Best For Dry Skin: Maelove The Glow Maker
Some users dislike the texture upon application
Its 3-month shelf life may be shorter than some would prefer
A cult beauty favorite, the Maelove Glow Maker Antioxidant Serum frequently sells out of stockbut if you can, we highly recommend getting your hands on it. With 15 percent L-ascorbic acid, it has plenty of vitamin C to even out your skin tone, reduce lines and wrinkles, and fight acne. But because it also has vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, it wont dry out your skin in the process.
Considering how budget-friendly it is compared to some other high-end brands, we think that its three-month shelf life is hardly an issue, especially since you’ll want to use this product every day. It also has a very mild scent that will leave your skin feeling and smelling fresh.
Key Ingredients: 15% L-ascorbic acid, vitamin E, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid | Usage: Apply 3-5 drops to face, neck, and chest after cleansing and drying | Scent: Yes, but mild
Sunday Riley Ceo 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum
Sunday Riley has blown up all over the internet, so its quite likely youve come across this product in your search for brighter skin. Theyve 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 .
Glycolic acid cleanses and exfoliates the skin by removing dead skin cells, which helps to leave your face feeling like new. Theyve 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 youre 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 doesnt contain any fragrance, parabens or sulfates. Its 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.
Topical Formulations Of Vitamin C
Vit. C is available in the market as a variety of creams, serum and transdermal patches. Of these, only the serum contains active Vit. C in an almost colorless form. It is unstable and, on exposure to light, gets oxidized to Dehydro Ascorbic Acid , which imparts a yellow color. The stability of Vit. C is controlled by maintaining a pH of less than 3.5. At this pH, the ionic charge on the molecule is removed and it is transported well across the stratum corneum.
From a clinical point of view, it is important to note that the efficacy of the Vit. C serum is proportional to the concentration, but only up to 20%. The half-life in the skin after achieving maximum concentration is 4 days. A persistent reservoir of Vit. C is important for adequate photoprotection, and can be achieved by regular 8-hourly applications. As UV light lowers tissue Vit. C levels, topical Vit. C is best used after exposure to UV light and not prior. A combination of tyrosine, zinc and Vit. C has been shown to increase the bioavailability of Vit. C 20-times vis-à-vis using just Vit. C.
A variety of creams with Vit. C derivatives are available in the market. As a dermatologist, it is important to know that not all preparations are physiologically effective. Some are not delivered into the dermis in an adequate quantity, while others do not chemically convert to the biologically active form of Vit. C in the skin.
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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. Its also quite a well tolerated serum that doesnt 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 manufacturers recommendation is to always follow application with sun protection. This is so that you dont 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 products or AHAs as irritation can occur and the vitamin C can become unstable or ineffective.
Which Vitamin C Serums To Buy Dermatologists Name Their Clients Favorites
SkinBetter Science Alto Defense Serum stars vitamins C and E, along with 17 antioxidants to guard against a range of free radicals and reduce redness.
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum contains 15 percent L-ascorbic acid, plus ferulic acid for a powerful yet lightweight day serum.
Paulas Choice C15 Super Booster is another high-potency pick with 15 percent vitamin C, along with E and ferulic acid, plus hyaluronic acid to attract moisture for supple skin.
Vichy Vitamin C Serum Brightening Skin Corrector boasts minimal ingredients to keep things simple. With ascorbic acid, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid, this serum may boost skin smoothness and radiance.
The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% offers a budget-friendly way to try a vitamin C serum, and also contains alpha-arbutin, another ingredient thats touted for its skin-brightening abilities.
Additional reporting by Jessica Migala.
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Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
This all-natural vitamin C serum is a cult-favorite among Amazon shoppers and beauty editors. It contains ferulic and hyaluronic acids to stabilize the vitamin C, greatly reduce discoloration and blemishes, and to give your complexion an all-over glow. Plus, it scores a rating of 1 by the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep, meaning it’s safe for your skin and health.
