Choosing a Vitamin C Serum

A Vitamin C Serum for skin is a great way to get effective doses of Vitamin C into your skin care routine.  A serum is lighter than a lotion and is often oil free, so it’s a good choice for younger, oily, or acne prone skin types.  These serums can also contain other beneficial skin vitamins so you get more actives in single products.

Vitamin C has many skin benefits and has been used and studied for years.  It is one of the most proven skin care ingredients.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals that damage your skin cells.  It also protects against the sun and stimulates collagen synthesis.  Vitamin C is used to fight wrinkles and age spots effectively.  It can also be helpful for acne and acne scars.  The most common form of Vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid.

One drawback to Vitamin C is that it can degrade quickly when exposed to the air or light.  When your Vitamin C serum oxidizes, it not only becomes ineffective, it can actually be damaging to your skin because oxidized Vitamin C may form free radicals.  You must choose a product that is fresh and comes from a reliable manufacturer and supplier.  Many products have the expiration date printed on the packaging.  A sure sign of oxidation is a yellow tinge to the product.

Many reputable companies make Vitamin C serums that are somewhat stabilized.  They use additives that stave off oxidation or encapsulation technology.  Look for a name brand that has a good reputation and makes a lot of Vitamin C products.  An expiration date can be extremely helpful.  Sometimes a serum comes in a tiny one use capsule so that freshness is ensured.


A good Vitamin C facial serum will list the percentage of Vitamin C either on the package or the website.  It must contain an effective dose to do any good.  Many cheap products on the market are useless.

It can take time for your skin to adjust to using Vitamin C.  Starting out with the strongest product available may produce irritation.  Look for a product that contains around 10% of L-ascorbic acid to start if you’ve never tried Vitamin C serums before.  If that works well, or you have been using other Vitamin C products, move up to stronger serums that contain up to 20% Vitamin C.


A Vitamin C serum for face is applied like other serums or lotions.  Pay extra attention to areas prone to wrinkling like the forehead, and around the mouth.  A facial serum may not be suitable for your eyes because of the strength of the product and lack of moisture.  Apply in the morning or evening, but avoid applying a product that contains copper peptides within 6 hours of the Vitamin C serum.

You can increase the effectiveness of Vitamin C products with exfoliation.  Removing dead skin cells with a scrub, loofah, or peel help enable the Vitamin C to get to living skin.  Some serums are acidic enough to produce an exfoliating effect, so be careful not to overdo other methods of exfoliation.  Vitamin C is a good skin treatment to rebuild skin after a chemical peel.

When choosing the best Vitamin C serum, brand and strength make a big difference.  Don’t use a serum past it’s expiration date because it can actually cause more damage to your skin.  Beware of serums that are tinted yellow, as this is a sign the product has degraded.