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It’s hard to go searching for any skin product without coming across a vitamin C serum. With so many incredible benefits, this should be a staple in your daily routine. It helps with everything from anti-aging to clearing to skin brightening. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that supports the skin’s natural repair mechanisms and reverses damage caused by aging. It also boosts collagen formation, a crucial protein for increasing skin elasticity and diminishing wrinkles.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is found naturally in the dermal and epidermal layers of the skin. Unfortunately aging and environmental stressors such as pollution and UV damage deplete the amount found in the skin. Thankfully, serums that can be applied topically are one solution to restore some of that lost vitamin C.
What to look for when selecting a serum? Different forms of vitamin C are available and some are more stable than others. Vitamin C oxidizes quite easily if it’s not in the right form, which means it becomes less effective or can cause the skin to become discolored. It’s important to look carefully at the product directions for use as some serums should only be applied in the morning while others can be applied in the morning or evening.
Most brands recommend adding a good SPF after application when using it during the day as the serum can make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage. However, using it in the morning can help protect your skin throughout the day from other environmental stressors such as pollution. Using the serum at night allows it to work with the skin’s natural repair processes, which are more active at night. Some experts also say that caution should be taken when mixing products. For example, if using vitamin C in the evenings, vitamin A should not be applied at the same time as this could cause a reaction.
Although vitamin C can be purchased as a powder, serums are carefully formulated with ingredients to help the vitamin C be properly absorbed into the skin. But you still want to be selective when deciding on your product as quality makes all the difference when it comes to skin.
We have found some of the top brands with products heavily backed by research and clinical expertise. Their formulations include a range of healthy and beneficial ingredients that have produced exceptional results. Read on to find the best vitamin C for your face.
The number one on the list is the Blu Atlas Vitamin C Serum, and for a good reason. This stuff undoubtedly works and it is an absolute lifesaver for damaged, dull or aging skin. The formulation clears your skin, evens the skin tone and rejuvenates stressed skin. If you’re looking for a youthful glow, this serum has everything your skin needs for a full facial reset.
Blu Atlas has come up with a potent mixture of ingredients. The vitamin C used in this product detoxifies the skin and promotes the formation of collagen for better elasticity and firmer skin. Mulberry root extract fades the appearance of discolored or pigmented skin, calms irritations and even reduces wrinkles. Aloe vera helps moisture to sink into the skin and provides high antioxidant activity.
This serum even contains a high concentration of hyaluronic acid for soft and dewy skin. Blu Atlas has an incredible range of skincare products, is made in New York and is carefully designed for men. These products are unisex, however, so women can use them too. Blu Atlas products have received amazing reviews from top beauty and health publications. All of their products are 100% vegan, are full of natural ingredients and don’t contain any artificial fragrances, sulfates, parabens or phthalates, all of which can aggravate the skin.
It can be used in the mornings or evenings and should be applied after cleansing. Users report that it’s the best addition to their skin routine, with some stating that they never forget to use it every morning. This is an outstanding serum and hard to beat for gorgeous skin, which is why it tops our list. It literally feels like a drink for your skin. The only downside we could find is that it sells out quickly, so you’ll need to be proactive in ordering.
2. Dr Dennis Gross C + Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum
Among serums backed by clinicians, the Dr Dennis Gross C + Collagen is one of our favorites. The company was founded by Dr Dennis Gross, an experienced clinician and dermatologist. It’s an award winning skincare brand and is known for achieving noticeable results. The manufacturer states that this serum can treat issues with dull skin and pigmentation.
This could be due to the high concentration of collagen added, which is a stand out feature of the Dr Dennis Gross serum. Collagen is a superfood for your skin and the vitamin C and collagen combo is what seems to help brighten the skin and even out the complexion. Plus, the form of vitamin C used in this serum is extremely stable, so it works more effectively to reverse hyperpigmentation.
