If you’ve ever looked into getting a vitamin C serum you know that finding the best one is much more difficult than it sounds. There are so many formulations, reviews, price points, and other unexpected details to think about (pH, concentration, other ingredients, animal testing etc).

With so much information to wade through it can be hard to feel like you’re making an informed decision.

This post simplifies the process by comparing the most popular serums on the market on standardized scales weighing formulation, reviews, and company reputability.

Each serum is reviewed individually below with color-coded sections indicating the form, cost and whether it’s cruelty free or natural as well as potential irritants like alcohol, fatty alcohol, silicone, oil, and fragrance.

For more background on the comparison criteria read on, to jump ahead to the comparison use the table of contents, and to see the top serums compared to find the best one see The Best Vitamin C Serum.

The Criteria

Before you can decide on the best vitamin C serum for your skin, it’s a good idea to start by asking what makes a vitamin C serum good in general. With standard quality criteria you can make a more informed purchase decision and also a more informed decision about whether a serum is giving you the results you want or if you can do better.

Of course the question of effectiveness comes to mind right away. “Does it really work?” is usually the first question most of us ask when making a cosmetics purchase.

The good news is that when it comes to vitamin C you don’t have to start there because it’s a proven active ingredient so we know it works.

The bad news is that the form and formulation make a big difference on the degree of effectiveness (source). Yes, it works…but how well it works and whether a formulation is worth the price being charged are the big questions when it comes to vitamin C serums.

Fortunately, there’s been plenty of research on Vitamin C’s role in skin care, which we can use for guidance on assessing product claims on the basis of their formulations.

Formulation (4 Points Worth 40%)

It’s been pretty well established in the scientific literature that the best vitamin C formulations have ascorbic acid stabilized by vitamin E and ferulic acid, which also have the effect of increasing potency 8 times.

Although Vit. C alone can provide photoprotection, it works best in conjunction with Vitamin E (Vit. E), which potentiates the action of Vit. C four-fold. Hydrophilic Vit. C helps regenerate Vit. E, a liphophilic antioxidant. Thus, Vit. C and Vit. E together protect the hydrophilic and lipophilic compartments of the cell, respectively. Vit. C and Vit. E synergistically limit chronic UV damage by significantly reducing both cell apoptosis and thymine dimer formation.

A combination of 0.5% ferulic acid (a potent antioxidant of plant origin) with 15% Vit. C and 1% Vit. E can increase the efficacy of Vit. C eight-fold. It was noted that this triple combination was very useful for the reduction of acute and chronic photodamage, and could be used for prevention of skin cancer in the future. Vitamin C in dermatology

122.533.54

Any form of vitamin C in opaque packaging.

Any form of vitamin C in opaque packaging near the top third the ingredients list. Full ingredient list provided.

Any form of vitamin C in opaque packaging near the top third of the ingredients list but missing either ferulic acid or vitamin E.

Any form of vitamin C combined with ferulic & vitamin E in opaque packaging. Full ingredients provided. The vitamin C appears near the top third of the ingredients list. Alternatively, just ascorbic acid with no vitamin E or ferulic.

Ascorbic acid near the top of the ingredients  list but missing either vitamin E or ferulic acid.

Ascorbic acid near the top of the ingredients list with vitamin E and ferulic. Full ingredients provided.

Limitation This criteria makes it easy to find the best ascorbic acid serums, but doesn’t help much in finding the best vitamin c derivatives for those who are sensitive to ascorbic.

Reviews (4 Points Worth 40%)

Read a variety of reviews before making a purchasing decision. No product works the same for everybody, so get an idea of the range of possible outcomes you can expect. No one person is a universal authority, especially not about YOUR skin! Fifty Shades of Snail

Limitations

Quantifying Reviews The weight of reviews is difficult to quantify since each review site and blogger has different criteria and one review platform may only have a dozen reviews while another has thousands. The weighting is as precise as possible on an uneven terrain.

Comparisons Aggregate reviews are good for providing a general sense of what people are saying, and in a way they provide a good way to compare similar products. On the other hand aggregate reviews aren’t very useful for figuring out which of the half dozen or so highly reviewed serums is best, in which case it’s better to compare products side by side with attention to the details.

Confirmation Bias Confirmation bias might be a problem with individual reviews and seems to be especially so with reviews of more expensive products. People may be more likely to give a very expensive product a good review because they want to believe they’ve made a wise choice. There’s really no way to correct for this but considering a lot of reviews may reduce the impact.

0 Points1 Point2 Points3 Points4 Points

Reviews are not good on one or more platforms (2.5 out of 5 or less.)

Reviews are only found on 1-2 sites.

Reviews that are found are okay (3 to 3.5 out of 5)

Reviews are only found on 1-2 sites.

Reviews that are found are generally good at 4 out of 5 or better.

Reviews are found on at least 3 different platforms (Amazon, Ulta, Sephora,  makeupalley, influenster etc) and are generally very good at over 4 out of 5. Half point if reviews are only found on 1-2 sites but number in the thousands with a more than half verified purchases and very good ratings of over 4 out of 5.

Reviews are found on at least 4 different platforms (Amazon, Ulta, Sephora,  makeupalley, influenster etc) and are generally very good at over 4.5 out of 5. Lots of personal reviews on blogs and reputable forums like r/skincareaddiction. Product may have holy grail cult favourite status (widely popular and loved by a select group of skin care devotees.)

TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials from reputable purchasers, bloggers or forum commentators may be included in the reviews tab. These are just informational and not meant to be comprehensive. Interesting snippets may shed more light but might not reflect the full picture.

Brand Reputability (2 Points Worth 20%)

Brand reputability is a very difficult metric to quantify but brand is important because a formulation is only as good as the manufacturer that makes it.

Factors Affecting Price

In order to find the truth behind the story I consulted a chemist and a manufacturing process engineer.

The Manufacturing Process

​They both agreed that from a manufacturing perspective there can be significant quality differences. A more established brand is more likely to have better manufacturing processes, but this isn’t guaranteed.

Overhead Costs

A more established brand is likely to have higher overhead costs (administrative, R&D, marketing etc), which may be passed on to the consumer.

Purity of Ingredients

More established brands that have a reputation to uphold are more likely to use higher purity pharmaceutical grade raw materials (that can be significantly more expensive) than less established brands. Since purity standards for cosmetics are much more lax than for pharmaceuticals very pure ingredients aren’t required by law.

Brands that are well established are also more likely to have tried and true manufacturing processes in place. They have staying power and a system that works. They are more likely to be able to ensure higher batch consistency and lower contamination. They are also more likely to have better testing for contaminants.

Limitation The biggest limitation of this metric is that it might penalize lesser known brands and skin care startups. To address this issue less established brands can be awarded higher points on brand reputability for having a cult following.

0 Points1 Point2 Points

Brand has very limited presence outside of it’s sales channels (Amazon and company website.) Further information or proof of its existence is hard to find.

Brand has limited public presence outside of it’s sales channels but may have a big social media following or be recognized by skin care devotees. Brand has a legitimate looking online presence and information about the company and reaching customer support is fairly easy to find. Brand has transparency as to who is behind it. There’s a story or face behind the name not just an anonymous website.

Brand is well established and well regarded. You’ve probably heard of it. Brand has a professional online presence. There may be a lot of hype surrounding it’s products. It’s products are backed by transparency and trustworthy research. Information about the company is really easy to find. Brand might have holy grail cult favourite status.

Other Factors

FORM

There are indicators in each review box for whether a product contains L-AA or a derivative. L-AA is the best form of vitamin C if you have normal skin, which is reflected in the points system. If you have sensitive skin derivatives are better. When a derivative is used details are provided.

COST

Cost is not factored in to the above points system since everyone’s budgets are different. A cost indicator can be found in each review box and it follows the following scale.

$$$$$$

$$$$$$

$$$$$$

$$$$$$

$$$$$$

$$$$$$

Less than $20$20 to $35$35 to $50$50 to $75$75 to $100$100 +

CRUELTY FREE / NATURAL

If a product self identifies as cruelty free or natural it’s indicated in the review box. Different companies have different interpretations of what “natural” means so be sure to read the ingredients list in full if you have any concerns or specific chemical sensitivities.

CULT FAVOURITE

Cult favourites are products that are internet famous. They have a big following of devoted fans and a lot of social proof.

POTENTIAL IRRITANTS

ALCOHOL

Although alcohol may not be terrible in skin care products, it can be drying and irritating to all skin types especially when it’s one of the main ingredients. An alcohol indicator is in each review box.

FATTY ALCOHOL

​Fatty alcohol can be very irritating to some people’s skin, especially those with acne prone skin.

SILICONE

Some people are highly sensitive and reactive to silicones. There are colour coded indicators for silicone in the review boxes following this guide to common silicones in cosmetics as well as some Googling. It might not be complete. If you have sensitivities make sure to double check.

