13 Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serums That Have NO Competition

best drugstore vitamin C serums

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Ladies and gents, I present you with the best drugstore vitamin C serums for under $30!

Boy, oh boy, vitamin C serums are taking over the beauty world left, right and center! If retinol is the king, then vitamin C is the queen, ruling over flawless skin like a boss!

These serums are no joke. Packed with powerful antioxidants, they’ll fight off skin damage and aging like nobody’s business. Wrinkles, age spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation don’t stand a chance against vitamin C.

And let me tell you, the results are legit. I, my mom, and literally all my best friends are high-key obsessed with them!

But with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect match for your skin type, budget, and concerns. Fear not, because I’ve got your back. 😘

Who needs to spend $166 on skincare when you can find amazing serums at the drugstore? Seriously, it’s kind of ridiculous. So here’s my list of the absolute best drugstore vitamin C serums that work their magic like nobody’s business!

What to look for in a vitamin C serum?

  • It doesn’t oxidize that easily because they do turn yellowish-brown when they come in contact with the air.
  • They have a nice 6 months expiry after opening the bottle. Most serums will give you just 3 months, but the more, the better.
  • Features a stabilized form of vitamin C. L-ascorbic acid is the most effective.
  • Has at least 10% concentration, which is the minimum amount for noticeable results.
  • Lastly, check for additional nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to enhance the benefits.

Let’s see the best drugstore vitamin C serums ever, shall we?

1. ceraVe vitamin C serum + hyaluronic acid

Okay, if you don’t already know how obsessed I am with CeraVe, all I can say is that there’s not even a scale to measure that. Not only is this brand super damn affordable, but the products are 100% awesome.

Talking about this AMAZING drugstore vitamin C serum, you’ll love it for its convenient tube packaging, which in my opinion, keeps the serum fresher for way longer. No quick oxidization, my love!

  • I had huge acne scars and a little pigmentation around my lips and chin, which quite efficiently vanished in 4 to 6 weeks. My mum already had spotless skin and she said her skin started glowing after using it!

Packed with 10% pure L-ascorbic acid, the good stuff that brightens your complexion and evens out your skin tone. Plus, it’s got hyaluronic acid for that plump, hydrated vibe and three essential ceramides to keep your skin barrier on point. Who needs multiple serums now?

And don’t worry, this formula is fragrance-free, paraben-free, non-comedogenic, and allergy-tested. It’s safe for all skin types, no exceptions. I’ve already used 2 tubes of it!!

2. The ordinary ascorbic acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%

Another drugstore vitamin C serum that I just cannot stop raving about is this one from The Ordinary.

If you specifically want to tackle tough acne scars, strong pigmentation and just want a stronger alternative to vitamin C, but also something that won’t react, cause purging, and just be gentle to sensitive skin, this affordable vitamin C is hands is a rare find!

  • I had this massive dark spot from a pesky acne breakout once, and within just 2 to 3 weeks of consistent use, this serum lightened it up. It didn’t fully vanish, so I think after about 5 weeks would be a good time to judge!

But here’s the best part – it’s water-free, fragrance-free, and cruelty-free. This serum truly has it all. With only three simple ingredients, Propanediol, Ascorbic Acid, and Alpha-Arbutin, it’s perfect for even the most sensitive skin types.

Now, let’s be real – it can be a little oily. But don’t worry, that’s just the natural tendency of vitamin C. It takes a bit longer to absorb (about 30-50 seconds), and it might feel a bit sticky afterward.

But nothing that a moisturizer on top can’t solve! The stickiness disappears and it becomes oh-so-comfy.

3. The Inkey list 15% Vitamin C + EGF Brightening Serum

As amazing as it sounds, I am not a big fan of The Inkey List. Some of their products are total misses (but many are hits too, including this drugstore Vitamin C serum!)

This baby is packed with 15% Ascorbyl Glucoside, a very stabalized form of vitamin C derivative that actually brightens your skin and shields it from pesky environmental stressors.

Plus, it contains 1% Epitensive, a plant-based Epidermal Growth Factor that keeps your skin elastic and oh-so-healthy. (Now, that’s a unique addition!)

The best part? It’s super lightweight and not at all sticky or tacky like other drugstore serums. But it works a little slowly!

You have to be patient and give it some time – this isn’t an instant-results product. It’ll take around 3 months of consistent use to see a major difference (and I know, waiting is not fun!).

But trust me, good things come to those who wait. This affordable vitamin C serum will leave your skin glowing and healthier than ever. And the price? Just $15! Seriously, what more could you want?

4. TruSkin Vitamin C Serum

There is no way in hell you haven’t heard about this drugstore gem! It’s a legit powerhouse serum that does everythingggg it says (and them more).

