The Best Vitamin C Serums to Make Your Skin Glow! Ranked & Reviewed
Vitamin C helps you stay beautiful both inside and out. While we know a tall glass of OJ can have great benefits for our immune system and overall health, it can also bring positive power to your skin. Like moisturizer, sunshine, and light, vitamin C is a must-have for your winter skincare arsenal. Rich in antioxidants, vitamin C can help with everything from hyperpigmentation to soothing acne scars, and evening tone, and simply bringing a bright and renewed flush to your face. The best way to get that vitamin C onto your skin? With a serum. Vitamin C serums are tantalizing topicals that not only hydrate and heal but also serum-based vitamin C can even help fend off free radicals that can have a negative impact on your skin’s DNA. We have rounded up some of our favorite vitamin C serums that are making the cut and invite you to feed your face exactly what it needs this winter.
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Our Top 25 Vitamin C Serum Picks
1. La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum with Salicylic Acid, Anti Aging Face Serum for Wrinkles & Uneven Skin Texture for Sensitive Skin
The best vitamin C serum for acne-prone skin
For those who are seeking a pure vitamin C serum that can help acne-prone skin, this formula from La Roche-Posay is a near-perfect concoction. Thanks to the presence of Salicyclic Acid and Hyaluronic Adic, you can help reduce the visual impact of pores, create a more even skin tone texture, and give your face a delicious dose of moisture without encouraging excess oil. Not only can this face serum help feel skin calm but it is also specially formulated with sensitive skin in mind.
2. Innbeauty Project Green Machine Slushy Serum Moisturizer Crush 1.18 oz
The best vitamin C serum for hydrating skin
Offering a retinol alternative for sensitive skin, this serum moisturizer from Innbeauty brings instant hydration to dry skin thanks to its slushy texture that your face just feeds off. The plant-based retinol also adds to the benefits of this being a moisturizer and serum at the same time – scoring big points on delivering a big drink of water for your face. Hyaluronic acid also helps smooth out the texture along with bringing antiaging benefits to the aesthetic and even helps prevent breakouts. As this serum contains yuzu it also brings a boost of antioxidants and brightening benefits to the table too. A couple of pumps a day is all you need from this sacred slushy formula.
3. L’Oreal Paris Skincare 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid from Revitalift Derm Intensives
The best vitamin C serum that’s easy to get
For those who want an easy vitamin C serum solution that is cost-effective and easy to pick up at the store, L’Oreal Paris Revitalift can be just the pickup you need. The blend of 10% vitamin C meets retinol and hyaluronic acid all adds up to reduced wrinkles, faded dark spots, a more even tone, and a brightening effect that adds up to dreamy dewy skin. While this offering may bring less vitamin C to the table in comparison to other brands, it can be a solid starter choice for those with sensitive skin as it eases them in.
4. Supergoop! Daily Dose Vitamin C + SPF 40 Serum
The best vitamin C serum with SPF
Take your daily medicine with this glorious offering from Supergoop! A daily dose of vitamin C comes stuffed with SPF 40 too so you can step out and face the day in every single way. Not only does it contain plenty of vitamin C but it also comes with niacinamide too. You can use this wonder formula as a serum for an added boost of moisture and help skin heal and even as a makeup primer thanks to its magical matte finish. Radiance boosting, firming, and here to save your skin from UV rays, Supergoop is super good.
5. Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Vitamin C Day Serum
The best vitamin C serum for sensitive skin
Drunk Elephant pulls out all the stops with this beautiful fresh vitamin C serum. Laced with ferulic acid and vitamin E, not only will this serum keep you feeling soft and dewy but it also helps with skin discoloration, and photo-aging, and can firm, smooth, exfoliate and boost radiance with just a few daily drops. Its balanced PH levels and non-irritating ingredients also make it a great choice for sensitive skin types. The presence of pumpkin and pomegranate enzymes also brings a bright flush of luminosity to your skin.
6. Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
The best vitamin C serum for natural skincare lovers
Bursting at the seams with natural goodness, Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum takes a gentle approach to healthy-looking skin. Free from any parabens, fragrances, and phthalates, this fresh and kind vitamin C serum look to the likes of chamomile, vitamin E, ferulic acid, and conjac root powder to deliver a dreamy dose of moisture and magic to your skin. The combination of these ingredients makes for a tightening and smoothing effect – all by just using a few daily drops to see you on your way. This concoction of ingredients is here for the long term and has the added bonus of lessening the effects of visual aging on the skin.
7. CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum
The best vitamin C serum for sticking to your budget
CeraVe is a great budget option for those who want to stack their skin with vitamin C. Free from fragrances and phthalates, and with a generous amount of antoxodiant-rich L-ascorbic acids and hyaluronic acids to boot, this remedy is radiance-boosting. The presence of B5 also helps to calm stressed-out skin and the melody of ingredients works well together to help the skin barrier stay strong and stable. Simply smooth on a thin layer on a day-to-day basis and let this non-comedogenic formula get to work.
8. Skinceuticals C E Ferulic
The best vitamin C serum for a worthy splurge
Ok, this offering from Skinceuticals may be a bit of a splurge but it’s a worthy one. Vitamin E and ferulic acid come together to help the efficacy of the vitamin C bringing all that boosting health to your skin. Hydrating, smoothing, and a dreamy dab hand at improving the elasticity, and texture, and ironing out the damage done by environmental damage – this vitamin C serum is certainly worth raving about. It’s watery in texture rather than textured like creams, this helps your skin absorb every morsel and it has a visual impact both when it comes to the short-term – hello immediate glow, and the long-term – hello healthier and smoother feeling skin. If you are going to splash out, you cannot go wrong with this rave-worthy product.
9. TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum
The best vitamin C serum for mature skin
Vegan-friendly and affordable – there are lots of reasons to love the TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum. A mash-up of vitamin C, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and anti-inflammatory properties make this a true treat for your face. For those wanting to pick a product that goes to work on reducing hyperpigmentation and bringing better elasticity to tired skin, this rave-review product can do all this and more. Users also say it helps to reduce redness, fade dark spots, and just gifts an overall clearer and brighter look to your complexion with noticeable results after a few weeks.
10. PCA Skin C-Quench Antioxidant Serum
The best vitamin C serum for oily skin
Get quenched with the PCA Skin C-Quench Antioxidant Serum. Ever ready to soak you to the bone, this vitamin C-rich antioxidant serum is an excellent choice for oily or acne-prone skin. Helping deal with and diminish fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and more – this formula is antioxidant-rich and ever-ready to strengthen, smooth, and hydrate your face.
11. The Ordinary Vitamin C 23% + HA Spheres 2%
The best vitamin C serum to hydrate and smooth
Despite its humble name, The Ordinary Vitamin C is anything but standard. With a texture that straddles the line between serum and lotion, you certainly feel the plumpness and hydration that this Vitamin C fluid brings to your face. There’s plenty of antioxidant-rich L-ascorbic acid and squalane in the mix which is great for encouraging healthy cell turnover. The hyaluronic acid also helps tighten and smooth. For those who want an all-encompassing solution for all skin types, The Ordinary used nightly will hydrate and heighten the look of healthy skin.
12. Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster
The best vitamin C serum for repairing your skin barrier
Paula’s Choice C15 is stacked with antioxidants, peptides, and ceramides, and stuffed with vitamin E and vitamin C in the stable form of tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. This latter point is important as vitamin C can notoriously be tricky to nail down in a stable form, but Paula’s Choice super booster seems to make it work. A great option for those with sensitive skin, nothing should be triggered by this serum. It also has the added benefits of helping to repair the skin barrier along with hitting multiple signs of aging and can smooth uneven skin which lends an aesthetically pleasing texture along with plump hydration.
13. Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum
The best vitamin C serum for quick results
With a well-tailored ingredients list that promises brighter skin in just a week, it’s easy to become a vitamin c serum convert with this offering from Ole Henriksen Banana Bright. A generous 15% of vitamin C combined with 5% PHA means that skin is exfoliated and plumped back up with moisture. This clever combo leads to a reduction in the visibility of wrinkles, dark spots, and open pores and also ensures that your skin is hydrated which brings a more even and youthful glow. It also helps color correct your skin and targets elasticity.
14. Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil
The best vitamin C serum that makes a great base
More oil than serum, this clean-feeling facial delight is stuffed with star ingredients that will make your skin feel a thousand dollars. The presence of vitamin C, the soothing remedy of rose oil, and the sugarcane-derived squalane all make for a rosy glow. The kind of vitamin C that is found in this bottle from Biossance is a THD ascorbate, which can be better tolerated by the skin than the L-ascorbic acid kind. A few drops on the skin and this formula blends in easily making it a great base for those who want to layer with makeup all while steering clear of pilling. As it absorbs easily and in minutes, you don’t need to stress about a greasy face either.
15. Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum
The best vitamin C serum for an even tone
Let the love of lavender lift you right up with the Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum. A generous 20% of vitamin C and 10% AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) come together to create a brightening serum that will reignite the dewy spark in your skin. Here to lock in moisture, soften and smooth out any rough edges, and bring an even tone across your face, there’s a gentle strength and sense of soothing stashed within the gorgeously designed Tatcha that will help all skin types achieve their bliss.
16. Obagi Medical Professional-C Serum
The best vitamin C serum for less is more
An action-packed formula can be found in the Obagi Medical Professional C-Serum. Laced with high levels of vitamin C, 20% of L-ascorbic acid, and more, it’s a winner for those who want a serum that packs a punch. While it’s certainly going to have an impact on smoothing, brightening, and fading dark spots on the skin, those with sensitive skin may want to build up slowly or use a small amount because with Obagi – a little definitely goes a long way.
17. Murad Vitamin C Triple Exfoliating Facial
The best vitamin C serum for exfoliating
Exfoliate, hydrate, and feed your skin exactly what it needs with this Murad Vitamin C Triple Exfoliating Facial. Bright and buzzy, this remedy is rich in exfoliants that can get to work sloughing away dead skin and ensuring a clear and cleansed, and even palate for boosting hydration. The presence of AHA’s, BHA’s, and various acids are designed to even and brighten your complexion. Working as a mask that you wear for ten minutes, this remedy is a good choice for those who are dealing with oily skin or those looking to reduce the visibility of acne scarring.
18. Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum
The best vitamin C serum for targeting hyperpigmentation
Time to heave out the hyperpigmentation with this potent C-power serum from Peter Thomas Roth. Tons of antioxidants, an easy amount of vitamin E, and ferulic acid come together in this powerful little tube to have an impressive chance at fighting back and fending off dark spots. For those wanting a clear and coherent skin tone that oozes youth, this concentrated concoction has certainly got you covered.
19. Mara Sea Vitamin C Serum
The best vitamin C serum for plant power
Skincare and the sea go together beautifully and Mara Sea Vitamin C Serum is here to back that up. This marine-inspired miracle formula mines a wealth of over fourteen different plants and fruits. There are also three different kinds of adaptogens within the serum, including ginseng, reishi, and chlorella. The melody of all these ingredients leads to skin that can be simultaneously smoothed and brightened in the most natural and soothing manner possible.
20. Youth To The People 15% Vitamin C Clean Caffeine Energy Serum
The best vitamin C serum for a brightening boost
Those wanting to boost their morning routines will find all they need within this Youth to the People Vitamin C Serum. Bringing together 15% of vitamin C and caffeine which is known to give skin a boost and improve circulation, Youth to the People is the party your skin asked for. The caffeine element comes from yerba mate and guayusa which will get blood flowing, reduce puffiness, brighten, and bring a plump hydrating boost to every cell.
21. Ursa Major Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum
The best vitamin C serum for fending off inflammation
A cleansing, calming, and cooly hydrating blend of vitamin C, rosehip, edelweiss, and aloe comes together in this enchanting offering from Ursa Major. Lightweight in texture and style and bringing a boost of instant brightening hydration, this serum is also super soothing which helps fend off inflammation in the skin. There’s also a kindness within this serum as it comes free from parabens, and petrochemicals, and is phthalate-free too. The long-lasting formula of being water-soluble when it comes to its vitamin C offerings also means that it stays fresh on the skin for longer.
What Does Vitamin C Do For Your Skin?
