13 Best Vitamin C Serums For Skin Brightening & Anti-aging Benefits

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If you’re a lover of skincare products, then I guess you must have heard of vitamin C serums. Vitamin C has been one of the most recognized and topically used skincare ingredient for years.

It has proven to be one of the best anti-aging and skin glowing vitamin. So, if you’re seeking for the best vitamin C serums for skin glowing and anti-aging benefits, then you’re definitely on the right page.

What Is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C popular known as L’ ascorbic acid and ascorbate is a very important vitamin found in various foods.
It is an essential vitamin, meaning it can’t be produced by the body. Nevertheless, it has many roles in your body and has been linked to impressive health benefits.

Vitamin C is a very potent and effective anti-aging vitamin. When used topically on the skin, it fights skin aging signs such as wrinkles, and fine lines, boosts collagen production and also even out skintone, making it look more toned and brighter. The best way to enjoy vitamin C benefits is to use a well formulated vitamin C serum or products.
Infact, vitamin C serum is a must have in every skincare routine.

How Is Vitamin C Derived?

Vitamin C is derived from fruits (especially citrus fruits), example: orange, which has about 100 – 150 mg of vitamin C which makes it one of the rich source of vitamin C.

How Does Vitamin C Work?

In the world of Vitamins, Vitamin C remains one of the most important and essential Vitamin to the body. Vitamin C, works as an antioxidant that reduces damage due to ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure, such as hyperpigmentation, aging, and sunburn, when used in combination with sunscreen and a moisturizer.

When vitamin C is topically applied on the skin, it inhibits an enzyme that makes the skin pigment, melanin. As a result, it can brighten and even out skin tone, which may be helpful for hyperpigmentation disorders such as melasma, dark patches, and dark spots.

Forms of Vitamin C

It’s interesting to let you know that, vitamin C comes in different forms. I know we all are very familiar with “L-acorbic acid” as a form of vitamin C. But there are other forms of vitamin C too.

  •  L-ascorbic acid: This is the most potent form of vitamin C, popularly used in so many Skincare products. The problem is it’s less stable which means it can easily go bad or degrade, especially when exposed to direct sunlight, heat and air or when it stays for a very long time on the shelf. L-ascorbic acid can also cause some minimal irritation to sensitive skins because of its acidic nature, so it’s advised to do a patch test before using L-ascorbic acid form of vitamin C.
  •  Ascorbyle Palmitate: This is a form of vitamin C that is more stable compared to L-ascorbic acid. This form of vitamin C is mostly used in oil based skincare products, but not very potent like L-ascorbic acid, but does the job by fighting aging signs, free radicals, fine lines hyperpigmentation and repairs damaged skin.
  • Ascorbic Glucosamine: A form of Vitamin C which is water – soluble and it’s mostly used for its skin brightening and antioxidant properties.
  •  Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: This is a Fat – soluble form of Vitamin C, meaning it can dissolve in fats or oils. It’s more stable than other forms of Vitamin C.
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: This is a non-exfoliating, water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C, meaning it remains stable and does not degrade over time.
  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate: This is the most stable and water-soluble form of Vitamin C, which is very gentle and mild on the skin, causes no irritations, it converts to ascorbic acid when it’s absorbed into the skin. This form of vitamin C is very effective and very potent in combating age spots, fine lines, free radicals because of it’s richness in antioxidant. It also brightens the skin, making it glow, shine and youthful.

Vitamin C serum benefits.

  • Reduces wrinkles.
  • Protects collagen and increases production.
  • Aids wound healing.
  • Helps protect against sun damage.
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation.
  • Evens skin tone.
  • Brightens complexion.
  • Acts like armor against pollution and other free radicals.

How to Choose a Vitamin C Serum.

Before Purchasing or choosing a vitamin C serum, there are some certain factors or things you have to look out for.

Not all vitamin C serums are equal, some have higher percentage while some lower. Some are expensive while some are slightly inexpensive. But we all want the very best for our skin. Therefore we’re going to detail out things you should look out for while choosing a vitamin C serum to ensure you choose right.

1. What Form? : Like we have explained above, vitamin C comes in different forms. Skincare scientist and dermatologists has done their very best to produce more stabilized form of vitamin C such as (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate).