OIL

Oil can be comedogenic for some people’s skin. There’s a list of comedogenicity ratings of different oils for reference.

NATURAL & SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE

Fragrances can be highly irritating. Although synthetic fragrances are often avoided by most skin care manufacturers, natural fragrances are pretty common but can be just as irritating to some people.

The Full Data

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum

amara organics vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% SAP with vitamin E and hyaluronic acid. pH not indicated.

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points (some form of vitamin C in an opaque container.) Has vitamin E but doesn’t have ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2.5/4 Aggregate reviews are limited to Amazon but more than half are verified purchases. For the most part very good reviews and they number in the thousands.

A solid addition to my skin care routine! I’ve been using this for the past month, and I’ve noticed a visible difference when it comes to my skin’s brightness.

I have very dry skin and this wasn’t hydrating enough for me.

0.5/2 This is a startup with few reviews outside of its sales channels like Amazon. It has a semi-legitimate online presence.

Deionized Aqua (Water), Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Carbomer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin, d-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Organic Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola Extract), Organic Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail Plant Extract), Organic Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Extract), Organic Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion Extract).

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cell Revitalize Serum

andalou naturals fruit stem cell revitalize serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

MAP with vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and coenzyme Q10. pH not indicated.

Formulation 2 out of 4 points (some form of vitamin C in an opaque container.) Has vitamin E but doesn’t have ferulic. The vitamin C appears near the bottom of the ingredient list.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.1oz/32ml

3/4 Less than a thousand reviews but most are very good (often more than 4 out of 5) on at least 5 different platforms.

light on skin, however, didn’t see much difference in brown spots as expected.

1.5/2 Brand is fairly well known and well regarded.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Purified Water (Aqua), Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Juice*, Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Olive Squalane, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Lecithin, Tocopherol, Panthenol, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Alginate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Allantoin, Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis (Myrtle) Leaf Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil*, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil*, Glyceryl Laurate, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) Seed Oil*, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil*, Amodimethicone, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Riboflavin, Xanthan Gum, Melatonin, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract*†, Laminaria Digitata (Kelp) Extract, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Raspberry Isolates, Vanilla Isolates, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Andalou Naturals Turmeric + C Enlighten Serum

andalou naturals turmeric + c enlighten serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

MAP with vitamin E and hyaluronic acid. pH not indicated.

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points (some form of vitamin C in an opaque container.) Has vitamin E but doesn’t have ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.1oz/32ml

3/4 Less than 1000 reviews. A lot of them are really good (often more than 4 out of 5) on at least 5 different platforms.

I didn’t have an easy way of getting a new bottle of the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, and happened upon Andalou Naturals brand Turmeric/C serum at a local Whole Foods store. Grabbed it, and you know what? It is an excellent vitamin C serum. If I could rate it 4.5 stars out of 5, I would – because it’s a very good product. In some ways, it’s even better than SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic – because it absorbs quickly. This stuff brightens up your skin like nobody’s business – and it also seems to firm/tighten up skin as well.

1.5/2 Brand is fairly well known and well regarded.

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Purified Water (Aqua), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Olive Squalane, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Panthenol, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Alginate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Allantoin, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract*, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil*, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil*, Glyceryl Laurate, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) Seed Oil*, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil*, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil*, Amodimethicone, Riboflavin, Xanthan Gum, Melatonin, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract*†, Laminaria Digitata (Kelp) Extract, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Aria Starr Vitamin C Serum

aria starr vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% L-AA with MAP and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbyl (oil soluble form of vitamin C.)

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points (some form of vitamin C in an opaque container, concentration indicated, contains vitamin E but not ferulic.)

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2/4 Less than 1000 reviews. Most are good (around 4 out of 5 or slightly better) but only on 1-2 platforms.

I was excited to find this serum, given the price and the excellent reviews and so wanted to try it out. Have been using this product for the past 7 months and I have not noticed any difference in my skin tone or texture.

0.5/2 Brand has a legitimate looking web presence and social media following but limited presence outside its sales channels and not a lot of transparency as to ownership.

Aqua (Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Ascorbic Acid (L), Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate (D-alpha), Vanilla lanifolia Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil, Santalum Austrocaledonicum (Sandalwood) Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol *Certified Organic Ingredient

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

ArtNaturals Vitamin C Serum

artnaturals vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

SAP with vitamin E.

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points (some form of vitamin C in an opaque container, all ingredients provided, contains vitamin E but not ferulic.)

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2.5/4 Less than 1000 reviews. Most are good (around 4 out of 5 or slightly better) on about 4 platforms.

Saw no results using this.

Great product for the price.

0.5/2 Brand has a legitimate looking web presence and social media following but limited presence outside its sales channels and not a lot of transparency as to ownership.

Aqua (Water), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Hamamelis Virginiana Water (Witch Hazel), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Dimethyl Sulfone (MSM), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Organic Aloe), Ferulic Acid, Glycerin (Kosher, Vegetable), Simmondsia Chinensis Oil (Organic Jojoba), Centella Asiatica Extract (Organic Gotu Kola), Equisetum Arvense Extract (Horsetail), Taraxacum Officinale Extract (Dandelion), Geranium Maculatum Extract (Wild Geranium), SD Alcohol 40B, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Avalon Organics Intense Defense With Vitamin C Serum

avalon organics intense defence with vitamin c

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Ascorbic acid with vitamin E.

Formulation 1 out of 4 points (some form of vitamin C in an opaque container but vitamin C is at the bottom of the ingredients list.)

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

3.5/4 Less than 1000 reviews. Most are good (around 4 out of 5 or slightly better) on more than 4 platforms.

I’ve been using this product (Vit C Serum) for years..and LOVED it, RELIED on it, and ALWAYS received great results. Five stars without a doubt! HOWEVER – – – This new formula…how do we say……SUCKS.

1.5/2 Very well known and well regarded natural skin care brand with public presence and transparency.

Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice(1) , Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil(1) , Cetyl Alcohol, Squalane, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter(1) , Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil(1) , Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil(1) , Rosa Canina Fruit Oil(1) , Arnica Montana Flower Extract(1) , Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract(1) , Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (White Tea)(1) , Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract(1) , Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract (Lemon Bioflavonoids), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract(1) , Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract(1) , Algin, Ascorbic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol(1) , Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citral, Limonene, Linalool. (1)Certified Organic Ingredient.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Avon Anew Vitamin C Brightening Serum

avon anew vitamin c brightening serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Ascorbic acid with vitamin E.

Formulation 0.5 out of 4 points (some form of vitamin C but it isn’t in opaque packaging.  Alcohol is the first ingredient.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

1/4 Less than 1000 reviews. They range from terrible to good (between 1 and 4 or slightly better) on 2-3 platforms.

This smells overwhelmingly like rubbing alcohol. Unsurprisingly, the first ingredient listed is SD Alcohol 40-b, which can be drying. Also, alcohol should never be the primary ingredient in any skin care product. I used this for about 3 weeks, when the pump on the bottle broke, making it practically unusable. I also started noticing dry skin on my cheek, which I didn’t have prior to using this product.

1.5/2 Very well known brand with professional online presence.

SD alcohol 40-b, glycerin, propylene glycol, ascorbic acid water, propylene carbonate tocopheryl acetate, hydroxypropylcellulose, bht, fragrance

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Banish Acne Scars The Banish Oil

banish acne scars banish oil

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Ascorbic acid with vitamin E & Ferulic acid.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points (some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging with ferulic and vitamin E.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2.5/4 Reviews are only found on the company website but they are generally good.

I have been using the vitamin c serum and pumpkin enzyme masks from Banish and really love them! I’ve been using their products for about three months now and my complexion has changed drastically.

1/2 Limited visibility outside its own sales channels but has a legitimate online presence and social media following.

Glycerin, 99.9% Pure Grade L-Ascorbic (Vitamin C) acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic Filet of Aloe Vera), hamamelis virginiana extract (made from Certified Organic Witch Hazel) Ferulic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E),Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Water, Rosehip Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, citric acid.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Banish Acne Scars Vitamin C Beauty Elixir

banish acne scars vitamin c beauty elixir

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Ascorbic acid.

Formulation 2 out of 4 points (some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging but no ferulic and vitamin E.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2.5/4 Reviews are only found on the company website but they are generally good.

After using the product for about a month, I would say that it’s probably my favourite “toner-type” product. My Skin’s Journey

1/2 Limited visibility outside its own sales channels but has a legitimate online presence and social media following.

Distilled Water, Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Juice, (Vaccinium Myrtillus (Organic Bilberry) Extract, Saccharum officinarum (Organic Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharinum (Organic Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus auranium dulcis (Organic Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Organic Lemon) Extract, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Organic Cranberry) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Salix alba (Willow Bark) Extract, Polysorbate, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Essential Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, (May contain sodium bicarbonate and/or citric acid as pH adjusters).

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Vitamin C Serum

caudalie polyphenol c15 vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate.

