Vitamin C Serums: The Bottom Line
While theres no such thing as a miracle product, vitamin C serums have garnered a reputation for effectively addressing multiple skin concerns. The best vitamin C serum or vitamin C oil for the face reduces discoloration, softens the signs of age, brightens, and so much more.
Vitamin C works as a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from elements like the sun , pollution, and cigarette smoke. Vitamin C also discourages melanin production in the skin by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for skin pigment, melanin. As a result, vitamin C helps discoloration issues , evens out skin tone, brightens, and increases radiance.
Additionally, research suggests that when vitamin C is applied to the skin, it significantly reverses aging-related structural changes by influencing collagen and elastin synthesis. When shopping for the best vitamin C serum, look for the correct type of C for your skin type, as noted above.
As far as concentration goes, most experts agree that a level between 10 and 20% is the sweet spot 8% is too low, whereas going over 20% could cause irritation and isnt any more effective. Lastly, look at how the vitamin C serum is packaged. While traditionally, dark glass bottles were the preferred material, companies have made a lot of packaging innovations to keep the C stable.
Best Vitamin C Serums To Fade Dark Spots And Discoloration
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Experts consider vitamin C to be excellent when it comes to skin care given both its functional and aesthetic benefits. Also known as L-ascorbic acid, it is required for proper function of skin because it plays an essential role in collagen production, explained board-certified dermatologist Caren Campbell, MD. The San Francisco-based doctor called vitamin C invaluable and vital in any skin care routine.
SKIP AHEAD Best vitamin C serums
You stand to get the most vitamin C-related benefits from treatments like serums, creams and lotions, which are typically formulated with high concentrations of their respective active ingredients , explained board-certified dermatologist Caroline Robinson, MD. Vitamin C cleansers and other skin care products that you rinse off are not considered treatments and typically include much lower percentages of active ingredients .
What Makes Kiehls Powerful
Our formula is clinically demonstrated to help reduce the appearance of lines and deep-set wrinkles, while boosting radiance and helping even skin texture over time. Formulated with antioxidant Pure Vitamin C, which is a powerful skincare ingredient that begins working immediately, our Vitamin C serum is potent, yet gentle enough for sensitive skin and formulated to enhance the efficacy of Vitamin C benefits with continued use. Our formula is specially designed to stabilize Vitamin C. Its true, Pure Vitamin C can degrade when exposed to water, but our water-free formula helps to keep the high concentrations of Pure Vitamin C stable and effective.
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What Are Vitamin Cs Benefits For Skin
In short: everything. For one, vitamin C promotes collagen production, which has the potential to thicken the dermis, diminish fine lines, and is essential for firm, youthful skin, Wexler says. On top of that, vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it protects skin cells from damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure.
It also inhibits melanin production in the skin, which helps to lighten hyperpigmentation and brown spots, even out skin tone, and enhance skin radiance. Finally, vitamin C helps to repair damage from sun exposure and collagen loss by encouraging healthy cell turnover and regeneration, says Wexler.
Best Vitamin C Serum For 2022
Vitamin C deserves a spot in your supplement and skincare routine.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help you feel better when you feel sick or even stressed. While you may already take Vitamin C as a supplement, it can also boost your skincare routine. Topical vitamin C is found in a wide variety of skincare products and many skincare experts recommend it for better skin.
“Vitamin C is a great ingredient because it is a multitasker,” says dermatologist, Dr. Elyse Love. “It’s an antioxidant, so it helps to protect the skin against any UV damage that may have made it through your sunscreen defense. It also helps to regulate pigmentation production, producing a more even skin tone. For this reason, I recommend vitamin C a lot — for its anti-aging protective effects and pigment-regulating function.”
We curated some of the best vitamin C serums for your skin below based on extensive research, expert recommendations and top-rated and reviewed products online.
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All About Vitamin C Serums And Your Skin
Vitamin C sits beside retinol serums as one of the most recommended skin care ingredients of all time. Dermatologists love the vitamins ability to brighten, lighten, tighten, hydrate, and protect skin from environmental threats like pollution, smoke, and the suns harmful ultraviolet rays. So in addition to noshing on foods containing the natural ingredient, vitamin C serum has become all the rage to apply topically to skin. Vitamin C serum benefits include boosting tissue repair and collagen production, which promotes the appearance of healthier skin. But with every brand quick to declare theirs is the best vitamin C serum out there, how do you know which one to choose? We asked skin care experts and dermatologists for their picks.
When To Use It In Your Skincare Routine
But at what point in your skin care routine should you use vit C?
Remember our ingredients to avoid above: AHAs, BHAs, and retinol can all cause serious irritation if used with vitamin C. AHAs and BHAs can even change the pH balance of your serum and render it useless. If you plan on using any of these ingredients, consider using them at night and applying your vitamin C in the morning. That way, you get the best of both worlds.
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What To Look For In The Best Vitamin C Serum
- Types of Vitamin C: Its vital to choose the suitable vitamin C serum for your skin type. For example, If you have dry, mature skin, look for more moisturizing serums containing lipid-soluble forms of vitamin C, like ascorbyl palmitate and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. If youre on the oilier side, a serum with L-ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbyl phosphate is better because these ingredients are water-soluble, which means theyre lighter.
- Concentration: Keep an eye out for the concentration level of vitamin C in the serum to ensure its effectiveness. Most experts agree that a level between 10 and 20% is the sweet spot 8% is too low, whereas going over 20% could cause irritation and isnt any more effective.