“I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on products to lighten the dark spots on my face from acne scarring. This has been the only product that not only lightened the dark spots, but it didn’t make me break out more! This is like liquid gold for me. I recommend this to anyone who has sensitive skin like me and is looking to get rid of the dark spots. I’m on my second bottle and I get compliments all the time that my skin looks like it’s glowing. Also, for the first time in forever I leave out the house with only a tinted CC cream on my face and feel confident that my skin looks good! I will be a customer for life!” reported a shopper.
Collagen Serum For Firmer Looking Skin
- For healthy, younger looking skin
- Fights signs of ageing such as wrinkles, fine lines and reduced elasticity
- Contains powerful plant extracts
- Use at night for best results
- Please note: the 50ml size marked as ‘unboxed’ will be provided in product packaging which varies from that shown
150ml pack size has a best before date of November 2022
For skin that feels firmer, try Higher Natures Aeterna Gold Collagen Crème Serum. From the age of 30, collagen levels drop, leaving skin prone to fine lines and wrinkles. This formula has been specially created to give skin back its bounce, with a nourishing dose of marine collagen extract, aloe vera leaf juice, sweet almond oil and vitamins E and B5. Apply sparingly on the face, neck and décolletage at night before your usual moisturiser for optimal results.
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Best Overall: Skinceuticals C E Ferulic
Contains vitamin C-boosting ferulic acid
Encourages production of collagen for firmer skin
Some users dislike the texture
We picked this vitamin C serum as our best overall because this antioxidant-rich formula checks off a lot of vitamin C serum boxes: it contains 15% pure vitamin C and 1% vitamin E , which means the Skinceuticals serum can brighten your complexion at the same time as it protects your skin against free radicals .
It also contains 0.5% ferulic acid, an ingredient that Melanie Palm, MD, dermatologist at Art of Skin MD in San Diego, California, says increases the absorption of vitamin C by nearly 90 percentso youll know its reallyworking. This serum is a bit pricier than others on our list, but its a bestseller for a reason its suitable for all skin types and can last you a pretty long time, since you only need a few drops per use.
Key Ingredients: 15% L-ascorbic acid, 1% alpha tocopherol, 0.5% ferulic acid | Usage: Apply four to five drops each morning after cleansing and drying face | Scent: Has a scent
Ingredients: Powered By Vitamin C
- Vitamin C: This powerful antioxidant a key player in this formula. It works to plump and brighten skin while also helping to fade dark spots.
- Tri-Peptide: Bliss’s patented signal tri-peptide helps to visibly boosts skins natural elasticity. Tri-peptides are often found in anti-aging products because they smooth and firm complexion.
- Licorice Root Extract: Licorice root extract is a natural skin brightener that’s rich in antioxidants. It can also help with discoloration and protect against new spots forming.
- Glycerin: Glycerin works as a humectant, meaning it retains skin moisture. It helps skin stay hydrated and relieves dryness.
More To Consider From Our Brands
Disclaimer: While we work to ensure that product information is correct, on occasion manufacturers may alter their ingredient lists. Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and/or different information than that shown on our Web site. We recommend that you do not solely rely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product. For additional information about a product, please contact the manufacturer. Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Amazon.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements about products.
Best For Hyperpigmentation: Cerave Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum
Contains the purest form of vitamin C
Includes ceramides to restore your skin barrier
Some say serum may oxidize shortly after use
CeraVe’s Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum is an effective yet affordable option for hyperpigmentation. Not only is it packed with 10% L-ascorbic acid, it also contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin and ceramides to protect your skins natural barrier. Unlike any other serum on this list, it also includes vitamin B5, which can soothe and hydrate as well as potentially fight acne, according to one 2014 study.
Thanks to its tube-shaped packaging, this vitamin C serum allows you to use it more as a spot treatment, in case you don’t want to apply it to your entire face. The manufacturer recommends avoiding the eye area when applying to prevent irritation.
