Want brighter, tighter, and, overall better-looking skin? There's an ingredient for that: vitamin C. The powerhouse ingredient is a potent antioxidant that helps reduce skin inflammation, irregular pigmentation, and promotes healthy collagen production, explains Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Furthermore, "[Vitamin C] may even help protect the skin from pre-cancerous changes from UV light exposure by neutralizing free radicals.
Unfortunately, very little vitamin C ever makes it to the skin, says Stanford-trained dermatologist Laurel Naversen Geraghty, which is why it's so important to topically apply products made with the skin-care ingredient.
Read on for the best 27 vitamin C-spiked serums, face masks, and moisturizers that are sure to leave your skin happy and bright. All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
There are several forms of vitamin C, and some are more stable than others. BeautyStat's Universal C Refiner ensures you're getting the good stuff with encapsulated, 20 percent L-ascorbic acid that's delivered at full strength. The result, BeautyStat promises, is more even tone and texture, plus firmer and brighter skin — even if you're prone to sensitivity. Everything you love about the brand's beloved lavender mask, in serum form. Earlier this year, Tatcha launched this Violet-C Brightening Serum , a formidable force against dark spots and dullness.
As our digital wellness editor Rosemary Donahue writes in her review , Sunday Riley's vitamin C and turmeric face oil worked wonders to fade acne scars, resulting in brighter, bouncier skin. We're in love. Did you know that strawberries are naturally packed with vitamin C? Well, now you do! Volition harnessed the power of the mighty berry to deliver a serum with major brightening benefits. It sold out at Sephora just 10 days after launching, so you know it's good. Other superstar ingredients include Kakadu plum to soothe redness and hyaluronic acid for a little hydration nation.
If you've ever used a vitamin C serum and the color or scent has changed over time, then there's a good chance that oxidation deterioration as a result of being exposed to air is to blame. The good news? That annoyance won't happen with a dry formula like Neogen's Real Vita C Powder Lemon, which you can mix into your favorite essence , toner, or moisturizer for an instant ascorbic acid boost.
As the name suggests, it features vitamins C and E as L-ascorbic acid and tocopherol, respectively , along with complexes hexylresorcinol and silymarin, which possess brightening and anti-inflammatory properties. Got five minutes to spare? That's enough time to reap the brightening benefits of This Works' Morning Expert Vitamin C Power Mask, which is formulated with a 10 percent concentration of vitamin C — plus vitamin E and jojoba oil — to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.
Savor Beauty's Yuzu Lemonade Peel may sound more like a delicious summertime treat than a skin-care product, but don't overlook the beauty benefits of citrus for your skin. Yuzu — a bright, orange-yellow fruit that's popular in East Asian cuisine — imparts an instant glow, while salicylic acid, lactic acid, and vitamin C derived from Kakadu plum exfoliate and promote cell turnover. Remember that thing we said earlier about vitamin C being prone to oxidation?
Well, a few things can prevent that from happening: an anhydrous composition aka made without water and a UV-blocking metal tube can help keep the formula stable and in its most effective state. Fine lines don't stand a chance against Omorovicza's potent milky serum, which is made with vitamin C, kiwiberry, and hyaluronic acid.
Think of it as your morning glass of orange juice, but with a side of antioxidant protection for a gorgeous complexion. The creamy pale-yellow tint inspired by banana powder, makeup artists' best-kept secret for faking brighter skin is instant skin-care gratification at its best, while vitamin C works overtime to give you that wide-awake look with or without concealer.
M takes powerful skin care to a whole new level with its brand-new Vitablast Face Oil, which is formulated with a base of squalane, 10 percent vitamin C, and licorice extract to fade hyperpigmentation and offer antioxidant protection from environmental aggressors. With continued use, the luxe oil promotes an even tone and gives skin a smooth, renewed appearance.
The lightweight texture instantly absorbs with a non-greasy feel, making it an extra step you won't mind adding to your daily routine. Add a couple of drops of the new Cover FX Brightening Booster Drops to your skin-care product or liquid makeup for an extra dose of vitamin C courtesy of a proprietary brightening complex to turn up the glow in your complexion. Editors and dermatologists alike love it for its wrinkle- and fine line-fighting powers, along with its ability to dramatically lighten dark spots caused by sun damage.
It's expensive, for sure, but you only need to use a couple of pea-size drops for your entire face, so it should last a decent amount of time. Plus, when you start waking up to brighter, smoother skin every day, you'll realize it's well worth the price. Drunk Elephant's C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream contains not one, but five different forms of vitamin C, plus eight different peptides, making it an under-eye brightening powerhouse.
And as with all Drunk Elephant products, it's free from artificial chemicals, fragrances, parabens And as for the dark bottle? That's a bonus when it comes to storing vitamin C. It breaks down quickly if it's exposed to light or air," she says.
Translation: It's a fast track to skin that's brighter and more hydrated — and it's significantly lower in price than similar products out there. We've already waxed poetic about vitamin C's ability to fade dark spots. Meaning, hyperpigmentation hardly stands a chance. Better yet, the nozzle on this super-concentrated spot treatment delivers juuust the right amount to drop onto those pesky ghosts of pimples past. While this formula looks like it might have an oily texture, it feels more like water than anything else. That, plus the 15 percent vitamin C content, makes it the ideal serum for summer.
Consider it a cup of coffee for your dark circles, but instead of smelling like Starbucks it smells faintly of fresh oranges. It has a marmalade-like texture, thanks to its composition of skin-brightening citrus fruit — including actual clementines, oranges, and lemons.
Not only does this fruity trio pack a punch of fresh vitamin C, but it also imparts naturally occurring fruit acids that gently exfoliate rough, flaky skin. Talk about a treat on all fronts. We love a good skin-care booster , but we especially love them when they're spiked with vitamin C. Made with a whopping 15 percent of pure vitamin C, just a drop or two of Paula's Choice Resist C15 Super Booster added to your daily moisturizer is bound to brighten, tighten, and smooth skin. Face feeling parched come 3 p.
Refresh skin with a few quick hits of the antioxidant-packed Dr. Its sweet but citrus-y scent will brighten your face — and your mood. Spray it on for an immediate pick me up. The whisper-light Caudalie VineActiv 3-in-1 Moisturizer — made with ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, a stabilized form of vitamin C — absorbs on the spot to protect skin from dirt, smog, and whatever else is cooking up on the subway platform. And this wonder product also has moisturizer and vitamin E which will smooth the appearance of fine lines.
Rub it in and reap the benefits. Want results within a week? Join the club. Clinique's Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C, which comes with seven individual packets of a powdered cleanser and a potent serum with enough for a week, promises just that. Be warned, though, after seven days, the 10 percent pure vitamin C serum will begin to oxidize, so use it up. More from Allure. Keywords skin care vitamin c sunday riley dr dennis gross Clinique Caudalie paula's choice brightening vitamin c products serum brighten brightening serum antioxidant shopping guide skin brightening.