Best vitamin c serum should be included in everyone’s skincare routine, regardless of age or skin type. It’s well-known and adored for its brightening and anti-aging properties, and dermatologists praise it for being one of the most powerful antioxidants available. While there is some low-cost best vitamin c serum available, the bulk of formulae are on the pricey side. They are, however, well worth the effort because a highly concentrated best vitamin c serum will protect against potentially harmful environmental aggressors such as UV radiation, pollution, and smoke1, while also correcting existing damage2.
Top 20 Best Vitamin C Serum For Glowing Radiant Skin
They’re also great for leveling out and brightening a mottled complexion. best vitamin c serum is a multi-tasking brightening agent since its antioxidant capabilities protect against UV light exposure while simultaneously inhibiting tyrosinase, the enzyme that promotes melanin pigment formation,” dermatologist Dr. Jessie Cheung says. Best vitamin c serum 2021 is a volatile topical substance that degrades when exposed to light or air. So, to retain product efficacy, airtight, opaque packaging is required.
Best vitamin c serum also interacts well with other antioxidants, so treatments that combine it with other active ingredients may work twice as hard on your skin troubles. Also, keep your skin type in mind—stronger versions of the vitamin, such as L-ascorbic acid, are effective but potentially irritating, whereas gentler types are great for delicate skin. Here are the top vitamin C serums for brightening your skin to add to your beauty routine.
1. Best Overall: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is one of the most well-known vitamin C serums. It’s earned a few honors and is a favorite among dermatologists worldwide. The excitement is undoubtedly justified since this vitamin C serum is genuinely unique—even the entire Byrdie squad is on board! To help balance out pigmentation, the solution contains high amounts of pure vitamin C (15%), vitamin E (1%), and ferulic acid (.5%). The powerful combination also protects the skin throughout the day by neutralizing free radicals created by UVA/UVB rays, infrared radiation, and pollution. Simply apply 4-5 drops to your face every morning, and you’ll see why it has stood the test of time.
2. Best Budget: TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum
This moisturizing serum has been meticulously created to restore aged skin. It combines vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E to restore firmness, battle dullness, and treat discoloration, among other things. The recipe also contains MSM, a sulfur component found naturally in the body that is thought to preserve and boost collagen formation inside the skin when taken orally, making it a good alternative for individuals who are concerned about lines, wrinkles, and sagging.
3. Best vitamin c serum Korean: Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster
With a price tag of just under $50, this strategically crafted serum is a great alternative to SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic at a lower cost. It contains the same hero nutrients (brightening and smoothing vitamins C and E, as well as free-radical fighting ferulic acid) as well as skin-boosting peptides, which may help your skin’s natural collagen synthesis. It also includes hyaluronic acid, which aids in the hydration and plumping of fine lines and wrinkles. Overall, it’s a good option for an evening out uneven texture and tone, smoothing the skin, and protecting against environmental stresses.
4. Best vitamin c serum for Oily Skin: SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF
Say welcome to Phloretin CF, SkinCeuticals’ lesser-known cousin to C E Ferulic. Despite its cult-like devotion, many people are unaware that C E Ferulic is best suited to those with dry or normal skin. However, if your skin tends to be oily, this serum is a better choice for you. We prefer this product over C E Ferulic for mild to oily skin types. Many individuals read glowing reviews about C E Ferulic but are unaware that Phloretin is a better fit for their skin type! “Helen Koo, Dermstore’s senior marketing manager, says. This serum includes vitamin C, ferulic acid, and 2% phloretin to help neutralize free radicals, promote cell turnover, and reduce discoloration.
5. Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum
While most vitamin C serums include L-ascorbic acid, this one contains tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, a stable, oil-soluble form of vitamin C. If you have acne-prone skin, we highly recommend adding this potent vitamin C serum to your arsenal. It includes glycolic acid, which is recognized for its exfoliating properties, in addition to its fancy strain of vitamin C. The one-of-a-kind formula helps to repair discolored acne scars while also avoiding future outbreaks. Unlike other liquid vitamin C serums, this one has a thicker, richer consistency—almost like a moisturizer. Having said that, the substance dissolves easily into the skin, leaving you gleaming.
6. Best for Sensitive Skin: Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Vitamin C Day Serum
This vitamin C serum is made up of a long list of high-quality components. Pumpkin and pomegranate enzymes promote cellular turnover and gently exfoliate the skin, and vitamin C and ferulic acid naturally brighten and protect the skin. Furthermore, the cooling feeling of this transparent gel calms even the most irritated and sensitive skin. After cleaning your face, neck, and chest in the morning, apply a pea-sized quantity all over your face, neck, and chest. C-Firma has a reservoir effect on the skin, which means it may operate for up to 72 hours without being rinsed or rubbed off (we like to justify the price with this).
