Bargain vs Bougie: The Best Vitamin C Serum for Your Skin Type (and Budget)

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Did you know vitamin C was the most Googled skincare ingredient of 2020?

According to a study into search histories in the UK and Google Trends in Australia, Aussies have been searching vitamin C more often than the likes of retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid over the last 12 months.

(Sure, this might have something to do with people wanting to take vitamin C supplements during a worldwide health pandemic, but onwards.)

But what is vitamin C, what does vitamin C for skin do, and which is the best vitamin C serum?

You can find out everything you need to know about vitamin C and antioxidants by listening to the Week 5 episode of Skincare School the podcast below (or keep scrolling for the quick version).

What Is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, but it's also an active ingredient found in skincare with a high antioxidant content.

Whether it's natural or synthetic, vitamin C is a notoriously unstable ingredient, so you'll actually find one of its derivatives in your product's ingredients list. The most common and well tolerated form of vitamin C is Ascorbic acid/L-ascorbic acid.

You can browse and shop all vitamin C products here.

What Does Vitamin C for Skin Do?

The benefits of using a vitamin C skincare product in the morning under moisturiser and SPF include:

  • Protection from age-accelerating free radicals.

  • Repairing of existing environmental damage.

  • Treatment of pigmentation, discolouration and uneven skin tone.

  • A brightening and radiance-inducing effect for the skin.

Best Vitamin C Serum.

Here are the best vitamin C serums for every skin type and budget.

1. SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF.

Got oily skin? This vitamin C serum was made for you.

It's the same price and size as its sister serum C E Ferulic, but with a crucial ingredient swap to cater towards oily and acne-prone skins. It contains 10 per cent L-ascorbic acid, Ferulic acid and Phloretin. Phloretin is a flavonoid that is derived from apples. This compound has antioxidant benefits and allows the serum to penetrate more deeply into the skin.

2. La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum.

Suitable for more sensitive skin types, and those prone to congestion, this more affordable formula features a high concentration of 10% pure vitamin C, combined with salicylic acid and a patented soothing complex. The La Roche-Posay Redermic Vitamin C10 Serum 30ml has a lightweight, water gel texture that absorbs quickly and works to boost radiance and clarity, without irritation.

3. Société Triple C Vitamin Therapy Serum.

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When we spoke to Clinical Educator at Advanced Skin Technology Brooke Child on the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast, she said the Société Triple C Vitamin Therapy Serum is her favourite vitamin C serum right now. It's pricey, but you're paying for the elegant, advanced formulation. This product blends three stable forms of vitamin C to give you the highest antioxidant protection, without irritation. The formula won't breakdown or oxidise, either.

4. Aspect Jungle Brew.

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Another excellent choice for anyone who finds vitamin C serums break them out, Aspect Jungle Brew has been formulated to be an antioxidant serum and blemish serum, all in one. This serum contains stay-C 50, a stable and effective ingredient that can help minimise the severity and frequency of breakouts without the harsh side effects of traditional chemical treatments. It also has a matte finish, win!

5. Alpha-H Vitamin C.

Another brilliant entry level vitamin C serum, the Alpha-H Vitamin C 25ml serum will also look chic in your bathroom. This Aussie-made serum contains Ethyl Ascorbic acid and antioxidants to assist the strengthening, firming and preservation of the skin against further UVA and UVB damage. Hyaluronic acid is in there too for added hydration.

6. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum.

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This is the OG, cult favourite vitamin C serum of beauty editors around the world. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum is also the product Adore founder Kate Morris wouldn't be caught without. Yes, it smells like off Christmas ham, but the formula's combination of 15% vitamin C, 1% Vitamin E and Ferulic acid helps to prevent premature signs of ageing and stimulate collagen production.

7. Medik8 C-Tetra Intense.

If you're here for the strong shit, this is it. Medik8 C-Tetra + Intense Lipid Vitamin C Antioxidant Serum 30ml features 100% stable vitamin C that remains potent and highly effective. It stimulates collagen and elastin production while boosting skin with antioxidants to prevent and repair free radical damage, as well as brightening the skin and restoring radiance. It leaves the skin feeling feeling plump, soft and smooth.

8. KORA Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum.

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For natural skincare lovers, the KORA Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum 30ml features a blend of 12% Ascorbyl Glucoside, botanical extracts, natural forms of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to brighten the skin, target pigmentation and protect the skin from environmental damage. It's also model Miranda Kerr's favourite (she did make it, after all).

Looking for more helpful info on vitamin C and antioxidants? Check out these stories from the Adore Beauty team below!

Head to our Skincare School content hub for more episodes, articles and info on Skincare School the podcast!

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