10 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 (via Everyday Health).

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.

How we selected the vitamin C serums

There is an abundance of vitamin C serums on the market, which can bring on the dreaded analysis-paralysis for many shoppers. From serums with the latest anti-aging peptides to formulations with tried-and-true natural ingredients, there is a vitamin C serum for every single skincare need and budget. Fortunately for you, we've boiled down all the options into a one-stop-shop.

We scoured the Internet by looking through customer reviews, celebrity endorsements, and dermatologist recommendations, all while thoroughly researching those easy-to-ignore ingredient lists. After a careful and comprehensive analysis, we found the best vitamin C serums for various categories such as skin types, price ranges, and skincare benefits. Our compilation of top vitamin C serums ranges from established cosmetic companies to independently-owned brands, ensuring a wide selection of products that are among the finest out there.

Best overall vitamin C serum

If you're just dipping your feet into the world of skincare and are looking for a multitasking one-and-done serum, then Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum is the one for you. This serum features a stable, oil-soluble form of vitamin C along with glycolic acid, which work together to brighten and firm the skin (per Sunday Riley). Phytosterols in the formula calm redness, while saccharide isomerate extract nourishes the skin and diminishes the size of pores.

"Bridgerton" actress Phoebe Dynevor raves about the serum and claims to use it on a daily basis. "I've been wearing vitamin C for years, and I just think it's one of the best products you can use," she told Allure.

To get that regal Regency-era radiance, buy the Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Brightening Serum on Amazon for $85.

Best budget-friendly vitamin C serum

With inflation causing the price of seemingly everything to increase these days, skincare may not be at the top of everyone's priority list (via NielsenIQ). However, the skincare industry has come a long way in making products more financially accessible. There are plenty of high-quality skincare brands that won't put a dent in your wallet. One such brand that offers clean, affordable skincare products is Cocokind, according to The Derm Review.

One of the star products in the brand's impressive line-up is Cocokind Vitamin C Serum with Sea Grape Caviar. This brightening serum smoothes the skin's surface with hyaluronic acid and its star ingredient, sea grape caviar extract, which comes from ultra-hydrating algae (via Cocokind). The vitamin C compound in the serum, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, is a stable form of vitamin C that is gentle on the skin. The opaque bottle also helps prevent oxidation from light sources, as oxidation can inhibit the effectiveness of the vitamin C and cause the formula to deteriorate quickly.

Buy the Cocokind Vitamin C Serum with Sea Grape Caviar at Target for $17.99.

Best luxury vitamin C serum

On the other hand, if you're a skincare enthusiast who loves to splurge on top-shelf-quality products, there are several luxury vitamin C serum options available. Among higher-end vitamin C formulations, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid Serum is one that comes highly recommended by dermatologists. According to New Beauty, SkinCeuticals sells one of these serum bottles every 30 seconds.

The serum comes in a tinted bottle to reduce oxidation and contains 15% pure vitamin C, which makes for a potent treatment (per SkinCeuticals). As an antioxidant, the ferulic acid in the serum helps "neutralize free radicals," which bolsters the protective qualities of vitamin C against UV damage. Furthermore, ferulic acid helps protect against skin-damaging free radicals that stem from air pollution. The end result is radiant, firmer skin with a diminished appearance of wrinkles.

For a decadent skincare experience, buy the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid Serum on the brand's website for $169.

Best hydrating vitamin C serum for dry skin

If you're dealing with parched skin, hydration is probably your top priority. But this doesn't mean that vitamin C isn't for you. A hydrating formula like Indewild AM Sunrise Glow Serum will deliver all the benefits of vitamin C and won't dry out your skin — think of it as a glass of refreshing orange juice for your skin. As the name suggests, Indewild recommends applying this serum during the day for the ultimate luminous glow.

The well-known dermatologist Dr. Muneeb Shah, who goes by Doctorly on social media, recommended this serum in a YouTube Short tutorial. The formula contains 15% vitamin C to deliver potent results, along with freshwater microalga that has been proven to block "the formation of sunburn cells" and excess melanin production.

Turmeric and ashwagandha work together to soothe and repair the skin. The serum also contains antioxidant ferulic acid, along with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid in the product to help keep the skin hydrated by retaining moisture and preventing evaporation. The glycerin in the formula moisturizes the skin, restores the skin barrier, and improves the penetration of skincare actives.

Buy the Indewild AM Sunrise Glow Serum on the brand's website for $37.

Best vitamin C serum for oily skin

If you have oily skin, the thought of adding another layer to your skincare routine may not be music to your ears. But you should trust us on this one: Adding a vitamin C serum can help clarify and brighten your skin, making it a must-have even for oilier skin types. Plus, if you have acne-prone skin, vitamin C will also calm down the inflammation that's responsible for those pesky pimples.

A vitamin C formulation that is ideal for oily skin is La Roche Posay Redermic Pure C10 Vitamin C Serum. The serum sinks into the skin immediately and imparts a healthy glow, per skincare.com. With a lower concentration of 10% pure Vitamin C, the formula is gentle enough to not cause breakouts. This serum also contains exfoliating salicylic acid (which is known to unclog pores), a skin-soothing peptide called neurosensine, and healing thermal spring water.

