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Vitamin C serum boasts a wide range of benefits for your skin. Here’s the deets!

From warding off pesky free radicals to minimizing undereye bags, vitamin C serum can work wonders for your skin. Here’s how to use it, where to buy it, and a rundown of the best benefits.

One relatively affordable serum can accomplish a lot.

Vitamin C (known as L-ascorbic acid in the science world) is a multitasker, taking on the role of protector and worker bee as it shields skin from pesky pollution and free radicals while also getting busy on fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

The overachieving antioxidant is also celebrated for brightening, hydrating, and even reducing redness and lowering inflammation from common skin concerns like acne.

Your skincare routine shouldn’t feel like math, but it can feel confusing as hell trying to figure out where to put your fancy new serum in your lineup and *when* to apply it.

While everyone’s routine may look slightly different based on skin type and concerns, vitamin C is *generally* best used during the day instead of the night.

Why? Well, many of us slather on retinol at night (as we should!), which doesn’t mix with vitamin C.

Plus, vitamin C loves to protect your skin from the ish it comes into contact with during waking hours, so it’s best to let it do its thing during the day.

This means you’ll do something like:

  • cleanse
  • apply any toners if you’re into toning
  • apply vitamin C!
  • add a moisturizer if you’re a dry guy
  • top things off with facial SPF (pls don’t fight us on that one!).

1. Skin protection

Thanks to its work in neutralizing free radicals, this mighty antioxidant can work like a pop-up protector, keeping your skin safe from nasty environmental pollutants that can lead to visible signs of aging.

2. Fine lines and wrinkles

Much more than just a warrior protecting your skin from gross environmental factors, vitamin C also loves to help out with fine lines and wrinkles.

Studies suggest that daily use of vitamin C can polish up the look of fine lines and wrinkles as it stimulates collagen.

3. Hyperpigmentation

Vitamin C is also an easy go-to for helping fade hyperpigmentation. Think age spots, melasma, and any discolored spots where acne used to live.

These spots sprout when melanin production (the pigment producer) is abundant. Vitamin C interrupts this production, easing the look of hyperpigmentation. This is also where its brightening magic takes place.

However, you’ll need to keep using vitamin C to see the positive effects stick around (improvements can drop off if you drop the serum!).

4. Dark under-eye circles

Racoon eyes are a look, for sure. If you’re not into it, vitamin C can help. We mentioned it’s a brightener, so the dark under-eye area is where it can really shine.

One small, older study specifically found that vitamin C helped the look of dark circles thanks to its thickening skills, noting that it concealed dark under-eye coloration caused by congested blood (ew, but helpful).

Need more tea on vitamin C? Let’s get into it!

Where can you buy vitamin C serum?

Honestly, where *can’t* you buy vitamin C serum? Amazon carries a slew of it, as do major retailers like Target and drug stores like Walgreens. And OFC, you can find it at beauty staples like Ulta and Sephora.

How much does vitamin C serum cost?

If you’re reaching for a budget-friendly option, you can expect to spend about $15. If you’re willing to shell out much more on luxury picks, you may spend nearly $200. A solid middle-of-the-road serum costs around $30.

How do you apply vitamin C serum?

Dispense the product onto clean fingertips and apply it after cleansing and toning but before moisturizer and SPF. And then you’re good to glow!

What are the risks of using vitamin C serum?

You may notice a tingly, spicy feeling from vitamin C — especially if you’re new to it. Sensitive folks may notice redness and flaking. Performing a patch test before using it all over will help you avoid allergic reactions and major irritation all over your face.

Vitamin C serum is a badass with a long list of benefits. It’s generally well tolerated and available pretty much anywhere. It’s usually best to apply it during the day to keep up your retinol regime at night (they don’t mix!).