It's hard to cut through the hype that hovers around most skincare products these days. Social media posts and magazine pages may wax lyrical about the newest serum or lushest face mask, but knowing if it's actually worth dropping money on can be difficult. So, to help you out, you can start with this whittled-down list of the top-rated vitamin C serums, all of which have the reviews, ratings, and ingredients to back them up.
While this buzzy antioxidant has been taking over bathroom shelves and collecting SKU codes at hundreds of companies, you might be wondering what it even does. Vitamin C is known mostly for its ability to give you a "glow." This is achieved through a variety of things, mostly its ability to help re-texturize your skin; heal damage caused by stress, pollution, and the sun; and reverse signs of premature aging, making it a pretty snazzy product worthy of being in your lineup.
But like many oversaturated products out there, vitamin C serums are kind of like chocolate bars — it's easy to say yes to any of them, but some really are just better than others. To help you weed through the (endless) pages of pump bottles and droppers, you can shop the top-rated C serums that actually brighten, fight free radicals, and give you that glow, below.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
With 900 five-star reviews, this serum not only contains 20 percent vitamin C, but also has fruit AHAs, which gently exfoliate. Japanese angelica root extract is featured, too, and aids in improving the look of discoloration and scarring.
It's hard to make any kind of argument against a product with 5,227 five-star reviews. This serum not only provides the benefits of vitamin C, but it includes skin-saving ingredients like retinol, niacinamide, aloe, and hyaluronic and salicylic acids, too. While it works great for any skin type, those with acne-prone complexions will get a lot out of it.
While 15 percent vitamin C is the hero of this product, the addition of vitamin E, fruit enzymes, bearberry, turmeric, and kojic acid make the formula far more special. Not only does it do the classic work of diminishing scars or hyperpigmentation, but it helps prevent outbreaks, too. With 90 five-star reviews, you'll want to pop this into your cart.
Despite its hefty price tag, SkinCeuticals' formula has been one of the most-talked-about vitamin C serums for years. Its cult-favorite status is only further proven by its practically perfect rating at Dermstore (out of more than 2,600 reviews), many of which say that it's one of the best versions reviewers have used and well worth the price.
You can't have a list of highly-rated C serums without this cult favorite. This formula improves elasticity, fixes uneven texture, and boosts hydration thanks to collagen, and green tea and orange extracts. Plus, it has 3,200+ five-star reviews to back its potency.
Dark spots are among the many things that vitamin C serums can help treat. This particular formula also features the soothing properties of chamomile and fireweed extracts. Its overall rating of 4.8 stars is also a strong indication of how well it works.
Following the brand's beloved Jet Lag and Overtime Masks is a C serum packed with squalane, vitamin E, and a peptide complex. This combo means dull complexions go out the window, leaving you with plump, hydrated, and happy skin.
The popularity of this product is in its numbers, and with over 2,500 sold it's worth scooping up a bottle. In each pump, you'll receive an ample dose of vitamins C, D, and E, all of which contribute to healthier skin. Using it routinely can help fight UV-induced photo damage, stimulate collagen, and speed up the healing of scars.
Boasting 1,500 five-star reviews, this favorite from Drunk Elephant includes chronocyclin, which acts like vitamin D for your skin, and pumpkin ferment and pomegranate extract, which are useful for exfoliating.
Vitamin C serum prices tend to run high, but Rosen Skincare's formula is one of the few that remains budget-friendly and still has the rave reviews to back it up. This version packs 20 percent vitamin C to really target dark spots and dull skin, plus the stabilizing powers of mulberry extract to make sure it's actually usable.