Doctor, which is the best dermatologist recommended Vitamin C serum?”

Research shows that L-ascorbic acid is the best form for Vitamin C. It reduces fine wrinkles, rough skin, pigmentation, laxity, sallowness and improves the overall texture and feel of your skin over a period of 3 months. There is no doubt that Vitamin C serum is definitely worth including in your skincare regime after the age of 25 years, but there is no point using a serum that does not has science to back up its efficacy.

As a dermatologist, I have prescribed Vitamin C serum for past 15 years and have seen wonder results. Dermatologist recommended brands cost higher but they are worth every penny.

Dermatocare team researched ingredient list of Vitamin C serum available in India and United States. scroll further to know the best dermatologist recommended serum that has science to back up its efficacy.

First, let us first understand the benefits of vitamin C for skin.

Benefit of Vitamin C on the skin

Yes, numerous studies prove that

Vitamin C serum reduces fine wrinkles, rough skin, pigmentation, laxity, sallowness and improves overall texture and feel of your skin in an average of 3 months duration.

I have cited few of the studies for your reference below:

  • Ten patients experienced visible and microscopic improvement in wrinkles, dark spots and hydration after using  Vitamin C (in form of 10% ascorbic acid and 7% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) in gel base for 12 weeks.
  • In another 3 month study using Cellex-C serum, there was a significant improvement in fine wrinkling, tactile roughness, coarse rhytids, skin laxity/tone, sallowness/yellowing, and overall features(2).
  • 23.8% L-ascorbic acid showed a significant reduction in dyspigmentation, surface roughness, and fine lines on the treated side(3).
  • Ascorbic acid was shown to be better than sodium ascorbyl-2-phosphate in reducing pigmentation and wrinkling of skin(5).
  • In fact, various studies that validate the role of Vitamin C alone in reducing skin ageing primarily fine wrinkles, rough skin, laxity and dark spots. (6) (7), (8), (9)

How to use Vitamin C serum?

Vitamin C does not react with sunlight, therefore can be used in morning or night. I usually prescribe glycolic acid or retinoids at night, and pair it up with Vitamin C in morning.

Vitamin C(ascorbic acid) starts producing results after 4 weeks of application(6). It should be continued for 3 months. I have personally used dermatologist recommended Vitamin C serum for past 15 years in my morning regime, and it has kept its promise. (PS: Botox for the forehead wrinkles is the only cosmetic procedure taken by me so far)

Types of Vitamin C

L Ascorbic acid

Most studies show that L-Ascorbic acid is the most potent form of Vitamin C. However, L-Ascorbic degrades very fast in contact with air or UV light visible as yellow discolouration of serum. Therefore, to ensure the effectiveness of Ascorbic acid, it should be packed in air-tight pump packing or capsules at the ph of 3.5. The combination of 15% L-ascorbic, 1% Vitamin E and 0.5% ferulic acid is 8 times potent than L ascorbic acid alone.

Ethyl Ascorbic acid

It is a stable form of L-Ascorbic acid, that can be formulated more easily and does not oxidises easily. It is 85% as potent as L ascorbic acid.

Magnesium/sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

It is stable water soluble compound form vitamin C derivative. It is less potent than above 2 forms, but worth trying for sensitive skin types.

Best Dermatologist Recommended Vitamin C Serum In India

The Derma Co 10% Vitamin C Serum

AVAILABLE AT: Amazon.in

(BEST BUY FOR FOR SENSITIVE SKIN)

Pros:

  • Has 10 % 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid.
  • Has Ferulic acid is a potent antioxidant that enhances the action of the product along with the anti-ageing action.
  • Has 5% Niacinamide, an active form of Vitamin B3 that reduces acne marks & scars.
  • Hyaluronic Acid provides long-lasting hydration to improve the look of skin texture, keeping the skin supple & hydrated.
  • Can be tried by sensitive skin prone to acne breakouts, if their skin is calm.

