What Are The Best Vitamin C Serums With Vitamin E And Ferulic Acid [2023]?

the best vitamin C serums with vitamin E and ferulic acid

What are the best vitamin C serums? Vitamin C serums are a staple in my skincare routine. I don’t believe that any skincare products (apart from sunscreen) is a must for everyone. But it’s hard to find someone who wouldn’t benefit from a Vitamin C serum. This antiaging superstar fights wrinkles, boosts collagen and brightens the complexion – when used right.

The problem? Like all divas, vitamin C is finicky AF. If the pH is too high, it won’t work. If the pH is too low, it will irritate skin. If it’s used alone or is housed in a see-through packaging, it’ll go bad quickly… So how do you know when a Vitamin C is good and which bottles should we left on the shelf? Here are the best Vitamin C serums with Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid:

Vitamin C Benefits

Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant with multiple superpowers:

  • It fights free radicals: Free radicals are the nasty molecules that give you wrinkles and dark spots. By neutralising them, it prevents skin from aging prematurely.
  • It boosts collagen production: Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, the vitamin that keeps skin firm. The more collagen your skin has, the longer wrinkles take to form and the shallower they are.
  • It fades dark spots: High concentrations of Vitamin C brighten the complexion and fade away uneven patches in your skin tone.

Vitamin C comes in many forms. L-Ascorbic Acid is the pure form – and the most effective at doing all of the above. But it goes bad so quickly and is so hard to formulate with, a lot of brands have started using derivatives of Vitamin C.

I recommend derivatives only to people who can’t tolerate L-Ascorbic Acid. So, apart from one exception, I won’t recommend them here. The best serums with Vitamin C contain L-Ascorbic Acid. Period.

What To Look For In Vitamin C Serums

Vitamin C serums are one of those products you need to get 100% right – or you’re throwing your money down the toilet and won’t see the results you want. So what makes a good vitamin C serum?

My criteria:

  • 15% L-Ascorbic Acid: Lower doses work… slowly. Higher doses can be irritating. 15% is ideal. It’s enough to prevent wrinkles without the irritation.
  • Low pH: 3.5 is the ideal pH for a Vitamin C serums. Too high and it won’t work. Too low and it will irritate your skin.
  • Opaque packaging: Vitamin C goes bad quickly when exposed to light and air. Opaque, airtight tubes and bottles protect it from its enemies and help it last longer.
  • Support system: That’s vitamin E and ferulic acid, two antioxidants that have been shown time and time again to make vitamin C last longer, be more effective, and boost photo protection. If a Vitamin C serum doesn’t contain all 3 antioxidants, it’s not worth the splurge. Period.

Instead, I don’t care about price. Sure, I love a good bargain like everyone else, but vitamin C is one of the few skincare products I’m willing to pay more for. In my book, something’s worth it if it works and vitamin C works, ya know what I mean? But if you’re on a budget, fret not. There are good vitamin C serums that don’t break the bank out there. Phew!


What can Vitamin C serums do?

Vitamin C serums prevent wrinkles by fighting free radicals and boosting collagen production. They also boost the protection of your sunscreen. Even the best sunscreens allow 1-3% of UV rays to penetrate skin. Once they do, they regenerate free radicals that cause all kinds of damage to your skin. By fighting free radicals, Vitamin C serums reduces the damage caused by UV rays and help your sunscreen perform better. Finally, Vitamin C serums also fade away dark spots and brighten the complexion.

What can’t Vitamin C serums do?

They can’t get rid of the wrinkles you already have or single-handedly get rid of stubborn dark spots.

Who should use Vitamin C serums?

Anyone who is concerned about anti-aging or wants to fade away dark spots.

Who should not use Vitamin C serums?

You should not use Vitamin C serums if your skin is so sensitive, it can’t tolerate it.

Can you use Vitamin C serums if you have sensitive skin?

You can. If 15% L-Ascorbic Acid serums irritate your skin, opt for a lower dose or for a derivative. These options are less effective, but gentler on the skin. It’s best to see results slowly than not at all cos your skin is irritated all the time!

How often should you use Vitamin C serums?

You can use Vitamin C serums every day.

When should you apply Vitamin C serums?

In the morning, right after cleansing but before sunscreens. It’s not true that Vitamin C makes skin more prone to sun damage. Plus, Vitamin C boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreen, so it makes sense to layer it underneath.

