Top 5 Best Vitamin C Serum Reviews

On the hunt for the best Vitamin C serum? Join the club. In recent years, the popularity of Vitamin C for skin care has skyrocketed and there's no better way to reap the benefits than a potent serum. You see, serums provide the most potent dose of active ingredients and this is a very good thing considering what Vitamin C can mean for your skin. 

This beauty vitamin may have been a staple in both your medicine cabinet and in your pantry, but it deserves another place in your life: your beauty regimen. Especially when you consider the benefits of Vitamin C against all sorts of skin concerns. From perking up dull skin, fading hyperpigmentation, to slowing down signs of skin aging, Vitamin C has it covered.

Let’s explore the skin care science behind our citrusy favorite, shall we?

Vitamin C Serum Benefits

You drink orange juice and squeeze plenty of lime into your guacamole, so why do you need to put more Vitamin C on your face?

Let’s start with the enemy, free radicals. These are basically chemicals bouncing around in our atmosphere (especially in polluted cities) that tend to stick to skin and make it look dull and dreary. These free radicals also break strands of collagen on skin which can worsen premature signs of aging.

Enter Vitamin C, a known anti-oxidant that prevents these free radicals from sucking out the oxygen in the skin. The result? It gives you back fresh and younger looking skin.

Aside from the benefits it has on its own, Vitamin C also works with other hormones in your body to give you lighter and glowing skin. It is considered a powerful skin lightening ingredient since it increases the concentration of Vitamin E and glutathione in your body, two things the body needs to lighten and brighten the complexion.

At the same time, Vitamin C is also said to inhibit the production of Tyrosinase around hair follicles, which in turn lessens production of melanin pigments that cause darkening. A mild chemical exfoliator, Vitamin C also sloughs off dead skin cells that may contain melanin as well.

Lastly, apart from just protecting collagen in our skin from free-radicals, it also boosts the production of collagen which keeps skin cushioned, springy and youthful.

Top 5 Best Vitamin C Serum Reviews

Ready to pick out the best Vitamin C serum for your skin? Let’s go through our top picks for the best Vitamin C serums in the market.

They're all potent but differ in their formulations - i.e. level of concentration as well as other active ingredients - so make sure to read through and choose the one that's best for your skin type and needs!

Pro-Nu Organic 35% Vitamin C Serum

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This first product is easily one of those with the strongest concentration of Vitamin C, with a whopping 35% concentration. Touting maximum strength skin repair, make sure to do a patch test before you start using this product, and if you have skin prone to flare ups, make sure to very slowly incorporate this into your routine so your body doesn’t have adverse reactions.

Formulated in the USA, this serum contains three different acids (including Vitamin C) to ensure maximum benefit on your skin. The Vitamin C concentration is scientifically proven to increase collagen production as well as protect skin from environmental stressors.

The Retinoic acid, a derivative of Vitamin A works by boosting skin’s natural turnover cycle. It can jumpstart the production of newer and healthier skin cells in your body.

The 10% Hyaluronic Acid works to moisturize and help the other active ingredients penetrate deeper onto the skin. It also helps keep inflammations under control and promote faster healing of various skin abrasions (we're looking at you, acne scars!).

The organic, cruelty-free, and FDA-approved product comes in an opaque pump bottle to minimize contact with the environment. It is pleasant enough to use with a refreshing scent and doesn’t leave skin feeling heavy or greasy, as a bonus it contains zero parabens.

Just keep in mind that this is the most potent concentration of Vitamin C you'll find on the market and more is not always better, especially if you've never used a Vitamin C product before or you have sensitive skin. So if you're brand new, you may want to start off with one of the lower concentration serums below and work your way up to this one. 

That being said, this high concentration serum produces visible results and the speed that it takes to see them makes this a top rated Vitamin C serum. If you’re curious about this product they offer a money back guarantee in case you change your mind. Read all user reviews!

vitamin c serum reviews
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If you’re a nature loving gal, this is the perfect organic Vitamin C serum for you. The brand is all about maximizing the effects of both nature and science to give customers that transformative effect on skin.

