Vitamin C serums have really come into their own. No longer an uneasy compromise between efficacy and irritation, you can now have it both ways. The best vitamin C serums use new formulas that are super effective, stable and gentle. For collagen building, hyperpigmentation and an antioxidant blast, my favorite C serums are among my product heroes (or perhaps that should be heroines). With so many good ones to choose from, it wasn’t easy to come up with the Five Best. Along with two old friends, I have three new ones. These are the Five Best serums with vitamin C for 2014.
Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Active Moisture Serum
Yes, you want organic with no toxins, but you also want it to work. Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Active Moisture Serum ($75 in the shop) delivers on all counts. There’s nothing fancy about the form of vitamin C, l-ascorbyl palmitate, but along with vitamins A and E, this serum fades dark spots, gives skin a radiant glow and is reasonably priced (a little goes a long way). There’s omega-rich sea buckthorn, but best of all is baobab (an African tree) that is a super source of vitamins C and A, and a potent antioxidant.
Medik8 CE-Thione Rechargeable Vitamin C Serum
Medik8 CE-Thione Rechargeable Vitamin C Serum ($150 in the shop) is the latest addition in the brand’s range of vitamin C serums. CE-Thione boasts being the first ever form of "rechargeable" vitamin C. Consisting of 15% L-ascorbic Acid, vitamin E, and L-glutathione, it apparently mimics the same process our own bodies use to keep vitamin C stable. According to Medik8, "the Vitamin C is 'recharged' by having two antioxidant 'allies' in solution with it: Vitamin E and L-Glutathione which then regenerate the Vitamin C molecule when it is used up, delivering an incredible potency." This is definitely not a natural formula, but it does work encouraging long term skin regeneration as well as some immediate gratification.
E’shee Serum Vitalizing C
A Five Best vitamin C pick for the fourth year running, E’shee Serum Vitalizing C ($119 in the shop) has 20% vitamin C that is supposed to remain active in the skin for up to 48 hours. Here, liposomes stabilize the vitamin C and ensure that it is delivered more efficiently into the cells. The key thing is that the slow release also makes it suitable for sensitive skin. So even if you thought vitamin C is usually too harsh, think again with E’shee. Along with liposome vitamin C, this serum gives us copper PCA (copper always gets my vote, as it is a collagen builder) as well as antioxidants mulberry and ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo biloba is an anti-inflammatory, too. It’s high-quality product that is deservedly a two-year winner in the Five Best vitamin C serum category.
Your Best Face Advanced CE Concentrate
Two year Five Best vitamin C pick, Your Best Face Advanced CE Concentrate ($50 in the shop) still has a great quality to price ratio. With no less than three forms of vitamin C, amounting to a concentration of 8.7%, they were chosen for their stability and performance: tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate/ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate/MAP and aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate/AAP. The formula is rounded out with vitamin E. Note there’s nothing nasty, and the preservative is natural radish root ferment. See reviewer Karen’s before and after pictures.
Medik8 C-Tetra ($70 in the shop) has one of the best forms of vitamin C, tetrahexydecyl ascorbate. An active lipid form of pro-vitamin C, studies have concluded it has "increased ability to penetrate" and convert to vitamin C within the dermis ... [and] superior stability to ascorbic acid." This increased ability to penetrate means that, unlike ascorbic acid, you don’t need a lot of it. Medik8 C-Tetra has tetrahexydecyl ascorbate at a 3% and that’s about it.