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In case you haven’t noticed, antioxidant serums are super hot right now and it’s not all hype, we swear.

We love gobbling up antioxidants in food, coffee, and tea because they battle a bunch of BS no one has time for — namely oxidative stress caused by free radicals (aka sh*t from air pollution, cigarette smoke, disease, and UV rays).

But can antioxidants do that same stuff if we slather it on our skin? We’re glad you asked.

We talked with a couple of board-certified dermatologists to get the scoop on what these serums can do (spoiler alert: free radical protection, brightening, hella moisturization, to name just a few) and then got to work finding the best options out there.

Keep reading to find your perfect antioxidant serum match.

First thing’s first: WTF is an antioxidant serum?

We talked to Dr. Kellie Reed, a board-certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas and Dr. Corey L. Hartman, a board-certified dermatologist in Birmingham, Alabama to give you a more science-y explanation for how antioxidant serums work.

“Free radicals can cause skin conditions including rashes and skin cancers, as well as [premature] aging,” Reed says. And according to Hartman, free radicals formed by exposure to UV light degrade collagen, which results in dull skin and sagging. A breakdown of collagen also leads to fine lines and wrinkles.

OK, so those guys are up to no good.

To prevent premature aging and reduce our chances of skin cancer and other issues, we want to neutralize free radicals. This is where antioxidants ride in on a white horse — they help prevent that damage from happening, giving your cells a better shot at producing collagen.

This is mega important because — as Hartman explains — collagen production peaks at age 22 and then decreases every decade thereafter (ugh). So, he says, it’s important to prevent breakdown as much as possible.

Serums in particular can really help you achieve that. Hartman says serums absorb deeper into the part of your skin that produces collagen and elastin. Thanks to the molecular size of serum, you’ll get better penetration and absorption compared to a lotion or a moisturizing cream.

Plus, he adds, because the active ingredients are getting deeper into the skin, they’re super effective at adding moisture and targeting free radicals.

tl;dr: Because the skin is constantly under threat of free radical damage — and because antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals — antioxidant serums are frequently used in skin care products to help treat the skin, Hartman says.

Sooo what are you supposed to look for in an antioxidant serum? Hartman suggests starting with nailing down your biggest skin care goal or concern (like reducing signs of aging, treating acne, hyperpigmentation, etc.).

Once you do that, here’s what to consider before hitting “add to cart”:

Look for these key ingredients

Here’s the tea on some of the best ingredients in antioxidant serums.

  • vitamin C (ascorbic acid). This mighty vitamin is quite the overachiever, which is what makes vitamin C serums so popular in the first place. It has a slew of benefits on its resume, like protecting skin from free radicals and improving uneven skin tone, signs of aging, and hyperpigmentation. Reed also points out that vitamin C stimulates collagen growth, which can improve melasma (brown spots or patches). Hartman adds that it also makes skin brighter and is great for all skin types.
  • retinol (vitamin A). This form of vitamin A can do all kinds of helpful things like boost collagen production and cell turnover and regulate oil production. It’s a match made in heaven for fine lines, acne, sun spots, and hyperpigmentation, but it’s not the one for anyone preggo, people with sensitive skin, or anyone with conditions like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis.
  • vitamin E. This potent antioxidant helps improve the skin’s moisture levels. Plus, as Hartman explains, it’s often paired with vitamin C to stabilize it. It also give vit C a nice little boost in UV protection. He says it’s great for all skin types, but especially normal, dry, and combo types.
  • niacinamide (vitamin B3). Hartman tells us this vitamin helps improve skin’s tone and texture. Plus, it has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which he says works really well for peeps looking to soothe the skin from acne, reduce redness, and fight hyperpigmentation. It’s also famous for curbing oil production (hello, oily skin types) and strengthening your skin’s barrier.
  • ferulic acid. Ferulic acid is a popular anti-aging ingredient, known for helping stabilize vitamin C, and OFC, also serves an extra shot of antioxidants.

Consider possible side effects

Hartman says it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. “When starting a new antioxidant serum, you want to start incorporating it into your routine 2 to 3 times a week to make sure your skin reacts well.”

