The Top 10 Best Vitamin C Serum for Sensitive Skin (2018)

Updated 4 years ago

You probably already know that eating foods high in vitamin C is good for you and helps keep your body healthy. But did you know that vitamin C is also good for your skin? By no means should you to run to your nearest health store and buy every vitamin C packed juice or smoothie. All you need is a quality vitamin C serum to get your skin glowing - though a healthy diet, as you know, is certainly important for overall health.

What is vitamin C Serum?

Vitamin C serum is a highly concentrated serum that is packed with vitamin C. It’s a topical product, meaning it is applied directly to the skin. Once vitamin C serum is applied on your face, it penetrates your skin where it can work its magic on the cellular level. Because it gets underneath your skin, vitamin C serum does a LOT of things, including helping fight and repair skin damage and creating a more even skin tone. It is typically recommended to select a serum with at least 5-15% concentration of vitamin C. Because vitamin C serum is very potent, you need only a few drops to make a big difference.

There are a few different types of vitamin C. Vitamin C in the L-ascorbic and the sodium ascorbyl phosphate forms are the most researched and are considered the best for the skin, and also provides collagen producing benefits.

Is vitamin C good for your skin?

Vitamin C serum is excellent for your skin. Vitamin C serum helps fight wrinkles, gives you brighter, firmer, and more radiant skin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that stimulates collagen production while also repairing damage from the sun and from free radicals. Vitamin C serum repairs skin damage, reducing dark spots, and even boosts collagen production.

Vitamin C is a beauty buzzword right now, and if you haven’t already noticed, you’ll start to see more and more beauty and skincare products today boasting of the vitamin C in their products. Vitamin C serum is one of the best ways to reverse the signs of aging and sun damage, leaving your skin brighter and smoother. Because vitamin C is a popular ingredient right now, many companies are selling products with vitamin C. However, not all vitamin C products are created equally. We’ve done the research to provide you with only the best products that will deliver visible, cellular-level results.

Is vitamin C serum safe for sensitive skin?

Ok so everything you’ve read so far (hopefully) sounds great, but let’s cut to the chase. Can vitamin C serum be used by people with sensitive skin? Unlike a face wash that washes off merely seconds after applying, serums are highly concentrated and stay on your skin. Despite the warning signals going off in the mind of every person with sensitive skin, vitamin C serum can be very good for sensitive skin! Vitamin C serum can be used by everyone. However, it is recommended that those with sensitive skin start with a serum that is less potent (think 5-15%) using it just every other day when first starting to use vitamin C serum to avoid skin irritation. A product with  L-ascorbic vitamin C can tend to cause slight skin irritation, so be careful with any L-ascorbic vitamin C serum that has 15%-20% concentration.

Top 10 Vitamin C Serums for Sensitive Skin

DERMAdoctor Kakadu Vitamin C Serum

This vitamin C serum comes with a bonus of vitamin E and ferulic acid, leaving your skin brighter, softer, and more elastic. Wondering why the bottle is such a rich dark color purple? Vitamin C oxidizes and breaks down very quickly, and the darker bottle color helps keep the serum effective and prevents the vitamin C from breaking down. While you’ll find that most vitamin C serums are meant to be applied sparingly, it’s recommended to use five drops of this serum each morning. Product users reported a more glowing and brighter complexion.

Obagi Professional-C Vitamin C Serum

This Obagi serum has been hailed beauty in a bottle. Even better, this ultra lightweight serum is perfect for sensitive skin. The Obagi Professional-C Vitamin C Serum contains 10% of the L-ascorbic acid type of vitamin C and fights fine lines, dark spots, wrinkles, and dull skin. Protecting against sun damage, this is a great option for sun worshipers. Skincare professionals highly recommend this serum.

Serumtologie Vitamin C Serum 22

This serum boasts more than two thousand reviews with users raving about the incredible results they’ve seen using this product. Though the serum is highly concentrated, it is suitable for sensitive skin and is ultra effective because of its high percentage of vitamin C (22%). Another highly popular product amongst professionals, the serum is vegan and free of skin-irritating ingredients.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Anti-Aging Vitamin C and E Serum

The results that this vitamin C serum gives isn’t the only thing left glowing. Professionals and reviewers alike also give the product radiant reviews. This serum is patented, which means that no other brand can replicate this exact serum, which has been proven to deliver outstanding results.

