A Complete Guide to Vitamin C Serum: What It Is and Why You Should Use It

If you’re someone who cares about skincare, then you’ve likely heard of vitamin C serum. Along with cleansers and moisturizers, skin experts often consider vitamin C serum as one of the most beneficial products you can add to your skincare regimen. Vitamin C can benefit almost everyone, regardless of their age or skin type.

For those who aren’t familiar with vitamin C serum, it’s known for its anti-aging and brightening abilities. But with so many vitamin C serums on the market, how do you know which ones are worth investing in? That’s where we come in! If you’re ready to take your skincare routine to the next level, then check out our complete guide to vitamin C serum. We’ll explain what it is and why you should use it! As a bonus, we’ve also included our top picks.

What Is Vitamin C Serum

In short, vitamin C serum is a skin product that is full of vitamin C. We’re exposed to free radicals daily from air pollution to fried foods, tobacco smoke, pesticides, and more and vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help fight against free radicals.

When Vitamin C serum is applied topically to the skin, it can help protect your skin from inflammation caused by these free radicals. Further, it can help with breakouts, the breakdown of collagen, as well as dark spots. For these reasons, Vitamin C serum can be a great product to include in your skincare regimen.

Benefits of Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C serum is chock full of benefits. For starters, it can help brighten your complexion and even your skin tone. It also has anti-aging effects as it can help reduce wrinkles and helps boost collagen production.

Furthermore, vitamin C serum can help protect your skin from sun damage (although you should never skip applying SPF), and it helps protect you from free radicals such as pollution. Finally, vitamin C serum is also known to help reduce hyperpigmentation.

Who Should Use Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C serum is an excellent product for almost everyone. Even if you don’t see signs of aging, adding vitamin C serum to your skincare regimen is a good idea for prevention.

Vitamin C serum is also for anyone who wants to reduce the appearance of dark under-eye circles and fine lines and to help establish an even complexion. Dr. Sharkar and Dr. Suchitra Badvey, consultant dermatologists, recommends that anyone who wants to take a proactive approach should start using vitamin C Serum from their mid-20s and onwards.

Potential Side Effects of Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C serum is mostly safe to use but just like with all skincare and beauty products there can be side effects for some. Some side effects include stinging, redness, or dryness.

With this in mind, you should always do a patch test, especially when trying a new skincare product for the first time. This will help determine whether or not you’ll have an allergic reaction to the product.

To perform the test, select a small area of skin such as your forearm. Next, apply a little bit of the product and allow it to sit for up to 24 hours. If no side effects occur, then you can apply the serum to your face and neck. Note, if you do develop redness, hives, or a rash make sure you discontinue use immediately.

When to Apply Vitamin C Serum

As we discussed previously, if you’re trying vitamin C serum for the first time, then make sure you perform a patch test. If the patch test doesn’t show any sign of allergy then you can start adding the serum into your skincare routine.

Beginners should start adding the serum slowly before applying it daily. Start with every other day and then work towards adding it daily. You can also apply it twice a day, morning and night. Although, if you had to choose one time, it’s most recommended during your morning routine to help shield your skin from environmental aggressors.

How to Apply Vitamin C Serum

You’ll want to apply the vitamin C serum after you cleanse and tone your face, but before you moisturize. Begin by adding a few drops (three to five) in the palm of your hand. Next, gently massage the serum into your skin using your fingertips.

Don’t forget to apply the serum to your neck as well. After you apply the serum you can finish with moisturizing your skin or if you have oily skin you can use the serum on its own.

What to Look for When Choosing a Vitamin C Serum

When choosing a vitamin C serum, there are few important things you want to look for. When looking at the ingredient label, you’ll want to look for L-ascorbic acid as this is one of the most effective forms of vitamin C.

Other beneficial ingredients to look for are tocopherol (vitamin E), ferulic acid, or glutathione. Vitamin E helps stabilize vitamin C which together, promotes skin protection. Glutathione is another antioxidant and ferulic acid can help lower the pH level of vitamin C so that your skin absorbs the ingredients.

Next, you’ll want to ensure your serum has a concentration higher than 8-percent but less than 20-percent. Anything higher than 20-percent could irritate your skin. You should also inspect the packaging. Make sure it comes in an airtight container for safe storage. Finally, price is not always an indicator of quality, and make sure you opt for a serum that fits within our budget!

How To Store Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C serums are available in two categories, water-based and anhydrous (meaning without water). Water-based serums tend to be unstable and sensitive to light. For this reason, they’re often sold in opaque or amber-colored bottles.

Anhydrous serums are more stable even when exposed to sunlight. Regardless of which type you choose, make sure it’s stored in a stable environment. Vogue explains that the bottles should be kept airtight and preferably in a dark, cool place.

Keep in mind, if your serum becomes cloudy or darkened in color, or if it has a rancid odor, then this is an indication that the serum has oxidized.

Our Top Picks

Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about vitamin C serum, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites that you can start adding to your skincare routine!

Advanced Skin Care C+E Serum

Buy it here: https://amzn.to/35YmUAK

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum

Buy it here: https://amzn.to/2XUFyVN

Paula’s Choice C15 Super booster

Buy it here: https://amzn.to/390826C

Sunday Riley C.E.O 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Buy it here: https://amzn.to/2NnqAFK

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

Buy it here: https://amzn.to/3p2NXlY

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension

Buy it here: https://amzn.to/3c9d1En

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa is the Junior Managing Editor of ActiveBeat. She aspires to live a healthy lifestyle by staying active and eating foods that nourish her body, but she isn't afraid to indulge in a little chocolate here and there! Clarissa loves cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with her dog. In her free time, you'll find her relaxing in her hammock or curled up on the couch reading a book.