He says if you see redness or your skin feels hot after using a new product, stop using it and talk with your derm if you can.

Reed agrees that some products can be irritating to the skin, possibly bringing some redness or dry skin. She adds that when it comes to vitamin C, the form of it called tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate can be better tolerated for those who find ascorbic acid irritating, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping.

Additionally, people with sensitive skin might want to avoid retinol (especially in higher concentrations), which can cause some serious irritation.

Packaging matters

Yes, queens, it does.

Reed says the airtight ones (pumps) are the best. “Tubs or tiny jars are not ideal for sensitive ingredients. Vitamin C is relatively unstable and degrades faster when exposed to light and air. Also, look for dark, opaque containers that block out UV light that can deactivate sensitive ingredients like antioxidants,” she says.

This is a place to splurge, people

Hartman tells us this is a great place to splurge. “You’ll get the most bang for your buck. But beyond the price tag, take a look at the active ingredients to make sure they work well together. And if you don’t know, ask your board-certified dermatologist!”

Reed says she tells her patients this is the one area where she recommends splurging. “You are paying for the research behind the particular topical you are using as well as the packaging, which plays a big role in the stability of the antioxidant.”

She also suggests choosing one that has a couple of antioxidants combined, saying these have a stronger effect. Basically, she says to try to score one that has a combination of L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) with vitamin E and ferulic acid because this combo has solid evidence behind it.

So many serums, so little time. Here’s how we sorted out the best ones for you.

  • Active ingredients. We checked that our picks contain well-known, helpful, active ingredients that we chatted with our derms about (like vitamin C, vitamin E, retinol, ferulic acid, and niacinamide).
  • Skin type. We kept different skin types and skin concerns top of mind, so everyone can find a serum that works best for their ish.
  • Reviews. Reviews can be telling, but also tricky. We poured over legit reviews and ratings carefully, making sure top-notch-only products made the list.
  • Expert tips. Like we said, we talked things over with two board-certified derms to get trusted, handy advice here.
  • Price. Our derms told us it’s best to splurge in this skin care category, so most prices on our list may be steeper than we’d love, but we did keep price in mind in case that’s not your vibe right now. So, you’ll see some more cost-friendly options here too.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $20–$45
  • $$$ = $58–$98
  • $$$$ = over $100

Best overall antioxidant serum

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum

  • Price: $$$$
  • Active ingredients: L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), ferulic acid
  • Benefits: brightening, reduces fine lines, free radical protection
  • Size: 1-ounce (oz) bottle
  • Pros: widely considered the best vitamin C serum
  • Cons: very pricey

Hartman says Skinceuticals CE Ferulic is the gold standard and works well for those with dry skin. Reed recommends this option too, also calling it one of the gold standards in topical vitamin C serums.

“It has the trifecta combination of 15 percent L-ascorbic acid, alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), and ferulic acid. There is strong data to support the synergistic effect of these three ingredients,” Reed says.

Plus, she adds, it brightens the skin, helps with the look of fine lines, and binds free radicals brought on by the sun and pollution.

This serum has over 10K reviews on Google, with most saying it’s worth the splurge and some calling it the “holy grail.” Others, less thrilled, say they notice some pilling when they pair it with other products, or that it simply seems to do nothing for their skin.

Best antioxidant serum for oily skin

La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum

  • Price: $$
  • Active ingredients: L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, glycerin
  • Benefits: helps with acne, safe for sensitive skin
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Pros: fragrance-free, noncomedogenic
  • Cons: unclear if salicylic acid destabilizes vitamin C

Hartman says this vitamin C serum is a more affordable option that leaves skin protected and radiant without irritation.

This formula includes salicylic acid, which is a proven anti-acne, skin-smoothing exfoliator that can help reduce the appearance of large pores — so it’s a nice choice for oily skin types. You’ll also find hyaluronic acid and glycerin in this serum, two ingredients that add a serious boost of hydration.

The one downside is that some believe using salicylic acid alongside vitamin C can render it ineffective, but it’s unclear how they interact when used together in the same formula. So there’s a possibility the vitamin C in this serum isn’t living up to its full potential.