Buy the La Roche Posay Redermic PureC10 Vitamin C Serum on Amazon for $33.59.

Best vitamin C serum for sensitive skin

One of the most difficult skin issues to shop for is sensitive skin. While you may want to try out the latest treatments to improve your skin's appearance, there's always the fear of irritating your skin and actually worsening its condition. The key to lowering the risk of an adverse reaction is to use products with a simplified ingredient list, per Well + Good. L'Oreal Revitalift 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum is a dermatologist-recommended vitamin C serum containing ingredients that are universally beneficial.

This serum consists of a minimal ingredient list and avoids potential irritants like mineral oil, parabens, and fragrance (via L'Oreal Paris). The formula is non-comedogenic and contains 10% pure vitamin C, which makes it a milder treatment suitable for more sensitive skin. Plus, the concentrated formula is made without water and is contained in an airtight aluminum tube — both factors that prevent oxidation. With this serum, you can treat sun damage with vitamin C and not have to worry about redness or inflammation.

For a skin-loving formula, buy the L'Oreal Revitalift 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum from Amazon for a discounted price of $17.48.

Best vitamin C serum with SPF

Vitamin C and sunscreen are like the PB&J of skincare. When the two are put together, even the sun can't stop them. That's because the two ingredients are a powerhouse pair with common ground — i.e., fighting against free radical damage caused by UV exposure (via InStyle). Wearing a product that combines the two will provide extra protection against sun damage, and Supergoop Daily Dose Vitamin C SPF 40 Serum does just that.

The chemical SPF serum with 10% vitamin C also contains niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants that protect against blue light exposure (per Byrdie). One of these antioxidants is pseudoalteromonas ferment extract, an anti-aging ingredient that is a byproduct of the fermentation of a species of bacteria available in deep Antarctic seawater. The formula evens existing discoloration and prevents further hyperpigmentation.

While wearing a vitamin C-infused SPF serum could help "skinimalists" reduce skincare steps in the morning, it's still recommended to layer on another sunscreen to maximize UV protection.

For the ultimate protection against sun damage, buy the Supergoop Daily Dose Vitamin C SPF 40 Serum at Urban Outfitters for $46.

Best vitamin C serum for hyperpigmentation

One of the most significant benefits of applying a vitamin C serum is a visibly brighter and more even complexion, according to Healthline. Combining it with other brightening ingredients as FarmHouse Fresh has done yields a potent potion. The company's Spotted Leaving Serum, which contained vitamin C and peptides, is highly-rated on Influenster for its gentle yet highly effective formula that brightens the skin.

The new and improved version of this vitamin C serum called FarmHouse Fresh Vitamin Enhanced Illuminating Serum is now specially formulated with "time-release" peptides. One of the peptides, oligopeptide-68, is known to brighten existing melasma and hyperpigmentation as well as inhibit melanin formation. Per the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the peptide works as efficiently as hydroquinone, but is much safer. The serum also contains plumping vitamins A, B, and E, as well as several natural ingredients like oat beta-glucan to soothe the skin and gotu kola to detoxify the skin.

If you want to kiss your tinted moisturizer and Paris filter on Instagram goodbye, buy the FarmHouse Fresh Vitamin Enhanced Illuminating Serum on Amazon for $56.

Best anti-aging vitamin C serum

From the dawn of time, people have embarked on the eternal quest to find the fountain of youth. It seems like the secrets to everlasting youth may be found in Ayurvedic concoctions stemming from ancient Indian text. In fact, Indian generational home remedies like "haldi doodh" (turmeric lattes) and "jeera pain" (cumin water) are becoming increasingly popular around the world for their health benefits (via Industry Research).

Imagine combining this ancient knowledge with the latest skincare active compounds to come from modern medicine. That's the philosophy behind Avya Skincare, which was founded by facial cosmetic surgeon Dr. Tanuj Nakra and pharmacist Deepika Vyas. One of the brand's stand-out products is Avya Skincare Anti-Aging Power Serum, which contains encapsulated vitamin C and acetyl glucosamine — a powerhouse duo that lightens discoloration.

The brand's signature Ayurvedic complex is included in the serum, which consists of calming peony, anti-inflammatory turmeric, and antimicrobial neem leaf extracts. The formula also contains firming vitamin A, smoothing niacinamide, and the anti-aging peptide Argireline.

Buy the Avya Anti-Aging Power Serum on Amazon for $88.

Best tinted vitamin C serum

From skin tints to serum foundations, skincare-infused makeup has quickly become one of the most popular beauty trends. There's quite nothing like a fresh face with glowing, clear skin that needs no filters.

One tinted serum offers that effortless "je ne sais quoi" with its oil-soluble vitamin C-infused formula. Made in France, Typology Tinted Serum is a silicone-free and fragrance-free formula that gives a finish to the skin that is reminiscent of ethereal, Parisian-inspired beauty (per Bustle). The serum also contains aloe vera and squalane which work to soothe, hydrate, and brighten the skin. The product comes in six sheer shades that are based on the Fitzpatrick skin type scale, which classifies different skin tones and their likely reaction to sun exposure.

Wear this tinted serum, and people will be calling you "mademoiselle belle."

Buy the Typology Tinted Serum on the brand's website for $37.90.