The 7 Best Vitamin C Serums We Tested and Recommend for Glowing Skin



With so many different types of serums on the market, it can be hard to figure out what each one does, let alone whether it deserves a spot in your skincare routine. If you only want to invest in a single product, board-certified dermatologist Diane Madfes, MD, recommends choosing a vitamin C serum. 

One of the main benefits of vitamin C is that it protects against environmental stressors like UV rays and pollution, which can cause free radical damage to the skin. It is a powerful antioxidant that can result in smooth, clear, and even skin tone with regular use. 

"They stimulate collagen, fade dark spots, and protect against sun damage," Madeface tells Birdie. "They're also great for fine lines, melasma, and rosacea." 

We tested dozens of vitamin C serums in the lab and at home for six weeks as part of a daily skincare routine, evaluating each product for ease of use, absorbency, skin texture, skin radiance, firmness and overall Exterior. 

Finally, we consulted with two board-certified dermatologists, Jessie Cheung, MD, and Jennifer Herrmann, MD, to choose these 7 best for glowing skin. 

Best Overall: L’OrĂ©al Paris Revitalift Derm Intense Vitamin C Facial Serum: We're glad this product is available at your local drugstore, is relatively affordable, and is very effective. 

Over time, we noticed a significant improvement in the radiance of our complexion. After six weeks, our skin looked brighter and smoother. We also noticed a noticeable difference in skin firmness. 

The texture of the product is neither liquid nor oily. Instead, it almost feels like a light paste. While this may not sound particularly appealing, it spreads easily and absorbs into the skin quickly. 

We also appreciate the squeeze tube packaging, which makes it easy to dispense just the right amount of product. The only downside we found is that unlike some other vitamin C serums that make skin look instantly radiant due to their oily or glossy formulas, this one doesn't. But considering how effective it is over time, this isn't a huge drawback. 

Who is it for: This is a great all-rounder for anyone who needs a boost of charisma. However, it is best for those who are patient as results may take some time. 

Best Treatment: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid: As avid vitamin C serum lovers, we know a good formula when we try it. Sometimes the products that get the most attention don't live up to expectations, but this one certainly did. 

The lightweight, fast-absorbing formula won't leave skin feeling sticky or drying. It's easy to apply and incorporate into your skin care routine and delivers impressive results. 

By using SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic we have seen a real improvement in skin texture and a reduction in fine lines. After six weeks of use, our skin looked and felt softer and smoother. 

However, we're not convinced this brightened our complexion any better than other cheaper options we've used. There's no denying that we love this serum, but it's worth noting that while it's fragrance-free, it doesn't have a particularly appealing scent. However, the smell does not linger on the skin so it is not a problem for us. 

Who is it for: This SkinCeuticals serum is a win for anyone concerned about fine lines and photoaging. Added vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and ferulic acid help enhance the formula's protective properties against environmental damage caused by free radicals. 

Best Budget: Yes Grapefruit Daily Brightening Serum: This serum proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune on skincare to see positive changes in your skin. The formula contains antioxidant-rich grapefruit and vitamin C, as well as polyhydroxy acids (PHA) that gently break down dead skin cells. 

We love this serum. It is easily absorbed by our skin and leaves it feeling moisturized. We also noticed that our skin looked radiant after each use. We also love how effectively this serum brightens our complexion and smoothes our skin texture over time. 

We noticed a noticeable improvement in texture after just a few days, and by the end of the test period, our skin felt softer, slightly firmer, and our skin tone looked more even. 

Who is it for: If you're looking for an affordable vitamin C serum, Yes To Grapefruit Daily Brightening Serum is your new favorite product. 
Best for Beginners: Sephora Collection Super Glow Serum with Vitamin C+E: If you are using a vitamin C serum for the first time, it is recommended to start with a simple formula that is easy to use and does not contain potentially harsh active ingredients that may cause irritation. 

We love this product for beginners because the formula is super simple - it absorbs quickly, feels comfortable on the skin, and works well with makeup and other skin care products. It contains vitamins C and E as well as marine peptides and is known for its firming properties. 

We found the pipette application to be intuitive and the formula absorbed quickly into our skin without leaving a sticky or greasy residue. After just a week or two, we noticed a real difference in the brightness of our skin and noticed that our complexion looked brighter, even when we weren't wearing it. Overall, it helps us achieve brighter, healthier, and younger-looking skin. 

While there's no definite word on firming effects, we're hoping this product will provide a slightly stronger firming effect, especially considering it contains marine peptides. But overall it's still an excellent product. 

Who is it for: This product is ideal if you are new to vitamin C and are concerned that your skin may be a bit irritated during the adjustment period. It does not contain additional active ingredient lists, so you can easily start a new treatment regimen. 

Best for Sensitive Skin: TruSkin Vitamin C Facial Serum: If you have sensitive skin, you know how important it is to find products that are gentle but effective. That's what we like. Not to mention, many of our Birdie readers love it too. 

This product is very comfortable for sensitive and acne-prone skin. While it takes about 30 seconds to dry, a little longer than other options, the drying result is moisturizing and non-greasy. 

We even found that our skin still felt hydrated even without moisturizer. Another bonus? It didn't clog our pores. 

We are very satisfied with the results after the testing phase. Post-acne spots are visibly lightened and our complexion looks radiant. 

Who is it for: Since it's effective, non-irritating, suitable for all skin types, and contains no harsh acids, we think it's a great option for people with sensitive skin. 

Best for Acne-Based Skin: CeraVe Skin Renewal Vitamin C Serum: People with acne-prone skin know that trying new skin care products can often lead to breakouts and irritation. 

We found that this product actually helped improve the overall appearance of oily skin. The formula contains L-ascorbic acid, the purest form of vitamin C, for powerful antioxidant protection, and hyaluronic acid for an extra boost of hydration. 

While we had some difficulty setting up the dispenser portion of the package during first use, once that was done, the product was easy to use. We also like that after regular use, our skin looks a little brighter and the fine lines around our mouth seem to smooth out a little. 

Who is it for: This is a great option if you have acne-prone skin. We appreciate that this serum is lightweight and doesn't feel greasy on our already oily skin, and we noticed a noticeable reduction in post-acne spots after a few weeks of use. 

Best for Skin Tightening: Klur Brilliant Light Multi-Correction Repair Serum 

Klur Brilliant Light Multi-Correction Repair Serum isn't a harsh formula containing potentially harsh acids; instead, it's a gentle product that actually visibly improves texture and skin tone. We can't stop raving about how much this product helps tighten skin. Additionally, we noticed a real improvement in the texture of our skin; after six weeks of trialling, our face looked and felt smoother and softer. While we didn't notice a huge difference in skin radiance, the improvement in texture and tone was so dramatic that we didn't have to worry. Who is it for: Approved by us for use on all skin types, tones and ages, this Vitamin C serum is a top choice for anyone looking to tone and smooth their skin.

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