The best Vitamin C serum! UPDATED 2023

It is interesting how much I have learned about skin care and its ingredients in my 8 years of blogging... and I am still learning. I have written a blog article in 2015 to reveal the best Vitamin C serum and back then I focused on these 6 questions:
  1. Does the product contain 20 % Vitamin C?
  2. Is the product reasonably priced?
  3. Does the packaging provide stability of the product?
  4. What is the consistency (gel, cream, liquid, oil)?
  5. Does the product have a scent? 
  6. Does the product contain other beneficial (anti aging) ingredients?
My best Vitamin C serum in that post was my personal go-to for years. And then they went out of business! Just like that! So, I had to find myself a new favorite Vitamin C serum. 

In 2017 I updated that article also to clarify the difference of 
  • L-Ascorbic Acid (more acidic therefore better exfoliation, however can be more irritating for sensitive skin. Expires within 1-3 month.) 

  • Sodium Ascorbate: less acidic therefore less exfoliation, better suitable for sensitive skin. Very stable for up to 24 month.

But today I have to add another point- and I find honestly this point should be the No 1 question you should ask yourself: 

Do you find the brand trustworthy? 

I can't emphasize this enough! I have learned so much about skincare and honestly: today I find it more important that my skin care products come from a company that I trust.

I rather have a 12.5% Vitamin C serum from a company that I trust, than a 20% Vitamin C serum from a brand that I have never heard of. Because they could possibly just label it with 20%!!! Who knows?

Back in 2015 I did not pay any attention to the brand at all. All I wanted was: cheap and 20% Vitamin C lol!

So, what does make a brand trustworthy? This is ultimately up to you! 

For me personally I prefer a brand that:
  • preferably has been around for a couple years (it gives the brand more credibility) 
  • has shown integrity 
  • delivers good quality products, gets good ratings and reviews
  • charges fair prices
  • treats its customers well
  • treats employees well
  • does not create ads that sound to good to be true ("removes wrinkles within 7 days")
  • Added bonus: gets involved in causes and issues I feel related too or has cruelty-free status.

Another point that I totally ignored in 2015 was: if the Vitamin C serum contains ingredients that are questionable (for example: parabens, phthalates, triclosan, artificial dyes)

So my new focus on finding the best Vitamin C serum is: 

1. Is the brand trustworthy?
2. Is it a high quality Vitamin C serum (no questionable ingredients)?

And here are my best Vitamin C serums for you!

1. COSRX Pure Vitamin C 23% Serum with Vitamin E & Hyaluronic Acid // Amazon

With 23% Pure Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid), Vitamin E (Tocotrienol), and Hyaluronic Acid!

2. The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% Plus Alpha Arbutin 2% // Amazon

The Ordinary's Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% Serum offers a water-free, stable combination of ascorbic acid and alpha-arbutin.

3. Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum $19.99 (Amazon// Ulta)

This serum contains Vitamin C in the form of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate - however this is a great choice because it is much more stable than L-ascorbic acid and better suited for sensitive skin. It also contains: Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe gel extract and Vitamin E.

4. Paula's Choice C15 Vitamin C Super Booster $49 (Sephora // Paula's choice // Amazon)

This serum contains 15% Vitamin C  (in the form of L-Ascorbic Acid), Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid. A fabulous choice! 

And there you have it! 

Disclaimer: Contains Affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.