Skincare

21 Best Vitamin C Serums To Try In 2021

A vitamin C serum next to a bunch of fruit

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Vitamin C serum is one of the most popular, the most sought after skincare products ever. And with a good reason – it can do a lot for your skin in terms of delaying aging signs, fading imperfections and adding that recognizable healthy glow.

Finding the best vitamin C serum on the market right now can be quite challenging, though. There are so many of them! Quite a few really good ones, too. But it can all be a bit confusing when you first try and dive into it all.

So, to make things as clear and simple as possible, let’s talk about what are the benefits of vitamin c serum for your skin, what to check out on the label when you start looking for your perfect fit and what are the hottest, the best vitamin C serums on the market right now…

Benefits of Vitamin C Face Serum

Vitamin C is a well-loved skincare ingredient that has proven time and time again just how effective skin enhancer it can be. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin against free radicals and that way prevents the formation of premature aging signs.

If used under sunscreen, vitamin C helps reduce UV damage and shields your skin against pollution. It protects collagen in your skin and stimulates its production, and maintains your skin wrinkle and fine line free for much longer.

Another great side of vitamin C is that it can inhibit the production of melanin. That way, vitamin C helps fade hyperpigmentation, dark spots and acne marks and enhances a clear, even, bright complexion.

Now, you can find vitamin C in many skincare products these days, including face washes and moisturizers. But what’s really great about face serums is that they: a) are way more concentrated than other products; and b) have smaller molecular weight and therefore sink deeper into the skin.

Basically, by using a vitamin C face serum, you supply your skin with higher amounts of this amazing antioxidant and in a way your skin can benefit from the most.

Plus, vitamin C is not the only amazing thing these serums are packed with. They also contain many other skin-loving goodies that can steer you towards one product or another, such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, niacinamide, ferulic acid, peptides, ceramides, nourishing oils, etc.

What to Pay Attention to When Choosing Your Serum

One of the telltale signs that a vitamin C serum will not do you any good is if it is packed in a clear bottle. Vitamin C is sensitive to light and air and only a dark or opaque and air-tight or air-restrictive package can ensure it stays stable and effective.

You can find various concentrations of vitamin C in serums. The highest concentration in OTC products is 20%, which is a very potent concentration and a great fit for people with oily skin or pigmentation issues.

However, as amazing as it is, vitamin C can be irritating in some cases. Which is why you should stick with lower concentrations (5 – 10%) if your skin is sensitive or dry.

Vitamin C comes in many different forms, and which form you use can make a huge difference as to how potent your product will be and how effectively it can ensure you a youthful complexion. Probably the most well researched form of vitamin C used in skincare would be L-ascorbic acid.

You can also find both light, watery and thicker, oilier formulas of vitamin C serum. The first would be great for you if you have oily skin, and in water-based formulas vitamin C is most often enlisted as sodium ascorbyl phosphate.

In oily products, you can often find vitamin C under the name tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and these serums would be a better fit for dry or mature skin.

Other than that, think about how much you are willing to spend on your vitamin C face serum, as well as what other ingredients you would like to see on the label, that usually work well on your skin.

21 Best Vitamin C Serums

So, as we already said, when it comes to facial serums that contain vitamin C, there is a huge variety to choose from. The above tips can help you somewhat narrow down your final choices and give you a clearer picture of the exact kind of product you need.

Keeping those in mind, here are the 21 best vitamin C serums to check out, worth all the attention they are getting lately…

1. Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster

Price: $49

Contains: 15% vitamin C, glycerin, vitamin E, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, Oryza Sativa (rice) bran extract

C15 Super Booster is a potent serum that combines several antioxidants, as well as humectants and skin soothing agents. Perfect if you want to even out your skin, reduce the appearance of aging signs or add some radiance to your complexion. It has a light formula that you can use on its own or mixed with your moisturizer.

2. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

 

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Price: $166

Contains: 15% vitamin C, glycerin, vitamin E, ferulic acid, panthenol, sodium hyaluronate

A favorite amongst both dermatologists and beauty bloggers, this amazing serum is clinically proven to reduce combined oxidative damage. It combines vitamins C and E and ferulic acid, all powerful antioxidants that reduce UV rays and pollution damage. You can use it to reduce signs of aging and improve the overall appearance of your skin.

3. timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum

 

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Price: $17.95

Contains: 20% vitamin C, vitamin E, panthenol, ferulic acid, sodium hyaluronate

A high concentration of vitamin C combined with a more than competitive price made this product one of the current favorites. Perfect if your skin looks dull and tired – this vitamin C serum brightens the complexion and helps fade discolorations. It can be used on all skin types, but make sure to patch-test it if your skin is sensitive.

4. Obagi Professional-C Serum 20%

 

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Price: $133

Contains: 20% vitamin C, sorbitol, sodium hyaluronate, fragrance

This serum works best on normal to oily skin, especially if your oily skin tends to show signs of dehydration. Other than vitamin C, it contains hyaluronic acid, a natural humectant that helps maintain your skin plump, supple and well-hydrated. You can also use this serum to reduce the signs of photoaging.

5. Eminence Organic Skin Care Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil


Price: $110

Contains: rosehip oil, jojoba oil, seabuckthorn oil, rosemary leaf extract, milk thistle

Definitely on the oilier side, Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil is a natural, organic treatment that moisturizes the skin and reduces aging signs. It softens and soothes the skin and protects it against the elements. Even though an oil, it is lightweight and non-greasy, so you can use it on any skin type.

6. Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum


Price: $28.50

Contains: 15% vitamin C, glycerin, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid

LiftActiv serum can be used for all skin types and it is a perfect addition to a daily skincare routine meant to hydrate the skin, brighten dull complexion and delay aging signs. The antioxidants it contains (vitamins C and E) protect the skin against free radicals, while the humectants (glycerin and hyaluronic acid) hydrate the skin.

7. BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner

 

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Price: $80

Contains: 20% vitamin C, squalane, green tea extract, tartaric acid

Universal C Skin Refiner’s unique formula helps even out the skin both by fading dark spots and by reducing the size of enlarged pores. Vitamin C and green tea extract prevent premature skin aging, while squalane supplies necessary moisture. Result – healthy, well-protected skin and youthful glow.

8. Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum


Price: $45

Contains: vitamin C, aloe juice, cucumber extract, panax ginseng root extract, sodium hyaluronate, collagen, lavender oil, citric acid

This skin-perfecting serum helps improve the texture of the skin, makes it smooth and soft and adds glow. It hydrates and nourishes the skin, improves its firmness and reduces the first signs of aging. It should be used in the evening, every other night, on clean skin and followed with a night cream. Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum is not recommended for sensitive skin.

9. Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

 

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Price: $72

Contains: vitamin C, squalane, caprylic/capric triglyceride, pistacia lentiscus (mastic) gum, rosa damascena flower extract, geraniol, citronellol

Ideal for dry or mature skin, this oily serum delivers necessary moisture and skin soothing ingredients for ultimate rejuvenating properties. It brightens the skin, improves its elasticity and noticeably makes it younger and healthier looking. Even though it comes in clear pink bottle, this serum has been tested for safety and stability.

10. OleHenriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

 

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Price: $65

Contains: 15% vitamin C, 5% PHAs (polyhydroxy acids), hyaluronic acid, banana powder-inspired pigments, vitamin E

Other than brightening and skin-protective properties, this serum also gently exfoliates the skin and improves its texture. It is very gentle, though, so it might be a right fit for you even if your skin is on the sensitive side. Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum reduces skin imperfections and enhances a clear, bright, youthful complexion.

11. TruSkin Vitamin C Serum for Face

 

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Price: $19.99

Contains: vitamin C, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, aloe vera, witch hazel, jojoba oil

Great results at an affordable price make this vitamin C serum one of the all-time favorites. It nourishes and soothes the skin, brightens it and protects it against free radical damage. The antioxidants in it preserve the skin’s youthful appearance, hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps and MSM has an anti-inflammatory effect.

12. Derma-E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum 

 

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Price: $24.50

Contains: vitamin C, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, glycerin, green tea leaf extract, sodium hyaluronate, vitamin E, rosy canina seed oil, citric acid, panthenol

This concentrated formula combines rejuvenating, soothing and replenishing ingredients that deliver ultimate results. It evens out, smoothes and brightens the complexion. It contains a stabilized form of Vitamin C which doesn’t oxidize despite being packed in clear glass bottles. A great choice for sensitive skin.

13. Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Vitamin C Serum

 

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Price: $70

Contains: 12.5% vitamin C (10.5% L-Ascorbic Acid and 2% Ascorbyl Glucoside), glycerin, hyaluronic acid, orange peel oil, lemon peel oil, dimethicone

Kiehl’s powerful formula works hard to diminish the appearance of aging signs and improve your skin’s general condition. It improves the texture of your skin, boosts radiance and visibly reduces wrinkles and fine lines. This serum also minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores, for clear, even complexion. The formula is paraben, alcohol, mineral oil and dye-free.

14. Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

 

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Price: $122

Contains: 15% vitamin C, phytosterols complex, saccharide isomerate extract, glycolic acid, squalane, sweet orange oil, citrus tangerina peel oil, vitamin E

People who tried it love it – this serum reduces pores, redness and hyperpigmentation for a smooth, even complexion and extra radiance. It fights dullness and makes the skin firm, plump and bouncy. C.E.O. serum is cruelty, sulfate, paraben, gluten, soy, phthalate and fragrance-free.

15. Rosen Skincare Bright Citrus Serum

 

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Price: $18

Contains: 20% vitamin C, glycerin, grapefruit oil, mulberry extract, lactobacillus, coconut fruit extract

Another affordable option packed with tones of goodies for your skin. Full of famous skin brighteners that can help reduce dark spots and small scars and help your skin look radiant and healthy. The 20% vitamin C might be a good option for a targeted discoloration treatment.

16. Glow Recipe Pineapple-C Bright Serum

 

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Price: $49

Contains: vitamin C, pineapple extract, aloe leaf juice, squalane, vitamin E, lactic acid, chamomile extract, sodium hyaluronate, safflower seed extract, fragrance under 0.5%

Pineapple is well known for its skin enhancing properties thanks to natural AHAs and bromelain enzymes that gently exfoliate and resurface the skin. This serum also features 3 potent forms of vitamin C, as well as skin soothing aloe vera and chamomile. It visibly fades skin imperfections and makes the complexion smooth, clear and glowing.

17. InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum


Price: $22

Contains: vitamin C, (witch hazel) water, cassia angustifolia seed extract, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, argan oil, algae extract, pomegranate extract, rosehip oil, sea-buckthorn oil, ferulic acid, vitamin E, carrot seed oil, apricot kernel oil

This serum helps you both stay on the budget and stay youthful and radiant. Packed with antioxidants, plant extracts and natural oils, it thoroughly moisturizes the skin, reinforces the skin’s protective barrier and prevents premature aging signs. People who tried it are thrilled with its ability to fade old acne marks and help with current breakouts.

18. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare C + Collagen Brighten & Firm Serum


Price: $78

Contains: vitamin C, glycerin, niacinamide, lactic acid, collagen amino acids, amla fruit extract, mandelic acid, turmeric root extract, citric acid

If your skin is starting to show first aging signs, this serum can help you restore it, prevent the formation of premature fine lines and dark spots and even repair the existing damage. It combines vitamin C with collagen amino acids and niacinamide, for firm, supple skin, youthful glow and no signs of aging.

19. Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum

 

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Price: $80

Contains: gold-stabilized vitamin C, glycolic acid, phyto-luminescent extract, glycerin, urea, yeast amino acids, vitamin E, sorbitol, citric acid

Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum provides ultimate skin brightening experience. Vitamin C reduces oxidative stress, while glycolic acid exfoliates dead skin cells, smoothes the skin and enhances the efficiency of vitamin C. This serum doesn’t contain fragrance or artificial colors, so it is a great option even for sensitive skin.

20. Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum

 

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Price: $36

Contains: 15% vitamin C, kojic acid, aloe juice, bearberry leaf extract, biotin, citric acid, corallina officinalis extract, turmeric root extract, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lactobaccillus/papaya fruit ferment extract, amla fruit extract, apple fruit extract, salicylic acid, vitamin E

Another overachiever, on top of helping you preserve youthful skin, Hyper Clear serum does an amazing job in fading acne marks and other skin discolorations. This lightweight gel formula can be used on any skin type. It is scentless and it doesn’t contain parabens, sulfates and phthalates.

21. Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

 

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Price: $33.99

Contains: vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, konjac root, chamomile extract, clary sage, glycerin, aloe barbadensis leaf

If that adorable packaging didn’t already win you over, check out these amazing ingredients this serum has to offer! Vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid are powerful antioxidants. Hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin, chamomile soothes and clary sage acts as a toner and astringent. Konjac root is packed with nutrients that that soften and protect the skin.

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