Best Vitamin C Serum For Acne Prone Skin

While some are naturally blessed with flawless and perfect skin, most of us have to deal with acne and fight battles to clear our skin every single day. If you’re reading this, then it means that you’re also suffering from problematic and acne-prone skin.

Acne breakouts are incredibly tricky, especially in winter when we need to moisturize even more but don’t want our moisturizing product to clog the pores and cause a breakout.

So, how to best treat your acne prone skin?

What’s the best product to use?

My answer is – Vitamin C serums!

Here, I’ll give you a list of the 5 best Vitamin C serum for acne prone skin!

These serums have been a favorite among users for a while now, not only because of their acne-fighting properties but also because of their abilities to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, improve skin complexion, remove discoloration, and give you a younger and fresher looking skin in general. And no, serums don’t always have to cost a fortune!

There are many incredible choices on the market ranging from very cheap to incredibly expensive. Their quality is not always proportional to their price.

This list is based on users’ reviews and experiences with the products, and it underlines the pros and cons of each product, including their benefits, weak sides, and prices. The only thing that’s left for you to do is read well and choose according to your preferences!

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Top 5 Vitamin C Serum For Acne Prone Skin

Why is Vitamin C Important for Acne Prone Skin?

We all know Vitamin C for its immune-boosting abilities which keep us from catching a cold. However, did you know that Vitamin C also has incredible skin beautifying properties?

Some of the benefits of Vitamin C applied as a topical serum are the following:

  • Diminishing the appearance of acne scars
  • Reducing hyper-pigmentation
  • Reducing inflammation, thus preventing acne
  • Promoting collagen production
  • Appearance of a younger and healthier skin
  • Fading marks left behind from acne
  • Improving your skin complexity
  • Protecting the skin from free radicals and pollutants
  • Increased protection against UV rays
  • Reducing wrinkles and signs of skin aging
  • Decreasing/balancing sebum production, thus preventing blackhead buildup
  • Making your skin brighter
  • Help your skin heal faster

All of these and more are the benefits that you will personally feel once you start using a product from our list of 5 best Vitamin C serum for acne-prone skin.

How To Choose The Best Type of Vitamin C Serum for Acne Prone Skin?

Finding the right Vitamin C serum for you can be a challenge, especially if you’re just starting to use this type of product. There are many different products out on the market.

So, which one to choose?

I’m here to keep you informed and help you choose and decide what’s best for you.

High Dose of Vitamin C

It is recommended that the serum has a high dose of pure Vitamin C. The best would be if the product has a concentration of Vitamin C anywhere between 15 to 20 %. If the Vitamin C concentration in the serum is less, you won’t be able to feel and experience as many benefits as you normally should. On the other hand, if the concentration of Vitamin C is more than 20%, then it might be too irritating for your skin. So, the best would be to find a serum that contains 15 to 20% of Vitamin C.

L-ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C can come in different types: L-ascorbic acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, and Sodium ascorbyl phosphate. Out of these three forms, you want your serum to contain L-ascorbic acid. L-ascorbic acid is the purest and most powerful form of Vitamin C that is suitable for topical application. So, no matter which brand or price range you choose, make sure that it contains L-ascorbic acid, preferably 15 to 20%. This type of Vitamin C absorbs the best and it can give you many more benefits than other forms.

Additional Helpful Ingredients

Aside from the Vitamin C concentration, it would be great if the serum you purchase contains other soothing and natural ingredients such as Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Ferulic acid or Hyaluronic acid. These ingredients perfectly complement and strengthen the effects of the Vitamin C in your serum.

No Harmful and Irritating Ingredients

And finally, the last thing you’d want to keep in mind when you’re choosing a Vitamin C serum is that it doesn’t contain too many artificial and harmful ingredients. For example, ingredients you might want to avoid are perfumes, sulfates, parabens, etc. Aim to purchase a serum that’s powerful but still as natural as possible.

Always In a Dark and Air-Tight Bottle

When exposed to sunlight and air, Vitamin C can quickly lose its antioxidant powers, which means no benefits for your skin. So, whenever you choose a serum, make sure that it’s a dark colored bottle which is air-tight. With these features plus storing it in a cold and dry space, you’ll make sure that your Vitamin C serum is always giving you the maximum of its benefits!

How To Properly Use a Vitamin C Serum

Luckily, Vitamin C serums are pretty straightforward to use. Even though you should always follow the instructions that come with the product, most serums would be used in a similar way. When it comes to Vitamin C serums, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Clean your Face

First of all, you need to make sure that your face is properly cleaned and there isn’t any leftover makeup or dirt accumulated. To do this, use a mild cleanser and then gently pat-dry your face with a clean towel.

Step 2: Tone your face

If you use a toner for your facial skin, apply it right after washing your face. Apply the toner the same way you normally do and wait for it to absorb and dry.