Packed with the perfect blend of vitamin C, organic aloe vera, botanical hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E, this drugstore vitamin C serum will not only illuminate your skin but also turn back the clock on those pesky wrinkles and fine lines, along with saying goodbye to hyperpigmentation!

  • I recommended this to one of my best friends, so here’s her review – “You know I had a ton lot of pigmentation on my forehead, around the nose, and chin? All of those went away like a charm. Not kidding! I think I used 2 bottles of it, so two months. But in all honesty, it might not deliver that instant radiance and glow we all crave from vitamin C.”

This TruSkin vitamin C serum is a bonafide Amazon best-seller with a jaw-dropping 142,000 rave reviews. Seriously, have you ever seen a skincare product with such high ratings? If that doesn’t speak volumes about its effectiveness, we don’t know what does.

5. timeless 20% vitamin c + ferulic acid

This serum is seriously amazingggg and it’s got everything you need to get your skin looking radiant and healthy.

What makes it so special? Well, it’s got a whopping 20% vitamin C, which is double the power of your average serum. And with the added ferulic acid and vitamin E, you’re getting a triple threat of skin-loving ingredients.

But that’s not all! This serum is designed with airtight packaging, so your vitamin C stays fresh for much longer than other serums on the market. Talk about getting your money’s worth!

And the results speak for themselves. This serum gives your skin an instant boost of radiance, leaving you with a bright, glowing complexion. Plus, it helps fade dark spots and evens out skin tone.

But wait, there’s more! This serum is lightweight, non-greasy, and absorbs in seconds. No sticky residue here! And the best part? It’s free of chemicals, fragrances, and cruelty. So please feel good about putting it on your skin!

  • Now, before you rush out to buy it, a word of caution. This drugstore serum is powerful stuff, so it’s not recommended for beginners. If you’re new to the vitamin C game, start with something milder. But if you’re ready to take your skincare to the next level, this is the serum for you.

6. jumiso All Day Vitamin Brightening Serum

I bet you haven’t heard about this amazing Korean brand and this truly all-in-one drugstore brightening serum! If you don’t know anything about Korean beauty, know this – their products are lightyears ahead of us!

And this right here is one of the best Korean vitamin C serums out there!

And here’s the best part – it’s not just a vitamin C serum. This baby is packed with vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, along with other awesome ingredients like sea buckthorn, glycerine, niacinamide, and licorice. Talk about a powerhouse!

But that’s not all. This bottle is water-free, vegan, alcohol-free, and non-sticky. It’s the real deal when it comes to treating acne, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. And the best part? No tingling sensation on your precious skin.

If you’re looking for just a good serum that keeps your skin truly clear and effortlessly healthy, you’ll not get a better deal than this! It’s like getting a boost of multivitamins for your skin, but with all the benefits of a regular drugstore vitamin C serum.

7. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

Have you heard about The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension? It’s like a superhero for your skin! (You know I love The Ordinary skincare to the core of my skincare heart, so it wasn’t shocking!)

This water-free, silicone-free serum is packed with 23% L-Ascorbic Acid (fancy talk for vitamin C), which is known for its skin-brightening powers and its ability to zap fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, it’s got 2% Hyaluronic Acid to keep your skin hydrated.

I’ve been using this drugstore vitamin C serum for a couple of weeks now, and WOW, the results are amazing! My skin looks super bright and radiant, and those pesky lines and wrinkles? They’re vanishing before my eyes.

Seriously, I can’t get enough of it! If you’re struggling with your skin, especially acne scars, you NEED to give this stuff a try.

And if you don’t know how to layer the ordinary products, here’s your fuss-free guide!

8. Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum

Babe, you know I won’t like it if you’ll spend more than you need but if you can or want incredibly QUICK results, this drugstore vitamin C serum should be a no brainer!

Within just 10 days, you’ll see astonishing results. Hyperpigmentation and dark spots will fade away, leaving your skin brighter and clearer than ever.

Now, we know it might seem strange at first. The serum has a unique smell and a sticky feeling, but don’t worry, it goes away. And that light yellow or amber color when you open it? It’s totally normal, not oxidized at all!

Plus, this serum is dermatologically tested, allergy tested, and free of parabens. It’s non-greasy and made with clean, green ingredients. It’s everything you’ve been looking for in a serum.

9. L’Oreal Paris Skincare 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum

Looking for a top-notch drugstore vitamin C serum? Look no further! Loreal’s 10% pure vitamin C serum is a gem. Packed in a sleek package, it’s just like CeraVe’s, with a potent concentration of vitamin C.

