Best Overall: Zo Skin Health 10% Vitamin C Self
Our overall recommendation for the best vitamin C serum is the ZO Skin Health 10% Vitamin C Self-Activating serum. The product contains 10% vitamin C, which has anti-aging properties and minimizes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sunspots by promoting collagen production. “I have this in my bathroom,” Dr. Chacon says. “It is gentle and non-irritating, and it leaves your skin radiant afterward.”
Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with under 100 Amazon ratings
Why Buy: Along with L-ascorbic acid, this serum includes ingredients like Coenzyme Q10 for multi-layer antioxidant protection and plant-derived squalane for added hydration. ZO Skin Health’s products are all cruelty-free.
Vitamins Are Essential For Skin Health
As vitamins are essential to your health and body functions, vitamin deficiencies can cause adverse effects on the skin. Since vitamins C and E play such important roles in protecting your skin from the sun, deficiencies in either vitamin can increase the risk of skin damage, including skin cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.
Vitamin C Supplement Prices
It can be difficult to compare supplement prices because of the different forms in which vitamin C is found. For example, pills can be compared by the price per pill, but powder forms are priced by the kilogram or gram. However, we can give you a few generalisations about the price as a reference point.
Pill or capsule: These supplements start around $0.05 per dose. The supplement may have pure ascorbic acid or any of the mineral ascorbates. The price per capsule for both regular and delayed-release capsules rises based on the source of the vitamin C. Natural, vegan, vegetarian, and non-GMO sources may cost $0.10 per dose or more. The body absorbs natural and artificial sources of vitamin C at the same rate, but if you adhere to a vegan or other specialised diet, you can find a supplement that does, too.Powder: These supplements may contain pure ascorbic acid or an ascorbate form of vitamin C and cost from $6 to $10 per kilogram. These supplements cost more up-front, but you get more doses per bottle. They also offer more dosage options because you can adjust your dosage according to your needs when mixing the powder with water. However, be sure to read the dosage instructions so you dont get too much vitamin C, which can cause stomach upset or heartburn.
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Best Vitamin C Serums In Canada
Its hard to overstate just how amazing vitamin C serums can be for the skin. Youre probably already familiar with how important this vitamin is for the immune system, but it also has remarkable beautifying effects when applied topically.
Its especially well regarded as a solution to hyperpigmentation, so if you have sun spots, dark post-acne marks, or even diffused patches of darkness caused by pregnancy , then it needs to be on your radar.
Beyond this targeted effect, it has other skin benefits: it is actively anti-ageing, helping to firm the skin by promoting collagen synthesis and its preventative, acting as an antioxidant to protect the skin from the ageing effects of the sun.
It also comes with some complications. In its most effective form as ascorbic acid, it is notoriously unstable and hard to formulate. Many of the serums out on the market dont use it effectively so they are either very weak or they lose their effectiveness very quickly.
Thats why we give the lowdown on exactly which vitamin C skincare products work, and what makes each one of them unique.
Zo Skin Health Brightalive Skin Brightener
ZO Skin Health
One ingredient growing in popularity among skincare brands is tranexamic acid, a gentle-on-skin derivative of lysine . While its not necessarily a direct alternative for Vitamin C, tranexamic acid is particularly ideal in neutralizing the effects of UV exposure and reducing dark spots on the skin. And many people in pursuit of Vitamin C serums are in fact after this effect, as opposed to countering dullness.
In essence, you can use either ingredient for both functions. Studies lean slightly towards tranexamic acid, but nominally so. Vitamin C remains the brand favorite. If youre curious to try the highly tolerant tranexamic acid, though, consider a nightly treatment cream, like ZO Skin Health Brightalive Skin Brightener.
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Dont Use Vitamin C With Certain Other Ingredients
Vitamin C is generally pretty safe and well tolerated, but if you have sensitive skin, it might sting a little bitespecially if you use it in the same part of your routine as exfoliating scrubs or acids.
The one ingredient you should steer clear of when using vitamin C is benzoyl peroxide, which can oxidize the vitamin C and, therefore, make it less potent, Dr. Hogan says. You can still use your benzoyl peroxide products, just not in the same part of your routine as the vitamin C. Try using vitamin C in the morning and benzoyl peroxide in the evenings, or use them on different days.
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.
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The Best Brightening Vitamin C Serum: Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum $45
- Pros: Has a sweet citrus scent, gives your skin an immaculate brightness that stood out from the rest
- Cons: May be too shiny for some
Mario Badescu certainly knew what he was doing when his Vitamin C Serum was born. Wow is an understatement I expected it to work well, but I was floored when I noticed how bright and glowy it left my skin.
It did, however, leave my skin a bit shinier than Id like after using, but if you want to see great brightening effects, this serum is your best bet.
- Pros: Has a fresh feel, leaves the skin plump
- Cons: Requires some mixing before use
Ive been one of Drunk Elephants No. 1 fans for years and have been using the C-Firma Fresh Day Serum regularly since I wrote a review on the product. It turns you into a bathroom mixologist and has one of the freshest, high-quality formulations yet.
Aside from its revitalized feel, it always leaves my skin plump and healthy, which is the ideal texture before catching those ZZZs.
When To Expect Results With Vitamin C Serums
Like any corrective skincare ingredient, this isnt an overnight miracle. Independent of any other ingredients in each formula , you might notice changes to your skins brightness within a month, and significant improvement of hyperpigmentation and firmness after two to three months. Continued use is important, in order to prevent the formation of the same problems, and to maintain the results.
