold and dry season, your skin is the real damsel in distress. But saving it from dullness, enlarged pores, or uneven texture is a lot easier than you think. In fact, there's an ingredient to tackle each one of those concerns. Meet your newest skincare heroes: vitamin C, niacinamide, and lactic acid.

Whether you're looking to brighten, shrink the appearance of pores, or even out a rough complexion, these supercharged ingredients are here to help. Better still, getting these results is as easy as going to Sephora.

Discover the the mighty ingredients and products ready to save your skin at Sephora, ahead, no distress signal required.

Masked vigilante, who? Vitamin C is the ultimate fighting hero when it comes to brightening complexions fast. The secret: vitamin C is highly acidic, so when used topically, it supports collagen production, causing skin to look bouncy and bright.

When using vitamin C, it’s important to remember the form in which you’re using it. The quickest and most effective way to incorporate it into your routine is in the form of a serum. While a formula like the Drunk Elephant C-Firma™ Vitamin C Day Serum, which utilizes a powerful concentration of 15 percent vitamin C to brighten and firm, is best used in the morning underneath a daily moisturizer (with SPF!), the Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum 20% Vitamin C + 10% AHA is most effective while you sleep to firm and smooth skin, and the Kiehl's Since 1851 Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution utilizes a fast-acting form of the refreshing ingredient in tandem with white birch and peony extract to fade dark spots. Bonus: the latter is gentle enough to be worn day and night.

Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B-3, is the essential nutrient enlarged pores can’t beat. It’s known to support the skin’s barrier, which helps lock in moisture, and in turn can reduce the appearance of pores. A niacinamide-rich serum like the Dr. Dennis Gross Stress Rescue Super Serum will take the stress out of seemingly enlarged pores while fighting redness and blemishes.

It gets better: consider why pores look so big in the first place. This is likely because of an overproduction of sebum and oil, something that’s nearly impossible for you to control on your own. A serum like The Inkey List Niacinamide Oil Control Serum can help by using a multi-molecular hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to balance oil production and hydrate. If you’re looking for an intense niacinamide treatment, then look no further than the Peter Thomas Roth PRO Strength Niacinamide Discoloration Treatment, which uses the B vitamin with a potent acid complex that reduces the look of post-blemish marks and evens skin tone.

“Acid” is the magic word for uneven skin texture. Adding a lactic acid serum to your regular routine is like turning on a beaming searchlight for a smoother complexion. As a part of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family, lactic acid is a master exfoliator. But unlike other acids out there, lactic acid gently exfoliates skin, leaving it visibly even and soft to the touch.

In dire need of overnight results? Test the Biossance Squalane + 10% Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum, which uses a concentration of 10 percent vegan lactic acid to buff skin and squalane to lock in long-lasting moisture. There’s also the Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment that uses a purified form of the AHA to clarify and refine skin to reveal skin so smooth, you may not recognize yourself.

Interested in discovering even more about your skin's next superhero? Head to Sephora now.

Credits: Editor: Samantha Sasso; Art Direction: Meg Konigsburg; Photography: Matthew Zach; Makeup: Mollie Gloss; Hair: Destiny Venice; Production: Alex Friedlander.

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