A super matte face used to be the look everyone was going for. Now, everyone wants to look moist. Close-up photos of people showing off their radiant visages under extremely good lighting have taken the place of duck-lip and fish gape selfie poses, and it’s probably because they use a good ol’ vitamin C serum in their daily routine.
“Vitamin C is a powerhouse, multitasking antioxidant that both protects—neutralizing free radicals to prevent oxidative stress—and repairs—reducing hyperpigmentation and boosting collagen synthesis,”says Dr. Deanne Robinson of Modern Dermatology of Connecticut.
You can take vitamin C orally or in a serum for more visible results. Vitamin C serums are the go-to anti-aging remedy and the antidote to lackluster, dehydrated skin. The powerhouse vitamin is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and red spots, ultimately brightening skin overtime. The market is oversaturated with serums that claim to do the work, so I polled a few skin experts to recommend their favorites, ahead.
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C E Ferulic
This gem from Skin Ceuticals is Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Naissan O. Wesley‘s favorite ”powerful antioxidant serum” because its formulated with vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid. “It’s a classic but goodie,” Wesley says.
Violet-C Brightening Serum 20% Vitamin C + 10% AHA
Not only does Tatcha’s cult-favorite serum include vitamin C (20% to be exact), it’s also formulated with mild AHAs derived from apple, grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, hawthorn, and jujube that combine to improve the skin’s texture and radiance.
Revision Skincare Vitamin C Lotion 30%
Revision created this lotion-like serum to brighten the skin and comes highly recommended by NYC-based dermatologist, Dr. Julie Russak. Dr. Russak advises her clients to use the serum in the warmer months because of increased sun exposure.
“Its antioxidant properties are best put to use in helping the body repair from the UV-induced damage. Revision Skincare C+ is formulated with THD Ascorbic, which is the most stable form of Vitamin C,” she explains. ”Additionally, the product also offers melapath technology, which helps with targeting residual redness from too much sun exposure.”
According to Dr. Russak, the Phloretin CF serum is an oily skin savior. It’s a non-greasy formula that offers “environmental protection while brightening and evening out texture,” she says. Phloretin is an antioxidant that penetrates deep into the skin to improve cell turnover and texture and when “added with the concentrated vitamin C, it targets pigment issues from the sun post summer.”
Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10% Serum
“This fresh and clean Vitamin C booster is a fantastic way to introduce the power of Vitamin C to your skin,” Christie Lavigne, a NYC-based licensed esthetician says. ”It is easily accessible and reasonably priced and a perfect product for those younger clients that want results.”
G.M. Collin Vital-C 10% Plus Peptides Serum
This serum basically kills two birds with one stone—dull skin and visible signs of aging. “This serum pairs powerful Vitamin C with peptides, making it a fantastic antioxidant and anti-aging tool,” Lavigne adds. ”It smells like fresh citrus and the results are dramatic.”
C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum
Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma serum is a fan-favorite thanks to a powerful cocktail of powerful antioxidants fruit enzymes, “which attacks dead surface skin cells.” It also includes sodium hyaluronate cross polymer to boost hydration.
+Retinol Vita C Power Serum Firming + Brightening Treatment
Stubborn acne scars? Kate Somerville’s serum is here to say “not today!” It’s literally the foundation of youth packed in a pretty white and gold bottle. This serum goes to work while you sleep; the retinol works to reverse any signs of aging by firming and toning the skin, while the vitamin c brightens and gives a youthful glow.
Ceutics Flavo-C Ultraglican and Vit-C
Dr. Welsey is also a big fan of Isdin’s Flavo-C serum because it ”makes skin feel radiant and moisturized.” Because the product is packaged in small glass ampules, the product’s potency isn’t affected. Dr. Robinson, on the other hand, keeps this stocked because it “contains 8% of pure and stable vitamin C that stays active on the skin for 10 hours” and is infused with antioxidants culled from the Gingko Biloba tree.
Vitamin C Potent Topical Serum 27%
Mario Badescu’s Vitamin C Serum is a small bottle that packs a big punch. The serum uses Vitamin C to retexturize damaged skin, balance out uneven skin tone, and plump skin—all of this without damaging the skin’s barrier.
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