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Best drugstore vitamin C serum

Where to find the best drugstore vitamin C serum

Vitamin C is a naturally occurring antioxidant that works to reduce the signs of aging within the skin and increase collagen and elastin production. This serum brightens the skin and helps to reduce the signs of sun damage and acne scarring on the skin over time. Certain doses of vitamin C can protect your skin from harmful UV rays to ward off wrinkles, fine lines and other effects of the sun on the skin. All of these skin-perfecting features do not have to come with a heavy price tag. When buying a vitamin C serum, consider your skin type, the ingredients and whether the brand tests its products on animals. 

What to consider before buying a drugstore vitamin C serum

Skin type 

Vitamin C serum is a good product to use on any skin type. Even those with sensitive skin will not experience irritation or harmful effects. If you have extra-dry skin, ask your dermatologist before using this product. If the concentration of the specific serum is too much for your skin, you will experience mild irritation. In this case, use less of the serum and pair it with a moisturizer. This item will not make the skin dry or oily, rather it works to increase collagen to make the skin softer and increases elastin production to prevent wrinkles and fine lines. 


Once you figure out if the specific product will work best with your skin type, consider checking the ingredients list. The best vitamin C serums will also contain ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid and other ingredients that work with vitamin C to prevent aging. Avoid serums that contain drying ingredients, such as alcohol, that will make the skin drier over time. This will also make it more difficult for your skin to absorb good products. 


When purchasing drugstore vitamin C serum, check to see if the brand tests its products on their human staff, rather than animals. Cruelty-free products often use clean, gentle and organic formulas and will feature a cruelty-free symbol to show that they have taken a pledge against animal testing. To check if a product is cruelty-free, look for a PETA-approved leaping bunny symbol on the packaging. 

Drugstore vitamin C serum prices

Drugstore vitamin C serums will cost anywhere from $15-$35, depending on the size of the bottle, the ingredients and the brand. Those that feature multiple skin-perfecting ingredients and provide clean formulas will be priced from $25-$35. 

Tips for using drugstore vitamin C serums

To get the best use out of your vitamin C serum, clean and exfoliate your skin before applying. Once you have exfoliated, you can apply a small amount of serum to your face and neck with your fingers. Users should wait five minutes for this product to soak into their skin before moisturizing. 

Drugstore vitamin C serum FAQ

What product pairs best with vitamin C serum? 

A. When paired with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C serum has increased benefits for skin health. Used together, the hyaluronic acid plumps and moisturizes the face, while vitamin C reduces sun damage and prevents fine lines and wrinkles.

Do I need to use vitamin C serum every day? 

A. Users should use vitamin C serum every day. This product should be used in the morning after exfoliation for maximum penetration of the skin and the best results. 

What are the best vitamin C serums?

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

This serum contains powerful antioxidants that can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration. The other vitamins present in this product work to reduce the appearance of premature aging and sun damage, as well as hydrate the skin and leave it looking brighter. 

Sold by Ulta Beauty and Amazon

The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% and Alpha Arbutin 2%

Ascorbic acid is another name for vitamin C, which is blended with alpha arbutin in this serum to target dark spots and brighten the skin.  It's affordable but contains effective high-quality ingredients. Plus, it's vegan and cruelty-free. 

Sold by Ulta Beauty and Sephora

SheaMoisture Papaya and Vitamin C Brighter Days Ahead Serum 

Suitable for all skin types, this vitamin C serum hydrates and brightens skin. It's made primarily from natural ingredients from a range of plant sources, including jojoba, papaya and yuzu. 

Sold by Ulta Beauty

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Drop

This serum is infused with five percent pure vitamin C to help brighten the appearance of dark spots, acne scars and uneven skin tone. It works to illuminate dull skin and smooth skin with gentle exfoliation. It is vegan-friendly and hypoallergenic and it reduces signs of aging.

Sold by Ulta Beauty and Amazon

Cocokind Vitamin C Serum 

This serum promotes even skin tone and skin softness. It works to gradually reduce the appearance of dark spots while plumping the skin and protecting it against environmental stressors. 

Sold by Ulta Beauty 

Fleur & Bee Nectar of the C Vitamin C Serum 

This vitamin C face serum is packed with potent ingredients to help boost the look of the skin. This product will make your skin appear to have more collagen and look brighter and tighter. This serum will fight the appearance of hyperpigmentation, fine lines and dark spots. It is a gentle, clean vegan formula. 

Sold by Amazon

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Logan DeLoye writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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