Of all the skin care ingredients currently popular on the beauty market, vitamin C is part of an elite group of dominant actives. It’s long been a go-to for people of all ages seeking to improve the look, feel and overall health of their skin, enthusiastically recommended by both dermatologists and skin care devotees alike. This multitasking, versatile ingredient comes in various forms, including creams, masks and more. But the most popular vehicle for this effective skin care ingredient is a vitamin C serum.
Serums are a great way to deliver high-powered, active ingredients straight to the skin for maximum absorption and effectiveness. You can layer a vitamin C serum underneath your daytime moisturizer and sunscreen and let it work its magic as you go about your business.
Vitamin C is a very well-studied skin care ingredient. Dr. Shari Sperling, a board-certified dermatologist at Sperling Dermatology in New York and New Jersey, previously told HuffPost that the reason this ingredient is so effective is that vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects skin against oxidative damage, thereby helping to improve skin texture and tone.
This holy grail antioxidant is known to help to brighten the skin, repair damage and fight other typical signs of aging, like uneven skin tone and fine lines or wrinkles. But not all vitamin C serums are made equally. You may think that the higher the percentage, the more potent a serum may be, but that’s not actually the case. While a higher percentage of pure vitamin C can make a difference, it’s also important that it’s balanced with other ingredients that will not only stabilize it, but help to enhance its effects while keeping skin healthy and supple.
Below, we’ve rounded up a selection of dermatologist- and reviewer-approved vitamin C serums. They’re available at a range of price points from retailers like Amazon, Sephora and more. Snag the one that best fits your budget and skin’s needs.
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