5 Best Vitamin C Serum For Face

With so many products on the market, how could you know which is the best vitamin C serum for face? No worries, we are here to help. We have reviewed the serums from the top 15 in-demand brands and picked five products that we liked the most.

Best Vitamin C Serums And Their Products – Quick Check

Serumtologie does a great job with its Vitamin C serum 22 when it comes to concentration. This beautiful blue glass bottle contains 22% Vitamin C, 5% hyaluronic acid, 1% Vitamin E, 1% ferulic acid, aloe vera, and jojoba oil. What makes this product different is the fact that it contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate which is the water soluble form of ascorbic acid. This makes the serum less irritating compared to other products and better suited for sensitive skin.

Oz Naturals, with 20% Vitamin C is another amazing product. It also contains Astaxanthin which is an antioxidant that reduces age spots and acne and improves the aspect of your skin. The product is natural, with cold-pressed ingredients which makes the serum much cleaner and purer compared to others on the market. The serum has a minimal sticky feel to it and a pH level of 7 which can cause some dryness of the face.

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic is the most expensive product among all. But despite this consumes are still willing to pay more to take advantage of the benefits offered by its L-Ascorbic acid content. It contains 15% pure L-ascorbic acid, ferulic acid and Vit E making this product a powerful antioxidant, providing eight times the skin’s natural protection.

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum is a very popular product which is affordable but still offering powerful antioxidant properties that attack the fine lines and dark spots. Enriched with Konjac Root, Chamomile Extract and Clary Sage, this serum also calms and soothes the skin, and acts as a natural astringent and toner.

Foxbrim  Vitamin C Serum is the most affordable product in our list. Its smell is very pleasant and its ingredients such as Amino Complex and Hyaluronic Acid will make your skin glow and keep it youthful. MSM has been added to improve the skin tone and health.  The serum is also easy to apply and it does not leave a sticky feeling.

Vitamin C serum for face – top 5 recommended products

BrandFeatures
1. Serumtologie Vitamin C Serum 22%




✅ Best for: All Skin Types
✅ Form: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
✅ pH Level: 4.8
✅ Potency: 22%
✅ Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E
2. OZNaturals Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Aging Vit C




✅ Best for: All Skin Types
✅ Form: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
✅ pH Level: 7
✅ Potency: 20%
✅ Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E
3. Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum




✅ Best for: Oily Skin Types
✅ Form: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
✅ pH Level: 3.0
✅ Potency: 15%
✅ Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E
4. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic




✅ Best for: Normal Skin Types
✅ Form: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
✅ pH Level: 2.5
✅ Potency: 15%
✅ Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E
5. Foxbrim’s Advanced Formula Vit C Serum




✅ Best for: All Skin Types
✅ Form: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
✅ pH Level: 7.7
✅ Potency: 20%
✅ Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E

Vitamin C Serum For Face Reviews

Here are the best five vitamin C serums that have been recommended by beauty editors and dermatologists.

1. Serumtologie Vitamin C Serum 22%

This serum has the highest vit C percentage among the brands we have reviewed above. More vitamin C means faster and better results. The serum contains Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, which is a form of Vitamin C that is less irritating and more stable.

Another thing that sets this product apart is that is contains vitamin C under the form of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, which makes this serum less irritating and more stable. The serum comes in a beautiful blue tinted glass bottle to prevent oxidation.

With a pH of 6.5, Serumtologie Vitamin C Serum 22% is perfect for any skin type. Any product beyond this range would cause irritation. The serum also has a smooth texture making it easy to apply on the skin.

It’s enough to use only 5-6 drops of the product and lightly pat the serum on the skin. Don’t forget to also use an SPF product to prevent further deterioration of the skin.

Ingredients

Besides the 22% Vit C the serum also contains 5% Hyaluronic, Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid.

Vitamin E

It is well known that Vitamin E is one of the most potent antioxidants and vitamins for the skin. This vitamin is a barrier for free radicals which speed up the aging process and it has a complementary effect when it is used together with vitamin C. Used together, the vitamins increase the rate of cellular repair, have a stronger antioxidant effect and better smoothing benefits.

