Vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient with the ability to boost collagen production, even skin tone, and fight sun damage. However, vitamin C is a notoriously unstable ingredient and in the wrong formulation will become much less effective soon after you open the bottle. That's where the best vitamin C serums on Amazon come in.
These bottles not only offer a healthy dose of vitamin C, but have also found ways to keep it potent. And since your skin needs more than one ingredient to keep it happy and glowing, the top picks also feature other skin-loving actives like moisturizing and calming aloe, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and healing vitamin E.
While you'll find vitamin C serums with 25 percent and 30 percent vitamin C, more is not necessarily better. Research says that maximum absorption happens at 20 percent, so anything more than that and you're looking at more irritation than results. Those with sensitive skin will want to start at an even lower dose to avoid redness and burning. Luckily, studies have shown that as little as 0.6 percent is all it takes to enjoy the antioxidant benefits of this powerful ingredient.
If you're ready to start glowing, read on for the best vitamin C serums on Amazon — all of which have legions of fans without a hefty price tag.
1. The Best Overall Vitamin C Serum On Amazon
One look at the user-submitted before and afters is all it takes to be convinced that this stuff works. The formula with 20 percent vitamin C has no artificial color or fragrance to upset the skin and plenty of moisturizing hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. It's easy to see why this is the best-selling serum on Amazon with customers raving: "My search for an amazing serum is finally over. I just purchased my third bottle and I am hooked! My skin looks flawless. ... My skin glows as if I just walked out of a spa treatment." With the 90-day no-questions-asked warranty, this is a definite vitamin C serum to try.
2. A Dupe For The Cult-Favorite SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is a cult-classic name dropped by celebrities and dermatologists alike. It's also very, very pricey. SeoulCeuticals's dupe contains the same active ingredients — with even 5 percent more vitamin C — to help shrink pores, reduce breakouts, and diminish spots, all at a fraction of the price.
"Have you ever had a chance to try the $160 vitamin C ferulic serum from SkinCeuticals? I did a couple of years back and it is a lovely product. ... I can tell you that this dupe from SeoulCeuticals is nearly identical in texture and performance," says one reviewer. "It is so lightweight that even those of you with super oily skin will love it."
3. The Best Vitamin C Serum For Acne
"Not only did it heal my active breakouts, but it started to fade my acne scars almost immediately. I've been using this product for two years now. ... It's truly transformed my skin," says one review of this blemish-fighting formula. Packed with vitamin C, it has potent anti-acne ingredients like salicylic acid and retinol (which works to cleanse the pores to prevent breakouts as well as smooth the skin) making it a perfect choice for those who want fewer breakouts and glowing skin. However, because of its powerful mix, it can be a little too potent for the most sensitive skin types.
4. The Best Vitamin C Serum For Sensitive Skin
With 5 percent vitamin C, K-beauty favorite Klairs's Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop serum is known for being effective and gentle at the same time since it uses the ascorbic acid version of vitamin C, the one with the most research backing it, to improve skin tone and texture. Centella asiatica extract helps reduce any redness and irritation that already exists.
"I used this product for a few months and then switched to one with a higher percentage of vitamin C only to find that it didn't work nearly as well. I'm back to using Klairs and am so impressed by the positive change I see in my skin when I use it — it's brighter, smoother, and more even — even though it's a mild product," one customer says. A little goes a long way with this bottle, and using too much at one time can leave some residue.
5. A Budget-Friendly Vitamin C Serum That's Also Vegan
For barely more than $10, get a bottle of 20 percent vitamin C that's 72 percent organic. With supporting ingredients like hydrating hyaluronic acid and jojoba oil, this is a great formula at a great price.
"Results!" says one reviewer. "My skin tone has evened out which has been great, but truly the best thing is the fading of the sun spot I've had for years." Customers liked the non-oily and non-sticky texture, too.
6. The Best Cream Vitamin C Serum In A Tube That Helps It Last Longer
L'Oreal went above and beyond to stabilize the vitamin C in this product so it'll work when you open the tube and when you finish it. Using nitrogen and a metal tube to minimize oxygen exposure, the 10 percent super-potent ascorbic acid vitamin C promises to even skin tone, reduce spots, and give you a glow. Those who prefer a cream will especially love this gel-like formula.
New York dermatologist Joshua Zeichner even called it "one of the best-kept secrets at the drugstore." Sold.
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