Concentration not indicated but may be 3-5%.

Formulation 2 out of 4 points (some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging but no ferulic and vitamin E.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2.5/4 Less than 500 reviews on 3-4 different platforms ranging from 3 to 4 out of 5.

I am using Caudalie C15 serum for about 8 months and I am very pleased with it. I use it every day and sometimes in the night as well.

1.5/2 Well regarded French cosmetics company better known within skin care circles.

Water, butylene glycol, glycerin *, squalane *, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, tocopherol *, ceteareth-20, palmitoyl grape seed extract *, fragrance, glyceryl stearate se *, potassium sorbate, acrylates / c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, caprylyl glycol, xanthan gum, hyaluronic acid, carbomer, sodium phytate *, sodium hydroxide. * Origine végétale

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Cellex-C Advanced-C Serum

cellex-c advanced c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Ascorbic acid.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points (ascorbic acid in opaque packaging near the top of the ingredient list but no ferulic and vitamin E.)  Some reviews have suggested that the tyrosine and zine work synergistically to increase penetration of the ascorbic acid but I couldn’t immediately verify the claim.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

4/4 Reviews on around 3-4 platforms ranging from 4 to 5 out of 5. A lot of really devoted long time users. This is a cult fav.

After using Cellex-C for decades, I switched to Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, I went back to Cellex-C Advanced C Serum…it doesn’t make skin tacky, goes on smoother, requires less serum and seems to work well.

Cellex C is the formulation that was used in a 3 month study of 19 volunteers that found significant (+68.4%) improvement in wrinkling, roughness, and skin tone from 3 drops of Cellex C applied to half the face daily versus the control (as measured by computer imaging and dermatological exam.)

2/2 Well regarded and well established company that’s been in the business for over 20 years.

water, ascorbic acid, acetyl tyrosine, zinc sulphate, glycine, vitis vinifera (grape) fruit extract, sodium hyaluronate, camellia sinesis leaf extract, ergothionine. 

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Cosmedica 20% Vitamin C Serum

cosmedica vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% SAP.

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points (some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging with vitamin E but no ferulic acid.)

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2/4 Reviews on 1 platform ranging from 4 to 4.5 out of 5.

It doesn’t seem quite as robust as the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic. Maybe that’s why the Skinceuticals brand is $145. I’m thinking there’s a lot less of the “Ferulic” in this formulation. Can’t tell if it’s doing anything or not. I do feel little tingle when I put it on though.

1/2 Brand has a legitimate looking online presence but limited public presence outside of that including a small social media following.

Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Hamamelis Virginiana, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Methylsulfonylmethane, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis, Wildcrafted Camellia Sinensis, Pelargonium Gravolens, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Cosmetic Skin Solutions Vitamin C+E Serum

cosmetic skin solutions c+e serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

15% ascorbic acid serum

Formulation 4 out of 4 points (ascorbic acid near top of ingredient list in opaque packaging with vitamin E and ferulic acid.)

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol *

* Laureth-23 might be a fatty alcohol. Please comment if you know.

1oz/30ml

3/4 Reviews on at least 3 platforms ranging from 4 to 4.5 out of 5.

So how does this knock-off version compare to Skinceuticals and PC?Smell: much lighter than Skinceuticals, which does have a hot dog-like scent. The smell doesn’t linger I find. I never found PC version has much of a smell to begin with.Feel: definitely more tacky than PC, but a touch less than Skinceuticals. After 15 minutes of so the tackiness goes away (don’t over-apply).Effect: this may be all in my head but I think CSS version is the most efficacious for my skin – it feels firmer, smoother and appears the most even-toned while using this.  My verdict? I will buy this again. $40 USD/$55 CAD is still not cheap but at least this is 10ml more than PC for less of a hit on my wallet.

1.5/2 Brand has a professional online presence with ample documentation showing compliance with regulations. However, it has limited public presence outside of that including a small social media following.

Water, L-Ascorbic Acid (Topical Vitamin C), Propylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Butylene Glycol, Laureth-23, Zinc Sulfate, Glycerol, Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, D-Panthenol, Hyaluronic Acid.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Cosmetic Skin Solutions Vitamin C 20%

cosmetic skin solutions 20% vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% ascorbic acid serum

Formulation 3.5 out of 4 points (ascorbic acid near top of ingredient list in opaque packaging with 0.5% ferulic acid but no vitamin E.)

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

3/4 Reviews on at least 3 platforms ranging from 4 to 4.5 out of 5.

So how does this knock-off version compare to Skinceuticals and PC?Smell: much lighter than Skinceuticals, which does have a hot dog-like scent. The smell doesn’t linger I find. I never found PC version has much of a smell to begin with.Feel: definitely more tacky than PC, but a touch less than Skinceuticals. After 15 minutes of so the tackiness goes away (don’t over-apply).Effect: this may be all in my head but I think CSS version is the most efficacious for my skin – it feels firmer, smoother and appears the most even-toned while using this.  My verdict? I will buy this again. $40 USD/$55 CAD is still not cheap but at least this is 10ml more than PC for less of a hit on my wallet.

1.5/2 Brand has a professional online presence with ample documentation showing compliance with regulations. However, it has limited public presence outside of that including a small social media following.

Water, L-Ascorbic Acid (Topical Vitamin C), Propylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Zinc Sulfate, Glycerol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, D-Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium Edetate, Hyaluronic Acid.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

CSI Vitamin c+ 12% Youth Serum

CSI vitamin c+ 12% youth serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

12% L-ascorbic acid.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points (l-ascorbic acid near top of ingredient list in opaque packaging but no vitamin E or ferulic acid.)

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

3/4 Reviews on at least 3 platforms ranging from 4 to 4.5 out of 5.

This serum has only 2 ingredients, butylene glycol and l-ascorbic acid. Your ability the use this serum will depend almost entirely on if your skin tolerates butylene glycol or not. For many sensitives and acne prones who’s skin can’t handle a long ingredient list this serum is a worthy option.

0/2 Brand doesn’t seem to have a website and has limited online presence beyond its sales channels. No social media presence. No contact number.

L-ascorbic acid, butylene glycol.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

DermaDoctor Kakadu C Serum

dermadoctor kakadu vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% 3-0-ethyl ascorbic acid.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points (any form of vitamin C near top of ingredient list in opaque packaging with vitamin E and ferulic acid.)

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2.5/4 Reviews on at least 4 platforms ranging from as low as 3 out of 5 on average to as high as to 4.5 out of 5 on average.

Pros: This serum really lightens hyper pigmentation post acne marks very quickly. I haven’t noticed any anti-aging benefits yet. The packaging is pretty good. Has 20% vitamin C unlike other serums that have 10%.Cons: This serum is very sticky even if you put moisturizer on top. It’s hard to blend mineral or powder foundation afterwards even if I leave my skin alone for 30 min. Its pricey but most quality C serums I found are.

1.5/2 Very well known cosmetic brand.

Water, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Glycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu) Fruit Extract, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Tocopherol, Alcohol, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Hexylene Glycol, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Dr. Dennis GRoss C+ Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum

dr dennis gross c+ collagen brighten & firm vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

3-0-ethyl ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points (ascorbic acid near top of ingredient list in opaque packaging but no vitamin E or ferulic acid.)

There is some controversy about niacinamide and ascorbic acid. Paula’s Choice says it’s fine, FutureDerm says it’s not.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

1/4 Just a few reviews here and there. Probably less than 10 total.

2/2 Very well known cosmetic brand.

Water, Glycerin, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, Glycereth-7 Triacetate, Lactic Acid, SD Alcohol 40-B, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ascorbic Acid, Collagen Amino Acids, Superoxide Dismutase, Glycine, Carnitine HCl, Ubiquinone, Hexylresorcinol, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Isoquercetin, Mandelic Acid, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Phytic Acid, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate, Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, T-Butyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide, Polysorbate 80, Denatonium Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Caramel.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Dr. Dennis GRoss Hydra Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum

dr dennis gross hydra pure vitamin c brightening serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

L-AA, SAP, ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C ester) and ascorbic methylsilanol pectinate.

Formulation 3.5 out of 4 points (ascorbic acid near top of ingredient list in opaque packaging with vitamin E but no ferulic acid.)

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

1/4 Just a few reviews here and there. Probably less than 10 total. A lot of complaints about the silicone base.

I want to like it and I will continue using it but I don’t like the primer-texture this serum has. Hoping the results will sway my review.

1.5/2 Very well known cosmetic brand.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Ascorbic Acid, Squalane, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, Arbutin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Quercetin Caprylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Linoleic Acid, Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Diacetyl Boldine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Soy Isoflavones, Lactic Acid, Tetrapeptide-21, Panthenol, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Bisabolol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lecithin, Cyclotrisiloxane, Isostearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Oleate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Pentasodium Pentetate, Phytic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Gluconate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Water, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Glycolate, Sodium Hydroxide, Alcohol, Methylpropanediol, Polysorbate 80, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

drug elephant vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

15% ascorbic acid.