The product also includes carnitine, which is generally used as an energy supplement. The company claims it can help provide energy to the cells on the skin’s surface to prevent them from becoming damaged. Lactic acid is also included in this formulation as a chemical exfoliant to clear the skin and reverse signs of dullness. This serum is certainly a fresh face in a bottle.
It does seem that this product has some quite strong ingredients, which gives fast-acting results. Although it’s free of sulfates and parabens, the ingredients list is still quite extensive and some of the additives may not be well tolerated by people with skin sensitivities.
If your skin generally handles products well, then go for it. This is a great choice. One to two pumps should be applied to clean skin in the morning or evening. The price is also rathy hefty, but the quality is superb. You can also trust this brand as all of their products are very carefully formulated by skincare experts and based on huge amounts of research.
3. Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum
Sunday Riley has blown up all over the internet, so it’s quite likely you’ve come across this product in your search for brighter skin. They’ve named this serum C.E.O. which is fitting as it means business in terms of skin management and it most certainly gets results. This formulation is kind to your skin, but also potent.
The type of vitamin C used in this product is called THD ascorbate, which is a strong form that provides protection against damage from aging. This form of THD is also much more stable than ascorbic acid, which means it is less likely to oxidize (which can result in undesirable skin staining).
Glycolic acid cleanses and exfoliates the skin by removing dead skin cells, which helps to leave your face feeling like new. They’ve also added hyaluronic acid, an incredible ingredient for intense hydration and skin plumping. Users state that they notice more glowing skin, a healthier looking complexion and that their pores decrease in size.
If you’re looking for smooth, soft and brighter skin, the Sunday Riley serum is a lifesaver. The brand also puts a large focus on being environmentally friendly and is “Green Lab certified” for sustainability. This serum is vegan and doesn’t contain any fragrance, parabens or sulfates. It’s recommended you apply two pumps to clean skin in the mornings for a glowing face throughout the day, or in the evening to allow the vitamin C to work its magic.
4. Aspect Dr Active C Serum
This is an all round powerful vitamin C serum, which is incredible for brighter and tighter skin. It’s great for pretty much every skin type, but especially those with aged, dehydrated and problematic skin. This is a top quality serum and once you start using it, you’ll notice a huge difference in your skin.
Aspect Dr products are made in Australia and according to the brand, over 20 years of research and development has gone into their formulations. It appears they use particularly high concentrations of active ingredients and try to avoid chemicals known to cause allergies or irritation.
This serum doesn’t contain any harmful fragrances or parabens. The majority of the ingredients are natural, which is ideal if you’re looking to find something that’s still extremely effective but want to minimize the chemical load on your skin. The form of vitamin C in this product is ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, which is oil soluble, making for much faster absorption.
Canadian willowherb extract is used for calming and soothing irritated skin. The product also contains a specific peptide complex that’s supposed to help with increasing skin elasticity and work to give you a glowing, youthful appearance.
Aspect Dr products are highly recommended by beauty professionals and once you try this serum, you’ll see why. Users have stated that their skin is firmer and younger looking and that they don’t feel the need to use as much makeup as the serum has cleared spots and evened out their skin tone. For use, the company recommends only applying this serum in the morning and always using sunscreen afterwards. This one feels amazing on your skin and you’ll definitely notice results after just a couple of times using the product.
5. Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum
For plump skin and an even skin tone, the Mario Badescu vitamin C serum will sort you out. The manufacturer claims this serum increases elasticity and firms up the skin. Customer reviews report amazing results such as significantly smoother and younger looking skin.
Some users have stated that it completely resolved their pigmentation. With added collagen and hyaluronic acid, this dewy concoction is definitely worth a try. Another key ingredient is aloe vera for helping bind moisture to the skin, which makes it great if you suffer from dryness.
This serum has a silky texture, which feels a little heavier when first applied but is quickly absorbed into the skin. It’s also quite a well tolerated serum that doesn’t appear to irritate the skin. If your skin is looking dull and needs a brighten, this is a great product to try. Results can be seen in as little as a week.
