Whether you’re dealing with hyperpigmentation, skin dullness, dark marks, or sagging skin, seeking out the best vitamin C serum is likely important to you. “I look at vitamin C as that little black dress in your closet. It’s definitely one of those things you must have. It works to boost circulation, amplify the skin’s complexion and stimulate collagen production,” founder of Dermasaa and in-house esthetician at Brooklyn Face & Eye Samantha Mims tells Vogue.
For those reasons, Mims has a few go-tos that she recommends to her clients: Epi.logic’s Daily Dose Serum, Skin Regimen’s 15.0 Vitamin C Booster, and the Solavedi Organics Rx Remedy. “Each treatment serum is developed to address concerns associated with aging,” she notes. Mims adds that there’s not necessarily a right or wrong way when it comes to applying the serum– what’s more important is what you do afterwards. “Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from environmental factors such as pollution and UV light. So whether you’re deciding to use your serum in the morning, evening or both, it’s important you’re following up with a layer of broad spectrum sunscreen daily.” Celebrity esthetician Vanessa Marc, of Vanessa Marc Spa—who counts Jasmine Tookes, Alton Mason, and Justine Skye as clients—recommends Teami Blends Vitamin C Serum because “it has hibiscus and vitamin C in it. This product is all natural which makes it vegan, plant-based, and cruelty free.”
As for Paula Bourelly, MD, a dermatologist at Olney Dermatology Associates, she recommends products with ingredients like arbutin and ubiquinone, as they both have “brightening properties which help to lighten brown spots, and as antioxidants the ascorbic acid and tocopherol add another layer of defense to traditional sunscreens.” Citrix C Pro-Collagen, Brightening Serum by Topix is her favorite product to recommend to her patients who struggle with hyperpigmentation issues like melasma and freckling. She suggests using it in the morning before applying SPF 30 or higher.
Here, 21 options to help you find the best vitamin C serum to give your skin the radiance boost it deserves.
Avya Skincare Anti-Aging Power Serum
Avya skincare was created by co-founders Deepika Vyas and Tanuj Makra, MD with the skin needs of people of color in mind. Their Anti-Aging Power Serum is a one-stop-shop for improving the skin’s surface. It’s filled with Avya’s signature ingredients: hyaluronic acid for hydration; Vitamin C for brightening, collagen boosting, and free radical prevention, and Niacinamide to reduce pore size.
Beauty Stat Universal C Skin Refiner
This serum contains vitamin C in its purest form, with a unique patented formula of Stable 20% Pure Vitamin C and Stable Epigallocatechin Gallate, which is a skin-aiding ingredient found in green tea. The two ingredients work well together to prevent signs of aging, alongside squalane for moisture and tartaric acid which helps the skin absorb product more easily.
Bliss Bright Idea Vitamin C + Tri-Peptide Collagen Protecting & Brightening Serum
This cruelty-free and vegan serum has a non-irritating form of Vitamin C paired with tri-peptides which work together to protect collagen from damage.
Citrix Vitamin C Pro-Collagen Brightening Serum
This serum makes skin tone and texture appear smoother while fading dark spots with its L-ascorbic acid, vitamins A and E, and bearberry, among other hardworking ingredients.
Cocokind Vitamin C Serum with Sea Grape Caviar
This serum provides lightweight moisture while also brightening dark marks and making skin appear more even.
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum
This serum, which targets fine lines and elasticity, is packed with fruit enzymes which help to firm and brighten the skin.
Epi.logic Skincare Daily Dose Vitamin C + Multivitamin Defense Serum
Created by oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Chaneve Jeanniton of Brooklyn Face & Eye, this serum protects skin from free radical damage, smooths wrinkles and brightens skin with its Vitamin C and antioxidant-rich formula.
Hyper Skin Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum
Hyper Skin is a brand “hyper-focused on treating the needs of people of color,” says founder Desiree Verdejo. The line’s debut product, Hyper Clear, helps to heal hyperpigmentation while simultaneously enhancing glow with its blend of vitamin C, vitamin E, kojic acid, hyaluronic acid, turmeric and bearberry.
Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate
This sensitive skin-friendly serum contains 12.5% Vitamin C along with Hyaluronic Acid. Both work together to blur the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines while enhancing radiance.
Klur Brilliant Light
This serum absorbs deeply into the skin with Vitamins C, E, and rosehip seed delivering brighter, damage-protected skin.
Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
A mix of antioxidants help this serum brighten and tighten the skin. Other notable ingredients include Konjac root (an Asian flower that helps soften and smooth the skin), plant-derived Ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins C and E.
OleHenriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum
Packed with 15% vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, this serum delivers an instant brightening, firming, and plumping boost, while reducing dark spots, pores, and wrinkles.
Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster
This serum contains 15% pure vitamin C, offering distinctly brighter skin on uneven tones while also dispelling signs of of aging.
PCA Skin C-Quench Antioxidant Serum
Lilac Leaf Stem Cell Extract, Resveratrol, Glutathione, L-Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E, and Ergothioneine all work together to prevent inflammation, cellular oxidation, and increase hydration.
Protocol Vitamin C Superserum
Packaged in an oxygen-free environment so that ingredients are preserved to their full potency, this serum includes dermatologist recommended 10% natural Vitamin C, L-Ascorbic, which works to increase skin’s glow, even skin tone, and improve collagen production.
Skin Ceuticals C E Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid
This vitamin C serum delivers environmental protection, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, improves firmness, and brightens.
Skin Regimen 15.0 Vit C Booster
This Vitamin C booster, free of silicones and synthetic fragrance, works to produce youthful-looking skin while removing dark spots, uneven skin tone, enlarged pores, and wrinkles.
Sunday Riley CEO 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum
This serum prevents aging in all of its forms: sensitivity, dehydration, dullness, uneven skin tone and wrinkles, and replaces it with a radiant, glowing complexion thanks to Vitamin C, Phytosterols Complex to soothe sensitive skin, and Saccharide Isomerate Extrace that regulates pore size.
The Inkey List Vitamin C Brightening Cream
This creamy, rich formula is best to use in the morning. It contains 30% L-ascorbic acid and promotes youthful-looking skin while protecting against free radicals and pollution, leaving skin brighter.
Youth To The People Superfood Firm and Brighten Vitamin C Serum
This lightweight product is great for all skin types and is vegan, and free of parabens, sulfates, and dimethicone. Its vitamin C helps to fade hyperpigmentation, while hyaluronic acid aids in hydration.
Teami Blends Hibiscus Infused Vitamin C Serum
This light pink, grapefruit-scented serum works to lift, brighten and smooth the skin with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. The hibiscus flower leaves within it were brewed into an antioxidant-filled red tea.