Cons

  • Comes in a dropper bottle that exposes the product to air

RECOMMENDED FOR: Oily to combination sensitive skin prone to acne

 

Minimalist 10% Vitamin C Serum

AVAILABLE AT: Amazon.in

Pros:

  • Has 10% Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, a stable form of Vitamin C, with 85% as potent as L-Ascorbic acid
  • Formulated at pH 3.9 – 4.9 formulated with high-grade COS-VCE (Ethyl Ascorbic Acid) by CosMol Korea, a leading global supplier.
  • This serum is fragrance-free, silicones-free, sulfates-free.

Cons:

  • No other active ingredients
  • Comes in a dropper bottle that exposes the product to air.
  • Should be tried with caution on sensitive skin.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Oily to combination skin prone to sensitivity breakout, but should be used only if the skin is calm.

 

The Derma Co 20% Vitamin C Face SerumAVAILABLE AT: Amazon.in

Pros:

  • Has 20 % 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid.
  • Has Ferulic acid is a potent antioxidant that enhances the action of the product along with the anti-ageing action.
  • Hyaluronic Acid provides long-lasting hydration to improve the look of skin texture, keeping the skin supple & hydrated.

Cons

  • Comes in a dropper bottle that exposes the product to air
  • Should be tried with caution on sensitive skin.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Oily to combination skin prone to acne

 

StBotanica Vitamin C 20% Face Serum

BUY ON AMAZON.IN

(BEST BUY FOR FOR AGEING SKIN )

StBotanica Vitamin C 20% Face Serum has has 20% Ethyl Ascorbic Acid along with advantage of Hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C packed in a air tight opaque pump bottle.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Combination skin type with definite signs of ageing.

 

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% Brightening Serum

AVAILABLE AT: Amazon.in

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% Brightening Serum has 12 % Ascorbyl glucoside, a stable form of Vitamin C. While being from reputed company it has disadvantage of dropper bottle that exposes the product to air.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Oily to combination skin prone to sensitivity breakout, but should be used only if the skin is calm.

 

Glimpse Vitamin C Serum

BUY ON AMAZON.IN

(POCKET FRIENDLY HIDDEN GEM )

Glimpse Vitamin C Serum  has 20% Vitamin C along with Vitamin E and Ferulic acid. A combination that is 8 times more potent than Vitamin C alone. In addition, Glimpse serum has Ceramides, Mandarin orange extract, and Olive squalene that is pocket friendly price. The only down side is dropper packing.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Dry to combination skin with pigmentation and ageing. Can be tried by sensitive skin as well with caution.

VCX serum

AVAILABLE AT: Amazon.in

VCX comes third on the list of dermatologist recommended Vitamin C serum in India because it comes in dropper bottle, otherwise the products has best composition and might suit sensitive skin type as well.

Pros:

    • Has the most potent form of L-Ascorbic acid in a concentration of 15% along with Vitamin E and Ferulic acid. This combination is 8 times more potent than L ascorbic acid alone.
    • Has Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant and skin-repairing action.
    • Has Ferulic acid is a potent antioxidant that enhances the action of the product along with the anti-ageing action.
    • Has Arganyl™ PW LS 9830 consists of Argan leaf polyphenols and has anti-MMP and anti-collagenase activity that improves skin firmness. Arganyl™ protects against UV-induced ROS for photo-ageing prevention.
    • Tinted opaque packing that protects vitamin C from sunlight
    • Brand recommended by dermatologists across India

Cons:

  • Comes in a dropper bottle that would expose the product to air affecting the overall efficiency of the product. This is the only reason that this product did not top our list despite having good ingredients.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Oily skin not prone to breakouts

 

Revibra C10 Pure Vitamin C Cream

AVAILABLE AT: Amazon.in

Revibra C10 Pure Vitamin C Cream rank second because of purity, it has only L ascorbic acid without any additives that too in packed in capsules that can be opened just before use.

