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From hyaluronic acid to peptide-infused serums, there are plenty of serums to pick from the shelves of beauty stores and drugstores. If you only have room for one in your routine, however, let it be a vitamin C serum.

For the uninitiated, vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant that brightens your complexion by blocking the creation of excess pigment.

On top of that, it delays visible signs of ageing by stimulating collagen and protects your skin by neutralising free radicals from environmental aggressors. The result? Radiant, glowing skin that’s smooth and flawless.

Ready to invest in better skin? Ahead, we’ll tell you what to look out for in a vitamin C serum and the best ones that deserve your full attention.

What to Look for in a Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C Serum What To Look For

There are several forms of vitamin C, but not all are created equal. When you’re shopping around for a new vitamin C serum, remember to check the serum’s label for L-ascorbic acid, which is considered to be one of the best forms of vitamin C for the skin.

Better yet, go for tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which is a stable, oil-soluble form of vitamin C (and not a species of dinosaur).

If you can’t find those two in the ingredients list, you can also look for these useful forms of vitamin C:

  • Ascorbic acid
  • Ascorbic acid sulfate
  • Ascorbyl 6 palmitate
  • Ascorbyl glucoside
  • Disodium isostearyl 2-0 L-ascorbyl phosphate (VCP-IS-Na)
  • Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate
  • Sodium ascorbyl phosphate

Vitamin C is notoriously unstable, especially when it’s exposed to air and light, so it’s best to pick a formula that comes in an airtight pump, opaque, or amber glass bottle. To extend its shelf life, remember to store it in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight.

Now, you may associate vitamin C with a bright orange colour, but that doesn’t apply to vitamin C serums. Active vitamin C solutions should be almost colourless or bear a champagne tint.

In some cases, however, other ingredients may be whisked in, which can sometimes darken the colour of the vitamin C serum. So even though it looks yellow or orange, it can still contain active vitamin C.

To help you cut through the clutter and make it a little less overwhelming for you, we’ve picked out the best vitamin C serums on the market. These are suitable for a wide range of skin types and there’s one to fit every budget.

Best Vitamin C Serums to Brighten Your Skin