Formulation 4 out of 4 points for ascorbic acid near top of ingredient list packaging with vitamin E and ferulic acid in opaque airless pump.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol *

*Laureth-23 might be a fatty alcohol. Please comment if you know.

1oz/30ml

4/4 Reviews on at least 4 platforms with average ratings from 3.9 to 5 out of 5. Lots of love on r/skincareaddiction and amongst bloggers. Big cult favourite.

I’m on to my fifth bottle of this stuff. I would say it’s more oily textured than it is gel, but it’s not greasy, goes well under powder/liquid makeup, and does NOT cause my oily, acne prone, sensitive (the trifecta, I know) skin to breakout – in fact, it keeps breakouts at bay. It also lightens PIH and heals acne quickly when the few inevitably pop up around that time of the month. I use one pump daily, morning and night, and that lasts me just about 3 months. I love the array of antioxidants in the ingredients and the truly air-tight packaging too. All around an HG product.

2/2 Reputable brand with a professional online presence and high social media engagement..

Water/Aqua/Eau, Ethoxydiglycol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopherol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Acetyl Glucosamine, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Glutamylamidoethyl Imidazole, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Glycine, Sucrose, Maltodextrin, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan gum, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

E’shee Clinical Esthetic Vitalizing C Serum

e'shed vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Liposomal (fat soluble) vitamin C – could be vitamin C ester (ascorbyl palmitate)

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for any form of vitamin C in opaque packaging but no vitamin E or ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

0.34oz/10ml

0/4 Can’t find any aggregate reviews, only a few forum posts.

This E’Shee’s vitamin C serum is much thicker and more viscous, but I cannot help finding many similarities there…. Did they just simply mix ascorbic acid and lecithin, with no consideration to pH? I applied it on my face….. I was hoping I’d get the same burning and tingling feeling I get from real acidic ascorbic acid serums….. No burning. No tingling. No hot feeling beneath the skin….Since it was expensive, I will continue using it anyway, but I feel I will go back to my DIY double C serum very soon…. skincaretalk.com review

1/2 Brand is well known in skin care circles.

Aqua, Liposome Vitamin C, 1.3 Butylene Glycol, Cyclomethicone, Phenyltrimethicone, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Polysorbate 80, Morus Alba (Mulberry) Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Polyglceryl-3 Diisostearate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Copper PCA, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, D-Limonene, Citral.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Garden of Wisdom Majik C Serum

No Image Provided

 

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

15% L-ascorbic acid with pH of 2.3

Formulation 3.5 out of 4 points for ascorbic acid near top of ingredient list with ferulic but no vitamin E. pH and concentration available.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

0.25oz/7.5ml

3/4 Reviews on 3-4 platforms with averages scores of between 4-4.5 out of 5.

I previously used Garden of Wisdom’s Majik C Serum.  Liked it a lot and even got a couple of compliments on how my skin looked. May give this another whirl, but it had a relatively short shelf life, if I remember correctly. thetimelessbeauty.com review

1/2 Brand is well known and well regarded amongst skin care lovers.

Neroli Hydrosol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Optiphen.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Ganique Vitamin C Serum

gangue vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Vitamin C glucoside and ascorbic acid.

Formulation 3.5 out of 4 points for ascorbic acid near top of ingredient list with vitamin E but no ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

0/4 Reviews are limited and less than 3 out of 5 on average.

0/2 Brand has a website but limited public presence or social proof.

Water, Organic Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis), Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Vitamin C Glucoside, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Hops (Humulus Lupulus), Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Leaf Extract, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana) Leaf Extract, Sage (Salvia Officinalis) Leaf Extract, Horsetail (Equisetum Arvense) Extract, Lemon(Citrus Limonum) Peel Extract, Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Extract, Scots Pine (Pinus Sylvestris) Bud Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Vitamin E, Methylsulfonylmethane, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

instanaturals vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

SAP.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for SAP near top of ingredient list with vitamin E and ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

3/4 Reviews on 3-4 different platforms with averages ranging from 4 out of 5 to 5 out of 5.

I am sceptical about buying skin care products on Amazon, unless I know the product, but I risked it. I was pleasantly surprised that only after 2-3 weeks of using this vitamin C serum, my skin looked glowing and even-toned. I have some deep melanin spots on forehead, so these are still there. I didn’t expecting these to be removed only after 2 weeks. That would be unrealistic.

1.5/2 Brand has a professional online presence and some social media engagement. Contact information readily available.

Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glycerin*, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ferulic Acid, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Glucosyl Hesperidin, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Hibiscus Esculentus Fruit Extract, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Laminaria Digitata (Algae) Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Extract, Geranium Maculatum Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum*, Pentylene Glycol*, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin. *Naturally Derived

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

La Roche Posay Active C

la roche posay active c

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

L-Ascorbic acid.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for ascorbic acid near top of ingredient list but no vitamin E or ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

0/4 Barely any reviews.

2/2 Highly reputable and well regarded cosmetics brand with engaged and professional public presence.

Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Nylon-12, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Propylparaben, Acrylates Copolymer, Parfum/Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

La Roche Posay Active C10

la roche posay active c10

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

L-ascorbic acid.

Formulation 3.5 out of 4 points for ascorbic acid near top of ingredient list with vitamin E but no ferulic. Contains a lot of potential irritants.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.01oz/32ml

1.5/4 Reviews on 2-3 different platforms with averages ranging from 3 out of 5 to 4 out of 5.

2/2 Highly reputable and well regarded cosmetics brand with engaged and professional public presence.

WATER • ASCORBIC ACID • DIMETHICONE • C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE • GLYCERIN • ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE • POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE • CETYL ALCOHOL • PEG-100 STEARATE • GLYCERYL STEARATE • SODIUM STYRENE/MA COPOLYMER • STEARYL ALCOHOL • ISOBUTANE • DIMETHICONE/VINYL DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER • DIMETHICONOL • SODIUM HYALURONATE • MYRISTYL ALCOHOL • AMMONIUM POLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE • DISODIUM EDTA • CAPRYLYL GLYCOL • BIOSACCHARIDE GUM-1 • XANTHAN GUM • T-BUTYL ALCOHOL • ACRYLONITRILE/METHYL METHACRYLATE/VINYLIDENE CHLORIDE COPOLYMER • TOCOPHERYL ACETATE • PHENOXYETHANOL • PARFUM/FRAGRANCE

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Lucy’s Essentials Vitamin C Serum

lucks essentials vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

18% sodium ascorbyl phosphate serum.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for SAP near top of ingredient list with vitamin E and ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

0/4 Can’t find any reviews except this one.

Around 2-weeks in, I started noticing my forehead looks clogged in tiny bumpy texture. I also got milia-looking bumps on nasolabial fold on the right side of my face. Plus, my face looks somewhat dull. Most of my products reintroduced to my new routine were in my previous one, so I was pretty confident it can’t be from them. r/skincareaddiction review

0.5/2 Brand has very limited public presence.

Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), CoEnzyme Q10, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Carrot Oil (antioxidant), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Natural Vitamin E), Carbomer (emulsion stabilizer), (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid (peptide), Ferulic Acid (plant based antioxidant), Kosher Vegetable Glycerin (humectant), Organic Jojoba Oil, Roman Chamomile Essential Oil, Phenoxyethanol (natural preservative), Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin (preservative from glycerine)

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C Drops

lumene bright now vitamin c beauty drops

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

SAP.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for SAP near top of ingredient list with vitamin E and ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

28 capsules

2.5/4 Reviews on 3-4 different platforms with averages ranging from 4 out of 5 to 5 out of 5.

1.5/2 Brand has a professional online presence and some social media engagement. Contact information readily available.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Methyl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, C12 15 Alcohol Benzoate,Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Oil, Vaccinium Vitis-Idaea Seed Oil, BHT, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Lipids, Butylphenyl Methlyproprional, Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexl 3 Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Linalool, Parfum (Fragrance)

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Lumirance Vitamin C Serum

lumirance vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Unknown.

Formulation 1 out of 4 points for any form of vitamin C in opaque packaging. No ingredient list for this specific product was found.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

0/4 Can’t find any reviews for his specific product.

0.5/2 Brand doesn’t have much public presence outside of its sales channels though there are some reviews for it’s other products on different platforms.

No ingredients available.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

mad hippie vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

10% sodium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for any form of vitamin C in opaque packaging with vitamin E and ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.02oz/30ml

3.5/4 Reviews on 4-5 different platforms ranging from 3.5 to 5 out of 5.

This vitamin C serums relies upon SAP which is a non-acidic derivative of ascorbic acid. It is light coloured and spreads easily and is quickly absorbed by the skin. It caused me no irritation and lasted for a month and a half. I liked the serum, it was moisturizing and went well underneath my sunblock and moisturizer. I wished it had a stronger impact on my skin tone. For the most part my skin is clear with some hyperpigmentation on my jaw and I did not see much improvement after using this serum so I will not repurchase. makeupalley.com review

1/2 Brand doesn’t have much public presence outside of its sales channels but it has a significant cult following on r/skincareaddiction.

