These Are the Best Vitamin C Serums Money Can Buy

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Though vitamin C is most synonymous with brightening and antioxidant protection when it comes to skin care, it’s also closely linked to collagen production, making it a no-brainer ingredient for all age groups. When pondering which one to try next, leave the guessing game out of it and stick to the expert recommendations to get real results. These are the top vitamin C serums money can buy, according to dermatologists and aestheticians who know what works.

1 / 10

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($169)

“SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is bar none the best vitamin C serum money can buy. It is the only product formulated using the Duke Antioxidant patent, which has been vigorously tested and proven to be the most effective formulation of vitamin C in combination with other antioxidants.” —Fort Lauderdale dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias

“SkinCeuticals products, like this best-selling vitamin C serum, go through rigorous clinical testing. The formula includes 15-percent L-ascorbic acid in combination with vitamin E and ferulic acid, making it highly effective at protecting skin from environmental-induced damage for up to 72 hours.” —Omaha, NE dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD

“Though this blend of potent antioxidants is the most recommended vitamin C serum of all time, it’s worthy of the hype. It features three antioxidants—vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid—that work synergistically to defend skin from free-radical damage while treating signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and skin laxity. It’s incredibly effective and a staple of many of my patients’ routines.” —Toronto dermatologist Geeta Yadav, MD

“This is one of the most impressive vitamin C serums on the market and a derm favorite. This product has the scientific evidence to back up its claims. It’s pricey, but worth every single penny. I have been personally using this serum for years now and very few vitamin C serums compare to it. It works so well at improving discoloration and protecting against free-radical damage.” —Pittsburgh dermatologist Lindsey Zubritsky, MD

2 / 10

skinbetter science Alto Advanced Defense and Repair Serum ($199)

“This vitamin C wonderkid is brand-new and brilliant, and along with the usual antioxidant goodies that protect the skin from external oxidation, it also contains the remarkable and first-of-its-kind Allyl PQQ, which helps to protect the skin from intrinsic oxidative damage.” —Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda C. Honet, MD

3 / 10

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum ($78)

“This serum contains a 15-percent concentration of L-ascorbic acid in conjunction with vitamin E and ferulic acid, with the added benefits of super quick absorption into the skin.” —Mila Davis, aesthetician at Skin to Smile

4 / 10

Éminence Organics Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum ($110)

“For patients who prefer organic skin-care products, this serum is formulated with two doses of vitamin C, including 16-percent naturally fortified L-ascorbic acid, as well as sodium ascorbyl phosphate, also known as vitamin C salt. In addition to multiple organic fruit and vegetable extracts, it also uses ferulic acid derived from plant leaves to help keep the vitamin C stable and potent.” —Dr. Schlessinger

5 / 10

Replenix Vitamin C Pro Collagen Serum ($125)

“I love this serum because not only does it contain powerhouse levels of vitamin C and vitamin E, but it also harnesses the properties of many other antioxidants to further protect the skin. It contains medical-grade ingredients, it’s very elegant, and it plays well with other skin care and makeup when layered.” —Dr. Honet 

6 / 10

BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner ($80)

“This brand’s founder is a cosmetic chemist and he has a profound understanding of what ingredients—and at what concentration—will achieve results. This treatment contains gently exfoliating AHA tartaric acid, which allows a very high dose—20 percent—of vitamin C to better penetrate the skin for a firmer and brighter look. The formula also has a unique silky texture that sits well under makeup.” —Dr. Yadav

7 / 10

skinbetter science Alto Defense Serum ($160)

“I love this one for those who tend to get irritated or break out from vitamin C serums. Its active ingredient is tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and this type of vitamin C is equally effective as L-ascorbic acid without the irritation, nor does it lead to breakouts. This vitamin C serum is worth the hype because it also contains 17 other antioxidants to protect against environmental aggressors, brighten skin, reduce redness, and improve skin’s luminosity.” —Dr. Zubritsky

8 / 10

Emepelle Serum ($175)

“This one-of-a-kind serum designed for estrogen-deficient skin pairs 3-O ethyl ascorbic acid—an extremely stable form of vitamin C—with MEP Technology to address collagen loss in women that can occur leading up to and during menopause.” —Dr. Schlessinger

9 / 10

bioBare Vitamin C, B, E & Ferulic Serum ($49)

“This serum contains a 20-percent concentration of L-ascorbic acid—the active ingredient in many vitamin C serums—which is one of the highest concentrations on the market. It also combines other potent ingredients, including hyaluronic, ferulic acid and vitamin E, to impart greater effectiveness.” —Mila Davis

10 / 10

LovelySkin LUXE VITA-CE with Ferulic Acid ($85)

“This serum combines 15-percent L-ascorbic acid, tocopherol—vitamin E—and ferulic acid to deliver effective protection against free-radical damage and reduce wrinkle depth by 63 percent in just 28 days. It also features a unique trans-epidermal carrier, which helps deliver an octapeptide blend deeper into the skin offering additional anti-aging benefits.” —Dr. Schlessinger

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