13 Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serums: According To An Esthetician – 2024

Preserve your youthful glow for the longest time with these affordable vitamin C serums.

Reviewed by Diane Howard, Certified Cosmetic Nurse
Written by Krati Darak, MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach
Edited by Medha Deb, Integrated MA
Fact-checked by Shiboli Chakraborti, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant and a popular ingredient in many rejuvenating skin care products. Diane Howard, certified cosmetic nurse and the founder of Esthetic Finesse, says, “Vitamin C is a secret ingredient when it comes to achieving healthy and radiant skin. This potent antioxidant not only helps protect the skin from environmental damage but also promotes collagen production, resulting in firmer and more youthful-looking skin. Vitamin C also brightens the skin tone, fades dark spots, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” The good news is that you can get this powerful element in the form of the best drugstore vitamin C serum. Here is why you should be just as ecstatic as we are – vitamin C aids in the neutralization of free radicals and the formation of collagen. For you, this means two things – it can reduce age-related skin defects such as wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin, and by increasing collagen levels, new cells can grow more quickly, resulting in brighter, glowing, and youthful skin.

So, without any further ado, take a look at the top13 best drugstore vitamin C serums for glowing skin. Scroll down.

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Overall: TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Professional Facial SerumPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Anti-Aging: InstaNatural Vitamin C SerumPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Collagen Boost: Sérumtologié C Serum- 22Price on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Dermatologist-Tested: L'Oreal Paris Skincare Revitalift Derm Intensives Vitamin C SerumPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Glowing Skin: La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face SerumPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Dry Skin: DERMA E Vitamin C Concentrated SerumPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For All Skin Types: Mario Badescu Vitamin C SerumPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Quick Results: Eclat Skincare 20% Vitamin C Facial SerumPrice on Amazon
Best Natural Ingredients: Lezuna Premium Vitamin C SerumPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Skin Protection: Cerave Skin Renewing Vitamin C SerumPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart

The 13 Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serums For Glowing Skin – 2024

1. Best Overall: TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Professional Facial Serum

4.2
TruSkin Vitamin C Image: Truskin

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Professional Facial Serum is an antioxidant-rich formulation that helps to revitalize the skin and make it look youthful, brighter, and radiant. This drugstore antioxidant serum is enriched with aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, witch hazel, and jojoba oil among other skin-friendly organic ingredients. The formulation of this plant-based, natural vitamin C serum for face helps to increase the production of new cells by boosting the collagen. It helps neutralize free radicals and even out the skin tone at the same time providing protection against harmful UV rays.

Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 4 inches | Weight: 1 Ounces

Pros

  • Offers sun protection
  • Radiance-boosting
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Clinically-tested
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • Might cause allergic reactions for users with sensitive skin

protip_icon Pro Tip
Pair your vitamin c serum with hyaluronic acid if you have super sensitive skin. Start by applying the hyaluronic acid on your face first and let it get absorbed completely before you follow it up with the vitamin c serum.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

A whopping 23,589 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.

2. Best Anti-Aging: InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

4.3

Reduce the visible signs of aging with the regular use of InstaNaturals Vitamin C Serum. The formulation of this budget-friendly vitamin C serum includes ingredients like hyaluronic acid, witch hazel, sea buckthorn oil, plant stem cells, algae extract, licorice, green tea, pomegranate, argan, grapefruit, carrot, camellia, etc among others. This drugstore vitamin C serum with ferulic acid helps in minimizing the appearance of signs of aging and skin imperfections, boosting collagen to make the skin look firm, and helping one to maintain the natural glow and youthfulness of the skin intact. If you want to find out more about this skin care product and its usage through a tester’s experience, make sure to check out this review on YouTube.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 2 x 2 inches | Weight: 2.24 Ounces

Pros

  • Collagen-boosting
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Natural ingredients

Cons

  • Users with sensitive skin might develop allergic reactions

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The extensive 7,297 rave reviews on Amazon prove why we are vouching for this product.

3. Best Collagen Boost: Sérumtologié C Serum- 22

4.2

Mature skin is more likely to be prone to dryness and other skin-related issues. But combating them becomes easier with the use of C Serum- 22 by Serumtologie. This is one of the highest quality vitamin C serums and is comprised of the extracts from a host of potent ingredients like gotu kola, wild dandelion, wild geranium, aloe vera, witch hazel, hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, vitamin E and ferulic acid among others. This drugstore vitamin C serum for acne prone skin helps to reduce the visible signs of aging, boosts collagen in the skin, neutralizes free radicals, and minimizes the imperfections of the skin, leaving the user with naturally youthful and brighter-looking skin.