The manufacturer’s recommendation is to always follow application with sun protection. This is so that you don’t expose yourself to unnecessary damage since vitamin C resurfaces the skin making it slightly more susceptible to UV rays. The product also mentions that care should be taken not to mix with retinol (vitamin A) products or AHAs as irritation can occur and the vitamin C can become unstable or ineffective.
This product is a great value as it comes at a slightly cheaper price than many vitamin C serums out there. What’s more, it’s vegan and free of nasty sulfates and parabens. This is a highly recommended product that’s really affordable and has amazing anti-aging effects.
6. Josie Maran
This serum is powerful due to its bioavailable form of vitamin C, which means your skin can absorb it and use it effectively. What’s also amazing about this serum is the Argan oil, which is the top ingredient. This oil is sourced from Morocco and has been used for centuries for all sorts of skin ailments, such as dryness, dull skin and acne, due to its high vitamin E and omega fatty acid content.
This serum has a lot of healing properties and the combination of argan oil with the vitamin C will have you looking brighter and more glowing in a matter of weeks. The product also contains other skin loving ingredients to help your skin look more luminous.
Rice bran is used to aid in your skin’s microcirculation to deliver nutrients to the skin’s surface. The liquorice root is great for its brightening effects and for smoothing skin. The marshmallow root is anti-inflammatory so it works to relieve irritated skin and makes the serum especially useful for those with eczema or dermatitis.
Many of the ingredients are organic and the remaining ones are derived from natural sources. This serum has a silky smooth texture, which soaks in quickly. You only need to use a little amount as it does go quite a long way and results can be seen pretty quickly. Recommended use is to add a couple of drops in the morning or the evening to clean skin.
Other reasons to consider this serum are that it’s very fairly priced, the reviews are outstanding and there are a lot of loyal customers. Users say that it helps improve and smooth the skin texture, reduce redness and make the skin look plump and gorgeous.
Josie Maran founded this company as a model and actress, and wanted to create products that performed well but were also healthy for the skin. The brand’s point of difference is that it uses argan oil in every single product, making for a juicy and healthy complexion.
7. ASAP Super C Complex
For luminous skin, the ASAP Super C serum is first-rate and the brand is well-established for treating all sorts of skincare concerns. This serum is made from a
According to the manufacturer, benefits of this serum include skin healing, brightness, and helping to even skin tone. It also decreases redness in the skin, so it’s great for those suffering from rosacea or red spots. It’s suitable for all skin types, but not recommended for those with active acne.
The product contains natural pine bark extract to reduce pigmentation and signs of aging, olive extract for circulation and hydration, and coenzyme Q10, which stimulates collagen and elasticity. Other ingredients include beta carotene, orange peel oil and cedarwood bark oil, which all have high levels of antioxidant activity to restore dull and damaged skin.
The texture is lightweight and it’s not greasy. It should be used in the morning and you’re recommended to mix it with their vitamin B complex serum for maximum effect. ASAP products are scientifically formulated and use only environmentally friendly ingredients. The company’s website states that they do not use parabens, mineral oils, synthetic dyes or fragrance in any of their products.
The reviews are mostly really positive but some users haven’t noticed any major skin transformations. Overall, it seems like one of the best vitamin C serums for the face and is worth trying, especially for those with aged skin. It’s nicely priced and ASAP skincare products have an excellent reputation.
8. Kora Organics
Founded by supermodel, Miranda Kerr, Kora Organics has been a leader in the natural skincare scene for years. If there’s anyone you want to take skincare advice from, it’s a former supermodel. Most of the ingredients (99%, in fact) are from organic origin. The vitamin C in this serum is a
This serum contains a range of potent natural ingredients for hydration and repair such as aloe vera, clary sage and olive leaf extract. The manufacturer also refers to their ‘Superfruit vitamin C complex’, which includes fruit extracts like noni fruit, acai berry and kakadu plum. These ingredients are supposed to help to even out skin tone since they’re full of antioxidants.