Not only does it improve radiance and brighten dark spots, but it also combats those pesky free radicals that age your skin, a.k.a wrinkles!

But wait, there’s more! This serum is lightweight, fragrance-free, and won’t clog your pores. It’s a superhero formula, free of parabens, mineral oils, and synthetic dyes. You won’t find any of the bad stuff here!

  • Loreal claims that within just one week, you’ll notice brighter and younger-looking skin. And after four weeks? Those pesky wrinkles, dark spots, and pores will be visibly reduced. My mom can truly vouch for this, it really works!

Applying this serum gives you a warm sensation, which is totally normal for vitamin C serums. So you know it’s doing its magic.

What sets this drugstore vitamin C serum apart is its potency and stability. No more worrying about oxidization thanks to its metal tube packaging.

10. no7 Radiance+ 15% Vitamin C Serum

Here’s another strong, effective, yet drugstore vitamin C serum from No7. This little powerhouse is like a magic wand for tired, dull skin. Say goodbye to blah and hello to a dewy, youthful glow in an instant.

Now, I gotta be honest with you. When you first apply it, you might notice a sticky, tacky feeling. And if your skin tends to be on the dry side, it might feel a little tight.

But here’s the good news – once it sinks in and dries down, you won’t even notice it. And after a little moisturizer, your skin will be feeling fabulous.

  • But what sets this affordable vitamin C serum apart from other vitamin C products on the market is its unique, fast-acting formula. This stuff is like a superhero for dark spots and acne marks. You can start seeing results in as little as one week.

But you know I don’t share a product until I tell you everything – the good and the bad! Okay, so here’s the only downside. They decided to add a strong, citrus fragrance to the product that does not linger on though but still can be a lot for fragrance sentive babes.

11. dear klairs Freshly Juiced pure vitamin C serum

First things first, this serum is perfect for beginners. It’s got a gentle 5% pure vitamin C, so you won’t feel any irritation or tingling on your skin. Plus, it’s loaded with amazing essential oils and Centella Asiatica Extract, which work wonders to calm and soothe your skin.

And the best part? It’s got a lightweight texture that won’t clog your pores. Oh, and the clear packaging is super convenient – you’ll know exactly when it’s time for a new bottle.

But let’s talk about the downsides… there are a few. Starting with the ingredients, this little bottle has a whopping 46 of them. Yeah, that’s a lot. They claim it’s all safe and healthy, but one wrong ingredient could wreak havoc on sensitive skin types.

And essential oils? Not the greatest idea. Plus, the transparent packaging speeds up the oxidation process, so make sure to store it in a cool, dry place.

To sum it up, I’m still a little unsure about this awesome serum for sensitive skin types. But if you’re rocking normal to combination skin, give it a shot!

  • I actually gifted it to my dear friend, and she swears by it for her oily skin. She says it’s gentle and instantly brightens her complexion.

12. Versed Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum

If you fear that vitamin C serums can make your skin feel oily, smelly funky, or make the skin tingle (we all do that right?), then this Versed brightening serum is your safest bet.

This lightweight, non-tacky serum will firm, hydrate, and strengthen your skin with the power of licorice extracts and niacinamide. Don’t worry, you can safely use vitamin C and niacinamide together for maximum results.

The texture is a dream – a yellow-colored, gel-like formula that feels oh-so-comfy. Instant brightness, anyone?

  • But here’s a fun fact, it has just 0.5% actual vitamin C in it. Now I don’t know if it truly is a blessing for extra sensitive skin types or not, but I can vouch for the overall brightening effects that it delivers!

13. LilyAna Naturals Vitamin C Serum

I came across LilyAna Naturals when I first realized that their retinol cream is a solid drunk elephant dupe of one of their products.

And their vitamin C serum has gone a major transformation from drying and irritating to total skin savior in the recent years!

LilyAna Naturals is all about clean, effective skincare. No parabens, phthalates, SLS, SLES, or gluten. No artificial fragrances or colors. And definitely no animal testing. They’re basically skincare angels.

Now, let’s talk about their vitamin C serum. It’s packed with a whopping 20% vitamin C to revitalize your skin, boost collagen, and improve elasticity.

We’re talking serious results here, people. Plus, there’s vitamin E, Aloe Leaf Juice, Wild Geranium, and Dandelion Extracts, Jojoba Oil, and 5% Botanical Hyaluronic Acid for extra hydration.

The best part? This serum is super lightweight, so it won’t feel greasy on your skin. And it won’t clog your pores, so say goodbye to pesky breakouts.

Oh, and did we mention it has over 12,000 rave reviews on Amazon? That’s more than the big-name brands. So, trust the people and give LilyAna Naturals a try. Your skin will thank you.