Pros:

  • Has the most potent form of L-Ascorbic acid in a concentration of 10%
  • It is pure Vitamin C without additives that can actually affect the potency of L ascorbic acid. This is the reason 10% concentration of this product should be enough.
  • The best part about this product is the packing that ensures the complete preservation of L ascorbic acid. It comes in a Veg capsule that has to be broken immediately before applying it at night.
  • This is one the common dermatologist recommended vitamin c serum in India

Cons:

  • No other anti-ageing ingredient is added.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Oily to combination skin not prone to sensitivity breakouts

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension

Available at: Amazon.in

(BEST BUY FOR FOR MALE SKIN )

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension comes on top because of the highest content of L-Ascorbic acid. However, it might not suit sensitive skin types. You should use this product only if you have tried lower versions. Its good choice for robust skin of males.

Pros:

  • Has water-free suspension of 23% L-Ascorbic Acid powder.
  • Has Hyaluronic Acid that hydrates your skin.
  • Has an air-tight packing, therefore, vitamin C is not exposed to air.
  • It is best suited for the stubborn skin of males.
  • Should be used at night only. Avoid using during the day.

Cons:

  • It is a water-free formula, which might not get absorbed into the skin.
  • It might sting when applied on the skin because 23% L-Ascorbic is very potent. In this case, it should be mixed with a cream.
  • Should not be used if your skin is sensitive, breaking out or stings on using harsh products like bleach.
  • It is an anhydrous formula without water. It might feel dry after use. However, ideally, moisturiser should be applied after 15 minutes only.
  • It is an imported product, has a lag period of delivery, especially in covid times.

RECOMMENDED FOR: For stubborn skin of males

Sesderma Vitamin C serum/fluid

AVAILABLE AT: Amazon.in

(EXPENSIVE, BUT YOU WONT REGRET )

Pros:

Has liposomal technology that ensures penetration of ingredients into deeper dermal layer of skin where maximum anti-ageing action is needed.

This is 5 in 1 product:

  • Vitamin C Serum: Has a potent form of Ethyl ascorbic acid in a concentration of 10% encapsulated in liposomes that ensure deep penetration of vitamin C in your skin.
  • Skin firmness: Has hyaluronic acid in a liposomal form that ensures penetration of Vitamin C deep into the dermal layer of the skin providing anti-ageing benefits. The hyaluronic acid molecule is too big to penetrate the skin, therefore regular hyaluronic acid can only provide hydration. The liposomal preparation of Hyaluronic caid might have plumping effects on your skin on regular use.
  • Skin lightening: Has Morus alba extract that has skin lightening benefits.
  • Anti-oxidant action: Has powerful anti-oxidant like Quercetin, Reservetrol, Gingko biloba that can repair your skin on a daily basis.
  • Anti-ageing: It has 2 powerful anti-ageing ingredients- Palmitoyl tripeptide 5 and retinyl palmitate. This combination acts synergistically to promote collagen and elastin regeneration.

Moreover tinted opaque packing that protects vitamin C from sunlight. In fact, this is one of the best vitamin c serum recommended by dermatologist.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Oily to combination skin prone to ageing, sagging, pigmentation. Should not be used in red or irritated skin.

 

Best Dermatologist Recommended Vitamin C Serum In United States

Best Vitamin C serum for Ageing skin

Vitamin C serum with combination of ascorbic acid with Vitamin E and ferulic acid is 8 fold more potent than ascorbic acid alone for photo-aged skin that dark spots, roughness, laxity. The unique thing about this combination is its ability to act in both water-soluble and lipid-soluble compartment of skin cells. Vitamin C acts in water compartment and Vitamin E acts in the lipid compartment of the skin cell.

This set of Vitamin C serum might irritate sensitive skin, therefore cautious use is recommended.

SkinCeuticals Vitamin C serum

Pros:

  • Has trio of 15% Ascorbic acid, Vitamin E and Ferulic acid
  • Has water based patented formula that ensure absorption and non-sticky feel of the product
  • Recommended by dermatologist

Cons:

  • It is most expensive option in this category
  • It is packed in a dropper bottle that can expose product to air affecting the stability of precious L-ascorbic acid.