The hyaluronic acid helps with smoothness, attracts moisture to the skin and works with vitamin C to rejuvenate the skin. The addition of probiotics also differentiates this vitamin C serum from some others. Lactobacillus probiotics are vital for encouraging healthy bacterial growth on the skin’s surface and getting rid of acne.
According to the manufacturer’s consumer study, after 8 weeks of use, 80% of users reported that their skin was brighter and more radiant, 81% said that their skin felt smoother and 90% said their skin was noticeably smoother. It’s clear this serum has some fantastic results and this product won the Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2019. This serum should be used in the morning before moisturizing.
Because the focus of this product is natural beauty, it shouldn’t be a surprise to know that it’s free of GMOs, artificial colors, fragrances. And it’s vegan. For all the organic skincare supporters out there, this will be your pick as it’s a nature friendly product for your skin and the environment.
9. Lumene Vitamin C Glow Boost Hyaluronic Essence
This is a welcome addition to anyone’s skincare routine. It’s a top-selling serum and provides great results for radiant, glowing skin. It’s made up of pure Arctic springwater and two forms of hyaluronic acid for optimum hydration. It might just be the boost your face needs. The juicy and fun look of the packaging makes it tempting even before you open the bottle. Your skin will soak up all the natural goodness in this essence.
What’s really great about this brand is that they source wild ingredients from the Nordic countries to put into their skincare products. This includes things like wild Arctic cloudberry for supercharged hydration. The two types of hyaluronic acid that this serum contains add glow and moisture to your skin. Results are pretty amazing from this serum.
Clinical tests showed that after only 2 weeks of using the product, almost all reviewers reported that skin hydration was increased. Other findings showed that 89% of the users said their skin tone was more uniform, that their skin appeared more luminous and smoother, and they also noticed a reduction in wrinkles.
Lumene is a Finnish company and has a reputation for sustainability. Their packaging is all made from recycled substances, so you can feel good about supporting the environment while improving your skin. This product is part of their Nordic-C range, which all work to improve radiance and glow. Other reported benefits are that it helps to fade dark spots and correct uneven skin tone.
This serum works really well for sensitive or problematic skin as it doesn’t contain mineral oils or parabens. It’s a very light serum and can be used in summer and winter. It should be applied to the face and neck after washing. It’s fairly priced, so it’s probably a good option if you’re starting out with vitamin C or if you want good results but don’t want to invest a whole lot just yet.
10. Paula’s Choice C15 Vitamin C Super Booster
For an affordable and powerful vitamin C boost, the C15 Super Booster from Paula’s Choice is extremely popular and works a treat for dull skin. The name says it all and it provides a strong dose of vitamin C to kick your skin into action. The company states that they use 15% stabilized vitamin C, which comes in the L-ascorbic acid form at a really high concentration.
They claim that results can be seen in as quick as one day. Reviews from users do back this up, which might be why this product is a best seller. Praise has been given for its ability to fade acne scars, clear breakouts and brighten the skin. Some customers swear by this serum and many have commented that it’s the Holy Grail of serums. However, others have reported that it oxidizes quickly and can cause irritation and redness.
It does have a few ingredients that are not that friendly for the skin, such as PEG. Regardless, this brand places a lot of emphasis on research and has spent years developing the most effective mixtures for the skin. They have included a range of beneficial ingredients, which definitely work to give noticeable results. These ingredients include vitamin E, which is a strong antioxidant and repairs damaged skin; ferulic acid, which is helpful for skin protection and is known for its anti-aging effects; And rice Bran, an extract that’s great for skin softening and smoothing.
For application, use two to three drops on the face, or more if you want to add it to the neck or chest. Always apply an SPF if using this product in the morning. It can also be applied under the eyes to brighten up dark circles, but care should be taken to avoid contact with the eyes. This is definitely a reliable and effective serum, which is easy to get your hands on and has promising results.
Paula’s Choice is known for their transparency about ingredients and significant amounts of research have gone into their products. Fun fact, they were also one of the first online beauty brands in the world. It’s within a moderate price range so it’s not overly expensive but not on the cheap side either.