Frequently asked questions –

13 Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serums That Have NO Competition

Which brand vitamin C serum is best?

Well, let me tell you, there are a ton of vitamin C serums out there, but if you want the best of the best, look no further than SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum. This bad boy is packed with antioxidants, brightens your skin, and helps reduce the signs of aging. Don’t just take my word for it, try it out for yourself and get ready for some serious glow!

Which brand vitamin C serum is best in India?

If you’re on the hunt for the best brand in India, look no further than The Derma Co. Their vitamin C serum is a fan favorite, with a potent formula that brightens, hydrates, and smooths the skin. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself and get ready to glow!

13 Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serums That Have NO Competition

How do I choose a good vitamin C serum?

Choosing a good vitamin C serum can be overwhelming, but follow these simple tips to narrow down your options.

  • Firstly, opt for a serum with L-ascorbic acid as it’s the most effective form.
  • Secondly, look for a serum with at least 10% concentration which is the minimum amount for noticeable results.
  • Lastly, check for additional nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to enhance the benefits.

What to avoid when buying vitamin C serum?

When buying vitamin C serum, it’s essential to avoid products with artificial fragrances, irritants, and preservatives. These can cause skin irritation, inflammation, and sensitivity, undermining the serum’s beneficial effects.

Look for products with high concentrations of pure vitamin C, natural ingredients, and no harsh chemicals to get the best results for your skin.

What serums not to use with vitamin C?

Some serums with ingredients, like retinol, AHAs, BHAs and benzoyl peroxide, can actually reduce the effectiveness of your vitamin C serum. So, make sure to do your research and avoid any incompatible combinations.

13 Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serums That Have NO Competition

What are the disadvantages of vitamin C serum for skin?

Oh boy, let me tell you about the pitfalls of vitamin C serum for skin!

  • Firstly, it can cause redness, irritation and even breakouts if used excessively.
  • Secondly, it has a short shelf life, losing potency quickly once opened.
  • Lastly, it’s not the cheapest item on the shelf, so it may not be within everyone’s budget.

So, proceed with caution when incorporating vitamin C serum into your skincare regimen!

Is vitamin C serum for face better than retinol?

If you’re wondering whether vitamin C serum trumps retinol for your face, let me tell you – it totally does!

Vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient that helps fight free radicals, brighten and even out skin tone, and boost collagen production. While retinol is great at reducing fine lines and wrinkles, it can cause irritation, sensitivity, and dryness.

Is it safe to use vitamin C serum everyday?

Well, using vitamin C serum every day is generally considered safe and even recommended by some skincare experts. However, if you have sensitive skin, you might want to start with a lower concentration and gradually work your way up.

Which vitamin serum is best for anti aging?

Well, well, well, if you’re looking for the ultimate fountain of youth, look no further than retinol serum! Retinol, a form of Vitamin A, works wonders for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin texture, and boosting collagen production.

Final thoughts on the best drugstore vitamin C serums

Vitamin C serums are a great way to get your daily dose of glow, which has many benefits for the skin.

Some people use it as a lightening agent to help with hyperpigmentation. Others use it to help with aging skin and wrinkles. And some use it because it helps boost collagen production in the skin.

The best drugstore vitamin C serum is hard to find since there are so many options on the market today. There are also many different uses for these serums, so you have to be careful when choosing one that will work best for you.

So, what drugstore vitamin C serums have you added to the cart?

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best drugstore vitamin c serums


  1. I’ve been using ELF’s Vitamin C serum and am impressed by the results. Either the vitamin C or ELF’s retinol serum is minimizing fine lines and lightening up my hyperpigmentation a bit.

    What do you think of ELF’s products? I’m a pretty die-hard fan and have been with them since they first appeared online. They’ve certainly improved their Bite-Size powder eyeshadows since the beginning. My favs are Rose Water and Cream & Sugar.

    I’d just like a pro’s opinion. I started buying ELF because of its price. I hate spending a ton of money on makeup. Even so, now that I’m approaching 60, I’m not as frugal-minded.

    Thank you for your articles. I am looking for a new foundation. I’m tired of my present one. Need something new.

    Thank you for your time.

    1. Honestly, ELF is such a cool brand with genuine products and insanely amazing prices. Most of their products are dupes for high-end makeup and they cater to all audiences alike. I have their cream sugar palette, and it’s so compact, travel-friendly, and excellent for the price. But I think there are better eyeshadows out there. Except that I’m an ELF-ie too! Love their camo line, especially the CC cream.

      That being said, I think I have some posts that could help you find your new foundation – The best makeup for older woman and Best foundations for large pores. I would recommend Arman silk foundation or LO’real’s age perfect serum foundation. My mum loves them to death!! <3

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