AVAILABILITY: Check Prize on Amazon.com

Cosmetic skin solutions

Pros:

  • Has 15% L-Ascorbic acid and  Vitamin E.
  • In addition, it contains Asiatic Acid, a potent anti-oxidant
  • Has Hyaluronic acid that can help in hydrating your skin and add a plump to your skin.
  • Has patented technology that ensure the maximum penetration.

Cons:

  • It is packed in a dropper bottle that can expose product to air affecting the stability of precious L-Ascorbic acid.

AVAILABILITY: Check price on Amazon.com

La Roche Posay Redermic C serum

La Roche Posay Redermic C serum has 3 potent and scientifically proven anti-ageing ingredients, namely:

  • L Ascorbic acid- The concentration of L-Ascorbic acid is low. It is 5%, compared to recommended 10-15 %. This is advantageous for sensitive skin. Also, combined with retinol and fragmented hyaluronic acid, it gives an edge.
  • Fragmented Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid molecule cannot seep into dermis because of big size. This is works as moisturiser only. La Roche Posay Redermic C serum has segmented hyaluronic acid that can seep into dermis. Company claims, this serum visible plumps up the skin.
  • Retinol: This is star ingredient. Retinol is proven ant-ageing ingredient. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

La Roche Posay Redermic C serum can be tried by sensitive skin types. It should be applied at night only.

Available at Amazon.com

Timeless Skin Care 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum

Pros:

  • Has trio of ascorbic acid with Vitamin E and ferulic acid
  • Has 20 % L ascorbic acid that imparts extra benefit, but might not suit sensitive or aged skin
  • Most suitable for stubborn skin types, that do not get irriatated easily.
  • A good choice for males.
  • Come in an air-tight pump packing that does not exposes the product to air or sunlight.

Cons

  • Might not suit senstive skin, cautious use is recommended only after skin gets calm.

AVAILABILITY: Amazon.com

Flavo-C Ultraglican by ISDIN

Pros:

  • Vitamin C is the form L-ascorbic acid
  • UltraGlycan is combination of proteoglycans and pre-proteoglycans, which support firmness and elasticity in the skin and provide radiance.
  • Hyaluronic restore moisturization level of your skin
  • It is best suited for dry and sagging because it can provide hydartion and firmness along with skin repair.
  • Unlike other products in this category, it is can be tried on sensitive skin.
  • Comes in ampoule that ensure the stabilty of Ascorbic acid.
  • Trusted brand

Cons:

  • Percentage of ascorbic acid not mentioned
  • Ampoule packing diificult to open, though product comes with protective cap to break the ampoule.

AVAILABLE AT: Amazon.com

Best Vitamin C Serum for pigmentation

Vitamin C reduces dark spots by skin lightening action and prevents the formation new dark spots or patches by reversing the oxidative damage caused by UV rays. Addition of agents like niacinamide, Hydroxyresorcinol and glycolic acid further enhances the skin lightening action of product.

Procelain Skin Whitening Serum

Pros:

  • Has Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate form of Vitamin C, which is stable but not most potent form. It is not primarily a Vitmin C serum, but a skin lighteing serum with Vitamin C.
  • Has 4 potent and effective skin lightening agents- Glycoloc aicd, Hydroquinone, Kojic acid and Licorice extarct.
  • Hydroquinone at 2 % concentration is safe, yet very effective skin lightening agent.
  • Glycloic acid is definetly worth trying because it exfoliates, hydrates and brightens the skin.
  • Overall a good product for skin lightening in non-sensitive skin.

Cons:

  • Percentage of glycolic acid, kojic acid and Vitamin C is not mentioned
  • Should not be used on sensitive skin.
  • Avoid if your skin burns, gets red, or rashes appear on using this product.
  • Sun protection in the form of regular use of suncreen is recommended with this product.