With 15% pure L-ascorbic acid vitamin C, 1% vitamin E, and .5% ferulic acid, this power-packed serum will leave your skin brighter, stronger, and firmer. This serum fights aging and improves the appearance of wrinkles and lines. This vitamin C serum is long lasting, effective for a minimum 72 hours after application!

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

This serum is packed with fruit enzymes, something called a chronopeptide which delivers the benefits of vitamin D, and essential nutrients, resulting in a brighter appearance. The primary focus of this serum is improving signs of aging and reducing sun spots and wrinkles while smoothing skin texture. This a day serum, so should be applied in the morning after washing your face and before applying moisturizer and makeup. Reviewers saw results in just a few days. The formula is non-irritating and can be used on sensitive skin.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

The Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. The weightless serum absorbs quickly and even helps to calm inflammation and other skin irritants for those with sensitive skin.

Fun fact: This was one of the first vitamin C serums on the market.

SkinMedica Vitamin C + E Complex

Improve the appearance of your skin tone and texture with SkinMedica’s Vitamin C +E Complex serum. The serum provides your skin with antioxidants that protect your skin all day long after applying it in the morning. The brand was created by physicians and the company creates all of its products based on research and clinical data in order to deliver real results promoting the long-term health of your skin. Dermatologists and experts highly recommend this product.

Alina Skin Care Vitamin C Serum

This anti-aging vitamin C serum will leave your skin feeling smoother, softer, and silkier, while your skin is left instantly brighter and hydrated. Suitable for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. Users with sensitive skin did not experience any skin irritation when using this product. Unlike many serums that are meant to be used once daily, for best results, it is recommended to apply this serum both morning and evening.

Medik8 C E-Tetra Pro Collagen Vitamin C Serum

The C E-Tetra Pro Collagen Vitamin C Serum is a great option for those with sensitive skin who are nervous to try to a vitamin C serum. The serum repairs sun damage and stimulates collagen production, while remaining soothing and non-irritable.

Skin Solutions Vitamin C+E Serum

This serum is highly regarded by dermatologists, experts, and reviewers alike. The serum combines ferulic acid, vitamin C (L-ascorbic), and vitamin E to create a highly effective product that stimulates collagen production and fights free radicals. It’s a favorite amongst beauty editors, too!

Vitamin C Serum: A Skincare Magical Ingredient

Vitamin C serum not only brightens your skin, but it also leaves your skin plumper and more elastic, leading to a younger, more refreshed look. So you can say goodbye sallow and wrinkled skin! As we age, we naturally lose some of the collagen in our skin that gives us that youthful glow. But thanks to vitamin C serum, our skin gets some help to help keep (or regain) that youthful glow.  

How to Apply Vitamin C Serum

The best way to apply vitamin C serum is by applying it with your fingers. When applying your vitamin C serum, you’ll want to wash and dry your hands before pumping the serum into your hands. While each serum has a different consistency, you typically do not need to use much of the product, which is why the bottles are usually a smaller size. A little goes a long way.

Once you have a small amount of serum in your fingertips, gently apply to your face, neck, and chest (if desired) by gently patting the serum onto your skin. Be extra gentle around the eye area and be careful not to get the serum into your eyes.  

How to incorporate vitamin C serum into your skincare routine

The vitamin C serum you decide to purchase will determine what time of day and how often you apply the serum. Some serums direct users to apply the serum in the morning, while other brands tell you to apply their product at night, and then there are a few that don’t recommend one over the other. No matter what time of day you apply your vitamin C serum, it should be done after you wash your face. If you don’t already have a tried and trusted face wash for your sensitive skin, you can find one here.

After applying your vitamin C serum to a clean and dry face, let your skin soak in the serum for a few minutes before applying your moisturizer. And don’t forget sunscreen! In order for your serum - or for any skincare or makeup product for that matter - to be the most effective, you need to be using an exfoliator regularly to get rid of dry, dull skin. Follow these steps and you’ll notice visibly brighter, glowing skin within weeks!

Other Vitamin C articles:

Best Vitamin C for Hyperpigmentation

Best Vitamin C for Oily Skin

Best Vitamin C for Acne-Prone Skin