- Packaging: Look at how vitamin C serums are packaged. While traditionally, dark glass bottles were the preferred material, companies have made a lot of packaging innovations to keep the C stable. When C is exposed to light, the product turns yellow you dont want this to happen because it may darken your skin instead of helping with any hyperpigmentation issues. Always store your vitamin C serum in a cool, dark place.
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.
Ascorbic acid sulfate.
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What Age Is A Vitamin C Serum Recommended For
Our Vitamin C formula is designed for all ages and helps to visibly treat fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin texture and the appearance of pores. Vitamin C levels deplete in skin over time, so using skincare products with Vitamin C is important as you grow older. However, our formula is still effective to use before you start to see fine lines and wrinkles. Our Vitamin C serum helps boost radiance and provide antioxidant protection to help defend skin from early signs of aging.
Vitamin C Serums Prevent Wrinkles
There are several really good reasons why vitamin C is touted primarily as an anti-aging miracle drug. Vitamin C plays a central role in building and maintaining collagen. For one, vitamin C stops free radicals and prevents them from damaging collagen. On the other hand, vitamin C also actively participates in the development of new connective tissue.
Collagen is a protein that is responsible for the elasticity of our body tissue. Together with other active ingredients, the protein forms a framework around our cells and thus maintains elasticity and body shape. While young people still form sufficient collagen on their own and do not need any external support, the build-up is significantly weaker in older skin. From the age of 25, the skin loses its elasticity and becomes more prone to wrinkles.
Vitamin C serums have been shown to promote the build-up of collagen so that it builds up again. This inhibits premature aging of the skin. At the same time, smaller wrinkles are smoothed. Because vitamin C serums provide the skin with additional moisture and allow it to swell slightly, which in turn smooths out unevenness.
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What Is A Vitamin C Serum Exactly And Whats In It
A vitamin C serum is a skin-care product packed with vitamin C. It has the consistency of a liquid or gel, and is applied topically to the skin. Youll find these serums wherever you normally purchase skin-care products at department stores, beauty stores, and some drug stores, too. On the packaging, youll likely see words touting skin benefits like firming, brightening, and collagen boosting. Tapping into those benefits is the main reason to add a vitamin C serum to your skin-care routine.
The benefit of vitamin C is its an antioxidant, so it helps prevent the forming of free radicals, which go on to break down collagen and elastin, Saedi says. The result, she says, is glowing, youthful skin.
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.
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Dr Dennis Gross C + Collagen Perfect Skin Set & Refresh Mist
Opting for a mist is a great lighter alternative to thicker serums. The blend of vitamin C, antioxidants, and amino acids help to revive a dull complexionits like an amazing quick-fix vitamin C boost for your skin, says Anne Chapas, M.D. of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. Apply during your typical serum step, or spritz it on whenever your face needs a revive.
How Often To Use Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C serums have shown their best results when used twice daily. If serums are not already a part of your skincare routine, it will be quite easy for you to apply your Vitamin C once in the morning and once at night, between cleansing and moisturizing.
Some individuals make use of high intensity serums, such as retinol, by night. In these instances, you would simply use your Vitamin C serum once a day applying it in the morning when your previous-nights retinol has been washed off.
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What Percentage Of Vitamin C Is Effective
An effective vitamin C serum will contain approximately a 10% to 20% concentration of vitamin C. A product that has significantly more than a 20% concentration of vitamin C is more likely to irritate the skin. Vitamin C serums with under a 10% concentration will still deliver results, but likely wont be as effective as other options with higher concentrations.
Is A Vitamin C Serum Recommended For Sensitive And Acne
Our vitamin C serums are carefully formulated and tested to be gentle enough for sensitive skin. Kiehls Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate is formulated with Fragmented Hyaluronic Acid to help reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles and even skin texture for all skin types, including sensitive skin. When first starting with a Vitamin C serum, we recommend using once a day and building gradually to twice daily usage. If you have specific concerns, however, consult your dermatologist before incorporating new skincare products into your routine.
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It Helps Reduce Redness And Even Out Your Skin Tone
Vitamin C has also been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory agent through its antioxidant capacity, according to a . This means it soothes your skin and reduces puffiness, letting your face shine through.
Vitamin Cs anti-inflammatory action
- neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative damage
- optimize the immune system to discourage inflammatory immune response
The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C can also help reduce redness, which in turn can create a more even complexion. The combined reduction of dark spots, redness, and irritation make for a clear, smooth skin tone.
Whats The Best Way To Incorporate Vitamin C Into Your Skincare Routine
Experts recommend using it as a first step. As with most actives, I recommend using a vitamin C after cleansing but before non-active topicals, says Pritzker. So you should use it before you moisturize and always before SPF, which you should be using every day. We typically recommend using it in the morning.
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Best Vitamin C Serums Of 2022
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Any time you feel the signs of a possible infection coming on, you might be inclined to take vitamin C supplements to give your immune system a boost. As vital as oral vitamin C is to your immunity against infections, applying a topical vitamin C serum daily can also help protect your skin from free radical damage .
According to Medical News Today, free radicals are unstable atoms your body produces that can wreak havoc on your skin cells, damaging your skin and speeding up the aging process. Excess free radicals are formed as a result of exposure to certain triggers like UV radiation and air pollution. Because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin C inhibits this process, resulting in the prevention of hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and sagging skin. It’s clear that incorporating a vitamin C serum into your skincare routine can do wonders for your skin.
Navigating the vast sea of vitamin C serums to find the one that’s right for your skin needs may seem daunting for the first-time skincare sailor. However, with our comprehensive guide on the best vitamin C serums for every skin need, you’ll have the most radiant skin in all of the seven seas.