Best Overall: Formulyst Active Serum Vitamin B, C, E, Ferulic Acid + Niacinamide ($ 80)
The best vitamin C serum is this potent formula from Formulyst. It contains the highest concentration of pure vitamins C (strong 20%), B and E, ferulic acid (an antioxidant that boosts the effects of other antioxidants) and niacinamide – one of two main forms of vitamin B3 that will help treat acne, and rosacea Pigment problems while softening wrinkles. This is a vitamin C serum that anyone can get on board with.
Best Dermatologist Pick: SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid ($ 166)
The best vitamin C serum recommended by a dermatologist (or let’s say dermatologist) has won numerous awards, contains patented ingredients, and continues to be a popular consumer around the world. While the medicinal smell is somewhat off-putting, it dissipates almost instantly, and that smell tells you that you’re using pure vitamin C (15%), vitamin E (1%), and ferulic acid (0.5%), which work hard to neutralize free radicals in just 4-5 drops per morning.
Best Budget: The Common Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F ($ 17.80)
There are numerous articles out there on whether or not The Ordinary products are “worth the hype”, but to be honest; This is one of the best affordable vitamin C serums for those who are looking to tone their wallets and still want results. It contains ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (known to have skin lightening properties) and a stable, oil-soluble derivative of vitamin C that can be used in higher concentrations without irritation. Vitamin F has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties, making it perfect for people with sensitive skin or skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
Best for Hyperpigmentation: Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum ($ 36)
While all Vitamin C serums lighten the skin to some degree, this formula includes the addition of skin-lightening kojic acid, fruit enzymes, bearberry, and turmeric to lighten, smooth out fine lines and reduce rough texture. It also dramatically eliminates acne scars and dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation. Expect results in just four weeks.
Best for Anti-Aging: Obagi Professional-C Serum 20% ($ 127)
Obagi has been going strong for over 32 years and has only gotten better over time, which is why it’s on this best of list (side note: if you haven’t tried it out ELASTIderm eye cream), You’re Missing.) This no-nonsense vitamin C serum contains one of the highest concentrations of 20% L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) you can find. Obagi recommends minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Note, however, that this super serum is best for people who have normal to oily skin, not dry and mature.
Best for tightening: Dr. Dennis Gross C + Collagen Lighten and Tighten Vitamin C Serum ($ 80)
While technically it is vitamin C. vital for collagen synthesisThis serum takes it to another level by adding collagen amino acids. There are also lactic acid and mandelic acid (a form of alpha hydroxy acid) to help dissolve dead skin cells and a proprietary energy complex (CoQ10, superoxide dismutase, carnitine, and niacinamide) to boost radiance, improve firmness, and increase the appearance of pigment spots reduce time.
Best for Sensitive Skin: C-Firma Day Serum for Drunk Elephants ($ 80)
The fascinating thing about this serum is what Drunk Elephant calls the “reservoir effect”. This means the product stays active on the skin for up to 72 hours – even after you’ve washed your face or rubbed your skin. It is desirable for sensitive skin because it has a pH of 3.3 and does not contain essential oils, silicones, and fragrances. What’s this? does Contains a potent blend of L-Ascorbic Acid and Ferulic Acid to promote a lighter, firmer, and longer feel
even looking complexion. The addition of sodium hyaluronate cross-polymer (a modified form of hyaluronic acid) provides a serious boost of moisture, while pumpkin ferment extract gently sweeps away dead skin cells.
Best for oily skin: Glow Recipe Pineapple-C Brightening Serum ($ 49)
Don’t be fooled by the cheeky packaging. All skin types can benefit from this vitamin C serum, according to Glow Recipe, but it’s great for those with oily skin. The formula is lightweight and contains natural alpha hydroxy acids and bromelain enzymes from pineapple to gently remove the dead skin cells that cling to oily skin, causing breakouts and dull complexions. Props for three effective forms of vitamin C (22% pineapple juice, pure ascorbic acid, and stable 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid) to combat acne scars and hyperpigmentation. Skin-soothing aloe and chamomile ensure that the skin shines from the inside out without causing irritation.
