Best Vitamin C Serums for Men: For Brighter, Smoother and Glowing Skin [2020]

best vitamin c serums

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Best Vitamin C Serums for Men: For Brighter, Smoother and Glowing Skin [2020]

In the 18th century, sailors realized that if they ate citrus, they could prevent scurvy (a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency). At the time, they didn’t know what was helping them, and it wasn’t until the 1930s that they discovered what vitamin C is.

QUICK ANSWER – THE Best vitamin C Serums for Men

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Since then, vitamin C has been extensively researched and has been shown to have tremendous health benefits, not only for our bodies but also for our skin.

It is the main water-soluble antioxidant in our tissues, and it plays a very important role in the complicated process in which our skin creates new collagen to reaffirm itself.

So it is really necessary to have a lot of vitamin C, both in our body and in our skin. The bad thing is that our body cannot produce it by itself; we have to take it from external sources.

But be careful, eating foods rich in vitamin C does not help our skin to have high levels of this vitamin, so it is necessary to apply it directly in the form of a serum, the most concentrated form.

But with so many vitamin C serums on the market, it’s hard to pick the best one for your skin. For this reason, I am going to analyze the best-selling products of the big brands, and the ones that have the best ratings, looking at the only thing that does not lie, the INCI.

I will only analyze each ingredient once, and if it has already been analyzed in another article, I will put a link so that you can easily access the information.

And if you are interested in knowing what vitamin C can do for your skin, what types of vitamin C there are, and what to look for when choosing a serum with vitamin C, do not stay alone in the analysis, read on.

We are going to start with the complete analysis of the two best products, and of the rest, I will make a summary, although I will leave a link so that whoever wants to can see the analysis in-depth so that the article is not made very long.

6 Best Vitamin C Serums for Men

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum

TruSkin Naturals is a brand that only uses ingredients that do not harm the skin for their formulas, because they know that they can achieve surprising results without artificial fillers or harmful chemicals.

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum

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This philosophy has led them to create a safe and effective vitamin C serum for all skin types, with 72% organic ingredients.

Its ingredients protect well in an amber glass container, thus preventing them from light. It also has a dropper, which allows the product to be in contact with air as little as possible.

The serum contains 20% vitamin C (later in the analysis we will see what type it is), making it a highly concentrated serum.

But not only does it contain this vitamin, I already tell you that it has a generous amount of assets.

We note that vitamin C based on Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a softer and more stable derivative than ascorbic acid, but with all its properties as a collagen stimulant and depigmenting agent.

Other great assets, such as aloe vera, sulfur, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, amino acids, and other regenerating, antibacterial, and soothing ingredients, surround this vitamin.

Therefore, the results with this serum cannot be better. Its antioxidant power restores and deeply protects the skin. Its transforming power lies in its ability to increase collagen and inhibit melanin, achieving a rejuvenated complexion.

Wrinkles and blemishes are precisely the two main problems of aging. Although the active ingredients of the serum also act reducing free radicals, increasing circulation in the skin, hydrating it deeply, regenerating it, and reducing inflammation.

The brand recommends starting the application of the serum using 3-5 drops of the product, followed by a moisturizer, once a day.

If we add sun protection when going outside, this product is perfect to use during the day.

I like that it only has two preservatives, and they are in a very low proportion, at the end of the list. You already know the problem that preservatives have (in addition to silicones, ceramides, and alcohols ), which although they are necessary on the one hand so that the formula does not spoil, on the other hand, they do not have a joint regulation, but rather an individual one.

This means that each product is regulated individually, not the application of several products at the same time. And although these harmful ingredients are allowed at low levels, the accumulation of these small amounts is not taken into account, and the result they may have in the future.

So you have to be careful and look very carefully at INCI before applying any cosmetic to your skin.

To finish, I want to mention that it is a product with many positive evaluations, and it is at a very good price.

Vitamin C serum by ArtNaturals

The goal of ArtNaturals serum is to remove wrinkles, age and sunspots, and other signs of aging. To do this, it uses a formula made mainly with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

Vitamin C serum by ArtNaturals

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These ingredients are complemented with aloe vera and jojoba oil (to hydrate, restore the skin’s natural glow); Gotu kola (which diminishes the depth of wrinkles and blurs blemishes); horsetail (antibacterial); dandelion (tones) and wild geranium (to lighten and tighten).