Skin Type: combination, oily, dry | Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 3.5 inches | Weight: 1.15 Ounces

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Aroma-free
  • Propylene-free
  • Glycol-free

Cons

  • Some users might find the skin becoming too dry and tight after using the product

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 4,268 reviews claiming its efficacy.

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Professional Facial Serum
Best Overall
InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum
Best Anti-Aging
Sérumtologié C Serum- 22
Best Collagen Boost
Skin Type Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal All combination, oily, dry
Dimensions 1.5 x 1.5 x 4 inches 3.5 x 2 x 2 inches 1 x 1 x 3.5 inches
Weight 1 Ounces 2.24 Ounces 1.15 Ounces
Rating
Reviews23,5897,2974,268
Price$21.97$21.95$35.0

4. Best Dermatologist-Tested: L’Oreal Paris Skincare Revitalift Derm Intensives Vitamin C Serum

4.3
L’Oreal Paris Skincare Revitalift Derm Intensives Vitamin C Serum Image: L'oréal Paris

L’Oreal Paris Skincare Revitalift Derm Intensives Vitamin C Serum is formulated with 10% pure vitamin C. This affordable vitamin C serum helps even out the skin tone and diminishes the appearance of dark spots, wrinkles, pores, and other skin imperfections upon regular usage. Free from harsh chemicals and dyes, this is one of the best over the counter vitamin C serums. It comes in an airtight metal tube so that the efficacy and stability of the product increases. This good drugstore serum leaves the user with a brighter skin and helps the skin heal from imperfections with time. If you need further convincing, check out the reviewer’s experience with the vitamin C product in this YouTuber’s review out.

Skin Type: Sensitive | Product Dimensions: 1.53 x 2 x 6.25 inches | Weight: 1 Ounces.

Pros

  • Tightens pores
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Dermatologically tested
  • No synthetic dyes
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • Some users might develop allergic reactions
  • Might leave the skin greasy or sticky

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product is so liked by shoppers that it has gained over 4,331 great reviews on Amazon.

5. Best For Glowing Skin: La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum

4.5

Everyone wishes to have radiant skin irrespective of their age. Keeping the glow of the skin intact is now easier with the usage of La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum. This drugstore sensitive skin-friendly vitamin C serum is formulated with 10% pure vitamin C, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, neuro sensine and other enriching ingredients. Lauded as one of the best OTC vitamin C serums, this dermatologically-tested budget vitamin c serum helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, visible signs of premature aging and skin imperfections at the same time neutralizing the free radicals and leaving the user with a brighter, youthful skin.

Skin Type: Sensitive | Product Dimensions: 2.17 x 1.4 x 4.33 inches | Weight: 3.38 Ounces

Pros

  • Dermatologist tested
  • Ophthalmologist-tested
  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Allergy tested
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Might cause allergic reactions for users with sensitive skin

6. Best For Dry Skin: DERMA E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

The Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum contains hyaluronic acid, making it ideal for dry skin. It also contains aloe vera leaf juice and glycerin, which act as humectants and soothe the skin. The green tea leaf extract reduces inflammation. Capric Triglyceride, when combined with Vitamin C, works wonders as an antioxidant and helps reduce skin dryness and lock in moisture. The moisturizing serum makes skin supple, reduces dark spots, reduces the signs of aging, and evens out the skin tone.

Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 4.5 inches | Weight: 2 Ounces

Pros

  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Eco-ethical
  • Cruelty-free
  • 100% vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Lanolin-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • No GMOs

Cons

  • Might cause purging for some

protip_icon Pro Tip
You can use vitamin C serum on your lips by mixing it with a lip balm to help prevent aging and wrinkled lips.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

Almost 4,025 happy users have mentioned the value and quality of this product.

7. Best For All-Skin Types: Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum

4.4
Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum Image: Mario Badescu

The Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum is an antioxidant-enriched formula that makes your skin radiant and glowing. This lightweight serum delivers a youthful-looking complexion. The vitamin C in the formula is an antioxidant that protects your skin against free radical and sun damage. It brightens dull skin, helps eliminate dark spots, and fights signs of aging while evening out skin tone. The formula is also infused with a topical form of collagen, which keeps your skin firm, hydrated, and conditioned. The sodium hyaluronate, which is a derivative of hyaluronic acid, when combined with collagen, moisturizes and smoothens out your skin to deliver luminous and glowing skin. It also contains ever-so-soothing lavender oil, which has a calming effect on your skin.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 1.2 x 4.1 inches | Weight: 3.2 Ounces

Pros

  • Promotes youthful complexion
  • Lightweight
  • Paraben-free
  • Synthetic fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Not suitable for acne-prone skin