Step 3: Apply the Vitamin C serum

Most Vitamin C serums come in small glass bottles with a dropper. Use the dropper to apply a few drops directly on your face and massage them in. Remember, when it comes to serums, less is more! So, only 4 or 5 drops of the Vitamin C serum will go a long way. If you’re using a new Vitamin C serum for the first time, start by applying 1 or 2 drops on a patch of skin to test for irritations.

Step 4: The correct application time and order

In order to get all the sun protection benefits of Vitamin C, apply the serum every morning before your usual makeup application. However, after you’ve applied the serum, wait for it to completely dry before you do your next steps. Remember, first you wash your face, then you tone it (if you use a toner), and then comes the Vitamin C serum. After the serum you can proceed with your normal everyday products.  

Step 5: Once or twice a day

The best timing to apply a Vitamin C serum is before you start your day, early in the morning. However, if you feel that your skin needs more, you can also apply this serum at night, before you go to bed. The same procedure goes here – apply the Vitamin C serum on a completely clean face and wait for it to dry out before you apply any other products on top.

5 Best Vitamin C Serum For Acne Prone Skin

My first choice is the TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum which contains natural and organic ingredients of the highest quality. Their formula doesn’t use any additional chemicals, scents or colors to make the serum look or smell nicer.

The TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C serum is 98% natural, 100% vegetarian and cruelty-free, and an incredible 72% organic! Because of the fact that they don’t use any added colors or stabilizers, the color of this serum can sometimes vary, depending from one batch to the other. However, this doesn’t affect the quality of the product.

As I’ve said before, the ideal percentage of Vitamin C concentration should be between 15 and 20%, and this product fulfills our expectations with 20% of Vitamin C! Next, it also contains Vitamin E as well as Hyaluronic acid, both of which are beneficial for your skin’s health. Aside from these main ingredients, this serum also contains organic Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, organic Gotu Kola, organic Jojoba oil, wildcrafted Dandelion & Geranium, and other beneficial additions.

According to users’ reviews, the TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C serum has shown impressive results and is incredible for people who wish to stay as natural as possible when it comes to their beauty products.

PROS

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    Natural Ingredients
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    Organic and cruelty-free
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    100% Vegetarian
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    Not tested on animals
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    20% of Vitamin C Concentration
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    Vitamin E and Hyaluronic acid

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    Many other helpful and soothing ingredients
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    No harsh chemicals, colors or artificial scents
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    Affordable
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    Offers a 3-month, 100% money-back refund guarantee

CONS

  • Might be irritating for someone who’s allergic to its plant-based ingredients ​​​​
  • Its scent and color may vary from batch to batch
  • Might cause rash and/or small bumps if allergic or too harsh for you

If you feel that a serum consisting purely of Vitamin C is not enough to help you with your acne problem, then this might be the right product for you. Aside from 20% of Vitamin C concentration, the Tea Tree Clear Skin Serum by TruSkin also contains 3.5% of Niacinamide (B3), 2.5% of Vitamin A (retinol), 5% of Hyaluronic Acid, 2% of Salicylic Acid, as well as Tea Tree Essential Oil.

The tea tree oil as an ingredient in this serum is a powerful anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-microbial agent which effectively fights acne, blemishes, acne scars, blackheads, etc. Most skin care products meant for acne prone skin will contain tea tree oil because it has an amazing ability to unclog your pores, lessen their visibility, and diminishing irritation and inflammation. For this reason, the TruSkin Tea Tree Clear Skin serum can be the perfect acne-fighting weapon.

Furthermore, this serum contains Retinol and Niacinamide – two powerful ingredients for skin health and beauty. And finally, this is an affordable product which won’t greatly harm your budget.

All in all, the TruSkin Tea Tree Clear Skin Serum is a perfect product for acne prone skin and it will give you incredible benefits – not only in regards to acne improvements, but also in diminishing wrinkles, improving your complexion, and giving you a younger look in general.

PROS

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    Additional acne fighting ingredients such as tea tree oil, Niacinamide (B3), Vitamin A (retinol), and Salicylic Acid
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    20% of Vitamin C concentration
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    Affordable
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    Specialized for acne-prone skin
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    Organic and natural
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    Cruelty-free and not tested on animals
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    Offers a 3-month, 100% money-back refund guarantee
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    Formulated in the USA, in an FDA-registered laboratory

CONS

  • A very concentrated serum which might cause irritation and dryness if it’s used everyday
  • Some users reported breaking out and a burning sensation after application

The third product I’ve chosen is for those of you who are braver than others! Namely, Pure Biology is one of the first Vitamin C serums which has a concentration of 30% Vitamin C. It contains the purest and most bioavailable form of Vitamin C and offers incredible results!

Aside from its high Vitamin C concentration, the C Plus serum also contains Hyaluronic acid and Fision Wrinkle Fix – a proprietary ingredient which is a combination of different plant peptides. The Fision Wrinkle Fix ingredient has shown impressive results in clinical trials and studies, as an amazing enhancer of Hyaluronic acid properties. Because of these features, the C Plus serum by Pure Biology is an amazing weapon against acne, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, discoloration, etc.