Water Deionized, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Alkyl Benzoate, Vegetable Glycerin, Water, Glycerin, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea), Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis), Hyaluronic acid, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Vitamin E (Tocotrienol), Ferulic acid, Chamomile Flower Extract (Recutita Matricaria), Sodium Phytate, Xanthum Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum

mario badescu vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

7.5% L-ascorbic acid serum.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for ascorbic acid near the top of the ingredients list in opaque packaging but no vitamin E or ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

3.5/4 Reviews on 4-5 different platforms ranging from 3.8 to 5 out of 5.

I have been using the Vitamin-C serum every other night faithfully for the past 3 months, on my face, neck, decolletage, and even on my hands. It is amazing how well this product works. It has faded some dark spots on my face, hands, and decolletage, but what is amazing is that my complexion overall is more even and clear. makeupalley.com review

2/2 Well known and well respected skin care brand with a cult following on r/skincareaddiction.

Propylene Glycol, Ascorbic Acid, Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus Fruit) Extract, Ginseng (Panax Ginseng Root) Extract, Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice) Vera Gel, Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia Flower Extract) Oil.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Medik8 CE Thione Rechargable Vitamin C Serum

medik8 ce thione rechargeable vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

L-ascorbic acid serum.

Formulation 3.5 out of 4 points for ascorbic acid near the top of the ingredients list in opaque packaging with vitamin E but no ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

2/4 Very few reviews on about 4-5 different platforms ranging from 3 to 5 out of 5.

I am 49 and have been using this serum for 2 months now. It is very easy to apply and feel nice on the skin but after 2 months, I have not noticed any effect on my skin. I have not used any other vitamin C serum before so cannot compare with another product. I like the concept of Medik8 and of this serum so am a bit disappointed. adorebeauty.com.au review

0.5/2 Brand doesn’t have much visibility, reputation or social media following though it does have a professional online presence on its website.

Water, Ascorbic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Propylene Glycol, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Polysorbate 80, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Tocopherol, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-10 Mono/Dioleate, Glutathione, Panthenol, Citric Acid, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Bark Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Orange) Peel Oil

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Fawnie Skincare Stable Double C

fawn skincare stable double c

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

3-0-ethyl ascorbic acid serum.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for any form of vitamin C near the top of the ingredients list in opaque packaging with vitamin E and ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

1/4 Very few reviews mostly just word of mouth.

My Fawnie in the USA has AA2G and MAP (if I remember rightly) in their truly exceptional stable double c serum. This was my holy grail C serum but is no longer shipped to the UK. r/skincareaddiction

0.5/2 Brand doesn’t have much visibility, reputation or social media following though it does have a website.

Pure water, Propanediol, Epidermosil®, 3-o-ethyl ascorbic acid, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Virgin Organic Argan Oil), Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Syn Hycan® (Glycerin (and) Aqua (and) Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate (and) Magnesium Chloride), Cetearyl Alcohol, Centella Asiatica, L-Carnosine, Vitamin E , Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Ferulic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Bisabolol, Ceramides.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

NIOD Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid 30%

nod methylated l ascorbic acid

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

30% ethyl ascorbic acid serum

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for any form of vitamin C in opaque packaging but no vitamin E or ferulic acid.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

1/4  Not many reviews. Just one platform 5/5.

Aah NIOD Vit C serum, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! – High vitamin C-concentration but NO alcohol = surprisingly gentle formula – Moisturizing but without that clogg-y feeling – STABLE! Vit C is notoriously unstable and hard to use but this formula is anything but. – A little goes a long way. I’m pale and prone to red marks, however small the breakout. Those marks usually take ages to fade but with this serum they’re gone within a few weeks! It evens out my skin tone and layers well under heavier products. I love this product and highly recommend it for anyone looking for a good Vit C-serum that isn’t irritating and hard to use. Google reviews

2/2 Huge cult following.

Ethoxydiglycol, ethyl ascorbic acid, superoxide dismutase, saccharomyces/zinc ferment.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

NU Fountain c20 + Ferulic

nufountain c20 + ferulic

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% L-ascorbic acid serum with a pH of 2.5–3

Formulation 3.5 out of 4 points for ascorbic acid near the top of the ingredients list in opaque packaging with ferulic but not vitamin E.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

2/4 A few reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 4 out of 5 range.

A solid vitamin C serum at a decent price – if your skin can handle daily use. makeupalley.com review

1.5/2 Brand doesn’t have much visibility but a big reputation by word of mouth.

Purified Water, 20% L-Ascorbic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, DL- Panthenol, Glycerin, Magnesium Sulfate, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Obagi Professional-C Vitamin C Serum

obagi professional vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% L-ascorbic acid + ascorbyl glucoside serum.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for ascorbic acid near the top of the ingredients list in opaque packaging with no ferulic or vitamin E.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

4/4 A lot of reviews on more than 4 platforms in the 4.1 to 5 out of 5 range. A surprising number of 5/5 average reviews.

I have been using this serum for about 1 month now and have not seen any significant changes as of yet. I have noticed that it makes my skin break out if I use it daily so I started applying it every other day. Dermstore review

1/2 Fairly well known and reputable brand.

Propylene Glycol, Water, L-Ascorbic Acid, Alcohol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Fragrance.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

ole henriksen truth serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

SAP sodium ascorbyl phosphate serum.

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points for any form of vitamin C near the top of the ingredients list and it has vitamin E but not ferulic. The packaging is not opaque.**

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

3/4 A lot of reviews on more than 4 platforms in the 3.4 to 5 out of 5 range.

This is quite expensive and ultimately I don’t think it is worth the money. Although I love having a pump that can lock itself, the clear glass jar probably ends up deactivating any vitamin c in this serum. It smells nicely orangey and does moisturize, but I don’t feel that the vitamin c in it is working. makeupalley.com review

1.5/2 Very well known and reputable brand.

Water, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Ascorbate, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Euphrasia Officinalis Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Oleth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Hyaluronate, Thioctic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Fragrance, Yellow 6.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Oliology 100% Natural Vitamin C Serum

oliology vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

No active vitamin C concentrate present.

Formulation 0.5 out of 4 points as although there is vitamin C present, it’s unclear how much or what form or even whether it’s active at all.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

2/4 Reviews on 2-3 platforms in the 3.4 to 4 out of 5 range.

I’m not sure there’d be a very high percentage of vitamin C. Although, I am just guessing, and I could be completely wrong. reddit thread

0/2 Unknown brand.

Glycine soja (soybean) Oil and Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil.

(source)

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

OST Original Pure Vitamin C Serum C20

ost original pure c20

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

L-ascorbic acid serum.

Formulation 3.5 out of 4 points ascorbic acid near the top of ingredients list with vitamin E in opaque packaging but no ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

2/4  A few reviews on 2-3 platforms in the 3.4 to 4.5 out of 5 range.

Yah I don’t know, this a great product and I will repurchase but it has no “holy grail” quality to me. makeupalley.com review

0/2 Not much visibility or transparency, no online presence.

Water, Ascorbic Acid, Ethanol, Sodium Lactate, Butylene Glycol, Glucose, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rosa Davurica Bud Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, BIS-PEG-18 Methyl Esther Dimethyl Silane, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Xanthan, PEG-180, Gluconolactone, Beta-Glucan, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Zinc PCA, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Tocopherylacetate, Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ubiquinone, Diisopropyladipate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben

(source)

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

OST Pure Vitamin C Advanced C21.5 Serum

out advanced vitamin c serum c21.5

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

21.5% L-ascorbic acid serum.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points ascorbic acid near the top of ingredients list in opaque packaging but no ferulic or vitamin E.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

1.5/4  A few reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 3 to 4 out of 5 range.

Funny thing is that between the C20 and C21.5, I had had myself convinced that I like the C21.5 better (no alcohol, less stickiness, etc.). But I bought a bottle of C20 recently because I wanted to buy stuff on RRS not Wishtrend, and actually I think I prefer that out of the two. I like the slip of the C20; it’s easier to spread around without using so much I inadvertently turn orange. And C20 has the E. reddit

0/2 Not much visibility or transparency, no online presence.

Hippophae Rhamnoides Water (70%), Ascorbic Acid (21.5%), Sodium Lactate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Ethyl Hexanediol.

(source)

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

OZ Naturals Vitamin C Serum

oz naturals vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Sodium ascorbyl phosphate serum.

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points for any form of vitamin C near the top of ingredients list in opaque packaging with vitamin E but no ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

3/4  A few reviews on more than 5 platforms in the 3.5 to 5 out of 5 range.

0.5/2 Not much visibility or transparency but does sell at a number of large online retailers.

