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With diminishing returns of collagen production, an increase in skin dryness, and the growing appearance of melasma and dark spots as you age, daily intake of Vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, pomegranate, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, papaya, watermelon, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts are beneficial in combating these concerns internally.


Externally, topical application of Vitamin C and Vitamin C derivatives translates to an antioxidant that guards against environmental skin stressors like UV light, a collagen booster, and a skin brightener.


Best applied during the day, sunscreen is a must after any C application.


Here's the break down.

Ascorbic Acid, L-Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin C


The purest form of Vitamin C. Water-soluble. May irritate skin not acclimated. Some formulas are encapsulated (better for darker skin tones). Typically unstable and oxidizes quickly (a few months). 

What Works

BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner 20%

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum 10%

L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% 

Marie Veronique Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Serum

Skin Authority Super-C Serum

SkinCeuticals C E FERULIC® 15%

Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum

Vitamin C MAP Skincare


A Vitamin C derivative. Better for sensitive skin types and darker skin tones. More stable than the pure form–not as penetrating. Does not oxidize as quickly. Not as irritating in a lower concentration.

What Works

Dermalogica BioLumin-C Serum 

Glossier. Super Glow vitamin c + magnesium serum

The Ordinary. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%

Elegant blonde beautiful middle aged lad


A Vitamin C derivative. Penetrating and generally non-irritating. Stable and does not oxidize like Ascorbic Acid. This compound is also lipid-soluble, highly stable and generally non-irritating for the skin. Up to 10% is better for darker skin tones.

What Works

Dr. Loretta Anti-Aging Repair Serum 

Glytone Age-Defying Vitamin C&E Serum

Renee Rouleau Vitamin C&E Treatment

ROSE Ingleton MD Complexion Brightening Booster

Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum 

Beauty in Black


A Vitamin C derivative. Great antioxidant and skin brightener. More stable than Ascorbic Acid and does not oxidize as quickly. More gentle than the pure form.

What Works

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum

OLAY Regenerist Brightening + Vitamin C

We do not guarantee the suitability of any product recommendations or any product references on this page and this website. Any reliance on the curated recommendations, reviews, or references are solely done by the visitor of this website, and visitors are accountable for their own actions. Always read labels and ingredients lists for potential allergic reactions. Always seek the advice from a health provider and/or licensed professional with any skin care concerns.

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