How We Rank The Best Vitamin C Serum
We always want to provide our readers with the best products, so to do so, weve created a set of criteria on which we based the products.
First, the products must contain common ingredients studied and proven to work best for the skin.
Some ingredients are a must for a product to be effective. Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are just some of the essential components.
Next, we check whether the product has been FDA approved and has at least some third-party certifications and other credentials.
The products also must be non-GMO, vegan, and free from many common allergens.
However, just because they contain no allergies, some people with hypersensitivity might find some side effects.
The final indicator that a product is good is the return policy. If you happen to have some problems with the product itself, the company must be good enough to return it and offer a refund.
If you happen to see a product that does not fulfill any of these said criteria, you will know that the product is not legit.
These products offer transparency and legitimacy for their clients, which makes them the best of the rest.
Can You Layer A Vitamin C Serum With Other Skin Care Products
Dermatologists love layering products! Klein says. I generally advise going from lowest to highest pH, like using either an alpha or beta hydroxy acid cleanser in the morning followed by the vitamin C serum.
A vitamin C serum will not lose its potency if applied in an incorrect order, but applying lowest to highest pH when layering skin products will increase absorptionand therefore efficacy, according to Klein. Feel free to add peptides, hyaluronic acids, and B5 after the Vitamin C serum. One exception is products with niacinamide. Niacinamide turns into niacin when mixed with Vitamin C, cautions Jaliman. Niacin, although not harmful, can cause short-term skin redness and tingling in people with sensitive skin.
Generally speaking, youll want to use your Vitamin C serum after you cleanse and tone, but before you use moisturizer. Take a few drops in the palm of your hand and massage gently into the skin of your face and neck with your fingertips. This can be done once or twice a day.
How Strict Are Use By Dates
Use by. Youll see use by dates on food that goes off quickly, such as smoked fish, meat products and ready-prepared salads. Dont use any food or drink after the end of the use by date on the label, even if it looks and smells fine. This is because using it after this date could put your health at risk.
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Can I Use Vitamin C Serum Every Day
‘Yes, vitamin C serum can be used every day. I would recommend using it in the morning as it will working synergistically with your sunscreen to improve your skins protection from sunlight,’ suggests Dr Shotter. ‘Sensitive skins may need to build up their tolerance to vitamin C serums by starting with using it on alternate days.’
Do Vitamin C Serums Have Any Side Effects
Vitamin C serums are most often skin-friendly and do not cause problems in most people. Rarely, they may cause an allergic reaction if you are allergic to some ingredients. Hence, make sure you do a skin patch test before you use them. If after 24 hours, you develop redness, itching or a rash on your face, discontinue using that particular vitamin C serum.
If you have highly sensitive skin, choose a vitamin C serum that contains vitamin C in the form of magnesium ascorbyl phosphate instead of L-ascorbic acid.
A study has shown that vitamin C can cause stinging, redness, dryness and yellowish staining of skin in some people. If you have hypersensitive skin, you may feel minor irritation. But that is OK. Layering it with a moisturizer can help resolve the dryness, redness, minor irritation and stinging. If these symptoms are extremely troublesome for you, discontinue using vitamin C serum.
Consult a skin specialist who will suggest the right vitamin C serum or maybe some other skincare product for you.
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Best For Acne: Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum
A similarly high price point to SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, Dr. Saedi explains that many of her clients gravitate toward Revision C+ Correcting Complex because it is fragrance free and is more of a lotion in consistency, making it less irritating. This antioxidant blend of 30% THD ascorbate and vitamin E is the perfect weapon for free radical damage, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and dark spots for all skin tones. It is also paraben and sulfate free.
Not All Vitamin C Serums Are Created Equal
Whether youve been looking to simplify your skin care routine or amp it up, a vitamin C serum might be your golden ticket. Topical vitamin C is a multipurpose workhorse that can protect, repair, and enhance your skin.
But, as with any products, not all serums are created equal. Components like the type and concentration of vitamin C, the ingredient list, and even the kind of bottle or dispenser make or break your serums benefits and your skin.
But dont worry, decoding which serum to buy isnt that hard. Weve got the facts on C serum benefits, how to choose one , and tips on how to make the most use of them.
Here are some products that we recommend:
- C E Ferulic by SkinCeuticals
- Vitamin C, E + Ferulic Acid Serum by Marie Veronique
- C-Firma Day Serum by Drunk Elephant
- Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
- Revitalist Derm Intensives Vitamin C Face Serum by LOreal Paris
- 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum by Timeless
- Beauty Shield Vitamin C Pollution Prevention Serum by e.l.f
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it halts or holds off environmental and sun damage to cells. And while you can count your morning OJ as a good defense for your bod, the best way to achieve vitamin Cs protection and benefits is to apply it directly onto your skin.
