Unstable atoms are making your skin age faster. They are called “free radicals,” and you can fight them with Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that stops the chain reaction which damages your skin. It also helps rebuild and rejuvenate tissue.
- Gently exfoliates dead skin
- Calms inflammation and speeds up healing
- Helps even out skin tone by fading age spots
- Stimulates skin to make collagen so your skin is firmer with fewer wrinkles
- Defends against UV rays by thickening the epidermis (but you’ll still want a sunscreen)
What ingredients make it a Vitamin C serum?
Ascorbic acid, or L-ascorbic acid is one of the main ingredients you’ll find in a serum. Strong serums contain more than 15%. But amounts as small as 1% can make a difference, it just won’t work as fast. If you have sensitive skin, consider starting with a lower concentration of Vitamin C to see how your skin reacts.
Other Vitamin C derivatives are:
- sodium ascorbyl phosphate
- ascorbyl palmitate
- retinyl ascorbate
- tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
- magnesium ascorbyl phosphate
How do I use a Vitamin C serum?
Some products may have different instructions, but usually you massage a few drops into clean, dry skin, then apply a moisturizer.
How do I keep a serum fresh?
Vitamin C oxidizes easily, and that means your serum will stop working. Keep the container sealed tightly. Store it in a closed cupboard or the refrigerator so it will stay potent for as long as possible.
The best Vitamin C face serums
We collected the highest quality and most-recommended serums that are the best value for the money.
Pharmagel Pharma-C Vitamin Treatment
We’ll start off with a low concentration serum. The Pharma-C has 10% Vitamin C in the form of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate. Pharmagel says they chose to use this form of Vitamin C because it is stable and absorbs rapidly into skin. The serum also contains Chamomile and Calendula extracts to soothe skin, and Hyaluronic acid to hydrate.
Pharmagel recommends using this serum once a day. Apply and wait one minute before putting on moisturizer.
Foxbrim Vitamin C Serum for Face
This is a gentle, non-greasy serum that’s great for sensitive skin. It has Vitamin C in the form of Sodium Ascorbic Phosphate. It contains ingredients to hydrate your face, like Hyaluronic acid and glycerin. It includes MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, to soften skin, while aloe soothes it. The witch hazel is a mild astringent. Jojoba oil is a non-comedogenic moisturizer. It’s not actually an oil at all—it’s a wax ester. Jojoba’s chemical composition is very similar to the oil on human skin. It makes your skin think it’s made enough oil already and can stop.
Foxbrim recommends washing your skin and drying it. Apply toner (if you use it) before you use the serum. You only need a few drops of serum to cover your face, neck, and neckline. Moisturize and then use makeup and/or sunscreen. You can use this serum every day.
Pure Body Naturals Vitamin C Serum for Face with Hyaluronic Acid, 20% C + E
Pure Body Naturals offers this serum that was a #1 Best Seller on Amazon at the time of writing.
It has 20% Vitamin C in the form of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. It also contains Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (which is Hyaluronic acid), MSM, aloe, Jojoba oil, witch hazel, glycerin, and Tocopheryl Acetate (aka Vitamin E). These ingredients make it seem similar to Foxbrim’s serum, until you keep reading the rest of the label. It also has gotu kola and extracts of horsetail plant, geranium, and dandelion to speed up healing of your skin. The company says their ingredients are 72% organic.
Apply the serum daily, after you wash and dry your skin. It absorbs quickly. Then moisturize and apply makeup if you wish. Pure Body Naturals has a 3-month guarantee. They promise to refund the entire purchase price if you’re not 100% happy with their product.
OZNaturals – Vitamin C Serum For Your Face
Dr. Oz’s OZNaturals Vitamin C Facial Serum was also a number #1 Best Seller on Amazon at the time of writing. (Both this product and the one above were #1 in separate categories under the main heading of Beauty.)
This serum also contains 20% Vitamin C along with other powerful ingredients like Vitamin E, Hyaluronic Acid, Astaxanthin (an antioxidant), rose hips (Vitamin C), and green tea (also an antioxidant).
OZNaturals says their product does not contain alcohol or parabens. It’s safe for all skin types. Apply it daily after washing and drying your skin. Be sure to moisturize afterward.
DERMAdoctor Kakadu C 20% Vitamin C Serum with Ferulic Acid & Vitamin E
We’ve arrived at the most expensive product, but it comes recommended by the beauty experts at Allure and Sephora. The DERMAdoctor Kakadu C serum has 20% Vitamin C. A lot of the C comes the Kakadu Plum grown in Australia. It reportedly has 55 times the amount of Vitamin C found in an orange.
The serum also has Vitamin E and Ferulic acid, which is a powerful antioxidant. This ingredient may cause irritation if you have very sensitive skin. But this product has no parabens or phthalates. A portion of each sale is donated to building up Aboriginal community enterprises.
Apply a few drops to clean, dry skin in the morning. Avoid getting the serum into your eyes.
Making Vitamin C Serum At Home
You may have seen recipes for making your own serum with ingredients like glycerine and Vitamin C powder. We can’t recommend this as the most effective and sterile option, especially if you have sensitive skin.
On the other hand, some people have had success improving their skin by simply changing their diet. While you wait for your new Vitamin C serum to arrive, eat an extra portion of fruit each day and drink one extra glass of water. Remember to moisturize morning and night, and wear sunscreen if you go outdoors.
Learn more about taking care of your skin
View our reviews on the best beauty products.