Best Vitamin C Serums

for Wrinkles and Sun spots

When it comes to anti aging skin care, there are so many new and old products available that you don’t know how to make the head or tails of it. Amid all the hype that various firms create around new discoveries some ingredients do stand out. Vitamin C is one such ingredient!

What to look for?

PROTÉGÉ VITAMIN C-RUM

Vitamin C: 20% L-Ascorbic Acid Helpful: Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid & Antioxidants Natural: Pomegranate Seed Oil, Lemon Extract, Orange Extract, Citrus Essential Oils, Astaxanthin Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars (94 reviews)

  • Provides a temporary glowing complexion
  • Good moisturizing effect
  • Refreshing lemony fragrance
  • Gives a waxy shine
  • Acidic. May cause tingling sensation
  • Contains Phenoxyethanol

Cost: $18.99 for 1Oz

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Candid Essentials Vitamin C Serum

CandidEssentials Organic VitaminC

  Vitamin C: 20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate Major: Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid, MSM Natural: Jojoba Oil, Extract from Gotu Kola, Horsetail plant, Geranium & Dandelion Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars (253 customer reviews)

  • 98% Naturally Derived. 72% Organic.
  • No chemical preservatives or other artificial derivatives.
  • No nut oils.
  • Lower Brand Trustworthiness
  • May oxidize sooner. Check for consistency.

Cost: $22.97 for 1 Oz  

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Timeless Vitamin C Serum

Timeless Vitamin C+ Serum

  Vitamin C: 20% L-Acorbic Acid Major Vitamin E, Sodium Hyaluranate, Ferulic acid Natural: None Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 in 677 reviews

  • Non-greasy, Dries fast & spreads nicely
  • Better version of Hyaluronic acid. Deep Moisturization
  • Good Brand Value
  • Exfoliating. Contains no emollients
  • Not for oily/acne prone skin

Cost: $19.70 for 1 Oz  

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Azure Vitamin C Skin Repair Serum

AzureNaturals Vitamin C Serum

  Vitamin C: 22% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate Major: Vitamin E, Botanical Hyaluronic acid, MSM, L-Arginine Natural: Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Gotu Kola, Wildcrafted Horsetail, Wildcrafted Dandelion, Wild Geranium Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,697 Reviews

  • Pump Dispenser for longer life
  • L-Arginine, MSM for wrinkles
  • Longer lasting *365-day money back guarantee
  • Lower Brand value
  • Contains Phenoxyethanol

Cost: $14.88 for 1 Oz  

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Majestic Pure Vitamin C Serum

  Vitamin C: 20 % Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate Active Ingredients: Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E, MSM, L-Arginine Natural Ingredients: Witch Hazel, Jojoba Oil, Aloe Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 from 2,317 reviews

  • 98% Natural and 70% Organic
  • MSM & L-Arginine for wrinkles
  • Available in bigger 4 oz packing
  • Contains Phenoxyethanol
  • Results can be slow

Cost: $12.50 for 1 Oz  

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Insta Naturals Vitamin C Serum

Insta Naturals Vitamin C Serum

  Vitamin C: 20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate Other Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic acid, L-Arginine Natural Ingredients: Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars from 3,585 Reviews

  • Loaded with natural ingredients
  • Stable but slightly less effective form of Vitamin C
  • Maynot like the orangey-iron smell
  • Contains Phenoxyethanol

Cost: $14.22 for 1 Oz  

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BWC Vitamin C Vitality Serum

BWC Vitamin C Vitality Serum

  Vitamin C: Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate Active Ingredients: CoQ10, Vitamin E, Sodium Hyaluronate, Vitamin B Natural: Organic shea butter, Organic borage & tamanu oil, Extracts of Green tea, Grape seed, cucumber and more Review: 4 out of 5 from 74 reviews

  • Uses the best form of Vitamin C for skin
  • CoQ10: Good anti wrinkle ingredient
  • Airless pump
  • Rich emollients & thick texture
  • Takes time to absorb, white tint
  • Contains phenoxyethanol
  • Divided opinion on smell

Cost: $14.63  for 1oz  

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OZ Naturals Vit C Serum

Oz Naturals Vitamin C

  Vitamin C: 20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate Active Ingredients: Natural Astaxanthin, Sodium Hyaluronate, MSM, Vitamin E Natural Ingredients: Rose Hipseed  extract, Witch Hazel, Matricaria Leaf Extract, Green tea extract Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars from 6,893 reviews

  • Most Popular product in its class
  • Finely maintained pH value
  • Better Hyaluronic Acid moisturizes deeply
  • Easy to apply. Doesn’t feel greasy or oily
  • Uses non harmful preservatives
  • Not very thick, has a watery consistency

Cost: $22.49 for 1 Oz  

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Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

