For bright, tight skin that will look vibrant and youthful, vitamin C is key. This remarkable and well-researched ingredient can help reduce inflammation, fight pigmentation and even stimulate collagen production. The result is skin that is healthy, even-toned and less prone to wrinkling.
With the ingredient present in a skincare formulation, you can reap its benefits while also taking advantage of other hydrating ingredients that will work with vitamin C to give you a glowing, plump and young-looking complexion. If you haven’t already incorporated vitamin C into your beauty regimen, now’s a great time to start, and it’s never too late! Here’s our list of some of the best vitamin C moisturizer creams for face out there.
Does Vitamin C Stand Up to the Hype?
The benefits of vitamin C in skin care has been under debate for many years in the scientific community. While some studies do indicate that skin care products with vitamin C does have the ability to fight free radicals, most scientists agree that the benefits of a vitamin C cream need to be studied further.
What Are Free Radicals?
To fully understand the debate behind the uses of a vitamin C, you will need to travel back to the days of high school chemistry. In the human body, there are many different kinds of cells, and each cell is composed of a variety of molecules. The molecules are either positively or negatively charged by protons or electrons, and a molecule will usually seek to become balanced. To do this, the molecule will either gain or lose electrons, or may bond with other atoms.
Normally, a molecule won’t go for long without adjusting the number of electrons to achieve a well-balanced state. That is where free radicals and the use of a vitamin C come in. Free radicals are unstable electrons that bond quickly to molecules that have created a weak, unbalanced bond. The human body naturally creates free radicals as a way to combat infection, neutralize viruses, and destroy bacteria. The problem occurs when one free radical attaches to a molecule and causes a chain reaction that makes large groups of molecules unstable. Thus, exposure to a significant amount of free radicals results in damage to the body and skin. The damage of free radicals on skin takes the shape of wrinkles, lines, skin discoloration, and other skin damage.
That is why antioxidant skin care products are an important part of a balanced skin care regimen. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C, work against free radicals by sharing one of their electrons to stop the free radicals from stealing electrons from other molecules. Because it is a water-soluble antioxidant, it primarily deals with cellular fluids, like blood or the water contained in skin cells.
Further reading: Best vitamin c serums
How to Choose a Vitamin C Moisturizer
When looking for the best vitamin C cream, finding the right concentration is important. The cream should have a concentration between 5 and 10 percent. This vitamin comes in many forms, but the most effective form for a vitamin C cream is L-absorbic acid or absorbic acid. Because vitamin C can break down in UV light, all packaging should be sealed correctly and kept in a dark environment to ensure continued cream potency.
Best Vitamin C Creams
Sunday Riley C.E.O. C+E Antioxidant Protect + Repair Moisturizer
Sunday Riley has quickly risen in the beauty hierarchy to become one of the best-selling brands available. This vitamin C and vitamin E (both antioxidants) infused moisturizer is particularly popular thanks to its efficacy. According to researchers, vitamin C’s potency is multiplied four-fold when combined with vitamin E, as it is in this formula. This formula also contains a highly stable form of vitamin C called tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. This form is less likely to deteriorate when exposed to oxygen. Though this is a more expensive moisturizer, you will definitely be getting your money’s worth.
Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Intense Moisturizer
This is a great formula for sensitive skin with time-release moisture that hydrates throughout the day. Thanks to vitamin C, it will brighten areas of discoloration caused by photodamage and scarring while also supporting skin’s elasticity to keep it firm. This formula also contains tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, so you know you’re getting the best kind of vitamin C currently available. Other ingredients include hyaluronic acid (acting as a sponge to help draw in moisture to the skin) and shea butter for thorough hydration and skin conditioning.
TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Daily Facial Moisturizer
TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Daily Facial Moisturizer is packed with 15% vitamin C to help brighten and tighten, reducing signs of aging and sun damage. It also contains vitamin B5, an extremely hydrating ingredient that, along with pure organic jojoba oil, will provide plenty of moisture. This formula also contains green tea. The polyphenols in green tea have shown an ability to protect against photodamage (damage from the sun). This moisturizer is also an antioxidant that will protect against oxidative stress (an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals) that can damage skin cells.
Ole Henriksen C-Rush Brightening Gel Crème
This formula boasts three different sources of vitamin C, including 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. In combination, the three sources of vitamin C provide optimum results, reducing fine lines and fading away hyperpigmentation like sun spots and acne scars. Other ingredients in this moisturizer include hyaluronic acid and rose of winter extract. Both of these provide nourishment and hydration. Hyaluronic acid is especially good for plumping up wrinkles to make them less prominent.
Derma-E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum
This is a serum featuring a very stable form of vitamin C in addition to hydrating ingredients. Like the Sunday Riley moisturizer, this one also contains vitamin E, boosting the antioxidant capabilities of the formula and making vitamin C work better. Soothing ingredients include aloe and allantoin that can reduce redness, while the hydrators are hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. All told, this serum is a force that will fight off dryness, signs of aging and dullness.