Bursting with antioxidants and super acidic, vitamin C is well suited not only to serums but as a topical treatment for a healthy face. Vitamin c can help with everything from keeping the visual signs of aging at bay to fading dark spots, evening skin tone, and bringing a fresh flush of hydration. The presence of antioxidants means that vitamin C can help neutralize free radicals which are present in environmental factors and known for causing damage to your skin. Here are some more benefits you can expect from welcoming vitamin C into your skincare routine…
- Better collagen production as vitamin C stimulates and stabilizes collagen
- Heightened protection against free radicals
- Vitamin C also encourages the skin’s barrier to heal itself from sun damage and more
- A moisture surge that helps hydrate skin
- Fades and lightens dark spots helping with hyperpigmentation
- Has anti-inflammatory properties which help tame rosacea
- Lessens the visible signs of aging by smoothing tone and fading fine lines and wrinkles
- Brightens your face giving you a youthful and dewy glow
When to Use Vitamin C in Your Skincare Routine?
Welcoming vitamin C into your skincare routine can be done both in the morning and at night. If you are only going to apply it once, you may want to look at your nighttime routine as studies have shown that exposure to UV light can reduce vitamin C levels in the skin. This means application at the end of the day will work best on repairing any damage done by the day – just don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen. You may see better and brighter results using it twice a day – around 8 hours apart. You can simply apply it after undergoing your regular skincare routine of cleansing and toning. You are best moisturizing after adding your vitamin C serum.
*Those with sensitive skin may want to do a little patch test first and wait 24 hours to check that there’s no itching or burning as is true with all skin-care products.
How to Choose the Right Vitamin C Serum
Like all beautiful beauty products, not every vitamin C product on the shelf is born equal and therefore it helps to have some hints on what to look for. When choosing the right serum for your skin, it’s advised to take a few things into consideration. From the quality of the ingredients to the cost bracket – here’s what to watch for when choosing your vitamin C serum.
Look carefully at the active ingredients list when choosing your vitamin C serum. Along with a good dose of vitamin C (10 or 20% is a good number), you may want to also look for other antioxidants used. Look for vitamin E as this can bring plenty of soothing benefits to the skin too and works by helping to stabilize vitamin C too. Ferulic acid is another ingredient to look for as it can calm and lower the PH levels of vitamin C so it’s less acidic against your skin.
The formulation is another essential aspect to look at when it comes to choosing your vitamin C serum. There are many derivatives of vitamin C and some work better than others. An L-ascorbic acid is a form of vitamin C but this one tends to be unstable despite it being one of the best ways in which vitamin C can reach those deeper layers of skin. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is also popular and is a more stable form of vitamin C.
As mentioned above, you want to look for vitamin C serums that have 10% or even 20% of vitamin C stashed in them. This concentration is ideal for giving your skin the boost it needs. Anything less than 10% may not be very effective and anything with a high concentration above 20% runs the risk of causing skin irritation as it’s too acidic.
Beyond pretty packaging, this is actually an important point when choosing your vitamin C serum as the formula often requires an adequate level of protection to keep it working. Because vitamin C is so unstable it needs to be protected from light and heat or it could oxidize. When picking your serum, look for ones that are well-covered or in dark bottles and that invite airless options when it comes to delivery.
Vitamin C serum can bring a lot of benefits to your skincare routine. For those who want to welcome that extra step of protection, hydration, and reducing the aesthetics of aging and hyperpigmentation, then feeding your face vitamin C is a great step. Say farewell to dullness, and poor pigmentation, and welcome in a radiant and glowy look with this potent antioxidant-rich choice of product that dermatology experts swear by.
Which vitamin C serum is good for the face?
There are many great vitamin C serums that are good for the face but a few choice favorites include the following brand offerings:
- Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Vitamin C Day Serum
- Mad Hippie Vitamin C
- La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum
- Skinceuticals C E Ferulic
Which is the best Vitamin C serum for mature skin?
TruSkin Natural Vitamin C Serum is a great choice for mature skin as it uses vitamin C, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and other properties to help boost elasticity in the skin, reduce the visual signs of hyperpigmentation, and brings added moisture to the party.
Which vitamin c serum is best?
There are lots of vitamin C serums out there and each brings its own unique blends and benefits to the party. However, some of the best names we can find include the following:
- Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum
- SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
- CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum
- TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum
- Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
- La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum
Which vitamin C serum has the best reviews?
One of the vitamin C serums that constantly scores top marks when it comes to dermatologists and customers is the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic. Known for hydrating, smoothing, soothing, and having a great set of ingredients and texture that is easily absorbed, it’s a great choice.
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