It is specially formulated to not cause irritation, so it can be used on all skin types.

If you look, this formula is very similar to the previous one; in fact, it has cost me to choose between one formula and another as the best serum with vitamin C.

In the end, I have opted for the TruSkin Naturals serum since it does not include the alcohol that this formula has, which can cause irritation in sensitive skin.

Although as the brand mentions it is formulated not to cause irritation, alcohol has been strained, and not the good ones.

For the rest, it is a highly recommended product at a very good price, with a large number of active ingredients, and one of the best forms of vitamin C there is (sodium ascorbyl phosphate).

This serum can be effective in solving a good part of the problems of aging.

Vitamin C Hyaluron Serum from Dr. Severin

A German brand that combines vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and an alpha hydroxy acid in a serum that could have been very good.


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It uses a fairly good and effective derivative of vitamin C, in a high proportion. The pity is that hyaluronic acid should be higher, with a high concentration; And there are two highly recommended ingredients: an irritant and sensitizer, and a toxic one.

I am looking for something more natural, without ingredients that pose a risk to my future health, so I would not recommend this product.

If they had substituted these two ingredients for others with the same function, but without risk, it would have been a great product, at a very reasonable price.

VC Effector Serum Vitamin C by Its Skin

Its Skin is the first brand in South Korea to unite the concept of cosmetics with that of medicine, based on decades of accumulated knowledge about skincare.


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Its products are for all ages and all skin types and promise the best results for beautiful and healthy skin.

Its vitamin C serum promises to remove dark areas of the skin and lighten the overall tone with its main ingredient, vitamin C. This serum also has the effect of minimizing large pores.

So it is a recommended serum for those men worried about skin blemishes, a dull skin tone, and / or open pores.

Isdinceutics Antioxidant Serum Flavo-C by Isdin

Flavo-C is an anti-aging serum that combines the powerful antioxidant action of vitamin C with Ginkgo Biloba, another great antioxidant.


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This synergy neutralizes free radicals, recovers the elasticity of the skin, hydrating it in depth, and giving it back its lost radiance and youth.

The increase in vitamin C also intervenes in the collagen generation process, so wrinkles are minimized and aging of the skin is delayed.

From the brand, they also tell us that the product contains 8% pure, stable vitamin C, which remains active on the skin for 10 hours.

Keep in mind that although Flavo-C has been on the market for more than 20 years, the formula has changed when changing brands. So the results may vary, as the ingredients have been modified.

Vitamin C Serum by Mario Badescu

It is a light serum, infused with pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to help retexture skin, equalize uneven tone, and decrease the depth of fine lines and wrinkles. All for a radiant, more youthful-looking complexion.


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Sodium Hyaluronate and Collagen also appear in the formula, achieving a very common combination, used to hydrate and soften the skin.

In the description, we already warned that this serum is ideal for combination, oily or dry skin, so it is surely irritating for sensitive skin, both for the type of vitamin C it is and for other irritating ingredients that it will surely include.

READ ALSO: Best Facial Cleanser for Men: Face Wash for All Skin Types [2020]

types of vitamin C serums

Not all vitamin C products formulated with the same form of vitamin C.

The first difference is the use of natural or synthetic vitamin C:

  • The natural vitamin C comes from berries, citrus fruits, peppers, and other natural foods. This type of vitamin C also contains additional phytonutrients from the source. Natural vitamin C is vulnerable to heat, so if it is heated it is destroyed.
  • The synthetic vitamins produced entirely in the laboratory, usually from ingredients such as corn syrup and acetone. They do not include flavonoids or other phytonutrients, but it is combined with other synthetic ingredients to promote absorption. This vitamin C is more profitable and less vulnerable to light and temperature.

All types of vitamin C act similarly, but which is the most stable and best able to penetrate the skin?

Ascorbic acid

L-ascorbic acid is the form of vitamin C in its simplest form. The downside is that it is very unstable it rusts very easily.

If you have ever used a pure vitamin C serum, and you have been without using it for a month or two, you will have noticed a change in its color, turning brown. The oxidation process has begun.