Aqua (water), Glycerin (hydration, skin replenishing), 1,3 Propanediol (hydration), Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (antioxidant), Hamamelisvirginiana (Witch Hazel) extract (skin conditioning), Algae extract (emolliant, texture enhancer), Chamomilla recutita (matricaria) extract (skin conditioning), Sodium hyaluronate (replenishing, restoring, intense hydration), Haematococcus pluvialis extract (antioxidant), Bixa orellana seed extract (skin conditioning), Rosa canina fruit extract (skin conditioning), Camellia sinensis leaf extract (antioxidant), dl Alpha tocopherol (vitamin e, antioxidant) , Phenylpropanol (preservative), Caprylyl glycol (emollient), P Anisic acid (preservative), Polyglyceryl 10 Laurate (skin conditioning, emulsifier), Xanthan gum (texture enhancer, thickener), Citric acid (ph adjuster)

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Superbooster

pails choice resist c15 super booster

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

15% L-ascorbic acid serum.

Formulation 4 out of 4 points ascorbic acid near the top of ingredients list in opaque packaging with ferulic and vitamin E.

Bonus feature is a sealed rubber ring around the opening to decrease oxidation rate.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

2.5/4  A lot of reviews on more than 4 platforms in the 3 to 4 out of 5 range. Big cult following.

I was torn writing this review. On one hand, the stuff is potent, and it does what it claims. Your skin will be visibly more vibrant with consistent use, and the dropper dispenser it great. No product wasted. It absorbs really quickly and is very light on the skin. However, this stuff has a shelf life of only 3-4 months. mapeupalley.com review

2/2 Well known highly reputable skin care brand known for good formulations.

Water, Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C/antioxidant), Ethoxydiglycol (hydration), PPG-26 Buteth-26 (texture-enhancing), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (texture-enhancing), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Ferulic Acid (antioxidant), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Acetyl Octapeptide-3 (skin-restoring), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Panthenol (skin replenishing), Sodium Metabisulfite (stabilizer/antioxidant), Triethanolamine (pH adjuster), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate

pails choice resist super antioxidant concentrate

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Tetrahexyldecyl and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate serum.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C near the top of ingredients list in opaque packaging with ferulic and vitamin E.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.1oz/30ml

1.5/4  A few reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 3 to 4 out of 5 range.

2/2 Well known highly reputable skin care brand known for good formulations.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone (hydrations/suspending agents), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin c/antioxidant), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 (skin-restoring ingredient), Ceramide NP, Tocotrienols, Tocopherol (vitamin e/antioxidant), Ubiquinone (coenzyme q10/antioxidant), Thioctic Acid (alpha lipoic acid/antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin e/antioxidant), Magnesium Ascorbyl, Phosphate ( vitamin c/antioxidant), Ferulic Acid (antioxidant), Beta-Glucan (skin-soothing), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant), Epigallocatechin Gallate (antioxidant), Ergothioneine (antioxidant), Glutathione (antioxidant), Xanthophylls (antioxidant), Glycine Soja Seed Extract (soybean extract/antioxidant), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract (bearberry extract/skin-soothing), Lupinus Albus Seed Extract (white lupin extract/antioxidant), Curcuma Longa Root Extract (turmeric extract/antioxidant), Elaeis Guineensis Oil (palm oil/emollient), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate

pails choice resist ultralight super antioxidant concentrate

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate serum.

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging without ferulic and vitamin E.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

2.5/4  A few reviews on 2-3 platforms in the 4 to 5 out of 5 range.

2/2 Well known highly reputable skin care brand known for good formulations.

Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Dimethicone (hydration), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Polysorbate 20 (texture-enhancing), Poly-11 (texture-enhancing), Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl, Dimethicone ( polymer), Hyaluronic Acid (hydration/skin replenishing), Resveratrol (antioxidant), Niacinamide (skin-restoring), Quercetin (antioxidant), Adenosine (skin-restoring), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate(vitamin C/antioxidant), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Phospholipids (hydration/skin replenishing), Ubiquinone (antioxidants), Epigallocatechin Gallate (antioxidants), Sea Whip Extract (skin-soothing), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Beta-Glucan (skin-soothing), Phytic Acid (stabilizer), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (texture-enhancing), Sodium Hydroxide (stabilizer), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-conditioning agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Serum

perricone md vitamin c ester

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate serum.

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging with ferulic and vitamin E.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

3/4  Reviews on more than 4 platforms in the 3.7 to 5 out of 5 range.

Have been using it for 3 months now. Hydrating, but very sticky. Also, haven’t noticed any improvements in skin appearance. Going back to Alienist. Ulta review

2/2 Well known highly reputable skin care brand.

Water/Aqua/Eau,Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Caprylyl Methicone, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Behenyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Squalane, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Ferulic Acid, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Beta-Glucan, Fragrance/Parfum, Sorbitol, Limonene, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Disodium EDTA, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Tocotrienols, Linalool, Tocopherol, Citral, Citronellol

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power Cx30 Vitamin C Serum

peter thomas roth camu camu cx30 vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Active vitamin C unknown.

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points for vitamin C (but active form isn’t indicated) in opaque packaging with vitamin E but no ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

2.5/4  Reviews on more than 4 platforms in the 2.4 to 4.5 out of 5 range.

This is the third time I’ve tried this product. I repurchase it every time it’s included in gift sets/value sets. And every time I retry it (applied twice a day), I remember why i didn’t like this product. It does nothing for me – unfortunately. The pump dispenser is crap. Each time I press the pump too much comes out, so you waste a ton of product, as you don’t need a lot (it is a serum, after all). The smell is…different. I want to say that it’s like orange based, but it’s not entirely unpleasant. makeupalley.com review

2/2 Well known highly reputable skin care brand.

Water, Myrciaria Dubia (Camu Camu) Fruit Extract, Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, Polysorbate 20, Cyclopentasiloxane, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Soluble Collagen, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Cholecalciferol, Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Pca, Laureth-7, Cyclohexasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Mica (CI 77019), Fragrance.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Pharmaca 100% Pure Vitamin C Serum

pharmaca 100% pure vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate serum.

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging with vitamin E but no ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1.0oz/30ml

0/4  There aren’t really any.

1/2 Not very well known but professional looking online presence. Looks like an online store with an in house brand.

Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Gel)*, Vitamin C (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Loofah Cylindrica (Vegetable Cellulose), Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Xanthan Gum, Pyrus Malus Fruit (Green Apple) Extract, Vitis Vinifera Fruit (Grape) Extract, Vitamin B5 (Panthenol), Superoxide Dismutase (Antioxidant), Alpha Lipoic Acid, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax Seed) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Canadian Salix Alba Bark (Willow Bark) Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana Water (Witch Hazel), Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin. * Certified Organic

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Poppy Austin Vitamin C Serum

poppy austin vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Sodium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging but no vitamin E or ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

2oz/60ml

2.5/4  Reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 3-4 out of 5 range. A lot of blogger love for this.

Overall – I’m quite pleased with the results of this product.  It works well with my current skin care regimen and I didn’t have any sensitive skin reactions. Honey Girl’s World

1/2 Reputable and professional looking brand just not very well known. Some social media engagement.

Aqua, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Witch Hazel, Hyaluronic Acid (Botanical), Dimethyl Sulfone (MSM), Organic Aloe, Glycerin (Kosher Vegetable), Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Gotu Kola, Horsetail, Dandelion, Wild Geranium, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Pure Body Naturals Vitamin C Serum

pure body naturals vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Sodium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging with vitamin E and ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

1/4  Reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 3-5 out of 5 range.

0/2 Not a lot of visibility outside of its sales channels. Low social engagement.

Deionized Aqua (Water), Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Cassia angustifolia Seed Polusaccharide (Plant Based Hyaluronic Acid), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Carbomer, Arginine, Ferulic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin, Organic Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola Extract), Organic Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail Plant Extract), Organic Pelagonium Gravoleons (Geranium Extract), Organic Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion Extract).

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Radha Beauty Vitamin C Serum

radha beauty vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% sodium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging with vitamin E but no ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

2oz/60ml

3/4  Reviews on 3-4 platforms in the 4-5 out of 5 range.

1.5/2 New beauty brand started by instagrammer @rebekahletch – plenty of transparency.

Organic Herbal Infusion, Aloe, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), MSM, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Witch Hazel, d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Amino Complex, Ferulic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Jojoba Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Raw Biology Organic Vitamin C Serum

raw biology organic vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% sodium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging with vitamin E and ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2.5/4  Reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 4-5 out of 5 range.

I didn’t see any change at all – I waited several weeks of consistent use before leaving a feedback. I purchased the trio – Liquid Face Lift – and saw no difference from what I was using before. It’s good – but it’s not better than any other product out there. Amazon verified purchase review

1/2 Just looks like an online shop – maybe a startup. Not a lot of visibility outside its sales channels.

