We all forget to take care of ourselves sometimes, but self-care is still important. In the past few years, it became incredibly popular. Now, beauty and skincare products are available almost everywhere.
Whether you are shopping online or browsing aisles in person, you can find a ton of facial serums. A very common type are Vitamin C serums.
We are here to help you find the best Vitamin C serum for your skin type and budget.
What is a Vitamin C Serum?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that has endless benefits, especially with skincare.
When used in a serum, it can:
- Brighten skin
- Get rid of wrinkles, blemishes and signs of aging
- Decrease inflammation
- Combat skin damage
- Lessen dark spots and discoloration
Unfortunately, a lot of them are poorly made. Vitamin C is not a stable element. When its popularity grew, a lot of skincare companies made their serums without thinking about this.
Some of the best Vitamin C serums are made with ascorbic acid, a common subcategory of Vitamin C. To get the best use out of it, you should store the bottle in a dark environment so that it does not oxidize.
Do Dermatologists Recommend Vitamin C Serum?
The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends Vitamin C serum. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Lauren Ploch said that if you have dark spots, you should use a Vitamin C serum to treat them. She also recommended that you use it for prevention.
Dr. Ploch herself uses one every morning.
All of the serums that we recommend here are recommended by dermatologists, too. There are different serums for all of the different types of skin. Dermatologists suggest that you consider your skin type and the formula potency of each serum when you are choosing one.
Can I Use Vitamin C Serum Every Day?
You can use Vitamin C serum every day. Dermatologists actually recommend that you do so to prevent aging, dark spots, redness and more.
You can even mix some serums into whatever moisturizer you use every day.
Using it daily can lead to a much easier transition. If you incorporate it into the daily routine you already do, it will hardly be a transition at all. Just add this one product and you might wonder why you did not do so earlier.
Some of the Best Vitamin C Serums Available in the Market Today
Your skin might be sensitive, oily, hyperpigmented, dull or any combination of the four.
Luckily for you, the best vitamin C serum for your skin type is out there. We did the research so that you can reap the benefits.
Keep in mind that you will not get a high-quality serum for a low price. You pay for the quality of the product and the quality of your skin.
Here are our recommendations for the best Vitamin C serum. Dermatologists agree, too.
PCA Skin C&E Advanced Serum – for Sensitive Skin
PCA Skin created an irritant-free serum with 20 percent L-ascorbic acid. This high of a pure Vitamin C content means that it will brighten your skin and prevent future damage.
It is great for all ages. For older buyers, it has one percent hexylresorcinol to combat visible signs of aging. If you are younger, it uses silymarin to work against inflammation and brighten your skin now and later in your life.
PCA Skin says their serum is therapeutic and uses the best quality of ingredients out there.
Its instructions are very simple. After you cleanse and tone, you can apply any other serums before this one. If you use it in the morning, substitute it for a moisturizer and apply it over your face and neck. Then follow with an SPF product. In the evening, use it in the same way but follow with moisturizer instead of SPF.
It is a lightweight serum that fights inflammation instead of encouraging it. It costs 120 USD and has six reviews, all of them five stars. Reviewers agree that it is great for sensitive skin.
SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF – for Oily Skin
SkinCeuticals made the Phloretin CF serum for daytime use. It claims to reduce discoloration and even your skin tone.
It says that it is beneficial for normal, oily and combination skin. However, since it does not contain Vitamin E, it is probably best for oily skin. Vitamin E can clog pores.
It has 10 percent pure Vitamin C to prevent signs of aging and 0.5 percent ferulic acid. Ferulic acid is plant-based and enhances the other antioxidant properties in the formula.
SkinCeuticals says that this serum protects against pollution and UV rays. It is supposed to be so potent that it remains functional for 72 hours. It is also good for oily skin because it does not have fragrances, dyes or parabens.
This one is very easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Its instructions say to apply four to five drops all over your face after cleansing in the morning. Then you should continue with the rest of your skincare routine.
It also has raving reviews. It has 534 reviews with 462 five-star ratings. The majority of reviewers say that they have acne-prone skin but this serum does not make them break out. It costs 166 USD.
Revision C+ Correcting Complex 30% – for Hyperpigmentation
Revision is a popular skincare brand for serums that diminish acne scars and fight hyperpigmentation. Their C+ Correcting Complex 30% product is no exception.
Its claim to fame is that it gives you glowing skin and even complexion. It might be appealing to older patients since Revision says this product can provide a youthful appearance.
Its main ingredients include:
- A combination of antioxidants called MelaPATH™ Technology to fight against free radicals. This includes Vitamin C
- Sodium Carboxymethyl Beta-Glucan
- Diglucosyl Gallic Acid
- Amino Acid Copper Complex for skin energy
- Goji Fruit Extract as an antioxidant
It can both fix prior damage and prevent more damage in the future.
Patients reported a more even skin tone and firmer and brighter skin.
You should use one pump of this product twice daily after you cleanse and before you moisturize.
It has 4.72 stars and 71 reviews. Users who have pigmentation issues said that it corrected hyperpigmentation and improved overall skin appearance. It costs 160 USD.
Revision Skincare Vitamin C Lotion 30% – for Mature Skin
Revision Skincare also produces a facial lotion for mature skin. Their Vitamin C Lotion, 30% costs 122 USD and has a whopping 30 percent Vitamin C in it.