But theres also a reason why you dont want to just be placing citrus slices on your cheeks. When you DIY, theres no control over the quality and sometimes its not even safe. Its also just not efficient.
and made some recommendations.
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Algenist Blue Algae Vitamin C Skinclarity Brightening Serum
A brand known for its ability to harness the phenomenal powers of alguronic acid , Algenist skincare ramps up lazy skin cells, revving their engines to stimulate production of the precious components that keep your complexion plump, supple and glowing. Their latest innovation? Combining alguronic acid with stabilised vitamin C for a daily dose of brightening, even tone and skin texture. Think of it as your all-in-one skin superfood smoothie.
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Vitamin C Serums To Consider
Keep in mind that a higher percentage of L-ascorbic acid doesnt always mean a better product. Sometimes it can be too strong for your skin, causing it to react via purging, breakouts, or itchiness. You dont want the product to sting and itch even after you apply moisturizer.
|Beauty Shield Vitamin C Pollution Prevention Serum by e.l.f||$16, drugstore grab and go||The percentage is unknown, but for a drugstore product, the formulation of vitamin C, E, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid is primed for all skin types to apply freely.|
Which vitamin C serums should you avoid?
If you have dry, dehydrated, sensitized, or sensitive skin, you may want to opt for lighter vitamin C serums that have less than 20 percent L-ascorbic acid, especially if you want to apply twice per day. If the serums you like are on the higher end, dilute it with a moisturizer with each use. Since your skin only uses 10 percent of vitamin Cs benefits, you may not need full power with each application.
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How We Tested Vitamin C Serums
Ive been testing 26 vitamin C serums for months on my dry to sensitive skin. Though and confirmed by Dr. Patel using a vitamin C-infused moisturizer is a less irritating formulation than a serum, I found 18 of the best serums that didnt irritate my skin, highlighted pros and cons to help guide your decision and a list of some serums we tested that didnt make the cut.
That said, my skin has never been brighter.
Aside from switching off from one vitamin C serum to the next, I didnt use any new cleansers, moisturizers or face masks. Ive used my two favorite products, as of late, with each test: Alpyn Beautys Creamy Bubbling Cleanser with Fruit Enzymes and AHAs and the brands PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer.
Here are some helpful things to note before reading our tried-and-true favorites:
Everyone has different skin types: As highlighted by Dr. Patel above, skincare ingredients depend on the skin type itself. This review is based on my skin though, using Dr. Patels expertise as a compass, we grouped some of our favorites into other skin types.
You dont have to splurge to confer benefits: The best vitamin C serum isnt necessarily the most expensive, per Dr. Patel. A lot of times the extra cost of a skincare product has to do with exorbitant or fancy packaging, with packaging not being a good indicator of the quality of product inside.
Here are our 18 favorite vitamin C serums we tested
It Reduces The Appearance Of Under
Vitamin C serums can help smooth out fine lines by plumping and hydrating the under-eye area.
Although vitamin C is more effective at reducing overall redness, some people say it can help alleviate discoloration associated with under-eye circles.
According to a small 2009 study , vitamin C in the form of 10 percent sodium ascorbate was found to improve dark circles of the lower eyelid after 6 months of use by thickening the eyelid dermis and concealing dark coloration due to congested blood.
Some other ways to help get rid of under-eye bags include using a cold compress and adding retinol to your skin care routine.
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For Sensitive Skin: Skinceuticals Ce Ferulic With 15% L
SkinCeuticals created this incredible product to deal with combination skin and sensitive skin.
It works best if applied in the daytime to protect the skin against harmful environmental chemicals and pollutants such as ozone, UV rays, and even diesel exhaust.
These environmental pollutants harm the skin by creating free radicals on the top layer of the skin, thus making it more prone to aging and other skin concerns.
Once the serum is absorbed on the skin, it can stay for even 72 hours the most.
The ingredients in this serum are:
- Vitamin C
- Ferulic acid
How does it work?
The formula comprises 15% percent l ascorbic acid and 15 vitamin E, which create a powerful duo in fighting many skin issues.
Combining these ingredients has been proven to have an antioxidant property in treating the skin and enabling it to recover vastly from damage.
Thanks to this, youll never have to deal with dry skin and dark spots spread across your face.