Available @ Amazon.com

PCA SKIN C&E Advanced

Pros:

  • L-ascorbic acid is pesent at higher concentration of 20% increasing it skin lightening and repairing action.
  • Vitamin E at 5% concentration has antioxidant and hydrating action.
  • Hexylresorcinol 1% is an age-fighting anti-glycation agent that brightens and promotes an even skin tone while reducing future discoloration.
  • Silymarin 1% is a powerful antioxidant derived from milk thistle that has skin-calming and brightening benefits and helps fight free radical damage.
  • Air tight packing
  • Trusted brand
  • Can help in improving skin tone, but stubborn dark spots might not get better.

Cons:

  • A good Vitamin C serum, but an average skin lightening agent
  • Should be used with caution on sensitive skin.

Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum

Pros:

  • Has Ascorbic acid, though percentage is not mentioned.
  • Has 3 proven skin lightenig agents-glycolic acid, glutathione, All 3 can work to reduce dark spots over a period of a month or two.
  • Has skin hydrating and soothing agents agents like yeast amino acids, trehalose, inositol, decyl glucoside, marrubium vulgare meristem cell culture
  • Comes in air-tight pump bottle
  • Formulated at pH 3.9
  • Trusted brand
  • Should be used by stubborn skin that does not get irritated by harsh products.
  • Should be used at night only.

Cons:

  • Percentage of glycolic acid and ascorbic acid is not mentioned
  • Should not be used on sensitive skin.
  • Sun protection in form of regular use of suncreen is recommended with this product.

 

Best Vitamin C serum for preventing skin ageing

If you have hit 20’s and you are looking for a product to keep your skin going, then, it is definetly Vitamin C.

Obagi Professional C Serum

Pros:

  • It comes in 3 concentration-10%, 15%, 20%
  • Sensitive skin can start with 10% concentration and slowly shift to higher percentage
  • Trusted brand
  • Tinted bottle

Con

  • It is packed in a dropper bottle that can expose product to air affecting the stability of L-ascorbic acid.

AVAILABLE AT: Amazon.com

Neutrogena 20% Vitamin C Capsules

Pros:

  • L-ascorbic acid is pesent at higher concentration of 20% increasing it skin lightening and repairing action.
  • Vitamin E acts as an anti-oxidant and emolient
  • Has red raspberry etract, whicj accoording Pula’s choice inhibits enzymes in skin that lead to signs of discolorations and loss of firmness.
  • Comes in sea weed derived bio-degradable capsule.
  • Can be tried in combination skin type.

Cons:

  • Use with caution on senitive skin
  • Dimethicone base might be occlusive for oily-acne prone skin.

AVAILABLE AT: Amazon.com

Best Vitamin C serum for sensitive skin

L ascorbic acid form of Vitamon C might not suit super sensitive skin types, however, if your skin is calm, not breaking out, irritated or burning, then you can start using 10% L-Ascorbic acid. If this does not suits you, then go compound form of Ascorbic acid listed below

CeraVe Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid

Pros:

  • Has 10 % L-Ascorbic acid
  • Has multiple hydrating agents like Sodium Hayaluronate, Xanthum gum, Ceramides
  • 3 form of Ceramide help in repairing skin barrier of your skin, along with providing deep hydration
  • One of few Vitamin C serum that can be used for dry skin types
  • Air-tight opaque packing
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Not for stubborn dark spots, or aged skin, but definetly good for prevention of ageing, skin repair and hydration.

Available at: Amazon.com

RoC Multi Correxion Revive + Glow Vitamin C Serum

Pros:

  • Has 10 % 3-O-Ethyl-Ascorbic acid
  • Hadrating water, castor oil and glycerine based product
  • Has 4 potent anti-oxidant and anti-infalammatory ingredeints- Troxerutin, Cistus Monspeliensis Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Polygonum Aviculare Extract, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract,
  • Nonapeptide-1 is skin whtening peptide that can prevent melanin synthesis and unwanted pigmentation by preventing activation of the tyrosinase, thus allowing for a better control over skin tone.
  • Overall a good product for sensitive skin prone to pigmentation

Cons:

  • It is packed in a dropper bottle that can expose product to air. However, Ethyl ascorbic acid is more stable than L-ascorbi acid.

AVAILABLE AT: Amazon.com

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