Vitamin C serum is a topical agent that is used on the skin for a number of benefits and can be a great part of an overall skincare routine. There are different formulas for a wide range of skin concerns from uneven skin tone, to addressing sun damage, and the care of aging skin.
What does Vitamin C serum do for the skin?
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin. It is found in a number of fruits and vegetables and has a wide range of benefits to the body, inside and out. For the skin, using a serum may have more benefits than just relying on what can be received nutritionally.
- People may not eat enough Vitamin C rich foods to make a difference to the skin especially in certain skin conditions.
- Serums that are placed directly on the skin are more readily absorbed.
- Vitamin C serums do provide many of the same benefits including antioxidant protection and boosting collagen production.
What are the top Vitamin C serum benefits?
The top Vitamin C serum benefits are both in appearance and in protection. It is considered to be safe for sensitive skin, acne prone skin, and aging skin. Most Vitamin C serums:
- Help boost collagen production which can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, help fading acne scars, and increase overall skin cell regrowth. Collagen is also important in wound healing.
- May minimize the appearance of dark spots including under-eye circles, damage from the sun, and other types of hyperpigmentation.
- May provide some protection against the sun’s damaging rays and may also help treat sunburn by reducing the redness and speeding wound healing.
Can I use Vitamin C serum every day?
Whether you can use Vitamin C serum every day is best determined by yourself and your doctor, preferably a board-certified dermatologist that is familiar with your skin’s needs.
- Most serums are fine to use every day unless you have very sensitive skin.
- Some serums can be used twice a day, in the morning and at night.
- Always test a new vitamin c product before using it on your face to be sure that it will not cause any issues.
- Always use a very small amount and apply as directed.
- Look for a Vitamin C serum that will address your exact skin conditions.
- If you do not know your skin type, you should always get assistance in determining that first. before applying any topical serum of any kind. Oily skin and dry skin have very different needs.
- All skin types can benefit from the use of topical vitamin treatment.
Which Vitamin C serum is best?
The best vitamin C serums can be those meant for all skin types or the ones that are designed to meet specific needs. Only you know what works best for your skin so always look for a lightweight serum that will help enhance the appearance and health of your skin.
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Best Vitamin C Serum for Sensitive Skin
The best Vitamin C serum for sensitive skin will have a low concentration of l ascorbic acid and very few additional ingredients. Sensitive skin users should avoid most serums that contain salicylic acid as it may be too harsh.
You have sensitive skin if:
- Your skin becomes red, itchy, or develops rashes easily.
- It stings, burns, or feels like it is pulled tight at times.
- It is overly dry, flakes or peels.
Your best vitamin c serum options include:
- Skinceuticals Phloretin F, $166 for 1 ounce.
- Murad Vitamin C Glycolic Brightening Serum, $82 for 1 ounce. Also available in a .33 ounce travel size for $27.
- CeraVe Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid, $19 for 1 ounce.
Best Vitamin C Serum for Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation simply means that you have a bit too much pigment in one area leading to dark spots. The best Vitamin C serum to address this will help even skin tone without causing redness, dulling, or drying of the skin. Your choices include:
- Vichy Lift Active Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector $29.
- RoC Multi Correxion Revive and Glow Daily Serum, Available at Amazon for $21, 1 ounce.
- Paula’s Choice BOOST C15 Super Booster Serum, $49 for .67 ounce.
- Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum $69, 1 ounce.
Best Vitamin C Serum for Over 50
Aging skin comes with a host of problems like fine lines, erratic skin tone, sun damage, sagging, and more. Because it is usually a combination of issues, the best serums for skin over 50 typically combine Vitamin C with Vitamin E, skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, and other ingredients to protect and revitalize aging skin. For mature skin, your serum choices are:
- Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough Facial Firming Serum, $43, 1 ounce.
- Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, $78. Find it at Ulta Beauty in stores and online.
- SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid $141, 1 ounce.
Best Vitamin C Serum for Rosacea
Rosacea is a common skin condition marked by overly red, flushed cheeks and may also include acne-like bumps as well. It is important to choose skincare products that will not increase the redness or cause further irritation to the area. Most people do well with the options included in the sensitive skin section above or may want to try these additional options:
- Marie Veronique C Therapy Serum, $90 for 1 ounce.
- One Love Organics Vitamin C Serum, $75 or 1 ounce.
Both may be found at Amazon or Ulta Beauty as well as on each company’s website.
Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serum
For more budget-friendly serums, head to your local drugstore or big-box retailer for options that can be perfectly fine for most skin types. You can find most of these at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, or Target.
- Revitalift Derm Intensives Vitamin C Serum by L’Oreal Paris $20 to $24 for 1 ounce.
- Cerave Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid, $19 for 1 ounce.
Best Vitamin C Serum Recommended by Doctors and Estheticians
Doctors, including dermatologists and estheticians, recommend Vitamin C for a number of reasons. Here are a few of the brands and formulas that have been recommended by name by these professionals:
- Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Anti-aging Collagen Booster, $52, 1 ounce, available at Sephora.
- Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength, Line-reducing Concentrate $92, 75 ml. Two other sizes are available.
- Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum $85, 1 ounce available at Amazon.
- Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C $22 for .29 ounce.
Bottom Line on Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C Serum can be one of the best things you use on your skin to help plump fine lines, give even skin tone, brighten the skin, and protect against damage caused by the sun, bad habits, and the environment.
Neutralizing free radicals before they can cause inflammation and damage inside the body and on the skin is one of the important roles that Vitamin C plays. Using a vitamin C serum especially before heading out for the day helps protect your skin, improve its appearance, and increase its resistance to damage.
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