Ferulic Acid

Ferulic acid, which is extracted from the rice bran oil, is another potent antioxidant. The interesting part about this ingredient is that when it is added to the vitamins C and E it can boost their photo-protective effects and antioxidant properties.

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This Vitamin C serum boosts the skin’s hydration, making it more elastic, glowing and soft. The OZNaturals Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Aging Vit C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid is non-GMO and can be applied on all skin types. It has a thick consistency, it is easy to apply and spread on the skin.

When using the product for the first time, take only 3-4 drops and see how much area you can cover. There is also a guide in this article on how to apply the serum.

Some users said they experienced dryness when they applied the serum constantly. To avoid this you should apply a good moisturizer after applying the serum.

Ingredients

Although most vitamin C serum have almost the same added ingredients, such as ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, the Oz Naturals Serum has something more.

Hyaluronic Acid

This serum contains 5% Vegan Hyaluronic Acid which locks the moisture in the skin, improving its hydration. The hyaluronic acid penetrates the deeper layers of the skin, reducing fine wrinkles and lines.

Organic Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is the only oil for skin use that is similar to the human sebum. This oil keeps the skin lubricated and helps the serum take effect faster and easier.

Amino Blend

Amino acids improve circulation in the skin, helping it get the nutrients it needs to be healthy and smooth. The amino acids also work as antioxidants, facilitating healing and also helping the skin create antioxidants on its own. The amino blend strengthens the skin’s natural defense system, being protected against environmental damage.

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Mad Hippie’s award-winning Vitamin C serum is the perfect blend of vitamins and antioxidants that restore the sun damaged skin.  The serum has a lightweight texture and gets quickly absorbed by skin. It does not cause greasiness or stickiness.

The serum contains 10% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, antioxidants and other ingredients aimed at revitalizing the skin, evening the skin tone, reducing spots, fine wrinkles and acne.

Ingredients

Besides vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid, Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum also contains:

Hyaluronic Acid 

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body which begins to deplete by age.  Applied topically, it helps increase the plumped up skin look.

Konjac Root 

Konjac root is an exotic flower from Asia, which helps smooth and soften the skin, also protecting it from external damaging factors. It is rich in fatty acids, phosphorus, zinc, copper, lipids, carbohydrates, magnesium, potassium, protein, folic acid, iron and vitamins D, A, E, B and D.

Chamomile Extract 

Chamomile calms and soothes the skin, also acting as a protective shield.

Clary Sage 

The plant helps eliminate overly-oily or overly-dry skin, acting as a natural astringent and tonner.

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Another amazing product, the Skin Ceuticals C E Ferulic promises to keep working even after you rub or wash your face. Although it’s the most expensive product in the list, specialists believe that the combination 15% pure vitamin C, ferulic acid and vitamin E is magic. So if you have the extra cash to spend on this product you will not be disappointed.

This serum is suitable for normal to oily skin, it’s easy to apply and does not leave a sticky feel. Four to five drops are more than enough for one application.

Ingredients

Skin Ceuticals C E Ferulic contains 15% vitamin C, 1% vitamin E and 1.5% ferulic acid.

Ferulic acid

The ferulic acid protects the skin against the free-radical damage, but it also increases the collagen synthesis andimproves the structural integrity of the skin.

Antioxidants

The serum also contains a high amount of antioxidants which create a protective barrier against environmental aggressors, assaults and pollutants which cause the premature skin aging and oxidative stress.

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Foxbrim Vitamin C Serum for Face contains 20% vitamin C and it works on all skin types. Even if it is one of the cheapest serums on the market, this does not mean it is not a great product.

The serum has no particular smell and it even comes in a tamper-proof bottle in case you will drop it on the bathroom floor.

Ingredients

The serum contains Amino Complex and Hyaluronic Acid which will keep your skin glowing and youthful.

Methylsulfonylmethane

MSM is a very important component which promotes collagen production, smoothing fine lines and fighting winkles. When added to a Vitamin C serum, it improves the skin’s health  and evens out the skin tone.

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Do You Need Vitamin C Serum For Face?

vitamin c serum for face

Vitamin C is a universally effective ingredient in skincare. No matter what kind of skin issue you are dealing with, fine lines, dullness, redness, hyperpigmentation, acne, age spots or lack of firmness, Vitamin C will offer some impressive results to the appearance of your complexion. This will happen only if you are committed to daily application of it.

