These Top-Rated Vitamin-C Serums Will Have You Looking on the Bright Side of Dull Skin
If you've ever searched Sephora for something to get rid of hyperpigmentation, scarring, or dullness on your face, it's pretty likely your results included at least one product with vitamin C. Of course, the ingredient has long been praised for helping us not get sick when we consume it, but it also helps complexions stay healthy. Think of it like a big glass of juice . . . on your face, for your face. And it's not just oranges in this magic juice — there are cherries, guavas, and other vitamin C-rich fruits, too.
Vitamin C can be found in masks and creams (not just that metaphorical face juice), but serums are the most concentrated and best for spot-targeting relief right on your problem areas. These serums exfoliate dead cells and leave a brighter, smoother complexion as a result. This ingredient also aids in the production of collagen, which is key for skin's elasticity now and in the future.
We looked through all the vitamin C face serums at Sephora and picked out the very best — and every single one on this list has earned an average rating of at least four stars from other shoppers, so you don't just have to take our word for it. Check them out ahead.
Innbeauty Project Green Machine Vitamin C + Green Superfoods Jelly Serum
The label of the top-rated Innbeauty Project Green Machine Vitamin C + Green Superfoods Jelly Serum ($32) reads like a healthy dish (kale, spinach, eggplant, turmeric, chia seeds, etc.) . . . but it goes on your face instead. These ingredients — along with vitamin C — offer up antioxidants and nutrients to support collagen production and leave you with tighter, brighter skin at the same time.
Eadem Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum with Niacinamide and Vitamin C
When it comes to tackling hyperpigmentation, there's often a concern that products meant to brighten will actually lighten, especially on darker complexions. However, this Eadem Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum with Niacinamide and Vitamin C ($68) was formulated specifically for skin of color, so vitamin C, niacinamide, and amber algae target just the problem spots while preserving natural tone elsewhere.
Origins GinZing Into the Glow Brightening Serum
If it's not just hyperpigmentation you're hoping to remedy, the nonsticky Origins GinZing Into the Glow Brightening Serum ($44) excels at smoothing rough skin (with an AHA/BHA blend) and plumping it up (with hyaluronic acid). Plus, 92 percent of Sephora shoppers would recommend this item — and this editor would, too.
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Dark Spots 4% Niacinamide Serum
If you use — and love — niacinamide for dark spots already, or have been wanting to add this to a skincare rotation, the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Dark Spots 4% Niacinamide Serum ($29) features that ingredient plus vitamin C for a double dose of dark-spot lightening power. It's got an average 4.6 star rating from other Sephora shoppers whether using it for age spots, melasma, or another type of discoloration.
OTZI C-Drip Vitamin C Brightening Serum
If thick and goopy consistencies have kept you from trying this ingredient (or consistently using it), the OTZI C-Drip Vitamin C Brightening Serum ($35) has a lightweight, water-like texture that doesn't dry down sticky. That doesn't mean nothing's happening, though, as its 5 percent vitamin C plus antioxidant-rich ginseng berry bring about glowing results (and a 4.7-star rating from other Sephora shoppers, too).
Rose Inc. Radiant Reveal Clean Serum
Now it's not to say that vitamin C is secondary in the Rose Inc. Radiant Reveal Clean Serum ($72), but this is an extra hydrating serum that works to even skin tone with that ingredient at the same time. The best part about this product — which earns an average 4.7-star rating from other Sephora shoppers — is that it results in a smooth surface for makeup to be applied (as some vitamin C serums can pill under makeup).
Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum 20% Vitamin C + 10% AHA
The Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum 20% Vitamin C + 10% AHA ($88) has more than 1,500 reviews and 112,000 loves at Sephora. If that's not enough to convince you, perhaps the fact that it has both a high concentration of vitamin C and an AHA blend of seven different fruits to exfoliate away debris and dead skin cells, both to brighten and smooth skin, will.
The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder
While not a liquid in its current state, The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder ($6) should not be overlooked in a search for the best vitamin-C serum. First, off it's pure ascorbic acid, so you can control how much is applied to your skin, and all you do is mix with another product like hyaluronic acid once a day to get the brightening effects of a traditional serum.
Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum
In some situations, the saying "less is more" is true, but that's not the case when it comes to this serum treatment. Not only does the Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Treatment Serum ($45) have a 4.6 approval rating from Sephora shoppers (and a rave review from one of our editors), it's got five forms of vitamin C inside. Since that's in the form of an encapsulated time-release ingredient, it helps minimize irritation despite that power.