Murad Essential-C Day Moisture
Murad’s Essential-C Day Moisture cream is a great vitamin C moisturizer for oily skin and all other skin types. It is formulated to target age spots and sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles and uneven texture and tone. In addition to containing tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, it boasts a unique ingredient called ectoin, derived from organisms that thrive in the hottest, coldest and saltiest parts of the earth. Other ingredients include a vitamin A derivative called retinyl palmitate, which helps with fine lines, and vitamin E, which boosts vitamin C’s powers.
Fresh Vitamin C Glow Moisturizer
This formulation contains vitamins C, E and B5. Vitamins C and E work together to limit sun damage, thus protecting against sun spots and wrinkling. Vitamin B5 helps with providing hydration and reducing transepidermal water loss (TEWL). TEWL can increase dryness, making skin look dull while also making wrinkles appear more noticeable and more prominent. Another key ingredient, glucosyl hesperidin, a flavonoid found in citrus fruits, helps combat dullness and fatigued skin. Regular use of this moisturizer will improve radiance and luminosity, reduce tiredness and help recharge and reinvigorate skin in general.
DERMAdoctor Kakadu C Face Crème
Loaded with vitamin C from the Kakadu plum, this face cream packs quite a punch in combination with a variety of other exotic ingredients. Desert lime and Quandong peach extracts also help provide a boost of natural vitamins. Meanwhile, palmitoyl tripeptide-38 is said to improve the appearance of wrinkles by making them less noticeable. In one study of a cream that included palmitoyl tripeptide-38 among other ingredients, participants noted that overall skin appearance was improved, including such issues as fine lines, unevenness tone and texture and visual and tactile roughness. Daily use of this cream is recommended to improve the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration and refine skin to bring in more radiance.
Dr. Sebagh Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream
This unique and innovative product is a powder that turns into a cream upon application. You can also mix this with your choice of a Dr. Sebagh moisturizer or serum. Easily absorbed into the skin, Dr. Sebagh’s Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream quickly and efficiently delivers a derivative of vitamin C called sodium ascorbyl phosphate into the skin. This is the second ingredient in this powder after water, meaning it is available in a very high concentration. Moreover, in a study, sodium ascorbyl phosphate was found to be quite effective against acne vulgaris.
Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
This Kiehl’s serum is formulated with 10.5% l-ascorbic acid and 2% l-ascorbyl glucoside, both types of vitamin C. In clinical studies conducted by Kiehl’s, this serum has shown the ability to decrease the appearance of fine lines while also boosting radiance and refining texture. It has even shown the ability to decrease the appearance of deeper wrinkles within four weeks. This formula also contains hyaluronic acid to further help with plumping up wrinkles to make them less noticeable. Hyaluronic acid is also extremely hydrating, with the ability to retain 1,000 times its weight in water.
Philosophy Anti-Wrinkle Miracle Worker Moisturizer
The Philosophy Miracle Worker Moisturizer contains vitamin C, resveratrol and glutathione as its key ingredients. Resveratrol is an antioxidant derived from red grapes. As an antioxidant, it can scavenge free radicals and thus help treat and prevent cell damage that can lead to wrinkles and other signs of aging. A study on glutathione (which occurs naturally in the human body) found that it is “safe and effectively whitens the skin and improves skin condition in healthy women.” Like vitamin C, it can help lighten dark spots caused by exposure to sunlight. Glutathione improves skin condition by increasing moisture and hydration and making skin smoother in texture.
Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power Cx30 Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer
According to Peter Thomas Roth, the Camu Camu berry sourced from the Amazon provides 30 times more vitamin C than an orange. This is quite a lot, and what gives this formula its potency to help fight against wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration – signs of aging that can make one look a lot older than one’s years. This formula also contains vitamins A and E. Vitamin A, or retinol, is especially adept at treating wrinkles and fine lines by improving cell turnover. With all these vitamins, you can be sure that your skin will improve in texture and tone with regular use of this moisturizer.
Formulyst Active Serum
This serum was especially formulated to protect skin against pollution, which can accelerate aging, leading to deep wrinkles, fine lines, fatigued skin, rough texture and discoloration. It is loaded with Vitamins B, C and E, as well as ferulic acid and niacinamide. This combination gives a profound antioxidant boost to the skin, fighting against free radicals and oxidative stress, both of which lead to cell damage that degrade collagen and elastin, two proteins that keep skin firm and youthful. Ferulic acid is an antioxidant derived from the seeds of fruits like apples. Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, improves and smooths out texture, helping to refine wrinkles and fine lines to make them less noticeable. Using this serum will help skin look far more luminous and vibrant.
Indian Dermatology Online Journal, “Vitamin C in Dermatology”; Dermatologic Surgery, “Double-Blind, Half-Face Study Comparing Topical Vitamin C and Vehicle for Rejuvenation of Photodamage”; Pubmed, “Skin Moisturizing Effects of Panthenol-Based Formulations”; Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, “Protective Mechanisms of Green Tea Polyphenols in Skin”; Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, “An Open Label Clinical Trial of a Multi-Ingredient Anti-Aging Moisturizer Designed to Improve the Appearance of Facial Skin”; International Journal of Cosmetic Science, “Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate Shows In Vitro and In Vivo Efficacy in the Prevention and Treatment of Acne Vulgaris”; Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, “Skin-Whitening and Skin-Condition-Improving Effects of Topical Oxidized Glutathione: A Double-Blind and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial in Healthy Women”;