Unstable vitamin C can promote the free radical formation, causing more harm than good.

Furthermore, L-ascorbic acid has to formulate at the correct pH level (3.5 or less) to absorb by the skin. And those formulas that contain too high a concentration can potentially irritate the skin, but if the formula is weak and unstable, there will be no benefit.

These are the problems of the pure form of vitamin C, that’s why laboratories often use derivatives in their products.

Mineral ascorbates

Ascorbyl Sodium Phosphate or Ascorbyl Magnesium Phosphate are natural derivatives of vitamin C soluble in water.

It is the most stable form of vitamin C, which means that it will not rust and spoil as easily as ascorbic acid.

This makes them a much better option to use in cosmetic formulations. They are more stable and bioavailable than ascorbyl palmitate and ascorbic acid (among other vitamin C derivatives).

Unlike ascorbic acid, they require a pH of around 6-7.

And when it is well formulated, it has the ability to penetrate the epidermis (outer layer of the skin where the stratum corneum and the acid mantle meet) without causing irritation.

Ascorbyl palmitate

It is slightly more stable than ascorbic acid but less stable than Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate.

It has the advantage of being soluble in lipids (fat), to penetrate more quickly into the skin than the water-soluble forms of vitamin C. But this does not mean that ascorbyl palmitate can be converted into pure vitamin C in the skin.

Even if it can convert, the palmitate part of the molecule is more than half of it, so the efficacy will not be the same.

In general, ascorbyl palmitate is the vitamin C derivative that I like the least.

Retinol ascorbate

It is an ester of vitamin A (retinoic acid) and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) that appears to have a particular affinity for the skin and its lipids, making it an effective topical option for improving skin’s defense against environmental damage.

This mixture also shows greater stability on the skin than when retinol or vitamin C are used separately, so it is perfect if you want to benefit from the effects of these two vitamins.

Tetrahexylcecyl ascorbate

An oil-soluble derivative of vitamin C, which gives the skin all the benefits of vitamin C, without the negative side effects. One of the best options.

It is a milder version than ascorbic acid, which means it does not cause irritation, redness, dryness, stinging or burning. But do not confuse soft with weak, since it is a fairly powerful derivative.

Since it is soluble in oil, it not only reaches the epidermis (the top layer of the skin), but it penetrates to the dermis, the deepest layer (where vitamin C needs to reach to transform the skin).

Also, it is not like ascorbyl palmitate, as it has a higher conversion of vitamin C within the dermis.

It is more stable, both in water and in the air, and lasts up to 18 months in the container and all day on the skin to provide uninterrupted antioxidant action.

Do men need to apply vitamin C on the face?

As I mentioned at the beginning, vitamin C is an essential compound for our skin, but since our body cannot produce it, it must apply topically.

This is the same for everyone, both men and women. So a good serum with vitamin C should be present in the bag of any man.

Looking for the serums to analyze, I have noticed that the brands do not have a specific vitamin C serum for men. Although all the formulas can be used interchangeably for both sexes.

Using vitamin C is more important than ever when you are going to be in the sun, or when you are going to face environmental pollution since these factors reduce the levels of the vitamin in our skin.

Environmental pollutants like solar radiation, free radicals, and smoke break down collagen, tighten the skin, and speed up the aging process. An increase in vitamin C helps to counteract this process and can use to treat a wide variety of problems.

Vitamin C can be incorporated into your skincare routine at any age, in fact, the sooner the better.

Although signs of aging and hyperpigmentation do not usually appear until you are thirty years old, it is good to start using vitamin C from the age of 20.

So you have no excuse! If you have not started yet, start using a serum with vitamin C.

How to use a vitamin C serum

Environmental attackers that generate free radicals are generally found during the day, so it is advisable to incorporate vitamin C into your morning routine.

You can also use the serum at night, but it is likely to interact negatively with other active ingredients that normally used at night, such as retinol or AHAs. It is not necessary to apply the vitamin C product twice a day.

After cleansing and toning, apply a few drops of vitamin C. As a concentrated product with powerful ingredients, less is definitely more.

A few drops of serum are enough to get the job done. Therefore, to get the most out of a serum, use a small amount (smaller than the size of a pea) and rub it between your fingertips.