But the good news is that reviewers obsess over this stuff, saying it’s helped them reach their skin care goals for a good price.

This formula is noncomedogenic (so it won’t clog pores), and is free of oil, parabens, and fragrance, making it a nice choice for sensitive skin types. You can use this serum solo dolo or add it to your normal moisturizer to boost your results.

Best antioxidant serum for sensitive skin

Paula’s Choice RESIST Super Antioxidant Serum

  • Price: $$
  • Active ingredients: tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (vitamin C), vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, peptides, ceramides
  • Benefits: helps dull, uneven skin tone, anti-aging perks
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Pros: affordable, good for sensitive skin
  • Cons: may be too thick for some

Along with helping out dull, uneven skin tone, the brand says this serum can improve signs of aging, and offer hydration to dry, sun-damaged skin.

It features the form of vitamin C Reed recommends for people that find L-ascorbic acid irritating (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate), so it’s a great pick for people with sensitive skin. It also has coenzyme Q10, another proven antioxidant that adds an extra layer of defense.

The formula also contains peptides and ceramides, which are both known for strengthening the skin’s barrier and replenishing moisture.

Reviewers are overall happy, saying it soothes and softens and helps nix fine lines and wrinkles. Others point out that the consistency is too thick, or that they had an allergic reaction or breakout. (This is why we patch test first!!!).

Best antioxidant serum for hyperpigmentation

SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF with Ferulic Acid

  • Price: $$$$
  • Active ingredients: L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ferulic acid, phloretin CF
  • Benefits: helps with discoloration, acne, aging
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Pros: derm-recommended
  • Cons: pricey

Recommended by Reed, this is a daytime vitamin C serum that’s definitely a splurge. SkinCeuticals lands on our list a few times and that’s thanks to its reputation and results. This one promises to deliver advanced environmental protection and to also help fade the look of fine lines and discoloration.

This formula has the powerhouses we’ve mentioned: 10 percent L-ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C) and 0.5 percent ferulic acid. Buuut it also has phloretin, which along with protective benefits, has proven to go to work on signs of aging and hyperpigmentation.

Plus, another impressive perk, the company website says that once this serum is absorbed, it stays effective for 72 hours.

Reviewers love SkinCeuticals products, saying this serum has done wonders for hyperpigmentation and acne scars. They also love how well it brightens up their skin.

This serum is a good pick for normal, oily, and combo skin types and is free of parabens, fragrances, and dyes.

Best budget antioxidant serum

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

  • Price: $
  • Active ingredients: niacinamide, zinc
  • Benefits: help with acne and texture, oily skin
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Pros: very affordable, cruelty-free
  • Cons: not great for sensitive skin

Reed says, “Very budget-friendly, this is a good product with two nice antioxidants: niacinamide and zinc. This is particularly great for those who are acne-prone, as zinc also helps with increased oil and sebum on the skin.”

Along with that, it’s also a mighty little pore shrinker and can help out with texture ish, too.

The price tag here is jaw-droppingly low. That alone is worth our applause but this pick is also cruelty-free and made without:

  • alcohol
  • gluten
  • nuts
  • oil
  • silicone
  • parabens
  • sulfates
  • mineral oil

The biggest downside is that the high concentration of niacinamide can cause a tingly/burning feeling that some reviewers don’t love. The higher concentration might also not jibe well with sensitive skin types.

Best budget retinol serum

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

  • Price: $$
  • Active ingredients: retinol, vitamin B3 (niacinamide), ceramides, hyaluronic acid
  • Benefits: help with acne scars
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Pros: affordable, noncomedogenic
  • Cons: contains alcohol, which can be drying

Reed explains that retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, so it’s actually considered an antioxidant. Pretty cool, no? And this more affordable option on our list has it, baby. In fact, it has encapsulated retinol, which is supposed to deliver all the amazing benefits of retinol with a gentler touch. *chef’s kiss*

“This product also contains niacinamide, an antioxidant which reduces inflammation, inhibits oxidative damage, improves the epidermal barrier function, and decreases skin hyperpigmentation — it’s a lovely addition to this retinol,” Reed explains. Plus, as research has proven, it also helps clear up acne.