7. Best for Dark Skin Tones: EADEM Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum with Niacinamide and Vitamin C
This luscious milky serum from EADEM is specifically formulated for the skin of color, reducing the appearance of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and scars while combating acne and improving overall radiance. The solution, which includes niacinamide, amber algae, and encapsulated vitamin C, is powered by the brand’s Smart Melanin Technology and helps to brighten discoloration without lightening overall skin tone. It also contains papaya and pineapple enzymes to gently smooth out rough texture without causing irritation, and it’s fragrance-free, making it suitable for individuals with sensitive skin.
8. Best for Rosacea: iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance +
This dermatologist-recommended serum is a luxury that pays off; it has a potent blend of antioxidants and botanicals to both protect and relax the skin, according to Cheung, who considers it a favorite. More precisely, vitamin C collaborates with vitamins E and A to cure, soothe, and revitalize the skin, making it a lifesaver for people suffering from acne or rosacea. It also has anti-aging properties due to the presence of olive leaf extract, which provides antioxidant protection against free radical damage.
9. Best for Hyperpigmentation: BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner
This skin refiner contains 20% pure vitamin C, the highest proportion available over-the-counter, allowing for some rather potent benefits. Because vitamin C is notoriously difficult to stable, the brand employs a proprietary encapsulation technology to keep the serum from breaking down and losing its potency. It also contains anti-aging EGCG, moisturizing squalane, and pH-balancing tartaric acid. Overall, this serum improves your skin’s luminosity and shine while also making long-term improvements to the way it appears and feels. The serum acts to reduce fine wrinkles, remove dark spots, and brighten the face overall when used on a daily basis.
10. Best Anti-Aging: Obagi Medical Professional-C Serum 20%
This down-to-business brightening serum from Obagi is simply one of the finest, hands down. It has an even greater concentration of vitamin C than C E Ferulic (a whopping 20%, to be exact). It penetrates deeply and is intended to protect the skin from UV damage, remove dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and promote collagen and elastin development. It also has hyaluronic acid accents, which aid in keeping the skin’s moisture levels lovely and healthy.
11. Best Exfoliating: OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum
Do you have dull, clogged skin? Look no farther than OLEHENRIKSEN’s exfoliating serum. The vegan composition contains a robust dosage of 15% vitamin C and has a substantial brightening and anti-aging effect. In addition to the brightening effects of vitamin C, this lightweight serum contains 5% polyhydroxy acids, an AHA alternative that exfoliates the face by loosening and lifting dead skin cells to reveal a fresh, radiant complexion. It also includes hyaluronic acid, which provides an additional burst of moisture.
12. Best vitamin c serum for acne scars: KLUR Brilliant Light Multi-Correctional Repair Serum
If you want to heal skin damage while increasing overall luminosity, go no farther than KLUR’s antioxidant serum. This product helps treat and protect against many symptoms of damage while leaving the skin completely shining, thanks to a robust 20% concentration of the best vitamin c serum for acne scars, vitamin E, and rosehip seed. The composition also absorbs quickly, making it ideal for layering beneath moisturizer and sunscreen without pilling.
13. Best With Hyaluronic Acid: Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
Kiehl’s recently reformulated this recipe with a greater concentration of pure vitamin C (called L-ascorbic acid) and moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid. Because this composition helps brighten the face and enhance skin texture while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, the ingredients are a marriage made in heaven. A real consumer favorite, a bottle of this vitamin C serum is claimed to sell at a pace of more than one per minute throughout the world—and we’re not surprised!
14. Best vitamin c serum drugstore: THE ORDINARY Vitamin C 23% + HA Spheres 2%
Canadian cosmetics company The Ordinary provides cost-effective alternatives to more expensive skincare products without losing efficacy. This serum, which combines the best vitamin c serum drugstore with moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid, does not let you down. It not only brightens and improves uneven skin tone and texture, but it also decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while delivering a gentle plumping effect to the face. It hydrates, smoothes, and brightens the skin while only costing $6.
15. Best collagen-boosting: Dr. Dennis Gross C + Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum
This serum is invigorating and revitalizing, combining vitamin C with collagen-boosting, skin-renewing amino acids, and a patented energy complex that recharges the skin, allowing you to witness a dramatic improvement in firmness and dark spots over time. It also has skin-friendly niacinamide, which works hard to heal damage and restore the skin’s barrier. It’s ideal to massage it into your skin before moisturizing to seal in the vitamin C potency and create a brightening impact on your complexion.