Aqua (Water), Organic Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Hamamelis Virginiana Water (Witch Hazel), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Dimethyl Sulfone (MSM), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Organic Aloe), Ferulic Acid, Glycerin (Kosher, Vegetable), Simondsia Chinensis Oil (Organic Jojoba), Centella Asiatica Extract (Organic Gotu Kola), Equisetum Arvense Extract (Horsetail), Taraxacum Officinale Extract (Dandelion), Geranium Maculatum Extract (Wild Geranium), SD Alcohol 40B, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Revision Vitamin C Lotion 30%

revision vitamin c lotion 30%

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate serum

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque with vitamin E but no ferulic. Bonus feature: airless pump.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2.5/4  Reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 4-5 out of 5 range.

I am a 63 year old male who had a face lift about a year ago. My plastic surgeon’s office recommended this product for the maintenance of my face and for use around the eyes. I have been using this product for months and it has most certainly not only slowed the development of wrinkles around my eye, but has helped with maintaining a youthful appearance of the skin on my face. The 30% vitamin C solution is what makes all the difference. Some reading about vitamin and skin would be helpful to educate a potential user. I would heartily recommend this product. Amazon verified purchase review

1/2 Not a lot of visibility outside its sales channels.

Purified Water, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Glycerin, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Cornstarch Modified, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cyclopentasiloxane, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ubiquinone (CoEnzyme Q10), Glyceryl Caprylate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Squalane, Chlorphenesin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Triethanolamine, Butylene Glycol, Sorbic Acid.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Sanitas Skincare Vita C Serum

sanitas vita c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate serum

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging with vitamin E but no ferulic. Bonus feature: airless pump.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2.5/4  Reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 4-5 out of 5 range.

It’s a great product but for dry skin. My skin is oily combination and I had breakouts after a while using this oil. Amazon verified purchase review

1/2 Not a lot of visibility but available from a lot of different online retailers. They seem to have rebranded or redesigned their packaging.

Squalane, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Safflower Oil/Palm Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuau) Seed Butter, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D), Palm Alcohol, Lecithin, Phytosteryl Canolate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Serumtologie Vitamin C Serum 22

serumtologie vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

22% sodium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging with vitamin E (1%) and ferulic (1%).

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

3/4  Very good reviews numbering in the thousands on 1-2 platforms in the 4-5 out of 5 range. Some not so good reviews but when you click through to the site, they aren’t really reviews. Weird.

I’m 21 & just got out of using my acne treatment & now I’m left with acne scars. After I’ve done some research I decided to buy a vitamin C serum for its scar healing abilities. The anti aging stuff was also a plus because I’ve got some fine lines visible on my forehead. I saw the amazing reviews this serum had & I immediately purchased it. I definitely noticed the instanting plumping of my skin & how glowy it looked with using it, but nothing seemed to have affected my acne scars or my few fine lines. I’ve finished my bottle & I don’t feel the need to purchase it again, but I did love the revitalizing effects.The staff are absolutely lovely, they reply fast & talking with them about the product is quite pleasant. Amazon verified purchase review

1/2 Not well known but seems legit.

  • Deionized Aqua (Water) with an infusion of Organic Asiatica (Gotu Kola), Wildcrafted Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion), and Wildcrafted Geranium Maculatum (Wild Geranium), Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Carbomer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid (L-Arginine), Ferulic Acid, d-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Silk Naturals Super Serum

silk naturals super serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

3% magnesium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging no vitamin E or ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2/4  Just a few so so reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 3.5 out of 5 range.

1/2 Not well known but has a cult following.

Distilled Water, Niacinamide, Dimethyl Sulfone, Hydrolyzed Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin)Seedcake, Thermus Thermophilus Ferment (and) Glycerin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tamarind Seed Extract, Gluconoactone and Sodium Benzoate, Xanthin Gum, Green Tea, Panthenol.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Silk Naturals Mama’s Helper Serum

silk naturals mamas helper serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

5.5% magnesium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging no vitamin E or ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

1/4  Not very good reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 2.8 out of 5 range.

This serum would be so great if it wasn’t sooo drying. After use my was face so dry and tight. I tried using a moisturizer on top but it still wasn’t enough. My skin is dehydrated combo/oily in the summer months. makeupalley.com review

2/2 Not well known but has a big cult following.

Distilled water, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, Lactobacillus/Wasabia Japonica Root Ferment Extract , Hydrolyzed Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seedcake Extract, Water (and) Glycerin (and) Glycrrhiza glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Water, Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Thermus Thermophilus Ferment (and) Glycerin, Propanediol, Phospholipids, Ubiquinone, Gluconoactone and Sodium Benzoate, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Panthenol

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Silk Naturals Awesome Sauce Serum

silk naturals awesome sauce serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

3% magnesium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging no vitamin E or ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2.5/4  Just a few so so reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 3.5 to 4.5 out of 5 range. This has a big cult following. 

2/2 Not well known but has a cult following.

Distilled Water, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Capric Capryllic Triglycerides and Teprenone, Thermus Thermophilus Ferment (and) Glycerin, Lactobacillus/Wasabia Japonica Root Ferment Extract, Propanediol, Phospholipids, Ubiquinone, Gluconoactone and Sodium Benzoate, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Panthenol, Sea Bukthorn Berry Oil

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Silk Naturals Vitamin C Peptide Serum

silk naturals vitamin c peptide serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

3% magnesium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging no vitamin E or ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2/4  Just a few so so reviews on 1 platform 3.9 out of 5.

The best c I have ever used. Made my skin smooth and plump after about a couple of weeks and it was very gentle. I have very sensitive skin and this really worked for me. Fairly priced. makeupalley.com review

2/2 Not well known but has a cult following.

Distilled Water, Tamarind Seed Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, White Tea Extract, Hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate, Panthenol

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Silk Naturals Facelift Vitamin C, DMAE & Peptide Serum

silk naturals facelift serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

3% magnesium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging no vitamin E or ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

1.5/4  Just one review on makeupalley.com 5 out of 5.

Decided to give this serum a go and I have to say I really like it. Feels light on the skin and plays nicely with moisturizers and sunscreen. I’ve been using it for about 4 weeks now and no redness or irritation, in fact my Rosacea is under control so I will definitely keep this in my rotation. I’m using both am and pm for now. For reference my skin is mature/dry/sensitive w/mild Rosacea. makeupalley.com review

2/2 Not well known but has a cult following.

Distilled Water, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, DMAE, White Tea Extract, Propanediol, Hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate, Panthenol

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

SkinCeuticals Vitamin CE Ferulic Serum

skinceuticals vitamin ce serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

15% l-ascorbic acid serum

Formulation 4 out of 4 points for l-ascorbic acid in opaque packaging with vitamin E (1%) and ferulic (0.5%).

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol *

*Laureth-23 might be a fatty alcohol. Please comment if you know.

1oz/30ml

4/4  Reviews on 3-4 platforms in the 3.5 out of 5 to 5 out of 5 range range. But it has a big reputation, which makes up the rest of the points. It’s known as “the serum” in a lot of circles. It’s the serum all other serums are compared to and that everyone tries to copy.

I’ve heard it’s a great product, but you can find the same active ingredients in the Drunk Elephant c-firma serum, which is literally half the price. I’ve had great results with it – it’s helped with pigmentation as well as the fine lines on my forehead and under my eyes. reddit 

2/2 Reputable. Not well known but has a cult following.

aqua / water / eau, ethoxydiglycol, ascorbic acid, glycerin, propylene glycol, laureth-23, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, triethanolamine, ferulic acid, panthenol, sodium hyaluronate

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

SR Skincare Vitamin Serum

sr skincare vitamin c serum

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

10% l-ascorbic acid serum

Formulation 4 out of 4 points for l-ascorbic acid in opaque packaging with vitamin E and ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

1/4  Very few aggregate reviews on 1 platform but seems popular on r/skincareaddictionUK

I’ve been using this serum for about 7 weeks now but I think it’s still too soon to tell how effective this serum is as Vitamin C products may take up to six months for results to show. I like it in that it does seem “well formulated” (though this is not even an educated opinion, it just seems that way from my amateur point of view) and doesn’t seem to “go bad” or oxidise that quickly as a result. Most Vitamin C serums are clear and will turn orange (oxidisation) within weeks so you end up having to repurchase frequently. I believe I’m halfway through this bottle, though it’s difficult to tell because of the packaging, and I have another bottle waiting for me. While the consistency and colour is different to what I’m used to in a Vitamin C product, it does have that same slightly tingly sensation once it’s on my face. And it’s just so cheap that I don’t mind giving it the full 6 months before seeing the full results. r/skincareaddiction

1/2 Not a lot of visibility. Seems to be only known in skin care circles.