It’s hard to find a negative review of this stuff. Reviewers say they see results fast, especially those with acne-prone, sensitive skin. To top things off, this formula is noncomedogenic, lightweight, and fast-absorbing. (And cheap!!)

Best antioxidant serum with SPF

La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum SPF 50

  • Price: $$
  • Active ingredients: ascorbyl glucoside (vitamin C), vitamin E, scutellaria baicalensis root extract, silica
  • Benefits: helps with fine lines, texture, brightening
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Pros: 2-in-1 step, includes SPF, doesn’t leave a white cast
  • Cons: small bottle

Reed recommends this for people looking to streamline their morning regimen. “This is a sunscreen with antioxidants vitamins C and E to help protect the skin with a simple one-step regimen,” she says. Woot! Love a multitasker.

This water-based serum contains a form of vitamin C (ascorbyl glucoside) that’s supposed to be super stable. But for even *more* stability, it’s got good ol’ vitamin E. Together, these superstars address fine lines, dark spots, and uneven texture. It also contains scutellaria baicalensis root extract, another antioxidant that’s claimed to brighten skin.

Reviewers say it’s lightweight, layers well with other products, and doesn’t leave a white cast. They also stand by its ability to reduce acne scars and dark spots. The biggest complaint is that the bottle is too small.

We love that it’s noncomedogenic and safe for all skin types. You can wear it as is, orrrr with a moisturizer, or under your makeup, if you want. We love options.

Psst… this pick is also free of fragrance, oil, and parabens.

Best antioxidant serum for discoloration

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

  • Price: $$$
  • Active ingredients: tranexamic acid, kojic acid, niacinamide, glycerin
  • Benefits: brightening, helps with hyperpigmentation
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Pros: dermatologist-recommended ingredients
  • Cons: pricey

Reed says this dark spot corrector contains some of her favorite ingredients: tranexamic acid, kojic acid, and niacinamide to help brighten skin. “I like to highlight the kojic acid, which is an antioxidant that helps inhibit the production of free tyrosinase, thereby reducing hyperpigmentation of the skin,” Reed explains.

Tranexamic acid is another promising ingredient that’s got a proven track record for effectively treating melasma and hyperpigmentation. So if you’re looking to improve any discoloration like hyperpigmentation and you’re working with a solid budget, this is a good pick for you. The brand says this works on brown patches and post-acne marks too.

This one is another smash with reviewers — most of them celebrate the work it’s done on their discoloration issues but some, of course, did not see results or had a breakout.

The brand says this one works for dry, normal, oily, and combo skin types.

Best antioxidant serum for loss of firmness

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

  • Price: $$$
  • Active ingredients: L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ferulic acid, vitamin E, vitis vinifera (grape) juice extract, pumpkin ferment extract, green tea extract, hyaluronic acid
  • Benefits: firming, brightening
  • Size: 0.94 oz-bottle
  • Pros: cruelty-free, vegan
  • Cons: pricey

Looking to firm things up? This vegan day serum by Drunk Elephant may be your little helper.

Along with vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid, this formula includes a pumpkin ferment extract and sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, which the brand says helps dissolve surface dead skin cells while hydrating, soothing, and firming.

It also has grape juice extract, which is rich in an antioxidant called resveratrol that helps brighten up your skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. Green tea extract (yet another antioxidant) puts the cherry on top with its ability to reduce redness, soothe irritation, and firm up skin.

This one is also said to be good for normal, dry, combo, and oily skin types. We love that it’s free of essential oils, silicones, colorants, and fragrance (nice for sensitive skin babes).

Heads up: This product needs to be mixed up before you use it for the first time, so be sure to remember that before applying it.

Best antioxidant serum for improving pores

Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum with Niacinamide

  • Price: $$
  • Active ingredients: niacinamide, green tea extract, witch hazel
  • Benefits: targets enlarged pores, oiliness, and dark spots
  • Size: 5.0-oz bottle
  • Pros: 2-in-1 toner and serum
  • Cons: may be too drying for some skin types

A little somethin’ oil-free from Ri Ri?