Furthermore, the C Plus Vitamin C serum doesn’t contain any artificial stabilizers, colors or fillers. Aside from the ingredients mentioned before, the C Plus serum also contains hydrolyzed rice protein, hydrolyzed pea protein, Jojoba oil, hydrolyzed wheat protein, witch hazel, Vitamin E, etc. Reviews show that the combination of these ingredients can give you excellent results.

Finally, this product is GMO-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free, and it’s made in the USA in an FDA-registered facility.

PROS

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    Highest Vitamin C concentration of 30%
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    Hyaluronic acid + Vitamin E
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    Fision Wrinkle Fix proprietary ingredient
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    Natural ingredients
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    Non-GMO, paraben-free and cruelty-free
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    No artifical scents, stabilizers, colors or other fillers
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    Affordable

CONS

  • Might irritate sensitive skin
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    A small number of users didn’t see any visible results

The Venu Vitamin C serum contains 20% of sodium ascorbyl phosphate – a form of Vitamin C, plus Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera, and Vitamin E. This is again the perfect combination for a flawless skin!

Aside from these main ingredients, the Venu Vitamin C serum also contains Witch Hazel, Carbomer, 2s-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Jojoba Oil, Organic Centella Asiatica Gotu Kola Extract, Horsetail Plant Extract, Geranium Extract, Dandelion Extract, etc. These are all natural and beneficial ingredients which can help you improve your skin tone, fight acne and acne scars, get rid of age spots, reduce wrinkles, etc.

Venu is proud of its revolutionary serum which absorbs very quickly, is smooth on application and it’s not greasy at all. This makes the serum perfect for applying under your foundation or under a different moisturizer.

The Venu Vitamin C serum is packed in a PBA-free packaging and dark-colored glass bottles, which ensures that your serum will keep its quality after opening. All in all, users had great reviews and opinions about this product!

PROS

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    Absorbs quickly
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    Non-greasy
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    PBA-free packaging and dark-colored glass bottle
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    Easy and smooth to apply
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    Contains hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E + Aloe Vera
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    20% of Vitamin C concentration
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    Cheaper than other products

CONS

  • Might be a bit too watery
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    Some people didn't see visible results
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    Might be irritating if you're allergic to an ingredient

If you don’t mind spending a bit more, the Obagi Professional-C Serum is the perfect product for you. This serum contains 20% of L-ascorbic acid – a pure form of Vitamin C which is far better and more absorbent than the rest of the Vitamin C forms.

The Obagi Professional-C Serum fits most skin types, from normal to oily, and it’s an amazing weapon for fighting acne, fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, etc.

When compared to the three other products we’ve listed above, Obagi doesn’t contain so many natural ingredients. However, if you’re not after the “all natural” products, this serum can be a powerful tool for you. Its power comes from the L-ascorbic acid which is much more powerful than the types of Vitamin C used in most other products.

Some of the ingredients in the Obagi Professional-C serum include:  propylene glycol, water, L-ascorbic acid, alcohol, ascorbyl glucoside, ethoxydiglycol, phenoxyethanol, sorbitol, sodium hyaluronate, zinc chloride, calcium hydroxide, etc.

For those of you with sensitive and dry skin, the Obagi serum might be a bit irritating since it contains alcohol as well as a fragrance. Always do a test on a small patch of skin before using this product to see how your skin will react to it. If you don’t feel any burning, swelling, redness or irritation – you’re good to go!

PROS

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    20% of L-ascorbic acid - the purest form of Vitamin C
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    Fits most skin types
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    Results in soft and silky skin
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    The L-ascorbic acid is a much more powerful form of Vitamin C than the forms used in other serums

CONS

  • More expensive than other products on the market
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    Might be too harsh for sensitive and/or dry skin
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    Contains alcohol and fragrances
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    Doesn't consist of natural ingredients

Conclusion

According to users’ reviews as well as my own experience, I hope I’ve managed to help you with my chosen list of 5 best Vitamin C serum for acne prone skin. All of the above serums enjoy an excellent feedback and have helped hundreds of people fight acne, diminish aging signs, and achieve a much better complexion in general.

Skin health is an important part of everyday life, so if you still struggle with finding your perfect product, don’t hesitate to try one of my suggestions. Even though all of these serums are amazing, when it comes to acne prone skin I have to choose the Tea Tree Clear Skin Serum by TruSkin. The reason for this is because this serum is specifically formulated to treat and prevent acne breakouts, pimples, blackheads, as well as regulate sebum production. 

However, if you’re not a fan of all the extra acne-fighting ingredients in this serum and prefer something simpler but powerful, then try the Obagi Professional-C Serum. Even though this product is much more expensive than the rest of our choices, it contains a superior form of Vitamin C called L-ascorbic acid, which makes it one of the best and most-wanted serums of this type on the market.

Hopefully, my review has given you an insight so that you can make an informed decision and choose the best product for your skin type and needs.

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