Vitamin C: The Hottest Super Ingredient Energizes These 9 Brands

A growing number of skincare brands count on this powerful antioxidant to help boost a brighter, more luminous complexion.

By Jamie Matusow, Editor-in-Chief 04.05.21
Vitamin C has become so popular as a skincare ingredient that it has its own annual day—Vitamin C Day (celebrated on April 4 each year). In March, a skincare report from SkinStore revealed that Vitamin C serum is the top skincare product of 2021, with over 1,479,630 searches in the U.S. alone. Over the past year, numerous beauty brands have launched on-trend products, which highlight this magical illuminator, which also claims to enhance collagen production, reduce wrinkles, heal and prevent sun-related damage—and more.
Here are a variety of launches we’ve spotted. See the images above and the descriptions below:
1. BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner
A veteran cosmetic chemist with over 20 years’ experience in creating innovative, best-selling beauty products for leading beauty brands (Revlon, Avon, L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Clinique), Ron Robinson recently started his own beauty brand, BeautyStat Cosmetics. Already an award-winner, it is growing rapidly, thanks especially to a star Vitamin C serum called Universal C Skin Refiner, which has been named one of the best by Oprah Magazine, Allure, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
With 20% pure stabilized vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), the serum helps to brighten and lighten skin as it also firms, lifts, and repairs fine lines and wrinkles. Additional ingredients: ‘Rich squalane delivers balance and hydration deep into pores at the cellular level while fighting skin-damaging radicals that contribute to the aging signs; Epigallocatechin Gallate, a potent anti-inflammatory and the most active green tea component helps reduce redness, prevent age spots, and repair damaged skin gently, preventing sensitivity.’
2. Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
As step 2 in a 3-step process, the brand suggests after washing, using Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum to ‘tighten, brighten & smooth the skin.’ While the powerful antioxidant can enhance collagen production, reduce wrinkles & heal & prevent sun damage—Vitamin E boosts the effects and includes  a UV protective effect when used in conjunction with the C. In addition, hyaluronic acid works to smooth and plump the skin by retaining moisture, aiding in healing and enhancing production & maintenance of collagen. For a final touch, Konjac Root Powder, from an exotic flower from Asia, works to soften & smooth the skin while forming a thin protective barrier.
3. Peach & Lily’s Transparen-C Pro Spot Treatment
It’s all about transparency these days—and while many Vitamin C products boast 10% of the ingredient, Peach & Lily’s Transparen-C Pro Spot Treatment is a powerful 20% Vitamin C spot treatment that took three years to develop. According to the brand, the unique formula was perfected by K-Beauty experts and more than 40 chemists. The product ‘rapidly targets dark spots, hyperpigmentation, acne and scarring to leave them looking brighter, more even-toned and more transparent.’
4. Dr. BRANDT's NEW C Scription Brightening Serum
Escape a tired, lackluster appearance with Dr. BRANDT’s Bright This Way C Scription Brightening Serum, also with 20% THD Ascorbate, the highest concentration of effective Vitamin C in skincare. It relies on a 25% concentration of clinical-grade brightening agents to restore clarity to dull complexions while supporting collagen production along the way. According to the brand, in clinical testing, after 7 days of use, 91% reported the product evens skin tone and texture, leaving the skin ‘looking more luminous and radiant.’
About C Scription Packaging
Since C Scription is a vitamin C serum, the team used glass packaging ‘because it is inert and impermeable, protecting any oxidation by atmospheric oxygen, keeping the formula safe and preserving the efficacy long term’. The glass bottle is 100% recyclable, making it easy for the consumer to properly recycle it curbside. The pipette is a tube glass used to extract the product. This glass has the most stringent standards, keeping the product safe and protected during the process. The pipette also allows you to apply the product directly to your face without ever touching your hands for safe application. However, some people still prefer to drop product onto the fingertips before applying.
The team chose a PE wiper inside the bottle so there is no residue of the formula left when using the glass pipette. It’s a cleaner experience for the customer and avoids excess formula from spilling out.
When recycling , the customer must remove the PE wiper from inside (it can be easily popped out) so the glass bottle and the PE wiper can be recycled separately in curbside.
As for the outer box, the paper is FSC Certified by Forest Stewardship Council ensuring the products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits preserving our forests for the future.
In terms of the design, the white spray on the bottle helps to lessen UV light going through that might cause the product to change color over time.
5. Ghost Democracy Lightbulb Vitamin C Serum
Packed with Vitamin C and Vitamin D, Ghost Democracy Lightbulb Vitamin C Serum is ‘a waterless daily brightening serum that evens & enhances skin tone and texture.’ Claims also include quick-absorbing, lightweight and non-irritating. Developed for all skin types, the also-silicone-free & fragrance-free serum is powered with unusually high concentrations of:
18.0% Vitamin C. Additional ingredients: Tocopherol, a natural anti-inflammatory that helps soothe and calm the skin; 0.5% Bakuchiol, a natural, plant-based retinol alternative; and
0.5% Bisabolol, a soothing active and a great source of Vitamin B5 (panthenol).
6. Dermalogica BioLumin-C Serum
Dermalogica BioLumin-C Serum is a high-performance serum that the brand says ‘enhances skin’s natural defense system to brighten, firm and help dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.’ Advanced bio-technology and an ultra-stable Vitamin C complex work ‘synergystically’ to enhance bioavailability of Vitamin C to fight oxidative stress and the appearance of skin aging before it starts. An optimized delivery system combined with a peptide and AHA works to boost brighter, firmer, more radiant skin.
7. Mary Kay TimeWise Replenishing Serum C+E
Every day your skin is attacked by oxidative stress, according to megabrand Mary Kay. They encourage you to ‘fight back with Mary Kay TimeWise Replenishing Serum C+E—an antioxidant megaboost containing a powerful vitamin C and vitamin E facial serum.’ They say these skin care ingredients are effective alone, but together they’re extraordinary. The highly potent antioxidant, vitamin E, teams up with pure vitamin C in ‘an age-defying duo that’s better together.’ Two additional sources of vitamin C deliver even more potency. MK suggests adding this benefit-packed serum to your daily routine to see skin that’s brighter, firmer and glowing with good health.
8. Rodan + Fields REVERSE Regimen
Rodan + Fields launched the 3-step REVERSE Regimen, an antidote to dark spots and discolorations—and helps brighten the skin. The regimen includes an exfoliating cleanser, Toner, SPF Lotion, and what’s called ‘a unique PM correcting treatment’ that combines Vitamin C + Retinol in one product. According to R&F, Nighttime complex combines the brightening power of 10% stabilized Vitamin C and Retinol into one stabilized formula ‘to slowly release ingredients that visibly even skin tone and minimize the appearance of dark spots and brown spots.’
9. Common Heir Vitamin C Serum
Common Heir, ‘a first to market beauty brand building better, plastic-free skincare,’ aims ‘to transform your beauty ritual with sustainable, intentional and indulgent skincare swaps that are never made with plastic.’ The brand is launching with what it says is the world’s first-ever clinically-proven and silicone-free Vitamin C Serum that doesn’t compromise on performance or sustainability. The serum is housed in a biodegradable capsule within a recycled cardboard container. The capsule dissolves completely in water, making waste nearly non-existent. All that is left is a small recyclable, reusable carton, ideal for keepsakes.
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