Water, L-ascorbic acid, Glycerine, Apricot Kernel Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol and Polysorbate 60, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Safflower Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Phenoxyethanol and Ethylhexyglycerine, Cetyl Esters, Vitamin E Acetate, Ferulic Acid, Orange Essential Oil (Citral, Linalool, Limonene)

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Timeless Skincare 20% Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum

timeless skincare vitamin C + E + ferulic

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% l-ascorbic acid serum

Formulation 4 out of 4 points for l-ascorbic acid in opaque packaging with vitamin E and ferulic.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

4/4  Reviews on more than 4 platforms in the 4 to 5 out of 5 range. Big cult following, lots of blogger love, and this serum is the unofficial SkinCeuticals dupe.

I am on my first bottle of Timeless, after being underwhelmed by OST and desiring the C+E+Ferulic combo that the too pricey patented brand has (and proven more effective than C alone) so I did some research, found Timeless, and decided to give it a shot. I am over 40 so this C serum seems like my best option so far. I love it. Already feeling seeing results, almost empty, another order soon. r/skincareaddiction

0.5/2 Big internet following for the c serum but the brand isn’t very well known outside of that.

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alpha Tocopherol, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

The Body Shop Vitamin C Facial Radiance CApsules

the body shop vitamin c radiance capsules

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

l-ascorbic acid serum

Formulation 3.5 out of 4 points for l-ascorbic acid in opaque packaging with vitamin E but no ferulic acid.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

28 capsules

1.5/4  Reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 3 to 4 out of 5 range.

It comes in little orange capsules which you twist open and squeeze out the product.I absolutely hate the smell but it blends easily and makes your skin feel really soft and smooth. Unfortunately it hasn’t made any difference to my skin. It was still dry with red patches and I couldn’t see or feel any improvement.I don’t recommend this product. It’s over-hyped and over-priced. makeupalley.com review

2/2 Very reputable and well known cosmetic company.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, Ascorbic Acid, Methyl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Limonene, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Maltodextrin, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Propyl Gallate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Linalool, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

the ordinary vitamin c suspension 23%

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

23% anhydrous l-ascorbic acid serum

Formulation 3 out of 4 points for l-ascorbic acid in opaque packaging but no vitamin E or ferulic acid.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

3.5/4  Reviews on 4-5 platforms in the 3.8 to 5 out of 5 range. Big cult following.

smooths out all the little bumps on my skin!!i had no idea what this was, the words were too complicated for me but i got it for the price and the rave reviews about the brand..i have super oily skin and blackhead pronethis helps. makeupalley.com review

2/2 Huge cult following.

Ascorbic Acid, Squalane, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Coconut Alkanes, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glucomannan, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Trihydroxystearin, BHT.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

The Ordinary Glucoside Solution 12%

the ordinary ascorbyl glucoside

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

12% ascorbyl glucoside serum

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging but no vitamin E or ferulic acid.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2/4  Reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 2 to 5 out of 5 range.

I’m a skincare junkie and had to try one of the Vitamin C products from Deciem’s The Ordinary line. This did literally nothing and I used it consistently for months. On the other hand, it didn’t ruin my face? I have other Vitamin C serum I prefer and will discard this and go back to them. Life’s too short for skincare products that don’t do anything. makeupalley.com review

2/2 Huge cult following.

Aqua (Water), Ascorbyl Glucoside, Propanediol, Triethanolamine, Aminomethyl Propanol, Isoceteth-20, Xanthan gum, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ethoxydiglycol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%

the ordinary magnesium ascorbyl phosphate 10%

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

10% magnesium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging but no vitamin E or ferulic acid.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2/4  Reviews on 1-2 platforms in the 3.3 to 5 out of 5 range.

I got this for use in my eye area specifically. It is non-irritating and moisturizing. I have been using it for over a month every night, and have noticed significant brightening. It is a good value for the price. makeupalley.com review

2/2 Huge cult following.

Aqua (Water), Coco Caprylate/Caprate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Dodecane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyglycerol-3 Diisostearate, Polyglycerol-3 Polyricinoleate, Glycerin, Hexamethyldisiloxane, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate 20% in Vitamin F 

the ordinary tetraisopalmitate 20%

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate serum

Formulation 2 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging but no vitamin E or ferulic acid.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

3/4  Reviews on 2-3 platforms in the 4 to 5 out of 5 range.

This is a great vitamin c serum, but I don’t find it as effective as their serum with 23 percent vitamin c and it’s more expensive. It makes my skin clear though. and it’s more easily absorbed than the other one. I also like that it contains vitamin f. However, it makes my combo skin really oily and it takes all night for my skin to fully absorb it. That’s fine as I only use it at night anyway. It hasn’t made my skin break out and I’ve had no allergic reactions to it. I can’t use it under makeup because of the oiliness, but that doesn’t bother me, as I use a different vitamin c serum under makeup. For those with sensitive skin, this is a lovely option and if you have dry skin, you’ll be able to wear it under makeup. I’ll stick to the other one though. makeupalley.com review

2/2 Huge cult following.

Coconut Alkanes, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ethyl Linoleate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Squalane.

 

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum

the ordinary tetraisopalmitate 20%

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

20% sodium ascorbyl phosphate serum

Formulation 2.5 out of 4 points for some form of vitamin C in opaque packaging with vitamin E but no ferulic acid.

Potential Irritants

synthetic fragrance

silicone

alcohol

natural fragrance

oil

fatty alcohol

1oz/30ml

2.5/4  Thousands of reviews on 1 platform in the 4.5 out of 5 range.

It really depends on the type of skin you have! My is strong but rather easily irrated . The first two weeks no improvement but some irritation. Then I start to listen to the instruction and used it twice a day filled by a good day or night cream and now I can see the improvement . So my experience is excellent with this product! Amazon

0/2 Not a lot of visibility outside it’s own channels. No social media presence.

Organic Deionized Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), Botanical Hyaluronic Acid (Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide), Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana), Vitamin E (d-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Kosher Vegetable Glycerol, Carbomer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Organic Gotu Kola, Wildcrafted Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), Wildcrafted Dandelion, Wildcrafted Organic Geranium, Organic Jojoba Oil (Organic Simmondsia Chinensis), Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerol.

Author

6 Comments

  1. Maren Sofie Strømme Reply

    What about the best retinol serum on the market ?
    And the best Glycolic acid?

    • Cristina Rosu Reply

      Hello Maren,

      I haven’t done comprehensive reviews on those products yet. Until I do I have a few favourites that I’ve found to be exceptionally good compared to similar products:

      – Neostrata Lotion Plus AHA: It comes in 10% and 15% glycolic acid. I’ve been using the 15% Step Up Level on face and body for over a year. It’s really effective and you get a lot of use out of one bottle. It might be a little strong for beginners in which case you may want to try the 10% or a much milder product like Neostrata Rapid Wrinkle Repair or Rapid Tone Repair.

      – The Ordinary The Advanced Retinoid 2% (now called the Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion) and the Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane. I’ve used both for a few months each. I personally prefer the 2% Emulsion because it seems to work just as well as the 5% in squalane but doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy.

  2. From the ewg.org website: Laureth-23 is a polyethylene glycol ether of Lauryl Alcohol (q.v.). Score 3. Overall hazard = low. Function(s): Surfactant – Cleansing Agent; Surfactant – Solubilizing Agent.

    Regarding NIOD Ethylated Ascorbic Acid (EAA) 30% – EAA is supposed to be more stable than AA, so maybe it doesn’t matter as much that it does not contain vitamin E or ferulic acid?

    I’ve been tempted to try VIDI Vitamin C Serum, Collagen Booster Skin Serum with Peptides, Vitamin C and E (Amazon). It’s got great reviews, but I have a few concerns. They use microencapsulated Ascorbyl Palmitate, so that will help to increase the sensitivity of the product, but they don’t state the percentage. Also, some potential irritants: Natural essential oils, Benzyl alcohol, silicones.

    Great article! Hope you continue to add more.

    • Cristina Rosu Reply

      Thanks Veronica!
      Re: NIOD – you’re right, the ferulic and vitamin E may not make a difference to formulations made with derivatives but my understanding from the study on that specific formulation (LAA, ferulic and vit E) is that those additions increase penetration, which to me is the big draw there.

      RE: The VIDI serum: I think you’re right to be hesitant. Reviews are a good sign but they don’t always tell the full story as I’m sure you know. I checked out the product page on Amazon, looked at their website, watched the promo video and checked out their Twitter. Personally this company doesn’t have the social proof I need at this point. I don’t know who’s running it. Twitter says it’s based in Australia but their website lists an address in Oregon, which incidentally has also appeared for me in another search of one of these Amazon based skin care manufacturers. I don’t trust this type of setup because I have no idea what sort of manufacturing facility they have, who they’re accountable to, and whether I can believe what they say. But the proof is in the pudding and there are good reviews so…if you do decide to try it let me know how it goes?

  3. wow! what a comprehensive presentation! i have tried a lot of vitamin c serum in the past… it is only Banish Vitamin Serum which works for me. i mainly use it on my scarring and pigmentation. it’s been 2 months since i started using it and their roller. i love seeing results. 🙂

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