Then spread it evenly all over your face and neck. Serums are best applicable to clean, fresh skin (they are especially effective if you have used a facial scrub, as it helps with penetration) and should use every morning before moisturizer and sunscreen.

There are many reasons why using UVA / UVB protection every day, but in combination with vitamin C, they work to decrease the effects of oxidative stress on the skin. So never, go outside without sunscreen.

before buying a vitamin c serum

When choosing a serum with vitamin C, it is important to look at these aspects:


Vitamin C is surprisingly complicated to formulate in a way that ensures its effectiveness. The active ingredients necessary to make a powerful serum are extremely sensitive to oxidation and exposure to light, so the packaging of vitamin C products is as important as the formula itself.

Ideally, it should be packaged in an airless, airtight, and opaque or amber container to prevent oxidation and light exposure. In addition, it must be kept in a dark environment.

Avoid jars; they are not hygienic and the product spoils much earlier.

The vast majority of serums have a dropper applicator. Although this format is not ideal, because when it open the product exposed to air, it does not necessarily mean that it is a bad product.

Date of Expiry

In addition to the packaging, you must pay attention to the expiration date of the product when you open it, and respect that date.

Once the serum changes color, texture, odor, or becomes cloudy, stop using it immediately, as it means that it has been oxidized, and therefore no longer works.

Vitamin C serums typically have a shelf life of six months to one year once opened. To avoid throwing money away, it is best to use it daily.

If the expiration date is longer, it means the formula is riddled with preservatives, and I have previously mentioned the danger of the combined effect of preservatives.

In fact, I leave you this photo with the percentage of products with harmful substances that the big brands have.



When looking for a product with vitamin C, it is important to choose the right concentration. A 10-20 percent potency means skin results will look faster and perform better.

The way vitamin C produce is a key factor in the effectiveness of its effects on the skin. A concentration of between 3 and 10 percent will continue to be effective in the form of L-ascorbic acid or ascorbic acid.

Increasing concentration beyond this limit does not result in increased skin absorption. Furthermore, at concentrations of 10-15% in ascorbic acid, it is likely that they can cause skin irritation.

Most of the time, the percentage is not indicated, so you will have to see where vitamin C is on the ingredient list, which brings us to the next point.

Vitamin C position in the ingredient list

Identifying vitamin C in its many forms, and where it is on a product’s ingredient list, will help you differentiate the great vitamin C products from imposters.

That is why it is so important to look at the INCI of any cosmetic.

Reading the list none of the types of vitamin C mentioned above listed in the first three ingredients, the product is not powerful enough to offer results.

Sometimes vitamin C obtained from botanical extracts. Therefore, instead of looking at the chemical names above, you will see the name of the plant. For example, Mésolift De Lierac serum gets vitamin C from orange juice, and indicate by the name Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Juice.

Like synthetics, natural forms of vitamin C have to be at the top of the list.

Type of skin

How sensitive or reactive is your skin? This must be taken into account, since a high amount of vitamin C can irritate sensitive skin, and may not be recommended for sensitive, dry or young skin.

Slight tingling is normal, but if your skin is super sensitive, a very powerful concentration (more than 10%) may not be for you.

In this case, opt for softer forms, with a more basic pH, that produces minimal irritation. It recommends testing the serum in a small area first, to see how your skin reacts.


When buying products with ascorbic acid, it is very important to check if it is stabilizing. Ascorbic acid is a highly unstable ingredient, and most manufacturers who use this ingredient are not stabilizing it properly.

It is impossible to know if it is stabilized by reading the ingredients list, as it is not explicitly stated. That information (if provided) can only be found in the package insert, box, or product description on the brand’s website.

If not provided, the only way to find out is to ask the company.


The texture is very important to many people. There are men who prefer a light and fluid product, while others look for a creamier or thicker texture.

There are even people who some days prefer a texture, and other days another. Therefore, if your budget allows it, you can have more than one serum. After all, the skin changes all the time. So there may be days when you want to change your routine.

Alternatively, you may like to have a vitamin C serum during the summer, and another, with another texture, in the winter.

A smoother texture is quicker to apply and easier to spread than a lotion or cream, so it’s best if you’re looking for a full-face serum.