8. Best Quick Results: Eclat Skincare 20% Vitamin C Facial Serum

4.2
Eclat Skincare 20% Vitamin C Facial Serum Image: Eclat Skincare

The Eclat Skincare’s 20% Vitamin C Facial Serum provides the most potent formulation of sodium ascorbyl phosphate and hyaluronic acid. The scientifically formulated serum helps address hyperpigmentation quickly and keeps the skin hydrated and supple. This serum, prescribed and validated by leading dermatologists, contains additional collegial ingredients like retinol, jojoba oil, vitamin E, aloe vera, and MSM, which accelerate skin renewal and new cell turnover. The specific formulation fights free radicals, reduces wrinkles, and restores the youthful glow of your skin.

Skin Type: All, Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry | Product Dimensions: 1.38 x 1.42 x 4.29 inches | Weight: 2.89 Ounces

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Quick results

Cons

  • Might get oxidized if not stored properly

9. Best Natural Ingredients: Lezuna Premium Vitamin C Serum

Lezuna Premium Vitamin C Serum helps in the minimization of signs of aging by boosting collagen and aiding in production of new cells. A rich formulation of this budget-friendly vitamin C serum with other potent ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid, vitamin E, aloe vera, jojoba oil, and many more ensures maximum benefits to the skin. This drugstore vitamin C serum with ferulic acid helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, uneven skin tones, and other such skin imperfections and leaves the user with skin that emanates a soft and supple glow from within.

Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Dry, Normal

Pros

  • Naturally derived ingredients
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • GMP certified

Cons

  • Might leave a sticky feeling on the skin upon usage in some cases

10. Best Skin Protection: Cerave Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

4.4
Cerave Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum Image: Cerave

Reduce visible signs of aging and give your skin a radiant makeover with the Cerave Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum. This high-potency vitamin C serum is packed with potent antioxidant properties that help in defending your skin against free radicals. It tones the skin evenly, makes it plump, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. The serum has 10% pure vitamin C which makes your skin radiant and healthy. The serum also contains hyaluronic acid to improve skin hydration, three essential ceramides to repair skin barrier, and vitamin B5 that restore your skin’s protective barrier. It comes in protective packaging to help prevent oxidation.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.38 x 2.06 x 6.38 inches | Weight: 1 Ounces.

Pros

  • 10% pure vitamin C
  • Skin-smoothing and firming
  • Allergy-tested
  • Fragrance-free
  •  Paraben-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologically approved
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  •  Easy to use

Cons

  • Strong smell

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With 2,109 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.

11. Best Organic: No B. S. Vitamin C+E Serum for Face

4.3
No B. S. Vitamin C+E Serum for Face Image: No B. S. No Bad Stuff

Say no to skin imperfections and signs of aging by using the Vitamin C+E Serum For Face by No B.S. This drugstore hyaluronic acid serum is formulated with organic ingredients like pomegranate, green tea, hyaluronic acid, gotu kola, vitamin E, and others. With the regular use of this drugstore vitamin c serum with ferulic acid, one can reap many skin benefits like boosting collagen to increase the cell production, neutralize free radicals, reduce signs of aging, and minimize the appearance of skin imperfections. Flaunt youthful skin that radiates and glows naturally with this amazing serum.

Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Phthalate-free

Cons

  • Might cause allergic reactions in some cases

12. Best 86% Pure Vitamin C Formula: Minimalist 16% Vitamin C Serum

4
Minimalist 16% Vitamin C Serum Image: Minimalist

The Minimalist 16% Vitamin C Serum is highly popular for giving you glowing and radiating skin. This results-driven serum is powered by a stabilized Vitamin C derivative known as Ethyl Ascorbic Acid; it is 86% pure form of Vitamin C. Inclusion of vitamin E & ferulic acid together improves Vitamin C’s efficacy. The formula also has fullerenes (C60), a more potent, new-age antioxidant that works twice as much to boost the skin’s radiance and fights visible signs of aging. This serum reduces skin damage and redness and improves skin elasticity and texture.

Skin Type: Combination | Product Dimensions: 1.97 x 1.97 x 6.3 inches | Weight: 0.71 Ounces.

Pros

  • Skin-brightening and tightening
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Improves rough skin texture
  • Fragrance-free
  • Essential oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Irritants-free
  • Dermatologically tested

Cons

  • Limited shelf life
  • Not suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin

13. Best pH-balancing: Naturium Vitamin C Complex Face Serum

4.5
Naturium Vitamin C Complex Face Serum Image: Naturium

The Naturium Vitamin C Complex Face Serum has a high concentration of pE, ascorbic acid, and a bioactive fruit blend. It helps to brighten the overall complexion and increases collagen production, protecting the skin from environmental stressors that can cause fine lines and discoloration. The key ingredients are vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E help to neutralize free radicals, fade dark spots, and restore the skin’s natural glow.