Choosing the form of vitamin C is the most important factor to look out for before purchasing your vitamin C serum. Individually, we know our skin better than anyone else. So, if you have a super sensitive skin then L-ascorbic acid form of vitamin C may not be suitable for your skin, (unless you go for lower percentage) as they can irritate a sensitive skin type. However many vitamin C serums which contains L- ascorbic are super moisturizing, as they are formulated together with skin moisturizing and hydrating ingredients, such as; aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and fluric acid, vitamin E, jojoba oil, and other moisturizing ingredients which keeps the skin well hydrated while vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) does its job.

However if you still think L-ascorbic acid form of vitamin C may irritate your sensitive skin, then we recommend you should opt for vitamin C serums with other forms of vitamin C such as Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, these forms of vitamin C are also potent just like L-ascorbic acid, and has proven to be more mild and gentle on the skin.

Other forms of vitamin are decent too, as they are effective in fighting skin radicals and aging signs. But if you think L- ascorbic acid won’t irritate your skin, then you can use it, as we recommend it too. L-acorbic acid is a widely used form of vitamin C, as it’s very potent and effective. Its only downside is being unstable and may irritate sensitive skin. We also recommend you should do a patch test before putting L-ascorbic acid vitamin C serum on your face irrrepective whether you have a sensitive skin or not.

2. Concentration: It’s important to choose the right percentage of vitamin C serum. Infact when it comes to vitamin C serum and other vitamin C products, the percentage really matters as it determines the overall potency and effectiveness of the serum.
We recommend choosing vitamin C serums with the percentage between 10 to 20.

10% vitamin C serum should be the minimum while 20% should be the maximum as going below 10% may not render adequate results, and going higer than 20% could lead to irritation, it doesn’t increase its benefits.
When choosing vitamin C serum we recommend these percentages below:

  • 10% (minimum).
  • 15% (Average).
  • 20% (maximum).

3. Other Ingredients: Vitamin C works great and even more effectively with other ingredients, such as: Retinol, Vitamin E, Hyaluronic acid, Aleo vera, Ferulic, Stem, Peptides, These goodies in combination with vitamin C will give you a better and more effective treatment.

At a glance, we recommend vitamin C serums with Vitamin E and ferulic acid Vitamin E stabilizes vitamin C for maximum skin protection. Another antioxidant called glutathione also is a good pal to vitamin C.

Ferlulic acid, which helps lower the pH level of vitamin C to below 3.5 percent so your skin can easily slurp up the cocktail.

When choosing a vitamin C serum you can as well check for hyaluronic acid, this skin hydrating ingredient keeps your skin well moisturized, preventing your skin from drying out. Infact hyaluronic acid is an anti-aging treatment too, as it reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It works perfectly well with vitamin C to offer the skin the best anti-aging treatment.

4. Texture: Some vitamin C serums comes in light fluid texture, while some comes in a creamy texture. It all depends on personal preference. If you’re an individual with dry skin, we recommend vitamin C serums with creamy texture, which has a combination of hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid, and other super hydrating ingredients. Individuals with oily skin can opt for light fluid vitamin C serums.

5. Check the Colour: A fresh and potent vitamin C serum is as clear as water. If you should open up your vitamin C serum and the liquid is dark yellow or brown in colour it means it has oxidized and lost its potency. Please discharge it, and don’t use it on your skin.

6. Packaging: A good vitamin C serum must come in a tinted or dark glass bottle with airtight packaging with medicine dropper delivery, rather than an air pump. This is to protect it from the exposure to sunlight, heat and air, as this can degrade your serum. Don’t choose or purchase any vitamin C serum that comes in transparent glass bottle.

7. Price: Price is not a determinant factor to a quality vitamin C serum. Infact only factors like concentration and formulation determine a vitamin C serum’s quality. However a well formulated vitamin C serum my be expensive as nothing good comes easy. You can find a well formulated vitamin C with a good concentration at a decent price. Where as you can find a self claimed “quality” vitamin C serum at an expensive price but it’s absolutely mediocre.

We advise you should go for what you can afford. As expensive skincare products doesn’t really determines quality. There are many choices in the market, new brands comes out everyday, with discounts and promotions, surely you can get a quality vitamin C serum that will fit your budget.

Note: Although vitamin C serum are formulated with skin moisturizing ingredients. But we advice that every vitamin C serum should always be used in conjunction with a high quality moisturizer. This is to minimize the possible occurrence of skin irritation especially for individuals sensitive skin.