What is Vitamin C?

Just like you take vitamin C for its amazing properties when you are cold or have the flu, this vitamin also acts as an antioxidant fighting the environmental free radicals that can wreak havoc on your skin. Vitamin C can fade dark spots, brighten the skin and even the skin tone. But how exactly can it do that?

Oxidative stress is a state that the skin goes through when it does not have enough antioxidants to fight the havoc caused by free radicals. The oxidative stress causes redness, sallow the skin tone and an unwell-looking skin. Free radicals are created when the skin cells meet environmental damaging agents such as vehicle emissions, air pollution, UVA/UVB rays, dirt and cigarette smoke. The skin can be weakened by an extensive oxidative stress and accelerate the aging process of the skin.

Vitamin C does not only work as a powerful antioxidant, it also stimulates collagen production. Also, thanks t its anti-inflammatory properties it helps in preventing oiliness, acne and blackheads.

Who should use Vitamin C?

Because vitamin C helps prevent skin deterioration, protects it from environmental damaging agents and repairs damaged skin, it should be used by anyone. Specialists believe that the earlier we include vitamin C in our routine, the better.

Although the signs of pigmentation and ageing start appear only when we are in our thirties, it is good to start using vitamin C anytime after 18 years old. You should know that it is time to use vitamin C when you see that the skin lost its glow, brown spots after sun exposure or red marks after an acne breakout.

Everyone can benefit from vitamin C. So if you want to keep your skin glowing and clean, you should not skip Vitamin C.

Top Vitamin C Serum For Face Benefits

1. Prevents skin cancer

Although Vitamin C offers some protection against UV damage, it cannot absorb UV light like sunscreen does.  What it does instead is reverse UV damages that were caused by unstable free radicals by forming a barrier under the skin layers and supplementing the effect of a sunscreen cream.

If you want the best protection against skin cancer and the sun damage, you should use both vitamin C serum and sunscreen. The serum is applied first so that the skin can fully absorb it, the facial moisturizer and at the end the sunscreen.

2. Prevents wrinkles and fine lines

Because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant it creates a barrier to protect the skin against the free radicals tat damage the skin.  Besides this, the vitamin also helps in synthesizing two important skin proteins: elastin and collagen. These are responsible for keeping the normal structure of the skin.  Once the quantity of these proteins starts to drop, the texture and structure of the skin starts to change too becoming saggy and loose.

3. Fades dark spots and blemishes

Vitamin C limits the skin’s melanin production, lightening up the skin color and clearing the acne scars and dark spots.

The vitamin also speeds up the cell renewal and healing process by supplying the skin with collagen. This acts as a filler for acne scars, reducing their appearance.

4. Reduces the under-eye circles

Vitamin C also helps in reducing the under-eye circles, so that you can enjoy a more youthful , vibrant and young appearance.

5. Improves moisture and hydration

If you have dry and flaky skin, then vitamin C serum is what you need. A vitamin C serum gives you the vitamins your body needs improving overall hydration and moisture content.

Disadvantages of Vitamin C Serum

In fact it’s only one main disadvantage that we need to mention about vitamin C serums: they oxidize quickly.

Vitamin C serums are instable and there are two main culprits to blame: light and air. Once exposed to air and light the product’s active ingredients become inactive, reducing the serum’s effectiveness. That is why before you buy a vitamin C serum make sure that the container is made of an opaque material and that it is airtight.

The longer the serum is exposed to air the faster is loses its potency. Once the serum starts degrading it also becomes more acidic and may cause facial irritation and redness.

If you see that your product starts changing its color becoming brown, orange, yellow or any color other than the normal color, you should throw away the product.  In some situations only the product at the tip of the tube or dropper, so can just wipe that away and continue using the rest of the product if it has not changed its color.

You should also pay attention to the serum’s smell. If it smells sour, rancid or weird the serum is no longer good.

To be able to benefit from your serum for as long as possible, make sure you store it in a dark, cool place and tightly seal the bottle after each application.

What To Consider Before Using a Vitamin C Serum?

