Best Vitamin C Serums for Oily Skin

Updated 5 years ago

Vitamin C-based products have taken the beauty world by storm due to its superb skincare benefits. It is a key ingredient for fighting free radicals due to its high levels of antioxidants. This is why you will often see dramatic improvements such as a brighter-looking complexion, and the fading of hyperpigmentation and sun spots. Moreover, it plumps up the skin and enhances its natural suppleness, thereby making it a great anti-ageing weapon to ward off fine lines and wrinkles.

How Does Vitamin C Help Oily Skin?

As noted previously, Vitamin C targets free radicals, of which the latter have the potential to cause sebum peroxidation. Those with oily skin tend to experience overactive sebaceous glands that secretes excess sebum on the skin’s surface. As such, if you have oily skin, you are at a much higher risk of experiencing sebum peroxidation which leads to acne formation, enlarged pores, and a slew of other skin issues.

To target the oxidation issue, the high levels of antioxidants within Vitamin C makes it effective for combating free radicals, which minimizes the chances of sebum peroxidation from occuring. This is why Vitamin C are highly useful for oily skin individuals as it is also a key ingredient for acne prevention. In order to enjoy its full potency, choose a serum containing Vitamin C to deliver this ingredient in a targeted concentration. This will enable the antioxidant-rich substance to penetrate the skin deeply and work its magic. In addition, the consistency of most serums is lightweight, which makes for easier and faster absorption. You won’t have to fuss over concerns such as a greasy residue left behind by the serum. As such, it is also perfect for layering under other products without causing pilling.

So to introduce you to this amazing multi-tasker, we have curated the 12 best Vitamin C serums that are ideal for oily skin.

The 12 Best Vitamin C Serums for Oily Skin

Peter Thomas Roth Potent C Power Serum

This extravagant serum is highly concentrated with 20% Vitamin C. To further fortify the serum’s potency, other antioxidants such as Vitamin E (3%) and Ferulic Acid (2%) have also been added. Its exorbitant price tag is definitely worth it as users saw a dramatic improvement in their skin in as short as a few weeks. Positive results include a reduction in enlarged pores, fading of sun spots and acne scars, as well as a brighter and firmer skin texture. Its lotion-like consistency sinks in fast and is absorbed within a few minutes so you don’t have to wait too long to proceed to the next step in your routine.

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum for Face

TruSkin’s affordable Vitamin C serum at a 20% concentration has been a longtime favorite among users. It is infused with the hydration-boosting Hyaluronic Acid and the anti-inflammatory Vitamin E to enhance the overall efficacy of the serum. Using this on your skin will improve its clarity and radiance, reduce the frequency of breakouts while preventing premature signs of ageing. In fact, one reviewer in particular, mentioned that the serum managed to fade her age spots in a short span of 10 days!

Obagi Professional-C Serum 20%

This lavish serum is formulated with 20% stable L-Ascorbic Acid to penetrate deeply into the skin layers and strengthen its defense system against UV damage. This will ultimately prevent the dreaded sebum peroxidation. Moreover, it works in tandem with Hyaluronic Acid to restore radiance and moisture to tired-looking skin that has been exposed to environmental aggressors. As a result, you can look forward to a more youthful and glowing complexion after consistent use of this serum.

Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum

A skin-nourishing serum infused with antioxidant-rich Ascorbic Acid (7.5%), and a soothing botanical blend of Cucumber, Panax Ginseng, Aloe Vera, and Lavender Oil that does not cause irritation. Its lightweight consistency is perfect for those with oily skin who are looking to amp up their skincare routine. This serum not only tackles hyperpigmentation and scarring, but also stimulates your skin’s collagen production to plump up fine lines and wrinkles. It is indeed an impressive multi-tasker for oily and sensitive skin users to address various skin concerns.

Yeouth Vitamin C and E Day Serum with Hyaluronic Acid

This drugstore alternative is great for those who are on a budget. The serum is packed with a powerhouse of Vitamins C and E, and Hyaluronic Acid. The combined synergy of all three ingredients will boost your skin’s defense against UV rays, revitalize and repair damaged skin, and enhance your skin’s inner moisture. Its water-like consistency also makes for fast absorption into the skin and dries completely, making it perfect for layering under your makeup.

Vine Vera Vitamin C Serum

A high-end serum that is well worth the expensive price. This product not only contains the Vitamin C derivative, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, but also Resveratrol Ferment extract and Vitamin A. Resveratrol Ferment extract has excellent anti-inflammatory ability to stop sebum peroxidation while its small molecular size means it can easily penetrate the skin to deliver nutrients right where they are needed. It is combined with antioxidants Vitamin C and A to augment the serum’s efficacy in fighting physical signs of skin ageing while preventing acne and uneven skin tone.

JJ Labs Vitamin C Skin Serum 25% (L-ascorbic Acid) with Pure Hyaluronic Acid

This cult favorite is made with 25% L-Ascorbic Acid, the purest form of Vitamin C that penetrates the skin easily. It reduces the damage caused by UV exposure, increases skin firmness while reducing wrinkle depth, and restores your skin’s natural glow. The thin, gel-like consistency makes it perfect for those with oily skin or clogged pores as reviews have shown that the serum effectively regulates sebum production. The addition of Hyaluronic Acid helps to supplement the anti-ageing efficacy of the product as it provides intense moisture and suppleness to your skin.