The Best Vitamin C Serums With Vitamin E And Ferulic Acid

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($182.00)

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic is one of the most duped skincare products of all time. For a reason. But you totally don’t need to get the original version. I’m sharing options below that provide the same benefits for less than half the price. But it was the first serum to combine vitamin C (ascorbic acid) with its BFFs vitamin E and ferulic acid and I want to give it credit for that. Its lightweight texture is suitable for all skin types, bar maybe sensitive (high doses of vitamin C can irritate your skin).

Available at: Dermstore, Skinceuticals and Skinstore

Active Ingredients: 15% pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), 1% vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), and 0.5% ferulic acid.

Benefits: One of the most effective Vitamin C serums out there, it brightens the complexion and prevents wrinkles.

Cons: Super expensive.

Skin type: All bar sensitive.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

Related: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Ferulic Acid

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that minimises wrinkles, prevents premature aging, and gives your complexion a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):

Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster ($49.00)

Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster features the same winning combination as Skinceuticals CE Ferulic – that’s 15% ascorbic acid, 1% vitamin E and 0.5% ferulic acid – at a similar pH… and a fraction of the cost. Plus, it’s loaded with humectants that attract and bind water to the skin to soften its texture and brighten the complexion. It’s also my fave dupe for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. Now it’s winter, my dryish skin really appreciates the little moisture boost.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Net-A-Porter, Paula’s Choice, Sephora, and SpaceNK

Active Ingredients: 15% pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), 1% vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), and 0.5% ferulic acid.

Benefits: Brightens the complexion and prevents wrinkles.

Cons: While it’s not the most expensive option on this list, it’s still expensive.

Skin type: All bar sensitive.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

Related: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic VS Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster: Which One Is Better?

best vitamin C serum: drunk elephant c-firma day serum

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum ($80.00)

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum has a slightly sticky texture that can feel too heavy on oily skin. But if you can put up with it, it’s totally worth it. Like other Skinceuticals Ce Ferulic dupes, it has the right combo of ascorbic acid, vitamin E and ferulic acid at an effective pH that can deliver vitamin C into the skin, fight free radicals and fade away dark spots. But it’s also loaded with antioxidants, like green tea and licorice extract, to prevent wrinkles. Plus, hyaluronic acid to hydrate and marula oil to moisturize. P.S. The gold hue is due to the anti-irritants in the formula. It’s not a sign vitamin C has already gone bad!

Available at: Cult Beauty, Sephora and SpaceNK

Active Ingredients: 15% pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), 1% vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), and 0.5% ferulic acid.

Benefits: Brightens the complexion, prevents wrinkles, and hydrates skin.

Cons: Tacky texture.

Skin type: Dry skin.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

Related: Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Full Review

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum ($33.99)

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum uses a derivate of vitamin C. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate, to be exact. It’s a stable form of vitamin C that’s better known for its ability to treat acne. But it still fights wrinkles, brightens the complexion and all those things vitamin C is supposed to do. It still has vitamin E and ferulic acid to make vitamin C even more effective. And it has its fair share of antioxidants to prevent even more wrinkles. It’s suitable for all skin type, but oily skin will like it the most.

Available at: iHerb and Ulta

Active Ingredients: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Vitamin E, and ferulic acid.

Benefits: Brightens skin and prevents wrinkles.

Cons: Not as effective for anti-aging as the other serums on this list.

Skin type: Oily, acne-prone and sensitive.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

Related: Is Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate The Best Vitamin C Derivative?

MaeLove The Glow Maker ($32.95)

If you’re on a budget, this is your best bet. MaeLove The Glow Maker contains 15% L-Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E, and ferulic acid to fight free radicals, prevent wrinkles, and brighten the complexion. Plus, it’s enriched with aloe vera and hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin. Hydrated skin = happy, healthy skin. I could do without the citrusy extract (it can irritate sensitive skin), but everyone will love the glow you get from this little gem.

Available at: MaeLove

Active Ingredients: 15% L-Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E, and ferulic acid.

Benefits: Brightens skin and prevents wrinkles.

Cons: Contains a citrus extract that may irritate sensitive skin.

Skin type: All bar sensitive.

Fragrance-free: Yes.

The Verdict

The best Vitamin C serums contain 15% L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), 1% Tocopherol (Vitamin E) and 0.5% ferulic acid to fight wrinkles, brighten the complexion, and boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen. Look for products packaged in opaque and air-tight tubes and bottles that allow Vitamin C to work its best for longer. Hello, glowing skin!

#Vitamin #Serums #Vitamin #Ferulic #Acid

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