(Main Squeeze)

Vitamin C Is The Ingredient Your Skin Is Craving — These Are The Best Serums For The Job

Truly essential.

Originally Published: 
best vitamin c serums
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Join TZR editors for Main Squeeze, the series dedicated to sharing beloved beauty products — be they bold, effective, or simply fun — that make our week just a little bit better. Ahead, Team TZR spotlights their favorite vitamin C serums of the moment.

Serums serve a unique purpose in your skin care routine. Unlike a face wash or moisturizer, they’re designed to target specific concerns and deliver specialized results. While there are many different types, vitamin C options are some of the most beneficial. As a powerful antioxidant, the ingredient has a long list of skin care advantages. True, any product infused with it will be helpful in your quest for youthful skin. However, incorporating one of the best vitamin C serums will ensure you get the full range of benefits.

Vitamin C is known to protect skin cells against sun damage by warding off free radicals that break down collagen. It also diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. But most notably, it helps brighten the skin, and even its tone and texture. With such significant results, it’s easy to see why these serums have become a staple in skin care routines. Still, finding the best formulation can be difficult. Despite its abilities, vitamin C is notoriously unstable. Concentrations, packaging, and storage are all elements that can determine its effectiveness. For this reason, it’s important to find a formula that fits your needs, skin type, and budget.

Ahead, TZR editors share their top picks for vitamin C serums for glowing results. With a range of skin types and concerns, this bunch will make finding your new favorite a bit easier.

“Formulated with ingredients like vitamin C, turmeric, and camu camu, this serum from Beautycounter wakes up my complexion. On top of evening out my skin tone, it gives my face a nice subtle glow. After washing my face, I use a quarter-sized amount of the product, and then I'll slather on Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Water Cream Moisturizer.” — Kelsey Stewart, associate fashion editor, TZR

“With more than 20% pure L-Ascorbic acid than other Vitamin C serums out there, this one packs a punch. It also comes in individual packaging for daily use, which I appreciate, as Vitamin C is sensitive to oxidation and must be stored within a certain temperature (colder and darker the better). After 4 weeks of daily use, my skin looked brighter and complexion more even.” — Kathy Lee, editor-in-chief, TZR

“I've been using this vitamin C from cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson for years and am obsessed with the elegant formula — it's a light, matte-feeling lotion consistency, and it doesn't pill or smell.” — Faith Xue, executive beauty director, lifestyle

“I’ve tried several vitamin C serums and always find myself coming back to this one. I love how the creamy consistency feels silky, never tacky, and absorbs into my skin quickly. Even with the addition of glycolic acid, it doesn’t irritate or burn my skin, which is an issue I’ve had before. Plus, it works pretty fast — which is always a bonus when it comes to skin care products.”— Jessica Fields, beauty writer, TZR

“As a lover of Paula’s Choice’s 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, I’ve been sleeping on their vitamin C products, specifically this moisturizer. The product is super lightweight and leaves my skin looking radiant. Not to mention, it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.” — Maggie Haddad, senior strategist, social media, TZR

“While this admittedly does not smell the best — I’ve heard people liken the aroma to that of bacon — it works so effectively at brightening my dark spots that you really won’t care. It’s one of those cult products that regularly sells out, though, so if you become addicted (like me!), buy two bottles at once.” — Alison Syrett, deputy fashion editor, TZR

“I'm a little bit impatient, so seeing my skin tone noticeably even out after a few weeks was enough to encourage me to stay consistent with La Roche-Posay's Vitamin C serum. It's effective for teasing out extra glow as well as protecting the face against all sorts of environmental stressors, and it's inexpensive enough to slather on my chest and hands so those zones can reap the benefits, too.” — Amanda Ross, beauty editor, TZR

“As I've gotten older, I find dark spots and scarring are becoming more common. I combat this dreaded reality with a potent vitamin C serum that improves the tone of my skin. I love Ole Henriksen's formula because it contains a whopping 15% vitamin C, 5% PHAs, and hyaluronic acid to brighten, firm, and hydrate my skin.” — Angela Melero, executive editor, TZR

“Yes, it's pricey, but there's a reason why Skinceuticals C E Ferulic has won countless awards and remains a beauty editor favorite. The formula is packed with vitamins C, E, and ferulic acid to protect skin from environmental aggressors as well as brighten and minimize hyperpigmentation. I love that it quickly absorbs into my skin without any greasy residue, but more importantly, I see results. By the time I hit the bottom of the bottle, the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation on my chin is lighter.” — Erin Lukas, deputy beauty editor, TZR

“This is the only vitamin C serum on the market where you mix it yourself to ensure potency — basically, so that the brightening ingredients don't oxidize as it sits on the shelf. I love how it leaves an instant brightening effect, while also giving my skin a more radiant glow over time. It's a watery consistency with a smell you have to get used to, but the benefits are absolutely worth it.” — Xue

“Concentration is always a concern of mine when it comes to vitamin C. On days when I feel like my skin needs some extra TLC, I switch over to this serum. It’s formulated with grapeseed extract (which I’m a major fan of), has a gentler approach, and is designed specifically for melanated skin. Though it’s not as speedy as others I’ve used, it does a good job of brightening the small dark spots on my cheeks and around my chin.” — Fields

This article was originally published on