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13 Vitamin C Serums for Brighter, More Radiant Skin

Add one of these vitamin C serums to your anti-aging arsenal and watch wrinkles make a hasty retreat
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When browsing the skin care aisle for anti-aging products, do you ever consider vitamin C for your skin? Sure, retinol, ceramides and hyaluronic acid are a few of our favorite power players -- and for good reason. But along with those key ingredients, you need vitamin C, a tried and true wrinkle fighter and radiance booster that is every bit the superstar as those other MVPs.

"When applied topically, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps reduce damage to the skin from free radicals," explains Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care. "Free radicals are formed by many different environmental issues like the sun, pollution or smoking, and can ultimately harm the skin."

Translation: These free radicals can break down collagen and cause premature wrinkles to emerge. However, vitamin C acts as a skin protectant and can even delay the early signs of aging. Our advice? Invest in one of the following vitamin C face serums to add to your morning routine as your shield against environmental stressors. As an added vitamin c serum benefit, the skin will appear brighter and more radiant after each and every use.

Pro tip: Always apply sunscreen directly after applying a vitamin C serum to your face. While vitamin C is meant to protect the skin from sun damage from the inside out, sunscreen protects the very outer layer of skin, making them both extremely important to use before heading out for your day.

Image via Imaxtree

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SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic , $163
This hero product from SkinCeuticals is pretty much the OG of vitamin C serums. Using 15 percent pure vitamin C, plus vitamin E and ferulic acid, this face serum neutralizes damaging free radicals while also encouraging ingredients to work synergistically to boost the effectiveness of other antioxidants within the formula. Even more impressive, this vitamin C serum's benefits remain effective for a minimum of 72 hours after absorption.

Combining five different sources of vitamin C, this ultra-potent, citrus-smelling serum instantly absorbs and penetrates the skin to boost collagen and promote cell renewal for a brighter complexion. The oil-free formula is also loaded with moisture-binding ingredients so skin will stay hydrated for longer, making this vitamin C serum the perfect product to help promote skin's healing of sun damage, scarring or even burns.

Sometimes vitamin C serums can feel a bit too, well, watery, but not this one by Drunk Elephant. With a gel-like texture, this newly improved formula isn't only jam-packed with vitamin C, it also contains fruit enzymes like pumpkin ferment and pomegranate enzymes that work to dissolve dead skin cells for a smoother feel. Also, considering vitamin C loses its efficacy when exposed to light or after oxidation, Drunk Elephant designed this product's packaging to be an opaque, airless pump so that the formula stays effective for longer.

Whether you use this vitamin C serum on its own after cleansing or mix a few drops of it into your favorite moisturizer, you'll get unparalleled brightening after-effects while also slowly diminishing unwanted fine lines and wrinkles.

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