Best for Acne Prone Skin: Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum ($ 30)
While you might not suspect that this is a vitamin C serum based on the name, you can be sure that it is formulated with skin lightening C along with vitamins B5 and E to help ward off free radical damage. However, acne sufferers will appreciate the addition of salicylic acid and naturally-extracted willow bark to reduce breakouts and keep pores free of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. Coenzyme Q10 and natural fruit acids ensure a smoother, even and radiant complexion. This serum, along with Juice Beauty’s entire line of products, is vegan, formulated with organic ingredients and free from synthetic or potentially harmful additives.
Best for Rosacea: iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance + ($ 155)
It can be difficult for people with rosacea to find active products that won’t irritate their condition, but this product hits the spot – even if it’s a little expensive. Vitamin C works synergistically with Vitamins E and A to soothe, heal, and restore skin – everything that inflamed, acne-prone rosacea skin needs. Other key ingredients are anti-aging olive leaf extract and skin-lightening kojic acid, which helps in repairing pigment problems.
Best for exfoliating: Tatcha Violet-C Lightening Serum 20% Vitamin C + 10% AHAs ($ 88)
The bottle may be beautiful, but it really depends on what’s inside. This light serum is suitable for all skin types and combines 20% vitamin C, alpha-hydroxy acid, lactic acid and mild fruit acids to increase cell turnover and gently exfoliate the skin. The addition of Japanese beauty berries helps increase the effectiveness of vitamin C while stabilizing the formula, while the angelica root lightens and supports pigmentation and scarring.
Best for evening out skin tone: Murad Vitamin C Glycolic Brightening Serum ($ 80)
This unique serum harnesses the power of gold stabilized vitamin C and glycolic acid to achieve optimal lightening results – 83% of users noticed a difference within four weeks. Vitamin C also helps with uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation, while glycolic acid increases cell turnover, removes dead skin cells, and promotes a smooth and glowing complexion. This formula contains neither fragrances nor artificial colors and is therefore suitable for all skin types.
Best as a makeup foundation: Maelove The Glow Maker Antioxidant Serum ($ 27.95)
This popular serum contains many of the same ingredients (think a high concentration of 15% C, Vitamin E, and Ferulic Acid) as some of the other cult serums, but at a fraction of the cost – and it really gives skin a glowing look . While it’s great for all skin types, the addition of soothing natural extracts like grapes, aloe, magnolia, and citrus fruits make it perfect for those with sensitive skin. The hidden advantage of this serum is that it is an incredible makeup foundation too. You’re in luck when you get your hands on a bottle because it’s always sold out.
Best for hydration: Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum ($ 98)
For starters, this powerful serum contains THD ascorbate, an ultra-stable scientific breakthrough that’s 50 times stronger than regular vitamin C, so it visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dullness. The formula is intensified with the addition of 3% vitamin E and 2% ferulic acid, two incredibly powerful antioxidants and ultra-moisturizing hyaluronic acid.
Best Drug Store To Buy: CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum ($ 15.69)
This popular drugstore favorite contains 10% pure L-ascorbic acid to visibly lighten the complexion and even out the skin tone. Three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and vitamin B 5, work together to soothe the skin, improve texture and restore the protective barrier. This makes them a suitable formula for all skin types.
Best French Pharmacy Find: La Roche Posay 10% Vitamin C Serum ($ 39.99)
You don’t have to fly to Paris to take advantage of this French pharmacy favorite. This serum contains 10% pure vitamin C and salicylic acid to improve texture and tone while reducing the appearance of wrinkles. The addition of Neurosensin makes it a desirable choice for people with sensitive skin, eczema, or rosacea as it relieves skin reactions such as redness and itching.
Best Natural: TruSkin Vitamin C Serum for Face with Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, Witch Hazel ($ 19.99)
This iconic favorite serum has nearly 50,000 and nearly five stars on Amazon, and for good reason. It’s inexpensive, works, and plant-based, which means no extra ones are added
synthetic colors, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, PEGs or GMOs. It’s a concentrated yet powerful formula made up of vitamins C, A, and E, soothing aloe, and skin-nourishing hyaluronic acid to illuminate the skin and increase collagen production.