Having read everything you need to know about vitamin C serums, it’s time to see the 13 best vitamin C serums in the market for a skin glowing and anti-aging benefits.

1. TruSkin 20% Vitamin C Serum – Best Overall.

Truskin 20% vitamin C serum

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Truskin 20% vitamin C serum is one of the top rated and best vitamin C serums in the market. This well formulated vitamin C combines 20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate form of vitamin C, (which is know to be more stable), with vitamin E, aleo vera, MSM, witch hazel, jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid and other plant extracts, to get rid of skin aging signs such as; fine lines, wrinkles, dark aging spots. While it enhances the overall well being of the skin by brightening, firming and glowing the skin.

Pros

  • Brightens skin.
  • Fights skin aging signs.
  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.
  • Free of synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers.

Cons

  • None.

2. Radha Beauty 20% Vitamin C Serum – Best For Super-Sensitive Skin.

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This is a vitamin C serum with class. Radha beauty 20% vitamin C serum has gained the trust and love from so many users. This serums has high positive ratings on Amazon, and rated as one of the best vitamin C serums in the industry.
Radha beauty 20% vitamin C serum, combines 20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate form of vitamin C together with Aloe vera, Hyaluronic acid, MSM, vitamin E and other plant extract to give your skin the treatment it deserves by fighting skin aging signs reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, brightening and firming your skin.

Pros

  • Gentle enough for sensitive skin.
  • Does not contain alcohol, sulfates, PABAs, or parabens.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Fights skin aging signs.
  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.

Cons

  • None.

3. Skin Ceuticals C E Ferulic – Best For Deep-Hyperpigmentation.

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A potent and effective vitamin C serum, well formulated with 15% L-ascorbic acid vitamin E and ferulic acid to stabilize the serum. This is one of the top selling vitamin C serums with lots of recommendations from dermatologists, due to it’s careful formulation and great combination. Skin Ceuticals C E Ferulic serum is packed with L-ascorbic acid (15%), vitamin E, and ferulic to deliver full antioxidant, anti-aging and skin brightening benefits your skin deserves.

Pros

  • Comes in tinted or dark bottle.
  • Contains 15% L, ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
  • Fights skin aging signs.
  • Comes with a dropper.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • May not be suitable for sensitive skin.

4. OZNaturals 20% Vitamin C Serum – Best For Dry Skin.

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When you’re making a list of one of the quality and well formulated vitamin C serums never exclude OZNaturals 20% vitamin C serum.
This 20% vitamin C serum with Hyaluronic acid combines the highest quality of Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) and Hyaluronic acid to create a potent antioxidant that goes on smoothly and helps protect and brighten your skin throughout the day. This incredible anti-aging skin care formula fights against lines and wrinkles to provide the youthful glow you’ve been looking for.

Pros

  • Brightens the skin.
  • Fights skin aging signs.
  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.
  • Free of synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers.

Cons

  • None.

5. Tree of Life 20% Vitamin C Serum – Best For super-Dry Skin.

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Have a super dry skin? Then we recommend tree of life vitamin C serum which is one of the best vitamin C serums in the market. The good news is, it’s budget friendly!🙂. This thick, rich, moisturizing vitamin C serum with 20% potent and stable vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) and other “super” skincare ingredients delivers full antioxidant protection while help reduce the look and feel of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, brightens and improves skin texture. We recommend this vitamin C for individuals with dry skin, as it’s super moisturizing and hydrating.

Pros

  • Super moisturizing.
  • Brightens the skin.
  • Fights skin aging signs.
  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.
  • Free of synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers.

Cons

  • None.

6. Amara Beauty 20% Vitamin C Serum – Best Organic Formula.

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Amara Beauty Vitamin C serum does the magic when it comes to lightening the skin, fighting skin aging signs such as wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. This powerful and well formulated potent and effective vitamin C serum combines 20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (vitamin C), aleo vera, Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, witch hazel, MSM, jojoba oil and other plant extracts to give your skin the full treatment it deserves, such as; fighting all kinds of skin aging signs, brighten and improves your skintone, reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and keep the skin hydrated.

Pros

  • Brightens the skin.
    Fights skin aging signs.
  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.
  • Free of synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers.

Cons

  • None.