Key Ingredients: 10% L-ascorbic acid, hyaluronic acid | Usage: Apply evenly to face and neck once per day | Scent: None
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The Best Refreshing Vitamin C Serum: Tula Brightening Treatment Drops Triple Vitamin C Serum $48
- Pros: Consistent at brightening and hydrating, works well on sensitive skin, smooth and refreshing
- Cons: None to speak of
Tulas Brightening Treatment Drops are literal drops of ocean-cool refreshment onto your skin. Its the serum I would choose if I need to really wake up in the morning and over time, gives some of the best, glowy results.
- Pros: Has the best consistency we tested good at giving an all-around, sweet glow
- Cons: Has a slightly strong floral scent, but nothing unusable
Rose Inc. shocked me with its ability to produce a natural-looking glow. Seriously, if you happen to skip your cleanser and moisturizer one day and just use the brands Radiant Reveal Clean Brightening Vitamin C Serum, youll be A-OK.
Its not too thick and not too runny, so its the Goldilocks winner of serums. Plus, its packaging is minimal and sealed, anti-bacteria safe.
Instanatural Vitamin C Serum
Another hero vitamin C product on Amazon, this one is packed with vitamin c, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, sea buckthorn oil, and plant stem cells to brighten, tone and tighten, hydrate and plump, protect your skin from free radical damage, and support healthy collagen production.
One fan said: “Since I started using this serum every day, I have noticed a significant difference in the texture and overall tone of my skin. I spend a lot of time in the sun and dark spots are my nemesis. This serum brightens my skin and has helped significantly reduce those nasty dark spots. Additionally, the array of ingredients in this serum work to hydrate my skin and I have been getting closer to that glowy complexion I’ve been striving for.”
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What Forms Of Topical Collagen Are Available
As you can see, collagen is vital for maintaining healthy, youthful skin. Fortunately, there are many topical collagen skin care products available today, including the following:
- Collagen serum
- Collagen gel
- Collagen cream
There are also oral collagen supplements that are used to increase collagen levels in the skin, thus resulting in a firmer, more youthful complexion. Two examples of oral collagen supplements are Spring Valley Collagen and Minerva Pure Gold Collagen. Spring Valley Collagen tablets contain collagen type 1 and 3 plus vitamin C . Minerva Pure Gold Collagen is a liquid beauty supplement designed to boost natural collagen, elastin, and hydration levels that decline over time. This oral supplement is formulated with a unique blend of active ingredients that includes hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, borage oil, vitamins, and minerals.
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How To Apply Vitamin C Serum
First, youll want to test the product to make sure your skin doesnt react negatively to it. Heres the three step process:
Once you are ready to apply, check the product label for detailed instructions. Typically, you will apply twice a day after cleansing and toning, then put moisturizer over the vitamin C serum.
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Beautycounter Counter All Bright C Serum
This game-changing formula contains two types of vitamin C to leave skin radiant, as well as antioxidant-rich turmeric and camu camu extracts to help protect against the appearance of new dark spots. All of these ingredients also help defend against environmental stressors, for more youthful-looking skin.
One customer wrote: “I’m really enjoying the smooth feel of this product, how it smells, and what it’s doing for my skin already! Just started using it regularly this week and I am noticing a difference in the coloring of my skin in certain spots! Looking forward to keeping this in my regular lineup!”
Bliss Bright Idea Vitamin C + Tri
Courtesy of Bliss
Evens tone, firms, and hydrates
Dries without tackiness or residue
Works well with makeup
May cause reactions on sensitive skin
Not ideal for drier skin types
Vitamin C is a skincare staple, and Bliss’s Bright Idea serum proves to be one of the most multi-tasking and budget-friendly options on the market. With tri-peptide, glycerin, and licorice root to respectively firm, hydrate, and protect against free radicals as the vitamin C works to even tone, you really get a lot of bang for your buck with this non-sticky formula.
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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. Its 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 skins 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 its 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.