{ "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "BreadcrumbList", "itemListElement": [ { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 1, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine", "name": "Beauty Magazine" } } { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 2, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/skin-care", "name": "Skin Care For Every Age" } } { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 3, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/skin-care/skin-care-essentials", "name": "Skin Care Essentials" } } ] }

Here's Why You Should Add a Vitamin C Serum to Your Routine

This powerful antioxidant will up your skincare game in more ways than one.
  • Cat Matta
April 19, 2024

Scour the shelves of any diehard skincare enthusiast, and you’re likely to find a vitamin C serum (or several) amongst their impressive lineup. There’s a reason for this: the list of what vitamin C serum is good for is, by all accounts, a long one.

Here, we’ll explain some of the most notable vitamin C benefits for skin (some of which may seriously surprise you). Then, you’ll learn about the difference between vitamin C serums and concentrates and discover some of our top vitamin C serums, including the brightening L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift 12% Pure Vitamin C + E + Salicylic Acid Serum, to add to your skincare routine. Get ready to find a new holy grail, below.

What Is Vitamin C Serum Good For?

Depending on the specific formula, vitamin C serum can help address a range of concerns, from dark spots and discolorations to fine lines and dullness. But before we explain why, a little context is needed.

No matter how old you are, there’s no stopping the passage of time—and your skin is perhaps the most visually obvious indicator of your advancing years. This is a result of changes in the structure and makeup of your skin as you grow older, which can eventually manifest as fine lines and wrinkles, sagging, and changes in texture, tone, and pigmentation. One go-to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using to help diminish these signs of aging is (surprise!) a vitamin C serum.

Serums are lightweight products (with thinner consistencies than moisturizers) that are formulated with a high concentration of potent ingredients to target specific skin goals and concerns. When you use a vitamin C serum, especially one formulated with complementary ingredients, you get a powerful product with distinct anti-aging benefits.

Iai What Is A Vitamin C Concentrate1

Vitamin C Serum Benefits

As we’ve mentioned, vitamin C serum benefits can vary from product to product. Some are formulated to visibly brighten skin, while others might slot perfectly into a routine for blemish-prone skin. These benefits also may not be entirely attributed to vitamin C, as serums are made with a blend of different ingredients, each part playing its own role.

There are, however, certain benefits associated with vitamin C itself. Below, we’ll dig into some of these notable vitamin C benefits for skin.

1. Helps reduce the appearance of dark spots

The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (JCAD) reports that vitamin C serum inhibits the action of an enzyme called tyrosinase, which contributes to the production—or overproduction—of melanin (i.e. the substance that gives your skin its color). When used topically, it can help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, like dark spots and melasma.

2. Brightens skin’s tone

By minimizing the appearance of dark spots and discoloration, vitamin C can help give the skin a more uniform, radiant appearance. It’s this benefit that gives vitamin C its reputation as a skin-brightening ingredient, though how well a given serum brightens the skin depends on the specific formula of the product.

3. Can help smooth skin texture

As we mentioned earlier, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin are all part of the natural aging process. Skincare products with vitamin C may help to improve the appearance of these concerns, however, and give the skin a firmer, smoother appearance.

4. Improves the look of dark under-eye circles

Dark under-eye bags can give the appearance of being tired, no matter how well-rested you may be. Aside from genetic factors, one reason for their prominence can be from pooled blood trapped under the thin under-eye skin. (Yet another reason to try to avoid rubbing your eyes.) According to one study, products with vitamin C, like serums and eye serums, may help to improve the appearance of these dark circles, promoting a brighter-eyed, more youthful appearance.

5. Offers antioxidant protection

Antioxidants, broadly speaking, are compounds that help neutralize free radicals (harmful compounds that form on the skin after exposure to stressors like sunlight or air pollution). According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin C is a particularly potent antioxidant and, when used topically in skincare products, can help protect the skin from these damaging compounds.

6. Helps reduce redness

Another notable vitamin C benefit for skin: when used topically, it can help reduce redness. If your redness is due to sensitivity or rosacea, however, we suggest consulting with your dermatologist before adding a vitamin C serum into your routine.