  Vitamin C: 10% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate Active Ingredients: Konjac root powder, hyaluronic acid, Ferulic acid Natural Ingredients: Extracts from Aloe leaf, Grapefruit, Chamomile & Clary Sage Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars 205 customer reviews

  • Good brand value
  • Quality ingredients with no harmful ingredients
  • Light & Non irritating
  • Nice smell, silky feel & dries quickly
  • Doesn’t leave skin dried out
  • Lasts long without oxidizing

Cost: $27.19 for 1oz  

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Type of Vitamin C:

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) comes in various forms but like every other oxidants it is very unstable. Here we have products consisting of three types of Vitamin C:

  1. L-Ascorbic Acid: The purest of the original form of VitC and hence the most effective. However it is unstable and oxidizes easily. Also, it is effective when used at pH value of around 3.5. This level is simply too acidic to be used on skin.
  2. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate(SAP): A new derivative of VitC acid, this is stable and effective at a comfortable pH value of 7. Less effective than the purest form but that’s a trade off you have to make.
  3. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate(MAP): Like SAP it is stable and effective at pH 7. It is gentle on skin and almost equally effective as AA for collagen formation. The good thing is it converts into AA after penetrating into the skin.

So best would be LAA (if stabilized)>MAP>SAP

What percentage of Vitamin C is most effective?

There is nothing proved here beyond doubt, but we are going by what most people claim. Generally, you can find serums and creams with percentages ranging from 5-25 %. However most companies claim the right concentration be around 10-20%. A study pegged the effective concentration of AA to 20%. Our Suggestion: 20% should be enough but it is more of a hit and trial thing.

Other Ingredients

Most anti aging serums will contain other ingredients. The main purpose of these are:

  1. Active Ingredients: Like Vitamin C these ingredients act as anti oxidants (ferulic acid, vitamin E) or help in their own way.
  2. Moisturizing & Emollient agents: If used in pure form vitamin c serum will leave your face dried out. So most serums will have a moisturizer (e.g. Hyaluronic acid derivatives) to not leave your skin too dried out. Emollients (glycerin derivatives) are added to give a rich feel and lock that moisture in. Still it is suggested to apply a moisturizer after the serum dries out.
  3. Stabilizing Agents & Preservatives: It is difficult to maintain optimum pH value, so most serums will have some ingredients to help maintain that. The preservatives are almost the similar things but they help maintain the consistency of the serum over a period of time. This is where it gets tricky, because most effective preservatives are alcohols(e.g. Phenoxyethanol) and these as you know can cause problems. Same is the case with Parabens. We taken care to not include any products which contain hazardous ingredients as parabens and have mentioned ingredients which can be termed as risky.
  4. Natural Ingredients: These are essentially natural extracts and oils. Their effectiveness can be questioned but we have made sure to not include any ingredients which may be harmful. You can check if such ingredients have worked for you before in some other products or may be just give it a try.

Shelf life & Packaging

The main factor here is, lesser the chance of serum coming in contact with air more the chances of it having a better shelf life. Also, as you only need to apply a few drops in one time so most serum bottles come with a dropper. Some of them go one step further and use a pump or still better, an airless pump. Airless pump>Pump>Dropper

Fragrance

How the product smells has nothing to do with its efficacy but is an important factor in deciding if you love it or not. A few factors to remember:

  • More the acidic serums will have that acidic smell
  • The natural ingredients impart their own smell to the product
  • Artificial fragrance is sometimes added to overcome the existing smell or give a good fragrance to an otherwise neutral serum
  • Products with Artificial fragrance should be avoided if you have sensitive skin

Useful Tips

How to Use: If you see the directions for use on the label, it will mostly say that apply 2-3 drops on your face. But what they don’t mention is that the serum doesn’t have such a long shelf life. So I’ll suggest that go ahead and apply it on back of your hands, forearms or below neck. The main thing is if the serum suits your skin you just don’t have to hold back on applying it just on face. After all its not going to last an year. Increase Shelf Life: Keep the bottle in a cool place away from sunlight. Preferably in your refrigerator. If you have been using serums for quite some time and the bottle comes with a cap you can split the serum into two bottles and then use one and keep the other one tightly sealed.

PRECAUTIONS:

  • Vitamin C serums are acidic, so it may cause a tingling sensation.
  • Always apply a good moisturizer after the serum has dried out.
  • Patch test: Absolutely make sure to test it on a small area before you apply it all over your face.
  • If you have sensitive skin, then take advice from your physician.
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Lisah

Author at Vivi Make-it-Up
Lisa is a Fashion and Beauty blogger. When is not working on a new post she can be found hanging out with their beautician friends working on a new look for their makeup artist friends. She is a big chocolate freak and believes swimming is the best exercise for body and mind.