16. Best vitamin c serum for oily skin: InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum
This best vitamin c serum for oily skin has a slew of powerful ingredients, including hydration-boosting hyaluronic acid, antioxidant powerhouse ferulic acid, barrier-repairing sea buckthorn oil, and rejuvenating plant stem cells. It not only protects the skin from external aggressors, but it also brightens the overall complexion by decreasing the appearance of sunspots, discoloration, and hyperpigmentation, as well as enhancing the skin’s general texture and tone. It also helps that the pricing is relatively reasonable for a completely natural formula.
17. Runner-Up, Best Natural: Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
Because vitamin C serums are so potent, many of them might elicit tingling or burning sensations when applied. This natural solution, on the other hand, is free of chemicals and preservatives, making it soft enough for even the most sensitive skin types but still strong enough to make a difference. This green cosmetic choice has a delightful citrus scent and glides on smoothly, leaving the skin tightened and brightened. Apply a few drops to your face in the morning and you will see a significant difference after a few weeks.
18. Best Organic: Eminence Organic Skin Care Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil
If you want to locate an organic vitamin C serum but also appreciate the appearance of a heavy-duty serum like SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, go no further than this Eminence choice. It contains rejuvenating jojoba and rosehip oils, as well as a skin-firming, texture, and tone-improving blend of vitamins C and E. The professional combination of botanical actives adjusts beautifully to the rest of your skincare regimen, leaving you with a naturally radiant glow.
19. Best Soothing: PCA Skin C-Quench Antioxidant Serum
PCA Skin is a favored brand among the world’s greatest dermatologists (and is frequently the brand of choice used in-office for more severe treatments like chemical peels), although it is less well-known on a commercial level. This hydrating and nourishing serum contains a unique blend of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, lilac leaf cell culture extract (derived from lilac flower cells to help ease inflammation), denotifying glutathione, and ergothioneine, an antioxidant amino acid that protects the skin from UV ray-induced oxidative damage.
20. Best Hydrating: Lumene Valo Vitamin C Glow Boost Essence
This product is referred to be an essence, yet it works, looks, and feels just like a serum. The lightweight liquid penetrates quickly into the skin, lightening it while also replenishing it with moisture. The non-greasy composition combines arctic cloudberry (a vitamin C-rich fruit) and pure arctic spring water with two types of moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid. As a result, The ideal formula for radiant skin. We also enjoy how, like many vitamin C serums, it has a pleasantly refreshing citrus smell.
Vitamin C, which is recognized for its brightening, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties, should be included in everyone’s skincare routine. Though it’s a splurge (and smells like hot dog water), the finest vitamin C serum is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic. TruSkin Vitamin C Serum is a favorite of ours (along with hundreds of other satisfied customers), and it costs less than $40.
What to Look for in a Vitamin C Serum for Brightening
A Bottle that is Transparent
When exposed to light and/or oxygen, vitamin C is intrinsically unstable and quickly degrades. As a result, Cheung recommends seeking out items packaged in opaque bottles (bonus points if they have an air-tight pump dispenser). Similarly, keep your vitamin C serum in a cold, dark spot at all times.
L-Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C)
Cheung recommends shopping for this sort of vitamin C, the most strong and active variety, to get the most bang for your budget. Having said that, it is the most expensive and has the largest chance of causing discomfort. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate are two less potent forms.
Antioxidants from Other Sources
According to Cheung, vitamin C acts synergistically, or extremely well with other antioxidants such as vitamin E and ferulic acid.
What is the function of vitamin C serum?
Vitamin C serves three purposes, according to dermatologist Jennifer Herrmann, MD. The first is that it protects against environmental stresses and free radicals, which is an antioxidant benefit that slows the indications of aging and minimizes overall damage. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen formation, which provides our skin with greater support and structure. Finally, because vitamin C is a brightening agent, a serum containing it can help to balance out skin tone and remove hyperpigmentation.
When should vitamin C serums be used?
Many individuals have strong opinions about when to use vitamin C serums, disputing whether the component should be used to protect skin during the day or replenish it at night. Herrmann says you may use it at any time of day, but consistency is essential.
How should vitamin C serums be used?
Herrmann suggests using serum after cleaning. Additionally, avoid taking it in conjunction with other active substances, such as benzoyl peroxide. For example, if you use a benzoyl peroxide treatment at night, use your vitamin C serum first thing in the morning.
How frequently should vitamin C serums be applied?
Herrmann recommends using vitamin C serum every day or every other day, depending on your lifestyle and the results you seek. If you already alternate numerous other actives, you may use it every other day; if you want to substantially remove hyperpigmentation, you could use it every day.