7. Eva Naturals 20% Vitamin C Serum – Best For Acne Prone Skin.

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If you’re seeking for a vitamin C serum with retinol (an anti-aging and acne ingredient), Then we recommend Eva naturals vitamin C serum. This serum is the real deal, as it combines 20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (vitamin C) 2% Retinol, 3.5% niacinamide, 5% hyaluronic acid, 2% salicylic acid, 10% MSM, aleo vera and other plant extracts, to fight all kinds of skin aging signs, brightens and evens skin tone and improve the overall skin texture.

We recommend this vitamin C serum for individuals with acne (pimples) prone skin, as it’s very effective in getting rid of acne because if it’s retinol content. Although this vitamin C serum contains retinol, but it also moisturizes and hydrates the skin, however due to it’s 2% retinol content you may experience a minor irritation such as redness while using this serum. But not to worry, that’s retinol doing it’s work, to minimize possible irritations, we recommend you use this serum along side a good moisturizer.

Pros

  • Fights Acne (pimples).
  • Brightens the skin.
  • Fights skin aging signs.
  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.
  • Free of synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers.

Cons

  • Individuals with super sensitive skin may experience slight irritations. (Because of retinol). But that’s retinol doing it’s job. Use alongside a moisturizer to minimize possible irritations.

8. TruSkin Vitamin C-Plus Super Serum – Best Anti-Aging Formula.

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Truskin vitamin C-plus super serum is another potent, well formulated and effective vitamin C serum with retinol. This serum offers it’s manifest anti-aging result with the combination of 20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, (vitamin C), 2.5% retinol, 3.5% niacinamide, 5.0% hyaluronic acid, aleo vera and other plants. This serum is precision-designed to revitalize aging skin, providing the key nutrients needed to restore skin to its beautiful, youthful and glowing appearance. We also recommend this vitamin C serum for those with acne prone skin.

Pros

  • Fights Acne (pimples).
  • Brightens the skin.
  • Fights skin aging signs.
  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.
  • Free of synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers

Cons

  • Individuals with super sensitive skin may experience slight irritations. (Because of retinol). But that’s retinol doing its job. Use alongside a moisturizer to minimize possible irritations.

9.Obagi Medical Professional-C Serum – Best Drug Store.

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A quality brand of vitamin C with so many goodies. Obagi medical professional-C serum with 20% L-ascorbic Acid (vitamin C), provides effective antioxidant protection from UV damage as it brightens away hyperpigmentation and encourages the growth of collagen and elastin fibers, with hyaluronic acid which binds moisture to your skin to prevent dryness. This vitamin C serum is best suited for normal to oily skin. Uniquely formulated to help reduce the appearance of skin aging and leave skin feeling silky soft, plumped with a healthy glow.

Pros

  • Suitable for normal to oily skin
  • Brightens the skin.
    Fights skin aging signs.
  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.
  • Free of synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers.

Cons

  • May not be suitable for super sensitive skin (we recommend you use this serum along side a super hydrating moisturizer, Eg: hyaluronic acid serum)

10. Mad Hippie 10% Vitamin C Serum – Best For Senstive Skin.

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Mad Hippie vitamin C serum users can testify the goodness of this serum. This well formulated, potent and effective serum combines 10% Sodium Ascorbyl Phospate (Vitamin C), hyaluronic acid, Konjac Root, Ferulic Acid, and vitamin C to deliver the best anti-aging benefits your skin deserves. This potent vitamin c serum helps reduce the appearance of discoloration, and enhances your skintone with a beautiful glow.

Pros

  • Brightens the skin.
  • Fights skin aging signs.
  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.
  • Free of synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers.

Cons

  • None.

11. SeoulCeuticals day glow 20% vitamin C serum – Best For Combination Skin.

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A well formulated moisturizing vitamin C serum which offers nothing but absolute effective result with the combination of 20% Sodium Ascorbyl phosphate (Vitamin C), plant based hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, aloe vera, and other potent plant extracts goodies to deliver the best anti-aging benefits your skin deserves. This serum has proven to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines & crows feet, fade sun spots and is guaranteed to provide you with a brighter more youthful complexion.

Pros

  • Brightens the skin.
  • Fights skin aging signs.
  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.
  • Free of synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers.

