Inside The Facial That Convinced Me Vitamin C is the Secret to Summer Skin

As much as I love travel, I don’t love post-travel skin. I never get the perfectly sun-kissed glowy look I see all over Pinterest. Instead, my skin is always breaking out, unevenly tanned, and congested from sweating, too much sun, and lots of indulgent food (no regrets, though).

But travel really is brutal on your skin. From dry plane air to inconsistent routines and getting your products thrown out at the airport, I always come back needing a complete skincare reset.

This month, I hopped off the plane at LAX and 36 hours later found myself at Kate Somerville Skin Health Experts Clinic on Melrose for the Mega C Brightening Facial. I had passed this oasis so many times — it’s next to the Alfreds, of course — but my first time inside assured me I’d be back soon.

After ascending the spiral staircase, I entered the bright and luxurious den of beauty. I felt instantly calmer, though that may have just been my relief from getting out of the heat. Soon I was ushered into the pristine treatment room and my life was changed.

Here’s what to expect from the Mega C Brightening Facial:

The Kate Somerville Mega C 30% Vitamin C Treatment starts with a double cleansing ritual featuring softening steam. Getting off the city grime is only the first step. After my face was fresh, my esthetician applied a lactic acid peel to gently exfoliate. As an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), lactic acid helps slough away dead skin cells that can make your skin dull, without over stripping or irritating your skin barrier.

Then, the real fun began. Extractions, hydrojelly, and a mini-massage — oh my!

My esthetician applied a softening gel on my skin to help my post-travel decongestion and prep my face for one of the most satisfying parts of a facial: extractions. If you’re a fan of Dr. Pimple Popper or an avid watcher of beauty TikTok, you’ll know that extractions are when your beauty provider carefully pops your whiteheads and removes the gross stuff clogging your pores. In some cases, they let you see how much gunk they pulled out of your skin — I personally prefer not to know.

But after my extraction, my skin felt super clear and clean. To soothe any lingering redness or irritation, the next step was a hydrojelly mask. Doing a face mask at home is one thing, but feeling hydrating jelly solidify on your face is a feeling I’ll never tire of. Then, if that wasn’t enough, the hydrating O2 quench drenched my face with moisture, giving me a dewy look — not sweaty.

Sometimes after skin treatments, your skin looks alarmingly red or irritated. I mean, it has to get worse to get better. But not after this one. Instantly, I felt like I was glowing.

This is one of the benefits of Vitamin C. Its light-reflecting properties offer the illusion of brighter skin. But what about the long term?

Here are the common benefits of Vitamin C:

About 6 hours after my facial, I was at dinner with a friend who immediately remarked on my skin. 10 points for Kate Somerville. 3 days later, I was at a birthday party where multiple friends commented on my skin and asked what products I was using. “Vitamin C,” I told them. Another 10 points for Kate Somerville.

Now, I don’t skip a day of Vitamin C in my routine. It’s too soon to see if it makes a difference in evening out my complexion, but it has already banished dullness and made me look full of life and vitality — which is an incredible feat for someone who spends an insane amount of time in front of my computer.

Here are the best Vitamin C serums — from my personal favorites to viral, TikTok-approved products:

All products featured are independently selected by our editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

Supergoop! Daily Dose Vitamin C Serum with SPF 40

Youth To The People Vitamin C + Caffeine Energy Serum

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