Scent and color

The aroma plays a small role in a cosmetic, but it can make a difference when choosing it or not. Usually not, like the strong or unpleasant smells.

The aroma is as personal as the texture. So my advice is to trust your own tastes. But keep in mind that if the formula has fragrance or perfumes, it will be more irritating.

The color of a vitamin C serum is usually colorless or white. Many brands use dyes to stain the serum light brown, so you can’t tell when it rusts.

Just because it’s brown doesn’t mean it’s worse, but it will be harder for you to tell when the product is no longer efficient, and you’ll have to be more aware.


Finally, the price. You will find serums in every price ranges. More expensive does not necessarily mean better.

Skincare is not an stable market. Sometimes you will find great products at reasonable prices, and very often, you will find mediocre products at high prices.

But high quality is never cheap. In skincare treatments, the most advanced ingredients or the most sophisticated formulas tend to cost more.

This may be because the ingredients are too expensive. The manufacturing process is either more laborious, difficult, or time-consuming. Or perhaps because the investment in development and  research that went into creating the product was high.

My advice always stays on budget. Buy only what you have budget and you can afford. We are lucky to live in a time when there are many options and, therefore, a lot of competition. Chances are, you’ll find something decent that go with your budget.

Also remember, good habits, like using sunscreen (which is cheap) and not exposing yourself to the sun, will go a long way towards maintaining youthful and healthy skin.

Ingredients that go well with vitamin C

All the benefits that we have seen of vitamin C can improve thanks to the inclusion of other assets, such as other antioxidants, retinol, stem cell extracts, growth factors, peptides, ingredients to repair DNA, etc.

Advanced vitamin C formulations always include ingredients that are more active and offer more than just vitamin C.

Antioxidants often work in tandem. So vitamin C with other antioxidants will provide longer-lasting protection.

For example, it can combine with vitamin E to combat UV damage, or with ferulic acid, another powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals on the skin.

Or with hyaluronic acid, which penetrates the dermis increasing the elasticity and hydration of the skin. The protective barrier on the skin blocks moisture, giving the skin a youthful appearance.

Just like vitamin C has some related ingredients, it also has certain incompatible ingredients, which can cause adverse reactions like itching and redness of the skin.

The active ingredients in a formula serve different purposes, and using them in conjunction with vitamin C in high concentrations can cause irritation.

It is better to avoid retinol, glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic when vitamin C is used, or gradually implementing these assets to minimize irritation.

In addition to acids, there can also be problems with other combinations of ingredients. For example, some vitamin C serums may have silicones or other inactive ingredients (to help keep vitamin C stable longer) that can be problematic for acne-prone or sensitive skin.

Benefits of vitamin C on the skin

Vitamin C is one of the most effective and complete active ingredients in skincare. Regardless of the type of problems you have on your skin (opacity, hyperpigmentation, redness, fine lines, lack of firmness, etc.), vitamin C will help improve the appearance of your complexion.

Vitamin C is a great antioxidant and enhances protection against UV rays. Multiple studies show that skin treated with topical ascorbic acid exhibits less redness (erythema), fewer sunburned cells, and less tumor formation after exposure to UV rays.

This means that it is a great idea to use a vitamin C serum in the morning, under sunscreen, not in place!

If you want more protection, choose a serum that also contains Vitamin E, which duplicates the photoprotective properties of Vitamin C. And ferulic acid further duplicates the photoprotection of vitamin C + E.

So the trio vitamin C + E + ferulic acid is really effective. If you like to protect your skin from UV rays, you should try a product that contains the magic trio.

Another of its great benefits is that it helps to increase the production of collagen in the skin. Collagen helps keep our skin firm and wrinkle-free, but adding this compound to a product is not enough (to be frank, it has some moisturizing properties, but does not erase wrinkles).

What you need to do is increase your skin’s collagen production, and vitamin C can do this. Studies show that continued application of vitamin C decreases wrinkles and improves skin density thanks to increased collagen production in the skin.

Finally, yet importantly, vitamin C reduces blemishes or hyperpigmentation, a problem that is very difficult to solve.

For brown spots to form, the body needs an enzyme called tyrosinase. Vitamin C works by inhibiting this enzyme so that brown spots cannot form effectively.

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