Revision lauds the lotion for its brightening qualities and stable Vitamin C compound.
It also has Squalane for moisturization and Vitamin E as one of the formula’s many antioxidants. It is supposed to drastically reduce the amount of wrinkles and fine lines and condition the skin without oil.
Its instructions are simple. Once daily in the morning, apply at least one pump to cleansed skin, let it absorb and then apply moisturizer. If you want faster and more effective results, use it twice a day.
The Vitamin C Lotion has only nine reviews, but all of them are five stars. Some said that after using it, they had less noticeable scars and blemishes, fast results and did not break out if they had acne-prone skin.
Maelove Glow Maker – Inexpensive Vitamin C Serum
Maelove produces a great alternative to pricey Vitamin C serums. Their Glow Maker serum was originally formulated by MIT scientists and researchers. Now, it retails for under 28 USD and has a massive number of glowing reviews.
They make all of their vegan and cruelty-free products in the U.S. without parabens, dyes or fragrances.
Glow Maker has 15 percent Vitamin C and is oil free with other beneficial properties like:
- Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid as antioxidants
- Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate your skin all day
- Botanicals like Vitis Vinifera, Aloe and Magnolia for easy makeup application
Maelove took a simple approach to their serum. They advertise it simply, too. It is just supposed to be “one complete face serum” to brighten and moisturize your skin.
This serum has almost 10.4 thousand reviews and on average, a five-star rating.
The reviews vary, but most people say that they have great results regardless of skin type. Some people have acne and use it to achieve an even complexion. One person even said that they switched to Maelove’s serum because they could not keep buying the expensive ones. Luckily for them, they did not even notice a difference when they switched.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic – for All Skin Types
SkinCeuticals also makes an all-around Vitamin C serum. A lot of people even say this is the best Vitamin C serum on the market. The SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum protects your skin against environmental elements with antioxidants, reduces lines and brightens.
It is 166 USD with 15 percent Vitamin C. All of the ingredients have advantages:
- The Vitamin C provides anti-aging benefits and skin-brightening components
- 1 percent Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals in the skin
- 0.5 percent Ferulic Acid maintains Vitamin C’s stability
SkinCeuticals reports a 41 percent reduction in skin damage caused by external factors. It boosts elasticity in the skin. It benefits those who have normal, dry and sensitive skin.
SkinCeuticals has simple instructions yet again. After you cleanse and tone your skin per your normal regimen, apply four or five drops every morning. Then you can follow with the rest of your skincare routine.
It has an average rating of 4.76 stars with over 3.7 thousand reviews. Most patients say that it is well-worth the money and they see a difference almost right away.
Seoul Ceuticals Day Glow Serum – for Acne-Prone Skin
Like Maelove, Seoul Ceuticals offers a less expensive Vitamin C serum. Their Day Glow Serum is typically 29 USD but they often have promotions as well.
Seoul Ceuticals claim that this serum:
- Battles sunspots
- Gives you a youthful glow
- Minimizes the appearance of pores
- Fights acne breakouts
- Prevents acne breakouts
- Diminishes acne scars
- Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
- Reverses sun damage
It has 20 percent Vitamin C with Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid.
To use, just apply two or three drops daily in the morning after you cleanse, tone and exfoliate.
You can use it regardless of skin type since it has benefits for every kind of skin. Users agree. The Dayglow Serum has 4.7 stars on average with over 1.4 thousand reviews. Some mix it with other products and some use it by itself, but the impressive results are the same.
Obagi Professional-C Serum 20% – for Dry Skin
Obagi Medical makes a highly concentrated Vitamin C serum. Their Professional-C Serum has 20 percent Vitamin C and is helpful for all skin types. Those who have dry skin, however, might benefit the most.
It decreases hyperpigmentation, grows collagen in the skin and increases elastin fibers. It also uses Hyaluronic Acid to continually bind moisture throughout the day. This is ideal for dry-skinned patients.
You can use five to seven drops of it every morning after cleansing. Then follow with SPF and makeup, if you wear it.
It is a little bit cheaper than other similar products. It costs 133 USD. There are almost 750 reviews. 647 of them give the serum five stars. A lot of patients note that it reduces their fine lines, moisturizes and improves texture.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% – Brightening Serum
Sunday Riley’s CEO 15% Brightening Serum is perfect if you need to lighten and brighten your complexion.
It is 122 USD. It plumps, evens color, reverses aging and is supposed to immediately brighten.
It is free of:
Sunday Riley recommends that you use two pumps each morning and evening to cleansed skin. It has 225 reviews with an average 4.6-star rating.
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum – Cruelty Free
Drunk Elephant offers an affordable Vitamin C serum with their C-Firma Day Serum. It only costs 80 USD and is a cruelty-free product.
Drunk Elephant is intended for daytime use. It is made of fruit enzymes, 15 percent Vitamin C, 1 percent Vitamin E and other nutrients. It is great for all skin types and targets wrinkles, blemishes, texture concerns and elasticity.
You should apply it every morning to a clean and dry face. You can also use it on your chest, neck and the backs of your hands. Drunk Elephant recommends that you store it in the refrigerator to preserve it.
This serum has 3.6 stars out of almost 4 thousand reviews. The reviews are mixed. Some people say it is the best Vitamin C serum they have used while others criticize the smell and small size.