Fenty calls this a 2-in-1 toner and antioxidant serum: You get the toning from witch hazel (a botanical anti-inflammatory that can be used to treat acne) and the antioxidant benefits from fan-fave niacinamide and green tea extract.

It’s formulated to go after your dark spots, enlarged pores, and overall oiliness. And because it’s on the liquidy side, it’s super lightweight. Reviewers say it’s a lot like a lighter version of Bio Oil, but still thick enough that you don’t even need cotton pads to apply it.

Most reviewers are fans of this cherry-scented toner serum. Although some found it to be too drying, making their particular skin type feel itchy.

You’ll notice this is not too steep of a price compared to others on our list, BTW.

Best antioxidant serum for uneven texture

Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum

  • Price: $$$
  • Active ingredients: bis-glyceryl ascorbate (vitamin C), ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (vitamin C), scutellaria baicalensis root extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, glycerin
  • Benefits: softening, smoothing
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Pros: fragrance-free
  • Cons: pricey

This is a popular pick in the vitamin C serum community, friends.

It contains an amazing combo of ingredients that goes to town on signs of aging, dark spots, dullness, and uneven texture.

It has *two* forms of vitamin C — one that’s fast-acting to go to town on signs of premature aging and another that provides longer-lasting protection. Plus it also has lactic acid, one of the gentler alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that can help clear away dead skin cells to reveal brighter, more even skin.

It also has some sweet skin soothers and hydrators like licorice root extract, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin.

This truly is a fan favorite, with tons of reviewers swearing by it for more even skin tone, reduced fine lines and wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

Best drugstore antioxidant serum

Avene A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum

  • Price: $$
  • Active ingredients: ascorbyl glucoside (vitamin C), vitamin E, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid
  • Benefits: fast-absorbing, brightens and plumps skin
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Pros: accessible, good for all skin types
  • Cons: contains fragrance

We love a brightening serum that targets fine lines and wrinkles that can also be picked up at Walgreens.

It’s a simple formula — but also contains an effective combo of antioxidants and hydrating ingredients. Along with vitamins C and E for protection from oxidative stress, it also includes glycerin and hyaluronic for major hydration.

Reviewers are generally impressed with how well this option settles into their skin, noticing a nice hydrating effect. But one reviewer pointed out that the formula was not right for her sensitive skin that is prone to rosacea flare-ups. This might be because it contains fragrance, which can be irritating for some skin types.

P.S. This one comes in airless pump packaging, which, as we mentioned, matters when it comes to making sure your serum stays as potent as possible.

Best high end brightening antioxidant serum

Revision Skincare C+ Correcting Complex 30%

  • Price: $$$$
  • Active ingredients: tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (vitamin C), vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, diglucosyl gallic acid, glycerin, squalane
  • Benefits: brightening, firming
  • Size: 1-oz bottle
  • Pros: impressive blend of antioxidants
  • Cons: pricey

Recommended by Reed, this price tag is no joke — but this it’s supposed to be effective AF.

This formula contains tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, the gentler form of vitamin C that Reed recommends for sensitive skin, and vitamin E. It also has coenzyme Q10 and diglucosyl gallic acid for added antioxidant protection — plus, diglucosyl gallic acid has shown to be a pretty amazing skin brightener and redness reducer.

And finally, glycerin and squalane join the party to bring some serious hydration.

We appreciate that this pick is noncomedogenic. And most reviewers say this product has been a game changer for hyperpigmentation concerns. BUT some say they didn’t see a lot of changes after using it.

Best organic-based antioxidant serum

Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Serum

  • Price: $$
  • Active ingredients: magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C), vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, thioctic acid (alpha lipoic acid), pyrus malus (organic apple juice), hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe leaf juice
  • Benefits: vegan, cruelty-free
  • Size: 2-oz bottle
  • Pros: made from certified organic botanical juices
  • Cons: might irritate sensitive skin

Looking for something a little more natural?

This lightweight serum by Juice Beauty is made using TONS of vitamins and antioxidants from certified organic botanical juices.

For example, the brand says it replenishes moisture using plant-derived hyaluronic acid and vegetable glycerin. And ingredients like alpha lipoic acid to help reduce signs of UV damage and apple juice, which is loaded with malic acid — a gentle AHA that helps clear away dead skin cells to brighten up and smooth out your complexion.