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Skinmedica Vitamin C + E Complex
Any skin type can benefit from dabbing on a daily dose of this fragrance-free treatment from SkinMedica. In addition to pure vitamin C, the formula also includes vitamin E, which gives it a double dose of antioxidant power. Plus, it has a time-release effect, so it doesnt sputter out mid-day, Dr. Sperling says.
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
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When And How To Use Vitamin C In Your Skincare Routine:
Contrary to popular belief and unlike AHAâs and BHAâs or retinol, vitamin C is not necessarily vulnerable to sun exposure, so that means that you can add it to your skincare routine every morning and layer it underneath a good 30 or 50+ SPF.
Depending on the form of vitamin C, skin cosmetician and skincare entrepreneur Ole Henriksen‘s rule of thumb is to âimplement it by layering according to thickness .â shared Henriksen when speaking to GLAMOUR.
By Elle Turner
When And How To Use Vitamin C In Skincare
While Vitamin C is one of the more desirable ingredients in a thorough skincare regimen, it can also be one of the least stable. Thats because it oxidizes easily, and has a short shelf life in poorly engineered formulas. That underscores the importance of picking a good versionone that pairs well with other ingredients, too, so as to not be neutralized by the ingredients in the rest of your regimen.
Vitamin C is typically used in the morning, after cleansing, via a serum or moisturizer. Because our nighttime regimens tend to incorporate more aggressive ingredients, the daytime is a safer time to deploy Vitamin C without compromising its powers. Serums are the preferred delivery mechanism, as they help the ingredient seep into the skin and work on corrective levels. Once its absorbed, seal it off with an SPF moisturizer to further defend against UV rays and skin-aging pollutants.
Its also important to know that not all Vitamin C-carrying ingredients are equal. Read down our list of products to understand how they differ. But, most importantly, make sure youre educated on the specific way your product of choice delivers Vitamin C to your skinand avoid any Vitamin C products with a clear bottle or in a screw-off jar, because you want minimal light and air to protect against oxidation. Lastly, try to use up each product within 90 days of purchase.
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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.
What Is Vitamin C Good For
Vitamin C is an incredible skincare ingredient with multiple benefits that are well-backed by science.
The most unique benefit is its ability to fade hyperpigmentation, including sun spots, scars, and even hormonal melasma . It works by disrupting the melanin formation process, which over time helps to give the skin a more clear and even-toned look.
Its also a potent anti-ageing ingredient. It helps reverse signs of ageing like fine lines and loss of tone by helping to promote collagen production, which makes the skin more firm and youthful-looking.
It also has antioxidant and photoprotective properties, which means it can help keep the skin healthy by neutralizing the harmful oxidative damage caused by the sun and pollution. It works particularly well in the daytime, as long as its used in conjunction with a strong sunscreen.
Finally, it has some mild anti-inflammatory effects, so it can also help reduce redness associated with sensitive skin as well as acne.
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Shop The Best Vitamin C Serums
The C-Tetra is a great starter Vitamin C serum, repairing visible sun damage and stimulating collagen production at an affordable price. Its key ingredient is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate , the strongest and most stable derivative of Vitamin C. This is combined with Vitamin E, which boosts the anti-oxidising properties. The lower concentration of Vitamin C makes this serum ideal for people in their 20s and 30s, or those with sensitive skin.
What Is Grove Collaborative
At Grove, we take the guesswork out of which products are good for you and your home. Every product meets strict standards for being nontoxic, effective, sustainable, and cruelty-free. Once you find products you love, we ship to your home on a flexible, monthly schedule.
If you’re ready to make the transition to natural cleaning, beauty, and household products, shop Grove Collaborative’s natural products for the eco-friendly tools to tackle the job.
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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.
Buying Guide For Best Vitamin C Supplements
As society has grown increasingly health conscious, people have turned to supplements to make up for the nutrients their diet may lack. Whether or not its cough and cold season, vitamin C supplements are a great way to boost your immune system, improve skin cell health, and keep your memory in shape. You can take supplements when you feel a cold coming on or as a regular part of your diet. Vitamin C is naturally found in citrus fruits, but it can also be found in guavas, bell peppers, kiwifruit, strawberries, and broccoli.
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You Can Use Vitamin C With Retinol But Be Cautious
In the past it was thought that you should avoid using vitamin C products with retinoids at all costs. And that is still sort of true. They work best in different skin environments, so using them at the same time may make both less effective. And because they can have similar effects on the skin, experts do still advise against using these two ingredients together, Dr. Hogan says.
Using them in the same part of your routine can cause irritation, Dr. Lamb says, but its okay to use them on the same day at different times. Experts generally advise using vitamin C products in the morning and retinoids at night.
For A Youthful Look: Loral 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum
Loreals dermatological tested serum effectively boosts the youthfulness of the face and gives it a glowing and plump look to the skin.
The formula has been created specifically to target wrinkles and fine lines with age and even the skin surface. This is excellent if you want something that will be suitable for even sensitive skin types.
It protects against skin damage and has a high concentration of vitamin c.
The ingredients in this serum are:
- Vitamin C
- Ferulic acid
How does it work?
This potent vitamin c has been designed to eliminate the persistent dark spots on the skin and even out skin tone.
Its fast-absorbing and leaves no residue on the face. The ingredients are gentle on the skin and not irritate, but at the same time, they are potent enough to protect against the oxidative radicals on the skin.
- Do a patch test before applying on skin
- Dont combine with Retinol
You can buy this product on the official website for $29.99. The price of the shipping depends on your location.
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