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Vitamin C Serums

The Five Best with Vitamin C

April 25, 2017 Reviewed by Marta 1 Comment

I remember buying my first vitamin C serum, Cellex-C, decades ago in a London department store. It was brown, smelly, terribly drying, irritating and completely ineffective. For years, I stayed away from vitamin C as a topical active, finding that whenever I made an attempt, my initial experience was not a one off. But it’s 2017, and C-based products have come a long way with new formulations that are stable, gentle and very effective. In fact, it is now one of my favorite ingredients. It’s a collagen booster and skin resurfacer that gives results like decreased wrinkle depth and a clearer complexion. So, here, my latest selection of Five Best with vitamin C.

  • Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten and Firm Vitamin C Serum"

    Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten and Firm Vitamin C Serum ($78 in the store). It would not be an exaggeration to describe Dr. Gross as a vitamin C evangelist. He is practically in awe of its unique properties — after all, it is the only antioxidant that can boost collagen. So it isn’t surprising that his newest serum should feature 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid, a stable form that has also been credited with halting the melanin-biosynthesis pathway in skin, hence it can prevent hyperpigmentation. The collagen aspect of the formula is in the collagen amino acids and carnitine. The “energy complex” also includes the powerful antioxidants niacinamide, CoQ10 and superoxide dismutase. The result, for me, has been clearer, firmer skin.

  • Medik8 CE-Thione Rechargeable Vitamin C Serum

    Medik8 CE-Thione Rechargeable Vitamin C Serum ($150 in the shop). Our reviewer, Tina, put it well when she said that she has “inducted this skin care savior into [her] anti-aging special reserve battalion and Hall of Fame.” There is 15 percent ascorbic acid here, as well as vitamin E, but the clever twist was to add glutathione. This antioxidant recycles other antioxidants. Vitamin C and E do their best to zap free radicals, but it is glutathione that maintains, regulates and recycles them. Hence Medik8 dubbed this serum Rechargeable Vitamin C for its superior stability.

  • Skin 2 Skin 24/7 Rejuvenation Cream

    Skin 2 Skin 24/7 Rejuvenation Cream ($109 in the shop). For those who want their vitamin C to come in a natural form, Skin 2 Skin Care has incorporated an antioxidant SuperOx-C complex from the kakadu plum. This Australian fruit is claimed to have the highest vitamin C content of any superfruit. The SuperOx-C Complex is made by Lucas Meyer and they claim that is has a vitamin C “transporter” called SVCT-1. This is, in fact, one of the key proteins that enables vitamin C uptake.

  • Sciote Vitamin C 20% Super Serum

    Sciote Vitamin C 20% Super Serum ($85 in the shop). With 20 percent vitamin C, this is a serious serum that has a well rounded out formula. Other ingredients include Hyalurosmooth, a natural hyaluronic acid alternative, gotu kola, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), horsetail plant extract, geranium extract, aloe and dandelion. The potent formula has proven very effective at brightening and evening tone without irritating skin.

  • Skinfinite Advanced C20+ Serum

    Skinfinite Advanced C20+ Serum ($65 in the shop). This is a turbocharged vitamin C that is to be used a couple of times a week. So, if you wondering how to fit vitamin C into an already packed regimen, then Skinfinite is a good solution. As well as vitamins C and E, there is ferulic acid, an ingredient that boosts the action of those antioxidants and helps them protect the skin from UV damage. I also love that this serum contains astaxanthin, another antioxidant that, according to research “can significantly prevent UV-induced collagen degradation.”

  • June 14, 2017

    by Kat

    Any cosmetic that contains vit C but does not have an airless pump will not contain vit C of any use for long. From the first time the bottle is opened, and every time thereafter, the Vit C will oxidize quickly. I think Body Merry Super C-22 deserves an honorable mention here(I don't work for them, but I like to share effective but reasonably-priced beauty finds!) It has 22% vit C, which is the 3rd ingredient, and it's in an airless pump bottle. It includes botanical hyaluronic acid (cassia angustifolia seed extract), and the price is great, considering the quality ingredients. The consistency is a thin liquid lotion and it doesn't break my sensitive skin out. I like it! The cons: the bottle is plastic, not glass (I KNOW glass bottles of this type are available) and it doesn't have any SPF. The SPF is not a big deal, and mineral SPF ingredients do make many people break out, plus this could be used under SPF lotion for day and used as a night moisturizer also. Since I use retinol at night, this goes under a tinted sunscreen in the day for me. Having a day option with mineral SPF would be great though!

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