2021's Top 5 Vitamin C Serums for Radiant, Glowing Skin

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Vitamin C Serum


A Quality Vitamin C Serum Can:

  • Reveal youthful, glowing skin
  • Soothe sensitive skin
  • Support a bright, hydrated-looking complexion
  • Reduce the look of UV-induced damage
  • Promote a smooth, even-toned complexion
  • Diminish visible signs of aging like wrinkles & fine lines

Vitamin C Serum Buying Guide

If you’re looking for dewy, glowing skin, you’re probably in the market for a Vitamin C facial serum.  We all know that Vitamin C does wonders for our overall health, but it is also a highly concentrated, topical skincare ingredient.

When it comes in the form of a serum, Vitamin C penetrates deeply into the skin to effectively brighten dark spots, promote an even skin tone, and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage.

But with so many brands trying to capitalize on this trend, there are bound to be subpar products with unproven effectiveness. If you're not careful, you could wind up with a low-quality Vitamin C formula that produces side-effects like redness, irritation, and even dry, flaking skin.

That's why we put together this guide to help show you what to look for and avoid when searching for a quality Vitamin C serum.

How to Choose the Right Vitamin C Serum

It's important to choose a serum with a combination of ingredients that work together with Vitamin C to help give you the bright, even-toned, glowing complexion we all dream of. Here’s what to look for and avoid in a Vitamin C serum:

Key Ingredients to Look for & Avoid in a Vitamin C Serum

  • Look For
  • Activated Vitamin C (THD Ascorbate)
  • Niacinamide
  • Bakuchiol
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Brightening Acids (Phytic, Lactic, Glycolic)
  • Avoid
  • Mineral Oil
  • Petroleum
  • Synthetic Dyes or Fragrances

Avoid Mineral Oils

Although mineral oil does have moisturizing properties, it's actually derived from petroleum, which can clog pores and cause breakouts. Because mineral oil prevents the skin from absorbing essential nutrients, we recommend steering clear of this cheap ingredient and opt for a serum with a high-quality formula instead.

What to Consider Before Buying a Vitamin C Serum

Finding a Vitamin C serum with all the right components is crucial, but for best results, look for a serum that can check both of the boxes below. 

Transparent List of Ingredients

Many Vitamin C serums only list a handful of their key ingredients. The ingredients on the label should match the ones on their website. If they're inconsistent, then it's likely that brand is trying to hide an ingredient they don't want you to know about.

Positive And Authentic Reviews 

Make sure to check with the ShopOwl algorithm before purchasing a product so you can get a clear understanding of what other customers liked and didn't like about it, and to help you make a more informed decision. 

01

Glow Serum
Sold by: Tru AlchemyTM

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96.8

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  • Quality RankA
  • Review RankA
  • Value RankA
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Quality Rank A

97/100

After our algorithm searched over 5,000 data points and analyzed 52 variables, Glow Serum by Tru Alchemy received a high score for its quality. 

Review Rank A

100/100

Our algorithm determined that although there are not many reviews yet, all of the reviews for this product are accurate.

Value Rank A

93.4/100

Considering these different variables, we determined that this product has a good purchase value. 

Marketplace Rating:
Adjusted Rating:

96.8

of 100

02

C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C & Turmeric Face Oil
Sold by: Sunday Riley

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94

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  • Quality RankA-
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Quality Rank A-

90/100

After our algorithm searched over 5,000 data points and analyzed 52 variables, C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C & Turmeric Face Oil by Sunday Riley received an A- grade for its quality.

Review Rank A 

100/100

Our algorithm marked 100% of the reviews as genuine and high-quality.

Value Rank A-

92/100

Considering the strong quality rank and review rank, our algorithm has determined that this product has an A- value rank. 

Marketplace Rating:
Adjusted Rating:

94

of 100

03

C E Ferulic®

Sold by: SkinCeuticals
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84.7

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  • Review RankC
  • Value RankB-
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Quality Rank A

97/100

After our algorithm searched over 5,000 data points and analyzed 52 variables, C E Ferulic® by SkinCeuticals received a high score for its quality. 

Review Rank C 

75.3/100

Our algorithm determined that 24.7% of reviews showed signs of being fraudulent. 

Value Rank B- 

82/100

Considering both the high-quality score and low review rank, we've determined that this product has a B- value rank.  

Marketplace Rating:
Adjusted Rating:

84.7

of 100

04

The Glow Maker

Sold by: Maelove
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83.9

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  • Quality RankA-
  • Review RankC+
  • Value RankB-
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Quality Rank A-

90/100

After our algorithm searched over 5,000 data points and analyzed 52 variables, The Glow Maker by Maelove received a high score for its quality. 

Review Rank C+ 

78.8/100

Our algorithm flagged 21.2% of the reviews for this product as being potentially fraudulent. 

Value Rank B- 

83/100

Considering the high-quality rank as well as the higher than average fraudulent reviews, our algorithm determined that this product's value score is a B-. 

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Adjusted Rating:

83.9

of 100

05

Illuminating Vitamin C Infusion

Sold by: Mila Moursi Paris
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82.2

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  • Quality RankB+
  • Review RankB-
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Quality Rank B+

89/100

After our algorithm searched over 5,000 data points and analyzed 52 variables, Illuminating Vitamin C Infusion by Mila Moursi Paris received an average grade of B+ for its quality.

Review Rank B- 

81.5/100

Our algorithm marked 18.5% of the reviews as potentially fraudulent.

Value Rank C 

76/100

Considering the average quality rank and the below-average review rank, our algorithm has determined that this product has a C value rank. 

Marketplace Rating:
Adjusted Rating:

82.2

of 100