My skincare history splits up in two: Before
Vitamin C (BC, lol) and after Vitamin C. It all started when I introduced a proper C serum into my routine and my skin got incredibly close to reaching its full potential. The first serum I picked was 15% and I started out by using it every three days. The results were visible in as little as 2 weeks (I’m dead serious), and so I was hooked: An even skin tone, reduced fine lines, and an overall improved skin quality. Summer freckles on my nose were also visibly faded. In short, I decided that the road to having the skin of your dreams starts with Vitamin C. If you also wish to have an enlightening experience when it comes to your skincare, try one of the serums below. One of them can be the superstar product that will take your routine to the professional level.
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum, $103 at Sephora
With the renewed formula, the Vitamin C powder and the serum come separately to ensure stability and are to be mixed right before use. As an infamous klutz, I was hesitant to try this DIY serum. Who would want to accidentally spill and waste a Drunk Elephant product anyway? Turns out, the process was way easier than I thought, and I ended up preparing the serum seamlessly, and without wasting a single drop. The formula is made up of 15% L-ascorbic acid, 0.5% ferulic acid, and 1%
Vitamin E. When I used it regularly every morning, my complexion was illuminated; more radiance and an evened out skin tone. Also important to note that Drunk Elephant’s Vitamin C serum works for oily/combo skin. It is vegan and cruelty-free.
Youth To The People 15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum, $88 at Sephora
We love multitalented products. In this serum by YTTP, Vitamin C is accompanied with
caffeine, a great de-puffing agent, making it a fitting morning pick. Meanwhile, squalene works to hydrate the skin. This serum is ideal for those looking for an anti-spot serum with a plant-based ingredient list, who are new to Vitamin C, or those who are Vitamin C veterans. The vegan and cruelty-free serum comes in a recyclable bottle.
Odacité Vitamin C & E + Hyaluronic Acid Brightening Serum, £62
California-born Odacité has initially won me over with the “Clean-ical Formulations” pun on its labels. My respect for them grew when I had the chance to try out the serum at The Detox Market and noticed the texture. Odacité has a clear message: Here’s a Vitamin C serum that is not sticky, delivers its promises, is easily absorbed, and has a nice scent (trust me, this is an important thing when it comes to Vitamin C serums).
The ingredients list has hyaluronic acid, tocopherol, squalene; and the neroli water gives the serum its pleasant scent (of course, there are no synthetic perfumes in the formulation). Vitamin C stabilization is established by preserving the C molecules in microspheres, that kind of “pop” when applied to skin. The formulation also includes neroli, patchouli, and cypress oils in minute amounts, which all have low comedogenic ratings. Meaning, they won’t clog pores. The dermatologically-tested and hypoallergenic serum gets along with sensitive skin. That being said, a patch test is always a smart idea for all formulations with essential oils. It is vegan and cruelty-free.
Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10%, $105
This serum has been on my favorites list since when it first came out. Here are a few things I love about it: 1- The 10% ascorbic acid is nearly at the very top of the ingredients list. Meaning, they were generous with Vitamin C. 2. Squalene hydrates, glycerine locks in the moisture and cucumber extract soothes the skin. 3. Honesty! Even though the serum is preserved in an opaque bottle that keeps the sun rays out (there are 4 vials in every set), Clinique stresses using it up in one week. However, I wasn’t able to, even though I used it in the AM and PM. Hey, a perfect reason to start a Vitamin C co-op ritual with a friend or partner!
By Wishtrend %15 Pure Vitamin C with Ferulic Acid, $28
For me, it’s a love-hate relationship with this K-Beauty serum. I’m in love, because my skin was not irritated, nor oily (got to thank niacinamide for that!), plus I noticed a visible glow when I finished the first bottle. It is almost always sold out in Turkey, and that’s where my hate stems from. 15% ascorbic acid is an amount that works both for beginners and for experienced users. I started using it every other day and once my skin eventually adapted, switched to every day. Ferulic acid, an ingredient you will see in many dark spot serums, is there to increase the potency of Vitamin C. Also worth noting is the fine texture; it makes it an ideal serum to be layered with other products like sunscreen. Not unlike most Vitamin C serums, the scent isn’t great, which is a classic Vitamin C serum characteristic, but it’s definitely worth getting used to.
Dr. Dennis Gross 15% Vitamin C Firm & Bright Serum, $85
Dr. Gross, a big fan of your work here. I’ve so far been satisfied with whatever product I’ve used from the goal-oriented products by this renowned dermatologist. Next up is his new Vitamin C serum. There isn’t a single redundant molecule in this serum’s ingredient list. The list starts with water and dipropleyne glycol (an ingredient used to absorb moisture in skin and/or to give the serum its texture), followed by 15% ascorbic acid. The beloved
AHAs, specifically lactic acid and glycolic acid, support the rejuvenation process. It’s the perfect “starting over” product. One of the other ingredients, tocopherol, has anti-inflammatory effects, and licorice root is the mighty enemy of free radicals. Once again, the effective ferulic acid - Vitamin C duo is present in this serum. It’s vegan and cruelty-free.
Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum, $105
The main difference that sets this serum apart, is that it has stable and effective THD ascorbate as a form of Vitamin C. The THD ascorbate is 20%, and thus might be too strong for beginners, but will definitely satisfy Vitamin C pros. The ingredient list includes 3% Vitamin E, 2% ferulic acid, anti-inflammatory agent turmeric, and a type of hydrating hyaluronic acid. The serum features antibacterial
ginseng as a preservative alternative. A result-oriented, effective formulation, a Vitamin C serum for those who know what they are doing.