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Editor's note: This article was updated on January 9, 2023.
Taking care of our skin can be pretty tricky. Understatement of the year, right? We certainly go through all of the steps and often spend more money than we should on products, but still, our complexion often scoffs at us, breaking out, becoming irritated and producing more excess oil than ever before. We want it to be brighter, smoother, healthier and happier — but it won't tell us exactly what it wants!
After plenty of research and testing, we finally have a pretty good idea. Even just one powerful (yet gentle!) treatment could make a world of difference in a complexion. You could be just one purchase away from radiance, youthfulness and filter-free, no-makeup selfies. We all want to genuinely smile when we see ourselves in the mirror, and that's why we're adding a top-level vitamin C serum to our skincare routine!
Whether you're dealing with excess sebum, sensitivity, acne, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dullness or a combination of all of the above, a vitamin C serum could change everything. We all know that vitamin C is great for your immune system, but it's one of the most beloved skincare ingredients out there too. As Harvard stated, it's an antioxidant, "meaning it fights harmful free radicals (toxins) that come in contact with your skin from external sources like air pollution, or from inside the body as a result of normal processes like your metabolism." This means it "may help slow early skin aging, prevent sun damage and improve the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots and acne."
Whether you're looking for a premium, celebrity-loved product or something ultra-affordable yet effective, we have seven product recommendations for you below. If you're looking for the best vitamin C serums of 2023, scroll down and get ready to shop!
Best Vitamin C Serums
Best Vitamin C Serum for Oily Skin
Sick of constantly blotting your face and adding layer after layer of powder? Say goodbye to excess sebum with this vitamin C serum, which contains salicylic acid to help with oil control and clogged pores that lead to breakouts and blackheads. You want a lit-from-within glow, not a slick shine, and this product is here to help!
Best Vitamin C Serum for Combination Skin
Bright, moisturized, youthful, plump skin — it's what we all want. And that's why this serum belongs in our beauty routine! It contains vitamin C but also adds in hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid and sea buckthorn oil to create an anti-aging powerhouse product. This find is for all skin types, so if your combination skin gives you trouble or tends to change throughout the year, this is our pick for you!
Best Vitamin C Serum for Sensitive Skin
One thing about vitamin C is that it can be very strong, so you'll want to shop specifically for sensitive skin if you're afraid of a reaction. We say to go with this pick from dermatologist-favorite La Roche-Posay. It contains moisturizing glycerin and prebiotic thermal water that may help hydrate and soothe!
Get the La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum with Salicylic Acid for just $40 at Dermstore!
Best Vitamin C Serum for Dark Spots
This oil-free, non-comedogenic TULA serum actually contains three types of vitamin C! Two focus on dull skin and dark spots while the third claims to "reactivate the others throughout the day" for long-lasting defense against the elements. Over 800 reviewers are obsessed!
Get the Brightening Treatment Drops Triple Vitamin C Serum for just $56 at TULA!
Best Vitamin C Serum for Dry, Breakout-Prone Skin
If your skin is sensitive to breakouts and irritation, people often assume your skin type is oily — but dry skin can cause breakouts too! What's tough is that sometimes super hydrating serums leave out ingredients like vitamin C, making it hard to simplify your routine. This long-time favorite Glossier serum is an exception. It's fragrance-free and dermatologist-tested, and it features ingredients like jojoba oil and shea butter to keep skin feeling nourished!
Best Premium Vitamin C Serum
With celebrity fans like Ashley Graham and Sienna Miller, this is many people's dream pick when it comes to vitamin C. It's made with pure, potent l-ascorbic acid, a powerful form of vitamin C, and has a multitude of potential anti-aging benefits!
Best Affordable Vitamin C Serum
Not everyone wants to spend over $150 on a serum, and that's okay! This one is wildly popular on Amazon and costs under $10. It has a plant-based formula and contains other goodies like hyaluronic acid and amino acids. Stimulate collagen production and watch as your skin transforms into what could be its best yet!
Not done shopping? See more of our favorite beauty products below:
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