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.

Contents

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

2.5 

3.5 

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 Points

1 Point

2 Points

3 Points

4 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 Points

1 Point

2 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

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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

Andalou Naturals Turmeric + C Enlighten Serum

andalou naturals turmeric + c enlighten serum
  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

ArtNaturals Vitamin C Serum

artnaturals vitamin c serum
  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

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

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

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

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

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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • Formulation
  • Reviews
  • Brand Reputability
  • Ingredients

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

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

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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

LAA 

derivative

$$$$$$

cult fav

natural

cruelty free

  • 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

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

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