GloxiniaLife by Dr. Calle Vita C. E. Ferulic Acid

A medical-grade Vitamin C serum that promises optimal results for your skin. By adding Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid to the product, this combination enhances the potency of Vitamin C by a staggering eight-fold. Consistent use of this serum has users raving about a clearer and even-toned complexion, less noticeable wrinkles, as well as velvety-soft skin.

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

This gentle and non-irritating serum is great for normal to oily and sensitive skin types. It harnesses the skin-perfecting benefits of Vitamin C (5%) by reducing sebum peroxidation to clear up acne, protect your skin from sun spots caused by sun exposure, and minimizes enlarged pores for a smoother and more refined texture. Its slightly oily consistency is easily absorbed without clogging the pores or triggering skin irritation.

Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten and Firm Vitamin C Serum

Formulated with 3-O C Vitamin C, Collagen Amino Acids, and the brand’s proprietary Energy Complex, this serum is a crowd-favorite for delivering positive skin results. By neutralizing free radicals and preventing sebum peroxidation, it protects your skin from breakouts and hyperpigmentation to enhance the flawlessness of your complexion. Users were also wowed by their smoother and more luminous skin after using the serum. Its gel texture is ideal for oily skin types as it allows fast absorption without leaving a sticky residue.

Olehenriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

As its name suggests, this serum leverages on the brand’s True-C Complex™ to stimulate collagen synthesis which aids in cell repair and enhances skin firmness. This will then reveal a more radiant and youthful-looking complexion for the user. It is also imbued with Orange and Green Tea Extracts for a lightweight and oil-free formula that is perfect for those with oily skin. Allow the citrusy notes of the serum to energize and uplift your spirits when you apply the serum to your face.

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic

This antioxidant-rich serum has been a crowd favorite due to its synergistic blend of 15% L-Ascorbic Acid, 1% Vitamin E, and 0.5% Ferulic Acid. The ingredients work together to enhance the overall potency of the serum. As such, the effectiveness of this serum is able to last more than 72 hours once applied to the skin, making it one of the longest-standing Vitamin C serums on the market. This is the perfect serum for tackling 12-hour work days and never-ending errands, while still ensuring your face is on point throughout it all.

With so many choices that are specifically formulated with oily skin users in mind, don’t miss out on the goodness that a Vitamin C serum has to offer!

Vitamin C: A Potent Skin Elixir

Besides limiting skin damage caused by free radicals, Vitamin C also have other skincare benefits that makes it one of the must-haves for healthy skin. By regulating and promoting collagen synthesis, Vitamin C helps to repair damaged cells and improve the skin texture positively. This is why it is an effective anti-ageing product to have in your beauty arsenal. Moreover, due to its role in collagen production and elimination of free radicals, Vitamin C has impressive wound healing properties. It helps to decrease inflammation and redness, while promoting the rapid restoration of the epidermal barrier. As such, it is highly effective for resolving acne, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation.

Commonly-Used Vitamin C Derivatives in Skincare Products

There are many forms and derivatives of Vitamin C used in skincare. To help you better understand the different types, as well as the specific characteristics of each Vitamin C derivative, we list out the detailed breakdown below:

L-Ascorbic Acid

Otherwise known as Ascorbic Acid, this derivative is the most well-researched and also the most common form of Vitamin C available in skincare products. This is mainly due to its biologically active nature which makes it highly compatible with our skin. Make sure the pH level of this acid is lower than 3.5 in order to improve its stability and permeability, thereby maximizing its effectiveness on the skin.  

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

This Vitamin C derivative is more stable compared to L-Ascorbic Acid. As such, the former is more effective than the latter in eliminating free radicals and stimulating collagen synthesis. The higher stability of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate and its fat-soluble biological makeup also means that it can penetrate the skin layers more easily.

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

This is a stable, water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C. Compared to L-Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is far gentler and its higher stability means it does not oxidize easily. This increases the effectiveness of the acid when absorbed into the skin and is often used in acne-treating products.

Ascorbyl Palmitate:

Another fat-soluble Vitamin C derivative, it is able to penetrate the skin easily and has a longer-lasting effect compared to L-Ascorbic Acid. It is normally formulated with other ingredients like Vitamins A and E to boost its effectiveness.

As mentioned earlier, some forms of Vitamin C can be pretty unstable and are prone to oxidation, particularly in the presence of sunlight. Once oxidized, the serum may turn brown in color and lose its original efficacy. This makes it imperative to contain the formula in dark packaging and keep it away from direct sun exposure.

Wrap Up

Overall, Vitamin C is an essential ingredient for supplementing your skin’s health. If you would like to enjoy the numerous skin benefits that Vitamin C has to offer, you can choose to start with a serum first. Time to say hello to a healthy and radiant skin complexion!

Other Vitamin C articles:

Best Vitamin C for Hyperpigmentation

Best Vitamin C for Oily Skin

Best Vitamin C for Sensitive Skin

Best Vitamin C for Acne-Prone Skin