This serum is made with plant-based ingredients and is a certified organic and vegan product, filled to the brim with organic ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Argan Oil. Both of which are sourced through ethical practices yet doesn’t scrimp on efficacy. It also doesn’t contain unnecessary ingredients such as pesticides, parabens, artificial fragrances, or colorants.

While it claims to be hypoallergenic and promises to be gentle to sensitive skin, make no mistake this serum is a Vitamin C powerhouse with proven effects. Its claim to fame is anti-aging benefits and ability to target skin’s imperfections. It boasts of 20% concentration of Vitamin C which works together with active ingredients like ferulic acid and antioxidants to increase elasticity in the skin and make it look and feel firmer.

The serum also works on reducing redness - perfect if you're using Vitamin C for acne scars - and keeping the development of fine lines and wrinkles at bay. It contains hyaluronic acid to help the active ingredients penetrate skin while keeping it moisturized. The hyaluronic acid also lends a healthy looking dewy look to your face.

Since it’s a gentle formulation, it’s safe enough for daily use. It is best applied after cleansing using a circular motion. To be on the safe side, remember to avoid putting it too close to the eyes or nostrils. You might smell a faint sour aroma, but this is just due to the acidic nature of Vitamin C, and the fact that this product does not attempt to mask the natural scent with artificial fragrances. Overall, a great organic Vitamin C serum that's powerful yet gentle enough for beginners! Read all user reviews!

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When it comes to serums, gentleness and effectivity is the name of the game, especially if you have dry skin. Which is what makes Claire-ity the best Vitamin C serum if you’re looking for a deep moisturizing serum that won't irritate your skin.

It can effectively drop decades off your face but it’s still one of the most affordably-priced serums in the market. It contains a good dose of Vitamin C - 20% concentration - along with other high-caliber ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E to help soothe and nourish your skin while rejuvenating it. It also has your skin’s sensitivity in mind, since it contains zero parabens and alcohol.

According to studies, Vitamin C is approximately 20 times more effective when applied directly on skin than when taken orally, and if you’re looking for brighter and smoother skin, Claire-ity’s serum is a great contender since it is proven to jumpstart collagen production and maintain a youthful complexion.

If you’re a sun-worshipper, you’d also be glad to know that this product can help you lighten sun spots and other hyperpigmentation issues. This serum also targets a variety of other skin concerns such as enlarged pores, bouts of acne and fading of minor facial scars.

If you’re unsure about the product, the company also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, any time within 90 days that you feel like the product did not live up to your expectation, you can ship it back for free, no questions asked. But most likely, you'll just be back to order another bottle 'cause this stuff is wonderfully effective, especially considering its humble price tag! Read user reviews!

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Marketing itself as luxury you can afford, Coui’s Super C Serum is definitely impressive in terms of formulation. While other products have two or three active ingredients, Super C’s serum is so jam-packed with good-for-you ingredients that it’s hard to imagine skin that won’t benefit from this serum.

It promises the user transformative and revolutionary effects in terms of anti-aging with less noticeable fine lines and wrinkles, fading of age spots and acne scars, and a lighter, brighter complexion dripping with the radiance of youth.

This powerhouse of a serum was formulated by renowned biochemist, Hannah Sivak, who is considered an authority in skincare. One of the serum’s main goals is to stimulate collagen production, and it has four active ingredients that do just that: Betulinic extract, Carnosine, Centella Asiatica Extract and collagen itself.

To regulate cell growth and promote healing of damaged cells, Sivak also incorporated Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) in the formulation. EGF was a Nobel Prize winning discovery by Stanley Cohen that shook the foundations of anti-aging science. In a nutshell, the chemical binds itself to damaged cells and speeds up the process of cellular repair. This means you don’t even have to wait a month (the average time for cellular turnover) to see effects, you can see the difference when damaged cells are brought back to life.

The Vitamin C in the serum is in the form of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, one of the highest forms in terms of efficacy. While the Vitamin C works great to lighten the complexion, it is also aided by both Glutathione and Niacinamide. Both ingredients benefit your skin color by suppressing melanin synthesis. Niacinamide also decreases itching and inflammation while Glutathione is a skin protectant that defends the skin cells from oxidation and other forms of environmental harm.