- Improves fine lines and wrinkles
- It meant to brighten skin
- Consult your doctor before applying it to your face
You can buy this product on the official website for $166. The price of the shipping depends on your location.
Skin Serum: What It Can And Cant Do
Many things improve with age unfortunately, your skin is not one of them. Wrinkles, brown spots, and general dullness often start to creep in as the years tick by. To reverse these problems many women are turning to a skin serum. Serums are light, easily absorbed oil- or water-based liquids that you spread on your skin. They typically come in small bottles with a dropper, and you only need a few drops to treat your whole face.
A skin serum is not a moisturizer, like a lotion or cream, says Dr. Abigail Waldman, instructor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School. Rather, they are highly concentrated formulations that are designed to sink into the skin quickly, delivering an intensive dose of ingredients that can address common skin complaints. I definitely recommend serums for anyone who is concerned about aging. Its a really good way to get extra anti-aging effects, more than your typical moisturizer and sunscreen, says Dr. Waldman.
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It Generally Helps Boost Wound Healing
Given its effects on sunburn, it should be no surprise that vitamin C application can speed up overall wound healing. Healthy wound healing reduces your risk of inflammation, infection, and scarring.
A found that vitamin C supplementation had a positive effect on gene expression in human skin fibroblasts, including:
- increased mitogenic stimulation, or cell proliferation
- increased cell motility, or the spontaneous movement of a cell from one location to another by consumption of energy
- faster repair of damaged DNA bases
This is in part because wound healing is associated with collagen formation, and vitamin C boosts collagen production.
Although topical vitamin C is generally well tolerated, all skin products have the potential to cause side effects. You should always do a patch test to assess your risk of allergic reaction. Heres how:
When its time for a full application, follow the instructions on the products label.
Vitamin C serum is typically applied once or twice per day. A good rule of thumb is to cleanse, tone, apply vitamin C serum, and then moisturize.
It can be safely used with other active ingredients, although using alongside niacinamide may make vitamin C less effective.
How To Choose The Best Vitamin C Serum
Due to the enormous market relating to skincare, it might seem impossible to find the best serum for your face. Well, what if we tell you that this doesnt have to be the case anymore.
First, you have to check the ingredients. The serum youre looking for must have at least some form of vitamin c in its formula. You can also check for other active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and such.
It is also essential to check whether a board-certified dermatologist has approved them. What better states a product is good than a doctors approval?
You can also lookup whether the product has gone under clinical trials and has third-party certifications.
If youre unsure which product is the best for you, you can always discuss your options with your dermatologist.
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Its Safe For Most Skin Types
Vitamin C has an excellent . Most people can use topical vitamin C for an extended period of time without experiencing any adverse reactions.
In rare cases , people who have hypersensitive skin may experience minor irritation.
Vit C As A Depigmenting Agent
When choosing a depigmenting agent, it is important to differentiate between substances that are toxic to the melanocyte and substances that interrupt the key steps of melanogenesis. Vit. C falls into the latter category of depigmenting agents. Vit. C interacts with copper ions at the tyrosinase-active site and inhibits action of the enzyme tyrosinase, thereby decreasing the melanin formation. Vit. C also acts on the perifollicular pigment. However, Vit. C is an unstable compound. It is therefore often combined with other depigmenting agents such as soy and liquorice for better depigmenting effect.
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Alumier Md Everactive C& e
This collection is loved by WH beauty editor Perdita Nouril for their ability to wage war on dullness, uneven tone and fine lines. These waterless bottles contains 15% L-ascorbic acid powder that is stored in a separate cap above the serum so you only mix it as and when you want to use it, ensuring the vitamin Cs efficacy.
Are All Vitamin C Serums Created Equal
No, not all vitamin C serums are on the same level of efficacy. This is because vitamin C is labeled as an unstable ingredient, with serums containing L-ascorbic acid being the most active form of the vitamin.
L ascorbic acid is the water-soluble form , Dr. Patel explains. Its most easily absorbed by the skin, unstable in sunlight and air and is tricky in formulation this results in the different qualities of vitamin C serums.
Dr. Patel adds that esterified vitamin C is much more stable in air and sunlight and not as irritating, but not as strong as L ascorbic acid. That said, the difference in serum qualities depends on concentration, formulation and packaging, according to Dr. Patel.
It Helps Fade Hyperpigmentation
Since it impedes melanin production, vitamin C can actually fade hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C by downregulating the activity of an enzyme known as tyrosinase. Its widely used in dermatology for depigmentation of hyperpigmented spots on the skin.
Its also been used for treatment of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation , though studies are limited.