Reviewers say this serum goes on smoothly and leaves their skin feeling softer. They also notice fewer fine lines and a refreshed look to their skin overall.

Plus, this serum is said to be good for all skin types, with a special shout-out for normal to combo skin types. We also heart that it’s vegan and cruelty-free.

When to apply

Hartman says there’s nothing wrong with using an antioxidant serum in the a.m. and in the p.m., but for most people, it’s not really necessary.

“I typically recommend patients use it in their morning skin care routine, and make sure they use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 in the morning as well. Sunscreen is essential daily, but skin is more sensitive when using an active antioxidant like vitamin C, so sunscreen is a must.”

Reed recommends applying ’em in the morning after cleansing the skin, before moisturizers and sunscreen. “It is ideal to use antioxidants in the morning so they can help to neutralize free radicals before sun damage occurs,” she says.

“In general,” Hartmans explains, “skin care products are layered from thinnest to thickest, with the thinnest products being applied to the skin first.”

He says if you think about your skin care goals, this makes sense. “Serums are intended to deliver active ingredients deep into the skin. Moisturizers tend to be thicker and they form a seal on the skin to make serums more efficacious. So, the order for daytime application would be:

How to apply

Hartmans says to apply your serum like any other skin care product — with clean, dry hands.

Next, he says dab the recommended amount (check the label for instructions carefully) onto your fingers and rub gently onto the skin. He adds to make sure you avoid eyes, lips, and nostrils.

Avoid layering certain ingredients

Important: Not all antioxidants (vitamin C for example), play well with retinol, according to Hartman.

“Retinol should not be used in the same routine. Stick to an antioxidant serum in the morning and use a product with a retinol at night,” he says.

Another super important note here: You gotta patch test, bb.

Applying a small amount of your new-to-you serum on the back of your wrist, for example, keeps you from a surprise allergic reaction or even a breakout all over your beautiful face. So, do the test first and be on the lookout for any signs of irritation, like redness, burning, itching, etc.

What are the benefits of antioxidant serums?

Hartman’s short answer here: The best way to get your skin to start sagging and develop spots is by skipping vitamins.

“Think of antioxidants as the protection that you apply before you head out into the world and are faced with all the components of the external world that contribute to aging skin like UV light, pollution, stress, and heat.”

What is the best skin antioxidant?

Hartman tells us that antioxidants, like vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid among others, are essential components of a good skin care regimen focused on anti-aging. But, he adds, if he had to choose just one, he would go with Vitamin C because it has the most research behind it.

Is Vitamin C an antioxidant serum?

Yep, it sure is. Reeds says to make sure your product has “L-ascorbic acid” on the ingredient list (this is the most effective form of vitamin C for your skin).

You can also look for tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate if L-ascorbic acid has irritated your skin in the past.

Other forms of vitamin C could have similar benefits, but there’s less research behind them.

When should I use antioxidant serums?

Remember: When layering products, go thinnest to thickest. “Use serums/sheer products first, then apply thicker skin care products next. Sunscreen is always last in the morning (before makeup, if you use it),” Reed says.

Antioxidant serums, which include vitamin C serums, can help protect you from the damaging effects of free radicals while also helping out with stuff like acne, premature aging, and hyperpigmentation — depending on the serum you pick, of course.

These serums tend to run on the more expensive side of things, but there are a couple more cost-friendly, reputable options out there. Remember to patch test first and then get to glowin’.

Our process and why you should trust us

We consulted with two dermatologists to get tips for choosing the best antioxidant serums for different skin types and concerns. We used those tips to pick the products above.

Before writing about those products, we put them all through a thorough vetting process that checks for unsupported health claims (like “This antioxidant serum gets rid of scars in one use!”), shady business practices, and lawsuits concerning a company’s products. We also checked that the main ingredients in each product are evidence-based and actually do what the company says they do.

After wrapping up our recommendations and tips, we sent this entire article to a third medical professional specializing in dermatology (in this case, Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP) for review.

So basically, you can feel good knowing that we put in WORK to get you these recommendations.