This product is safe enough for everyday use, even for those with sensitive skin. You can use this both morning and night by applying just a few drops on your face and patting it in until it’s well-absorbed. Since the serum is formulated with as little preservatives as possible, it has a shorter shelf life of 6 months. For best results, and to maximize the longevity of the product, you can keep it in the fridge, so it can provide an additional boost of refreshment when you apply on skin. Read user reviews!

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For those who take their daily skincare regimen as a form of meditation and relaxation, this three step serum system might just be the set of products you’re looking for. Instead of an all-in-one serum which is jam-packed with active ingredients, this one is a set of three serums that you apply in order to get the optimum dosage and effects from each one.

Touting itself as a liquid facelift, it boldly claims to take as much as 10 years off your face. It contains three serums with different active ingredients, designed to work in tandem to help you achieve extreme results without going under the knife. You start off with the Hyaluronic Acid Serum at 5% concentration that works by deeply moisturizing skin to plump your skin, lessen wrinkles and fine lines while also helping erase dark and puffy under eye circles.

This is then be followed by an organic 18% concentration of Vitamin C serum which boosts cell repair and turnover as well as protects skin from environmental aggressors. The last serum is a 2.5% concentration of retinol that works to stimulate cell turnover, promote collagen production and even out hyperpigmentation while brightening the complexion.

These 3 ingredients are great alone but they're brilliant when combined. Research has proved that certain combinations are the best way to achieve results and retinol was shown to work beautifully alongside Vitamin C to defend the skin against free radicals - in fact, Vitamin C actually helps retinol work better by protecting retinol from oxidation while it penetrates deeper into the skin. 

In terms of the desired effect, you can expect to see changes in the texture of your skin immediately. In terms of deeper repair such as erasing fine lines, acne marks and other forms of scarring, it can take anytime between a month to three months, since this is the average time the body takes to regenerate collagen and elastin. For best results, use continuously for six months.

To use, start with a clean face and apply the serums in any order, allowing a few minutes to dry before layering on another serum. You can apply just a few drops at a time since the acids in the serum can be drying. To achieve optimal results, you can generally do the regimen twice a day. But if your skin is a bit sensitive, it would be best to stick to night application to take advantage of skin’s natural rejuvenation process when we sleep.

This set of serums also have a longer shelf life of 2 years, and do not necessarily need to be refrigerated. It doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals such as PABAs, sulfates or artificial dyes. As part of the company’s commitment to leave as little of an ecological footprint as possible, it is also not tested on animals. Read user reviews!

How to Choose the Best Vitamin C Serum

Found a Vitamin C serum that looks promising and wondering if it's worth buying? Here are some simple guidelines to keep in mind when choosing a Vitamin C serum:

  • What Form of Vitamin C is Used?

To choose an effective Vitamin C Serum, check both the type of Vitamin C the product has, and the concentration. Vitamin C comes in many forms, but the below 2 are the best ones to go for:

  • L-Ascorbic Acid: Shown to protect from UV damage, increase collagen synthesis and reduce skin pigmentation, this is one of the most potent forms of Vitamin C (as well as the most researched) as it has a high degree of bioavailability and offers good penetration. The downside is that it can be finicky so needs to be formulated properly and it is a little more irritating, but also the most effective. 
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP): This is the best form of Vitamin C if you have sensitive skin as it's less irritating. Plus, it's deeply absorbed into the skin and penetrates both the cell wall and coats the exterior of the cell. It's also stable and bioavailable. 
  • What's the Concentration of Vitamin C?

When it comes to concentration, the general rule is the higher the better, but only if your skin can take it. Remember that Vitamin C is still an acid, so too much might cause a burning sensation, especially if you have sensitive skin. Try to tread the fine line between optimum concentrations without sacrificing comfort.

  • How is the Product Packaged?

Lastly, pay attention to the packaging. Vitamin C reacts fast to oxygen, so look for serums packaged in a way that minimizes air and light exposure (goodbye jars and hello dropper applicators!), something packaged in a glass amber bottle is usually a safe choice. Since light can cause the product to oxidize, some store their precious serums in the fridge to preserve it.

When applying, remember that a few drops can go a long way, start slowly and just put enough product for a thin layer on the face. If you experience signs of skin dryness, scale back on the amount of serum and make sure to layer on a good moisturizer after slathering Vitamin C Serum on your face. 

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