A vitamin C serum is a great way to amp up your current skincare routine. Board certified dermatologist Mary Mina told 21Ninety that the vitamin, also known as l-ascorbic acid, is a critical antioxidant for the body and skin.

According to Mina, you absorb vitamin C from the inside out. You can ingest it by eating different fruits and vegetables, or apply it directly onto your skin by using a serum. 

What Does Vitamin C Serum Do?

A vitamin C serum can address a slew of skincare concerns.

“It can help to fight and even reverse free radical damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, pollution and other environmental aggressors,” board certified dermatologist Jodi LoGerfo told 21Ninety. 

Mina warned that a vitamin C serum should not replace your regular sun protection methods. That means it is important to still wear your sunscreen, specifically one that has an SPF 30 or higher.

Another benefit that Mina mentioned is that vitamin C can reduce brown spots and improve the appearance of acne. LoGerfo mentioned that vitamin C serums can boost collagen production. This will reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Who Can Benefit From Using a Serum?

Both dermatologists agree that anyone who’s not allergic to vitamin C can benefit from using a vitamin c serum. 

“[Anyone] who has photoaging (or wants to prevent it), including fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, telangiectasia, sun damage, freckling and sunspots, and other skin texture issues can benefit from topical vitamin C,” LoGerfo explained. 

Who Should Avoid Using a Serum?

If you are allergic to vitamin C, then you definitely should avoid a serum. Along with people who are allergic to vitamin C, there are others who who should consult their medical provider before using it. LoGerfo said that anyone who has “any active, infected acne breakouts, skin infections, psoriasis, eczema with oozing or crusting and herpes infection,” should consult their doctor before using it.

How to Buy the Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serum?

Vitamin C is available in a number of active forms. LoGerfo suggested shopping for a serum with eight and 20 percent of vitamin C, depending on your skin type.

“Sensitive skin should stick to a 10-15 percent concentration or can try tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, [which is] a more stable oil-based form of vitamin C,” Mina said. 

Licensed esthetician Emily Trampetti said that it is important to pay attention to the type of vitamin C in the serum’s formula. She explained that a serum that claims to have 10 percent vitamin C could be highlighting the ascorbic acid ingredient. The acid is oftentimes a preservative. 

“The company isn’t lying, but it certainly is going to be a far different result than a lipid-based serum with 10 percent stabilized vitamin C and complimentary ingredients that help it penetrate and work effectively with the skin’s chemistry.”

Here are some drugstore vitamin C serums that the dermatologists recommend.

TruSkin’s Vitamin C Anti-Aging Face Serum

TruSkin’s Vitamin C anti-aging face serum brightens and evens skin tone. It combines the powerful vitamin with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.

La Roche Posay’s Pure Vitamin C Face Serum

La Roche Posay’s Pure Vitamin C face serum is made with sensitive skin in mind. The drugstore serum is oil-free and paraben-free. It also has salicylic acid. 

Seoul Ceuticals’ 20 Percent Vitamin C Serum

The Seoul Ceuticals’ 20 percent Vitamin C Serum delivers anti-aging ingredients directly to your skin. Vitamin E, ferulic acid, aloe vera and jojoba oil are a few of the all-star elements to this serum blend.

Artnaturals’ Vitamin C Serum

Photo Courtesy of Target

The Artnaturals Vitamin C Serum quickly absorbs into the skin. As it penetrates the surface the vitamin C serum helps protect your face from environmental stressors.

Naturium’s Vitamin C Complex Serum

Photo Courtesy of Target

Naturium’s Vitamin C Complex Serum is a plant-based elixir that’s free of what your skin doesn’t need. The vegan serum is gluten-free, cruelty-free, synthetic fragrance-free and paraben-free.

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