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Five Best Vitamin C Serums of 2012

Solution for:

Hyperpigmentation, Sagging Skin, Wrinkles
Reviewed by Marta December 30, 2012 53 Comments

This post has been updated: Five Best with Vitamin C 2014

Dr Oz has just highlighted vitamin C as one of the anti-agers that will "drop a decade from your face". I agree that vitamin C is a helpful anti-ager, but I strongly disagree with his guidance: "Look for products that contain between 3% and 10% of vitamin C and include the active ingredient ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid." First of all ascorbic acid is far from the best form of vitamin C to look out for. It is the least stable and most likely to irritate. There are much more impressive types of vitamin C, such as MAP (read up on vitamin C in all its forms). And the 3-10% range is just arbitrary. There are fantastic serums such as E'shee's that has 20% delivered over time so that it doesn't irritate, clever stabilizing ingredients, others with lower percentages of stable Cs that work really well, or those (such as Nutra-Lift or M.A.D) that have complex formulas of different Cs. Here's my new update on last May's Five Best vitamin C serums.

Read my article on how to choose the best vitamin C actives

  • E’shee Serum Vitalizing C

    E’shee Serum Vitalizing C ($119 in the TIA shop). 20% vitamin C that is supposed to remain active in the skin for up to 48 hours. Junko promised that even my sensitive skin would like this C Serum and she was right. Here, liposomes stabilize the vitamin C and ensure that it is delivered more efficiently into the cells. Along with liposome vitamin C this serum gives us copper PCA, antioxidants mulberry and ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo biloba is an anti-inflammatory too. A high quality product that is deservedly a two-year winner in the Five Best vitamin C serum category.

  • Snowberry Bright Defence Face Serum

    Snowberry Bright Defence Face Serum ($69 in the TIA shop) Snowberry describes Bright Defence as a serious, rapid-delivery anti-glycation and anti-free-radical formulation. Well, the second ingredient is l-ascorbic acid. Clearly, they are serious. Snowberry's solution is to use an enzyme in order to stabilize the ascorbic acid. But this enzyme is very clever. The enzyme enables a gradual release of the vitamin, thereby preventing any irritation. This serum is extremely mild and even sensitive skin types won't feel the slightest bit of a tingle. Moreover, this measured release of the vitamin prolongs its benefits for a longer period of time than ordinary vitamin C serums. There’s also kombuchka for glycation and a host of other good things.

  • Nutra-Lift Maximun C Plus Growth Factors

    Nutra-Lift Maximun C Plus Growth Factors ($34 in the TIA shop) 20% vitamin C. The C to end all Cs! Never again will you be concerned that your vitamin C serum has the best, most stable and potent form of vitamin C. Nutra-Lift Maximum C Ultra Serum has it all - no less than five different forms of vitamin C. And that's not all, there's anti-inflammatory alpha lipoic acid, hydrating hyaluronic acid, antioxidant superoxide dismutaseand even more vitamins in the form of D and E.

  • MAD’s Spot On Targeting Skin Brightening Serum

    MAD’s Spot On Targeting Skin Brightening Serum ($38/0.50 oz in the TIA shop). A great dark spot fader at a very decent price. Although nianciamide (from the vitamin B family) features strongly, it is the vitamin Cs in this formula that merit a call out. Stay C-50 is sodium ascorbyl phosphate and, along with MAP (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate), it is recognized as a stable form of vitamin C.  A skin brightener, as well as antioxidant and UV protector, vitamin C is also here as a strong component of phyllanthus emblica. These Cs are given are given ample backup by very interesting actives in the whitening department.

  • Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

    Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum ($34 in the TIA shop). A popular product for its price to quality ratio, this has vitamin C as the second ingredient in a form that the company calls sodium ascorbyl phosphate (STAY-CR 50) which they claim is more stable and bioavailable than the traditional L-Ascorbic acid used by most companies. Also included are vitamin Eferulic and hyaluronic acid, as well as the more unusual mineral-rich konjac root. Breakout-prone skins find this vitamin C serum gentle

  • July 14, 2015

    by sonia lindeque

    I am in south Africa and want to order a vit c cream with a hydro. acid not sure witch one I am 42 eyes the main problem

  • January 26, 2015

    by Kimberly

    I've been doing a ton of research on skin care ingredients and which one is the best. There is so much misleading information on the ingredients found in most skin care products, mostly because they are sinmply just tryiung to sell you there cheap versions of "youthful products" that actually cause more harm than good. There is much debate about vitamin C and which one is the best and rather than mislead more people I would like to share what I deciphered to be the best. If you don't believe me, do the research yourself but be careful of the websites that are premoating their "best" form of vitamin C products. Ascorbic Acid is the best despite what this website says. It is the least stable form which means it doesn't have a long shelf life anf needs to be transfered in an air tight, opaque container. Other forms such as ascorbyl palmiatate have limited permability and have been found to be toxic. Whenever I am in doubt of an ingredient I will look it up on website which shows the toxicity of all chemicals. I wanted to take the time to share my findings becuase I am baffled at all the misinformation. I know that I have bought many products that claimed to be anti-aging and beneficial when they are doiing the opposite effect, so not only is it making me look older but im losing money too! so frustrating. Don't take my word for it, do your own research.

  • January 1, 2015

    by Christy Anderson

    Well guys, tell me how confusing this article is. It holds truth though. Please tell me what you think. I'm curious because it's true that many additives in these serums can promote rapid oxidation.

  • August 17, 2014

    by sally

    never heard of any of these products before

  • July 8, 2014

    by April

    @Jane, have you tried the serum yourself???

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