Cons

  • None

12. GoRadiance 20% Vitamin C Serum – Best For Normal Skin.

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A very budget friendly, yet very effective, potent and well formulated vitamin C serum. Go radiance vitamin C serum gives you more for your money. This serum is packed with 20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (vitamin C), 5% pure hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and other organic ingredients and natural antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. When applied on the skin, it directly tackles fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, hyper-pigmentation and sun damage. It stimulates collagen production, plumps up the skin, giving you a beautiful complexion with a radiant glow. This vitamin C serum is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, dry, oily and breakout prone skin.

Pros

  • More budget friendly.
  • Brightens the skin.
  • Fights skin aging signs.
  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.
  • Free of synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers.

Cons

  • None.

13. Ebanel 20% Vitamin C – Best Budget.

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One of the best vitamin C serums in the market, suitable for acne prone Skin. Ebanel Vitamin C serum combines 20% L-ascorbic acid together with retinol, vitamin E, and ferulic acid to combat signs of skin aging. This fast absorbing vitamin C serum helps to fade dark spots and defends skin against photodamage it also helps to minimize freckles and excess pigmentation, boost collagen and elastin reproduction and improves macular degeneration.

Pros

  • Contains 20% vitamin C.
  • Help to fight free radical damage.
  • Help to brightens skin.
  • Help to fade dark spots and pigmentations.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Contains active plant based ingredients.
  • Comes in a dark or tinted glass bottle.
  • Comes with a dropper.
  • Free of synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers.

Cons

  • None.

Note: Although these vitamin C serums contains skin moisturizing ingredients to keep the skin well hydrated, but we still recommend you should use these vitamin C serums in conjunction with skin moisturizers to prevent possible skin irritation and skin drying. It’s interesting to let you know that vitamin C works great with retinol to deliver even more effective skin glowing, smoothening, firming and anti-aging benefits. You can use vitamin C serum in combination with retinol face cream. We also advise you should apply a sunscreen lotion while using vitamin C serums to protect your skin from the UV rays of the sun.

Possible Questions and Answers.

Q: Can individuals with Sensitive skin use these vitamin C serums?

A: Yes, they can. The vitamin C serums reviewed in this article are carefully formulated with skin hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, Aloe vera, vitamin E, to prevent dryness and moisturize the skin while vitamin C does its job. However, we recommend you use these vitamin C serums alongside a moisturizer to prevent any possible occurrence of irritations. We recommend an hyaluronic acid serum or aleo vera gel. Also if you have an extreme-sensitive skin you should avoid L-acorbic acid, or do a patch test before using.

Q: Can I use vitamin C serum at day?

A: Yes, you can. However we advice you apply a sunscreen over your vitamin C serum before stepping outside.

Q: Can kids use vitamin C serum?

A: Vitamin C serum is an essential vitamin, which is very beneficial to everyone. Kids from 10 years upwards can use vitamin C serum but only “Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate” form of vitamin C and it should be 10%. This is to avoid any possible occurrence of irritations as Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a more mild and gentle form of vitamin C which can perfectly suit a sensitive skin.

Q: What colour should my vitamin C serum take?

A: A fresh and pure vitamin C serum which is 100% free from synthetic color additives, fragrance, and stabilizers, comes in a perfect clear colour (as clear as water). If your vitamin C serum should take an orange, yellow or brown colour, please discharge it, as it has oxidized or degraded.

Q: What’s vitamin C serum shelf life?

A: For some vitamin C serum its expiring date is written on the label. However a well formulated and stabilized vitamin C serum should last for 3 months. Although the exact amount of time will vary between brands.

Q: Can pregnant women use vitamin C serums?

A: Vitamin C-based products (unlike vitamin A-derived retinols) are safe to use during pregnancy. “If you have dark spots, instead of using hydroquinone, a high strengths of vitamin C are very effective,” says Dr. Lily Talakoub, a dermatologist in McLean, Virginia and  affiliated with Virginia Hospital Center . Avoid using retinol products during pregnancy as some forms of retinol have been linked to birth defects.
Note: Vitamin C products are safe to use during pregnancy. A vitamin C serum containing retinol shouldn’t be used if you’re pregnant.

Q: How should I properly store my vitamin C serum?

A: Store your vitamin C serum in a cool dry and dark place, keep away from heat or direct sunlight as these can degrade your serum. You can as well store vitamin C serum in your refrigerator to keep it fresh.
Note: Be careful not to freeze your serum.

UP NEXT: 10 Best Vitamin C Face creams for Skin Brightening & Anti-aging benefits.

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