7. Supports the skin barrier

The key to healthy skin lies in a strong, intact protective skin barrier. This shield (of sorts) helps maintain your skin’s moisture levels and keep potentially harmful microorganisms out. It also helps protect you from environmental stressors, like UV radiation, and aids in regulating your body temperature. There are a lot of elements to the skin barrier, but one of the key compounds is—you guessed it—vitamin C. Using vitamin C serums may help support this all-important barrier to promote healthy-looking (and healthy-feeling) skin.

8. Pairs well with other anti-aging ingredients

Whether you’re a skincare aficionado or a newbie, we’re sure you’ve heard how important it is to wear sunscreen. Fortunately, sunscreen pairs well with vitamin C—as do other skincare ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. As such, it’s generally considered an easy ingredient to incorporate into your existing skincare routine.

Are Vitamin C Serums and Concentrates the Same Thing?

The truth is, there isn’t much of a difference between a vitamin C serum and a vitamin C concentrate. It’s up to you (and the marketing teams behind your favorite products) whether you want to refer to your lightweight, highly-concentrated product of choice as a serum or a concentrate. Either way, your skin will thank you for the extra love.

When Should You Use a Vitamin C Serum?

Typically, it’s recommended to apply products in order of consistency, starting with the thinnest. So, your vitamin C serum should generally fall between your toning and moisturizing steps. As for what time of day is best to use vitamin C, that’s up to you—though we’d advise reading the directions on the product you choose to see if it’s better suited for daytime or evening use.

Our Top Vitamin C Serums To Add to Your Skincare Routine

Now that you’re in on all the vitamin C serum hype, let’s get into our favorite formulas to add to your cart.

L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift 12% Pure Vitamin C + E + Salicylic Acid Serum

If you’re looking to smooth the appearance of lines, reduce the look of enlarged pores, and instantly give your skin a radiant glow, give this unique vitamin C serum a try. With a blend of potent 12% pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), salicylic acid, and vitamin E, this non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula leaves skin looking brighter, smoother, and more youthful in just weeks.

L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum

This formula is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, allowing it to be super gentle on your skin without clogging your pores. Containing 10% pure vitamin C, as well as hyaluronic acid, it visibly brightens and adds radiance to your skin in just one week. And it doesn’t end there: With continued use, in four weeks, your fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and pores should look less noticeable.

How To Use Vitamin C Serum in Your Routine

Step 1: Cleanse

As much as we love vitamin C serums, they aren't enough to complete your skincare routine on their own. Every routine should begin with cleansing, so start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser, such as L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser (which also contains vitamin C, as well as salicylic acid).

Step 2: Apply serum

In both your daytime and nighttime routines, gently smooth one of the vitamin C serums above onto your face and neck. Follow the directions on the packaging for guidance on how much to apply.

Step 3: Moisturize

Complete your simple skincare routine by applying a moisturizer to your face and neck. In the morning, we suggest reaching for a lightweight, water-based moisturizer, such as L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Derm Intensives Micro Hyaluronic Acid + Ceramides Line-Plumping Water Cream. The non-greasy formula for all skin types absorbs quickly, leaving the skin feeling smooth, plump, and hydrated.

If you’d like something richer to use in the evening, we suggest L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Skin Care Cell Renewal Midnight Cream with Antioxidants. The luxurious-feeling cream provides up to 24 hours of hydration and helps repair the skin barrier at night, while your skin is most receptive to recovery.

Step 4 (daytime): Apply SPF

As mentioned earlier, sunscreen is a non-negotiable for healthy-looking and healthy-feeling skin. During the daytime, protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays with L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Daily UV Lotion. The vitamin C and E-infused formula is lightweight, suitable for all skin types and tones, and blends well without a white cast. Plus, it helps prime your skin for makeup—giving you one less thing to think about when you’re rushing out the door in the morning.

{ "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "BreadcrumbList", "itemListElement": [ { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 1, "item": { "@id": "/", "name": "Home" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 2, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine", "name": "Beauty Magazine" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 3, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/skin-care", "name": "Skin Care For Every Age" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 4, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/skin-care/skin-care-essentials", "name": "Skin Care Essentials" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 5, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/skin-care/skin-care-essentials/what-is-a-vitamin-c-concentrate", "name": "what-is-a-vitamin-c-concentrate" } } ] }