vitamin c serums

Our Favorite Vitamin C Serums

If you’re new to the skincare game, sit tight and keep reading. Vitamin C is your friend and should be a top contender to add to your skincare routine. While vitamin c is one of the best anti-aging ingredients, it’s also key to getting and maintaining the even and glowy complexion we all want.

Please note: If you’re new to incorporating vitamin c into your skincare routine, please consult with the instructions on your product to ensure you’re transitioning and prepping your skin correctly before use. Most serums recommend adding into your routine 2-3x a week before using every day to get your skin accustomed.

Click through the slideshow below to see a list of our favorite products at each price point.

Note: We may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. 


the inkey list

The Inkey List 15% Vitamin C and EGF Brightening Serum – $14.99

The Inkey List is a newer brand to the US market but is the UK’s equivalent to The Ordinary. All of their products are $15 and less and provide an excellent value for money, while still putting their formulation and ingredients at the forefront.

Their Vitamin C Brightening Serum is made up of 15% Ascorbyl Glucoside. It’s a lightweight serum suitable for all skin types. Overall, you get a good value for money with this serum and should notice a difference in redness and texture after consistent use.

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the ordinary

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F – $17.80

The Ordinary is a no-bullshit kind of brand. They can keep their price point low by having only the essential ingredients in each product. Because of this, they have garnered a cult-like following and have expanded into retailers like Sephora & Ulta. 

Their Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate (oof, a mouthful) Solution contains 20% ascorbyl acid, which is a higher Vitamin C content than most featured in this list. It is, however, formulated to be safe for more sensitive skin– so if you’re prone to redness or rosacea (like me!), this is for you. 

The formula is more on the oily side but absorbs into the skin beautifully and quickly.

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Farmacy Very Cherry Bright 15% Clean Vitamin C Serum – $62

I’m personally new to the Farmacy bandwagon. While I haven’t tried a lot of the brand’s products, I’ve had a pretty good experience so far. Currently, in my skincare routine, I’m using their best seller, Green Clean Cleansing Balm for my first cleanse, and this serum. 

After looking more into the company, I can appreciate their slogan, which is “farmer cultivated; scientist activated.” The brand is also “clean,” which means it’s paraben-free, (added) fragrance-free, and cruelty-free. The serum itself contains 15% Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid for added moisture. It’s lightweight, on the more liquid side, and has a stronger cherry smell that quickly fades. 

Overall, I’ve been happy with my experiences so far, and this product has kept my redness at bay. I would recommend it to anyone willing to try it as part of their routine.

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drunk elephant

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum – $80

The Drunk Elephant C-Firma is one of my personal favorite Vitamin C serums. The only downsides (for me) are the stickiness and smell; but, the stickiness is easily fixable by wearing under makeup for daytime use.

Like many of the other serums on this list, C-Firma has 15% l-ascorbic acid “plus ferulic” – though no mention of the percentage of ferulic acid – and 1% Vitamin E. 

While the pricing, along with the rest of Drunk Elephant’s product line, is on the higher-end, I find myself always going back to their range. My current faves are the B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum (which I use with C-Firma) and the F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Mask when I’m feeling a bit dry. 

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Skinceuticals CE Ferulic – $166

SkinCeuticals’ CE Ferulic serum is tried and true. It’s the Vitamin C to end all Vitamin C’s – if you have the budget to spring for this pricey serum, go for it. The serum is the most top-rated and is said to be the benchmark for all other Vitamin C’s on the market. 

According to their site, the CE Ferulic serum has 15% pure vitamin c (L-ascorbic Acid), 1% Vitamin E and 0.5% ferulic acid “to enhance protection against environmental damage caused by free radicals.” 

While the serum is quite pricey– only getting 1oz of product at $166, the quality is just there. This formulation is recommended for all skin types and is paraben-free. 

Plus, is now offering a free sample of SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic with every purchase. This would be a good opportunity to test out the highly-recommended serum for yourself!

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