With so many vitamin C serums on the market it’s hard to know which one best fits your needs. They have different concentrations, different added ingredients and even different variants of vitamin C. Of course you are confused!

No worries! Here are some tips that will make this task much easier.

Skin Tolerance

First of all you have to know your skin tolerance because what works for your friend, might make your skin red and irritated.

When using a vitamin C serum for the first time you might experience some irritation and redness, but these reactions are normal and should go away on their own. But if these side effects don’t subside, it might be because your skin does not tolerate that serum.

If you know you’re allergic or have a sensitive skin you might also experience itching, irritated skin and rashes. Because the product can stay on your skin for 2-3 days, it would be better for you to test the product on a small area of the face.

Also, keep in mind that if you do not pay attention and use the product once it oxidized, it can aggravate, harm and irritate the skin causing burns and rashes.

Skin Type

Although vitamin C serums work for normal, dry, oily and mixt skin types, you should be cautious if you have sensitive skin. Here’s what you should look for in a vitamin C serum depending on your skin type:

  • Normal to oily skin – L-Ascorbic Acid
  • Dry skin – Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
  • Sensitive skin – Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

How to Choose the Best Vitamin C Serum For Your Face

best vitamin c serum for face

So we have brought some light on the skin tolerance and skin type issue. Is that enough to be able to choose a vitamin C serum? Not really!

Stay tuned to find out more!

Other criteria to narrow down your choices

Percentage of Vitamin C

The percentage of Vitamin C or the potency of the serum is given, of course, by the concentration of vitamin C. The higher the percentage, the more potent the serum is and the better the results.

There is a drawback! Very high percentage of vitamin C can also irritate your skin.

To play it on the safe side, choose a serum with a percentage between 15% and 20%. Anything higher than this will hurt your skin and anything lower will have little effect. This percentage is applied to products that contain ascorbic acid. For those with Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, go for a percentage between 1% and 20%.

pH

A pH of 3.5 or lower would be best for your vitamin C serum. But this also means that the product is highly acidic and can irritate your skin. For a safer shot, use serums that have vitamin C derivatives such as Magnesium Ascorbyl, which are also effective with a higher pH. So go for a pH of 5 or 6, which is within the range of the skin’s normal pH level of 4 to 7. Closer to the skin’s pH means less chances of allergic reactions and irritation.

Form

There are two main serum forms that you will encounter:

  • Water-based – are lighter, easier to apply and be absorbed by the skin. Also they are more effective. The water-soluble vitamin C forms are magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and ascorbic acid.
  • Oil-based – are moisturizing and long-lasting. Also they are less susceptible to oxidation. The oil-soluble vitamin C forms are sodium ascorbyl palmitate, THDA and ascorbyl palmitate.

Color and Smell

A pure vitamin C serum should be white, colorless and odorless. Common signs of oxidation are a brownish tint, cloudiness and the smell of rancid or sour. If you see this to your product, it is no longer safe for use.

There are some manufacturers who sell colored serums, either to attract customers or to prevent people from noticing when the product oxidizes. Stick to the colorless or white products to be on the safe side.

Added Ingredients

Added ingredients boost the effect of vitamin C and offer extra benefits.

  • Vitamin E – you should make sure your serum contains vitamin E. Vitamins C and E are more effective together.
  • Ferulic acid – boosts the benefits and stabilizes Vitamins C and E. It also protects the elastin and collagen in your skin and blocks the UV rays from damaging your skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid – offers a lot of benefits to the skin. As we age the level of collagen drops. So finding a serum that also contains HA will make you look younger.

Packaging

As already mentioned, air and light make the product lose its effectiveness. The serum should come in brown, blue or dark orange or red bottles, preferably airtight. Stay away from serums packed in transparent bottles.

Price

The price is the most sensitive factor when choosing a vitamin C serum. Would you pay 250$ for a serum bottle? Would you pay 100$? Or you would stick around the 50$ range or lower?

Now it all depends on how deep your pocket is, but choosing the cheapest product is also not a good idea. Usually, if you stay within the 20$ – 30$ range you will get a decent serum that will show the expected results. Anything lower than that should make you feel doubtful.

How To Use Vitamin C Serum For Face?

