How to Use a Vitamin C Serum, Plus 5 of Our Favorite FormulasOctober 26, 2022
Vitamin C is one of the key ingredients to achieving glowing skin — and when paired with ingredients like retinol, it can also help fight signs of aging. Even if you like to keep your skincare routine minimalist, incorporating a vitamin C serum into your regimen is an easy step to take to boost your skin’s radiance. Plus, there are a variety of potent options at every price point, from drugstore to higher-end formulas. Below, find out how to use a vitamin C serum, plus five of our editors’ go-to formulas.
Cleanse Your Skin
Before you apply your vitamin C serum, make sure your skin is freshly cleansed and towel-dried. This breakdown of cleanser formulas will help you find a formula that best suits your skin type.
Apply the Vitamin C Serum
You can apply your vitamin C serum morning or night, according to the product’s instructions. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it neutralizes free radicals, so it can be especially beneficial to apply your serum in the morning.
Follow with Moisturizer and/or Broad-Spectrum SPF
If you apply your vitamin C serum in the morning, be sure to follow it with both a moisturizer and a broad-spectrum sunscreen to shield your skin from the sun. If you apply it at night, skip the SPF and just smooth on a moisturizer.
The Best Vitamin C Serums
CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum
This drugstore antioxidant serum contains 10% vitamin C to help visibly brighten your complexion, in addition to hyaluronic acid and ceramides which help soften skin and support your moisture barrier. Because it’s non-comedogenic and allergy-tested, it’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Vitamin C Vitamin E Salicylic Acid Acne Serum
This serum, which is also infused with vitamin E and salicylic acid, targets three signs of aging: fine lines, enlarged pores and uneven skin tone. It brightens, neutralizes the effects of free radicals and works to refine skin for a smoother, more youthful appearance overtime.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
A cult-classic vitamin C serum, this product is designed to defend your skin against environmental irritants, brighten, firm the skin and improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles. The formula works with a potent combination of 15% vitamin C along with vitamin E and ferulic acid, a plant-based antioxidant that fights free radicals and stabilizes the effects of the vitamins C and E.
Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Vitamin C Serum
Made with 12.5% vitamin C and hydrating hyaluronic acid, this serum promises results fast. In fact, it visibly reduces fine lines in as little as two weeks and gives skin a firmer appearance overtime. You’ll notice a glow with immediate use, though.
Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum
Banish dullness and discoloration with this 15% vitamin C serum. It provides visible brightening results in as little as 10 days and works for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Prop Stylist: Catherine Pearson, Prop Assistant: Lindsay Jones