Skin Type: Acne Prone, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 1.4 x 5.4 inches | Weight: 1 Ounces.

Pros

  • Hydrating
  • Skin-rejuvenating
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May not suit acne-prone skin
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Buying Guide

How do you choose vitamin C serum?

Vitamin C is an important ingredient when it comes to skincare. Using a vitamin C serum on a daily basis can be very beneficial for the skin. On one hand there are ingredients that aid vitamin C in the maintenance of the skin, some ingredients can prove to be disastrous as well. As you set out to buy a vitamin C serum for yourself, let us shed some light on the points to remember before choosing the best one for yourself for visible results:

  1. Ingredients- The best drugstore vitamin C serum would have supporting ingredients like ferulic acid, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid. But ingredients like retinol, niacinamide, benzoyl peroxide and AHAs/BHAs would not be recommended as they may cause side effects.
  2. Packaging- A vitamin C serum should be ideally packed in a glass bottle that is tinted in a shade of brown or any other dark color. It should have minimum contact with heat and air as they may degrade the quality of the content.
  3. Form- The best form of vitamin C available for use would be L-ascorbic acid. This is the most effective of all other vitamin C derivatives, hence widely used for skincare.
  4. Concentration- The ideal concentration of vitamin C in a serum would be 10-20%. A concentration of less than 10% wouldn’t be very effective, while a concentration of more than 20% might lead to skin irritation or other side effects.

The Bottom Line

If you want to keep your skin’s youthfulness intact, Vitamin C serums are the way to go! Vitamin C can help you restore the glow in your skin as it packs the goodness of antioxidants and eliminates premature signs of aging. It also keeps your acne, spots, and blemishes at bay. There are many Vitamin C serums that boost collagen and increase the production of new cells. Moreover, these serums are made with skin-friendly constituents that help in protecting your face from harmful UV rays and sun rays. The InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum is an affordable choice that is suitable for all skin types, while the La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum helps exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells and works well on sensitive skin. The DERMA E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum quickly absorbs due to its non-greasy and lightweight texture and is suitable for all skin types. However, if you are someone with sensitive skin, it is always wise to check out the skin care ingredients thoroughly to effectively avoid skin damage or irritation. The serums that are free of paraben, phthalate, and sulfate are the best of the lot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What percent vitamin C serum is the most effective?

The best drugstore vitamin C serum should have a concentration between the range of 10-20 percent. Anything less than that wouldn’t be very effective and anything more than that might cause irritation on the skin.

Which one is better: hyaluronic acid or vitamin C?

Hyaluronic acid helps the skin retain its moisture and keeps it hydrated while vitamin C helps boost collagen and in turn cell production. Both provide the skin with important nutrients, hence it is advisable to use a serum that incorporates the benefits of both these skincare essentials.

Does vitamin C serum lighten skin?

Yes. Vitamin C inhibits the melanin production of the skin and helps minimize the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone, resulting in instant lightening of the skin.

Does vitamin C fade dark spots?

Yes. Vitamin C is known to reduce the appearance of dark spots and brighten the skin.

What can you not mix with vitamin C serum?

Benzoyl peroxide, retinol, niacinamide, and AHAs/BHAs are ingredients that should not be mixed with Vitamin C as they might prove to be disastrous for the skin.

Do I need a moisturizer after vitamin C serum?

Yes. Apply a moisturizer after using the vitamin C serum sinks in so that the active ingredients in the serum start working and then the goodness is locked in by your moisturizer.

Can you use vitamin C serum under the eyes?

Yes. Vitamin C serum is completely safe to be used under your eyes. It minimizes dark circles, reduces discoloration under the eyes, and hydrates the under-eye area.

Can a teenager use Vitamin C serum?

Yes. Teenagers can use Vitamin C serum. Just make sure to check the pH level of the product to choose the suitable serum for your skin type. Vitamin C serum is used for uneven pigmentation and dark spot. It protects you from harmful rays of the sun and environmental stresses. It helps to build collagen and has antioxidant properties which strengthen the SPF.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Krati Darak is a skin care enthusiast who is fond of researching ingredients and reviewing products. She conducted an extensive research to understand the product specifications and analyzed the user reviews to compile this list for her readers. The recommended drugstore vitamin C serums add a healthy glow to your skin. They can also help you achieve bright, youthful skin.


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