Dr. Lara Devgan Scientific Beauty Vitamin C+B+E Ferulic Serum
This antioxidant-rich Dr. Lara Devgan Scientific Beauty Vitamin C+B+E Ferulic Serum ($145) is like all-in-one skin care with a range of vitamins to help a complexion out. Of course, there's vitamin C to take on dark spots, but there's also vitamin E (for fine lines), vitamin B (for redness), and ferulic acid (for UV protection), too.
The Inkey List 15% Vitamin C and EGF Brightening Serum
As several Sephora reviewers note, The Inkey List 15% Vitamin C and EGF Brightening Serum ($15) is a super and affordable introduction to this ingredient. It still features a powerful (yet stable) form of vitamin C in ascorbyl glucoside that plumps and evens out dull, stressed-out skin.
Algenist Blue Algae Vitamin C Skinclarity Brightening Serum
In addition to fighting visible signs of aging with alguronic acid, this Algenist Blue Algae Vitamin C Skinclarity Brightening Serum ($72) features a vegan vitamin C derived from blue algae to even out skin tone, too. It's earned an average 4.7-star rating from other shoppers, so will you be next?
Murad Vitamin C Glycolic Brightening Serum
This top-rated Murad Vitamin C Glycolic Brightening Serum ($27-$82) uses three different forms of vitamin C to brighten skin, but it adds in glycolic acid to help them penetrate more effectively. Not only will it help with uneven tone, it comes in a dual-chamber bottle, so a fresh dose is mixed up for you every day.
Hyper Skin Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum
For those super-stubborn blemish scars and visible sun damage, this Hyper Skin Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum ($36-$58) combines bearberry, licorice, and kojic acid with vitamin C for additional brightening power. Not only has it earned a 98 percent recommendation rating from other Sephora shoppers for its hard work, there's also salicylic acid to help protect against future breakouts, too.
Summer Fridays CC Me Vitamin C Serum
This Summer Fridays CC Me Vitamin C Serum ($66) packs two kinds of vitamin C to take on dullness and dark spots, alongside squalane to make sure skin stays moisturized and peptides to keep it firm. Plus, while it earns rave reviews from other Sephora shoppers, it's a favorite of one of our own beauty editors as well.
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum
With a staggering 264,000 loves from other shoppers, this Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum ($78) packs a popular punch of 15 percent l-ascorbic acid inside and exfoliating pomegranate and pumpkin, too. And, if you've ever had a vitamin C serum spoil on you (especially when you don't know long it's been sitting on the shelf), this one is designed to be mixed by you at home to maximize its potency and keep things fresh.
Biossance Squalane + 10% Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum
In addition to the vitamin C that breaks down dark spots in this Biossance Squalane + 10% Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum ($62), it also features a white shiitake mushroom extract that helps correct discoloration. It additionally helps prevent new dark spots with calming licorice root extract and hydrating squalane.
Olehenriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Serum
Dubbed a "magic eraser for dark spots" by one reviewer, this Olehenriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Serum ($52) takes on acne scares, age spots, and more. Along with that brightening vitamin C complex, the products packs collagen (to boost elasticity) and aloe juice (to soften skin), too.
Sephora Collection Ultra Glow Serum: Glow + Strengthen Vitamin C Serum
Sephora Collection Ultra Glow Serum: Glow + Strengthen Vitamin C Serum ($20-$28) can make skin bright — and keep it that way. With nearly 80,000 loves at Sephora and 97 percent naturally sourced ingredients, the vitamin C serum adds things like marine algae to tighten skin and vitamin E to block free radicals.
Kora Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum
Kora Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum ($68) packs a whole superfruit complex — including orange and lemon peels alongside other vitamin-C-rich fruits like noni and acerola cherry. The top-rated serum also packs a punch of antioxidants to protect against environmental aging, so there's more than just brightening to inspire a purchase.
Josie Maran Argan Bright Skin Vitamin C Serum
In the case of Josie Maran Argan Bright Skin Vitamin C Serum ($65), the vitamin C is part of an argan oil-based serum, which means this brightening product glides on easily and quickly absorbs into your skin. The vitamin E in argan oil works to stabilize the vitamin C, which helps it last longer and prevent free radicals from wreaking havoc for months to come. (Plus, 90 percent of the shoppers who've reviewed this serum would recommend it to others.)