Although vitamin C serums are usually well tolerated you should do a patch test just to make sure you do not have a n allergic reaction to any of the ingredients.

Select a small area of skin that you can easily conceal (your forearm for example) and apply a small amount of the serum. Wait for 24 hours and if you see no side effects, you can apply the serum on your face too. Discontinue to use if you experience hives, redness or a rash.

When you apply the product for the first time, read carefully the product’s label. You should apply the serum in the morning and in the evening, after cleansing and toning your skin. After the application of the serum you should moisturize your skin.

Don’t forget to check if the product is expired or if it has oxidized.

When to Expect Results of the Vitamin C Serum?

Vitamins C serums work wonders on your skin but not overnight. Renewal and repair take some time. For the lucky ones the results can show after two or three weeks of treatment, but others might see some improvement around five or six months.

There are several factors that can shorten or lengthen that time:

  • Your skin’s condition
  • Method of application
  • If the product is applied every day
  • Strength of formulation

Choose the right serum for you, be patient, apply the product daily and the results will start showing.

Where To Buy The Best Vitamin C Serum For Face?

To make sure you buy a high-quality, authentic vitamin C serum, you have to pay attention to the brand or manufacturer and where you buy it from.

Before you buy a serum please check the following:

  • The product is processed in a GMP or FDA compliant facility
  • Its ingredients are allowed and regulated by the FDA
  • Its ingredients are selected based on research
  • The product has been tested for safety and efficacity

The safest is to buy the product from going to a drug store or cosmetic store, where you can also get advice on what product to choose. If you want to order online, make sure you carefully select the online store. Find reviews where people are usually ordering from, read their opinions and see if their feedback is positive or not.

If you choose Amazon you should be careful because there is a possibility for you to run across fake sellers or manufacturers who can swear they have the best vitamin C serum for face.

How to Store Vitamin C Serum?

No matter how handy it might be, avoid keeping the serum in the bathroom. It does not like humid places. Also avoid placing it in direct sunlight exposure, such as cabinets close to the windows.

To make it last longer you can keep it in the fridge or cover it with aluminum foil. Also make sure you tightly close the bottle to prevent air from getting in.

Frequently Asked Questions

vitamin c serum faq

Can I use the vitamin C serum around the eyes?

The vitamin C serums are formulated to also boost collagen production which can actually firm up the under-eye skin and lighten dark circles.

How much vitamin C serum can I use?

Usually 2-3 drops should be enough to cover the entire face, but you can use up to 5 drops if you feel you need more.

Can I apply vitamin C serum without washing my face first?

To do the routine correctly and to benefit to the maximum from your serum you should first wash and tone your face. What is the point in applying the serum if it gets blocked by oil, makeup residues and dirt on the skin? Try at least cleaning your face with micellar water or a toner.

Do I apply vitamin C serum before or after I moisturize?

The serum should be applied on the clean skin, after the toner and before the moisturizer.

Is it normal to have skin peeling?

Because vitamin C is in fact an acid, it can cause some exfoliation, which helps reduce wrinkles and discoloration. If your skin is peeling avoid picking it off. You can cause bleeding and scarring.

What should I choose: vitamin C serum or Niacinamide?

If you want, you can use both in your cosmetic routine. But to make sure you avoid any unwanted reactions you should not use them at the same time. When in contact with an acidic solution, the niacinamide hydrolyzes and turns into a chemical that can cause temporary irritation and redness. Try to alternate days or use one in the morning and one in the evening.

How can I incorporate a retinol serum with vitamin C serum?

It is the same with the niacinamide and vitamin C serum. Just use one in the morning and one in the evening or alternate days. Since retinol makes your skin more sensitive to the sun, you should use it in the evening.

Do I have to use a moisturizer after the serum?

The serum

Helps solve your skin’s issues, while the moisturizer boosts your skin’s moisture level and keep your skin’s protective barrier strong. So yes, you should use moisturizer after the serum.

Conclusion

After so much information about the vitamin C serum you might have realized the benefits that it has to offer. Still you must be careful who produces the serum and where you buy it from.

You might have high expectations from this product, but if you see that you have negative reactions or that it does not give you the expected results, do not hesitate to change it. Few persons manage to find the right serum for them from the first try.