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12 Incredible Vitamin C Products That Lighten, Brighten, and Help the Complexion Shine

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Vitamin C has always been a tried-and-true immunity booster. A powerhouse antioxidant and nutrient, it’s been even more relevant since the pandemic began—as a supplement. It’s been flying off of pharmacy shelves in the form of gummy vitamins, dissolvable tablets, capsules, and more. But it’s equally important in protecting and nourishing our skin. Because our bodies are unable to produce or store vitamin C, it’s up to us to apply it ourselves. And because our face takes the brunt of all of the elements we are exposed to every day, vitamin C is essential for the protection, health, and longevity of our most precious skin.

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Vitamin C offers seemingly endless benefits for every skin type, including:

  • Increases firmness: By stimulating collagen production, it helps to plump and firm skin for a more youthful complexion.
  • Smoothes Lines: It reduces damage to elastin, which softens the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scarring.
  • Evens Skintone: It slows the production of melanin, which causes dark spots. It is also anti-inflammatory, reducing redness and the appearance of acne or irritation.
  • Hydrates & Brightens: It provides long-lasting moisture for a glow that is dewy but not greasy, bringing your skin from dull to radiant.
  • Fights free radicals: Its antioxidant properties fend off damage from environmental factors such as pollution and UV rays.

The results speak for themselves. A recent study testing the effects of vitamin C on mature facial skin found that 100 percent of participants saw improvement in all of the above areas after 10 courses of treatment.

As we move towards warmer days, it’s especially necessary to remember to incorporate vitamin C into your daily skincare routine and remind your clients to do the same. “It’s most important to maintain healthy protective levels of antioxidants in the skin during the summer months, when we are exposed to more sun,” says dermatologist Kenneth Howe, M.D. “When ultraviolet rays penetrate our skin, they set off a series of harmful reactions. Antioxidants such as vitamin C disrupt and stop those chain reactions, so that the UV radiation does not cause damage.”

Whether you’re looking to achieve protection, healing, or all-around nourishment, vitamin C can do it all. Check out these vitamin C skincare products offering a range of immediate and long-lasting benefits.

DERMA E Vitamin C Collection ($4-$45)

With an expansive range of affordable products for both day and night, this collection offers a variety of ways to incorporate vitamin C into a skincare routine. The entire line uses Stay-C 50, a derivative of vitamin C that is more stable and, therefore, is absorbed more quickly. Products include high-potency treatments like serums and facial peels as well as more beginner-friendly options such as cleansing wipes and individual sheet masks.

Dr. Botanicals Strawberry Superfood Vitamin C Day Moisturiser ($24.90)

This moisturizer is packed with superfoods like strawberry and juniper berry and features a subtle but delicious scent. It is ideal for any skin type, minimizing excess oil in oily skin and deeply hydrating dry skin. For added anti-aging effects, it incorporates caprylic acid to further protect epidermal cells.

Eminence Citrus Kale Potent C+E Serum & Masque

This fast-absorbing serum with botanically derived ingredients is an extra-potent formula that delivers results for all skin types. With vitamin C sourced from lemon and grapefruit, it’s particularly beneficial for reducing redness and balancing oil production. Go the extra mile and combine it with the C+E Masque for added moisture and a more comprehensive vitamin C treatment.

Honest Beauty Vitamin C Collection ($15-$83)

Honest’s Vitamin C Collection has something for all skincare needs, plus a little more. Along with serums and moisturizers, area-specific products such as lip gloss and de-puffing eye cream are also part of the line. Users can reap all the basic benefits that vitamin C provides, as well as even further results such as minimized pores and improved elasticity. 

Kerstin Florian Correcting Serum C+ Infusion ($90)

This lightweight serum uses vitamin C+, a proprietary form of vitamin C that is 50 times more active than the standard. This means it packs a strong punch. it’s been proven to boost collagen synthesis by up to 50 percent and reduce melanin production by up to 80 percent, which help boost firmness and evenness. Other ingredients include natural botanicals, which provide soothing anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits.

Peach & Lily Transparen-C Pro Spot Treatment ($43)

This fast-acting Spot Treatment targets darks spots and hyperpigmentation with dramatic brightening effects. At 20 percent concentration, this is a potent vitamin C product that works quickly—92 percent of users in their study saw dark and discolored spots start to fade within 14 days.

Phyto-C Selenium in C Serum ($155)

Selenium in C Serum is a powerful antioxidant formula that has been clinically tested to significantly diminish the appearance of photo-damage. The serum’s powerful and natural ingredients act synergistically to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The formula features 1 percent vitamin A (retinol), 1 percent vitamin E, and 15 percent vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid).

Pixi Beauty Vitamin C Collection ($10-$29)

Pixi Beauty’s wide-ranging (and affordable) vitamin C collection offers a variety of solutions that can be used individually or together for enhanced benefits. Its Best of Vitamin-C Kit includes a basic three-step plan: Juice Cleanser, a brightening cleansing water; Vitamin-C Tonic, a toner designed to smooth the complexion; and Caviar Balm, which contains encapsulated vitamins for long-lasting hydration.

Pure Fiji Vitamin C Collection ($39 to $115)

Pure Fiji’s Vitamin C Collection includes a variety of products supercharged with the popular antioxidant, each designed to deliver an instant radiance boost and increased hydration. The main ingredient is the Kakadu plum, an Australian fruit and the world’s greatest source of vitamin C. The entire product line, which includes individual products as well as kits, smooths wrinkles and promotes a balanced skintone and a firm, more youthful complexion.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum ($166)

Protection is the name of the game for this daytime vitamin C serum. Pairing vitamins C and E for extra prevention against atmospheric aging, it’s been clinically proven to reduce damage from UV rays, ozone pollution, and diesel exhaust by up to 41 percent. Once absorbed, it remains effective for a minimum of 72 hours, delivering long-lasting protection and hydration. Because only a small amount is needed every few days, one bottle goes a long way.

Strivectin Super-C SPF 30 Vitamin C Moisturizer ($69)

Get the SPF needed for the spring and summer as well as a vitamin C treatment with this two-in-one moisturizer for advanced environmental protection. It’s infused with French kumquat extract, a superfruit with natural vitamin C, as well as Tahitian noni leaf, which moisturizes dry skin without feeling greasy. Its broad-spectrum SPF even protects against blue light from phones and computer screens.

Wander Beauty Sight C-er Vitamin C Concentrate ($42)

This powerful concentrate is packed with a combination of antioxidants to help brighten, plump, and rejuvenate skin. Infused with our multitasking 20% C-Suite™ Complex, this lightweight formula has a subtle golden pearl glow to provide a healthy luminosity with quick absorption to reveal radiant, hydrated, even toned, and firmer skin without leaving any sticky residue. Plus, the product is housed in an airless pump, so the formula stays fresh, and you can enjoy every single drop.

About The Author
Madison Starr

Madison is a Colgate University graduate with a diverse professional background in communications and marketing. Her degree in Classics fueled her love of writing and research, and has been the link among previous roles in music marketing, children’s education, and healthcare. Raised in a household involved in the wellness industry, she brings an emphasis on mental wellbeing to her current work in senior care and equine care in Greater Philadelphia.