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15 Must-Try Vitamin C Serums for Hyperpigmentation

Consider these serums to start you on your path to radiant skin.
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Brand courtesy / Sunday Riley

When it comes to hyperpigmentation, vitamin C is considered a hero ingredient. Ask a derm, and it’ll confirm it! And if it’s in a serum-like formula, it is heaven for your skin. This is because the most effective vitamin C skincare products are serums since they’re supercharged with more active ingredients and penetrate the skin barrier in-depth.

Among skin-lightening ingredients, vitamin C truly stands out. Even if the body does not naturally produce it, you can intake vitamin C from citric fruits, like oranges, grapefruits, lemons — they’ll fill your skin with antioxidants. However, applying a vitamin C serum is known to provide better benefits than oral consumption. “Topically, vitamin C is 20 times more potent than the oral intake,” says Dr. Patricia Wexler, a dermatologist in New York City. So if you want to tackle those dark spots and achieve a perfectly even tone you should consider trying one of these best vitamin C serums for hyperpigmentation. But first a bit of background for beginners:

Why use vitamin C serums for hyperpigentation

Vitamin C is an essential part of the skin’s defense system having plenty of benefits, from color-correcting to anti-aging and skin-strengthening effects to skin barrier protection. In brief, these are the main reasons to add a vitamin C serum to your skincare routine: On top of everything, when vit C is topically applied, it inhibits the skin’s melanin production, helping lighten hyperpigmentation and even out skin tone. Wait, there’s more: vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning that it protects the skin cells from being damaged by free radicals caused by UV exposure

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A study effectuated on 60 women, published by the Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology shows that topically applied vitamin C is highly efficient as a rejuvenation therapy, boosting collagen production. Yes, you got that right. Due to its role in healing the connective tissue, vitamin C promotes collagen production. This is why it’s widely recommended for mature skin and everyone who wants to prevent collagen breakdown. Finally, vitamin C helps repair sun exposure damage by stimulating healthy cell turnover and regeneration. There’s not much vitamin C can’t do for your skin, really! In fact, all skin types need it, IMO.

How to use vitamin C serums for hyperpigmentation

The best time to apply your vitamin C serum for hyperpigmentation is in the morning before you expose to sun rays. There’s nothing wrong if you lay your vitamin C serum at night, just that you may get more benefit from using it in the morning. “In general vitamin C products should be applied in the morning before heading out for the day when UV radiation is at its highest,” Sara Hogan, M.D., a dermatologist at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, tells SELF. After cleansing your complexion, and before applying moisturizer and sunscreen, layer the vitamin C serum.

Don’t expect any significant changes in your skin for the first two months. Just like most skincare products, vitamin C serums take time to prove their benefits and reduce hyperpigmentation, maybe a little longer than other wonder ingredients. But please consider that it’s indeed one of the best ingredients for long-term use in skincare — I promise!

The best hyperpigmentation serums with vitamin C

Most of the vitamin C serums listed here come from organic sources. Some of them contain additional powerful ingredients with properties for the skin like hyaluronic acid, retinol, organic oils, or botanical extracts. You’ll definitely find that vitamin C serum to introduce in your beauty routine to help vanish hyperpigmentation.


Sunday Riley Brightening Serum

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Brightening Serum

A pioneer in vitamin C–infused skincare, Sunday Riley formulated a powerful brightening and anti-aging serum that’ll make dark patches just a bad memory. Enriched with squalane, jojoba esters, and beeswax, it delivers all-day hydration whenever you apply it. Besides 15% vitamin C, the serum contains glycolic acid which aims to exfoliate your complexion to reveal new, healthier, and brighter skin. So whether you want to improve signs of aging, photodamage, or hyperpigmentation, Sunday Riley’s brightening serum is your BFF.


StriVectin Brighten Serum

StriVectin Brighten & Correct Serum

This brightening serum is where retinol meets vitamin C. Combining these two powerhouses, the serum vows to correct hyperpigmentation, even skin tone, smooth rough texture, and minimize fine lines. Here’s why StriVectin Brighten & Correct is one of the best vitamin C serums for hyperpigmentation. While retinol increase cell turnover and remove those cells that have already been affected by excess pigment, vitamin C inhibits melanin production, resulting in less discoloration and more glow. In the meanwhile, green tea supports the pigment-reducing and free radical-scavaging effects of vitamin C while moisturizing and soothing the skin.


Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum

Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum

If you are worried about hyperpigmentation and aging signs, this vitamin C serum will help fight your concerns through natural antioxidant protection and a proprietary skin-care synergy blend. Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum strengthens, softens, and smooths for more even-toned skin. With 20% vitamin C and 10% AHA derived from seven fruits: apple, grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, hawthorn, and jujube, stabilized by antioxidant-rich Japanese beautyberry reveals that glow you’ve always wanted when using it. And it’s all vegan!


Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum

Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum

This isn’t packed with vitamin C, but it contains 20% THD Ascorbate (50 X more powerful than vitamin C) to help you deal with uneven skin tone and dullness. While squalane and sodium hyaluronate help hydrate your skin and fight wrinkles, the addition of ferulic acid, turmeric, and ginger root extracts work as antioxidants to diminish the effects of external aggressors. It’s a really solid option that worths its place in your skincare arsenal!

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Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum

Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum

Containing 7.5% ascorbic acid, Mario Badescu’s serum effectively reduces discoloration and brightens skin. It’s also enriched with hyaluronic acid to retain the skin’s natural moisture, enhancing firmness and elasticity. The cucumber and ginseng root extract protect your skin, keeping it revitalized, while lavender oil keeps it moisturized and calm all day long. This serum is ideal for everyone with combination, dry or oily skin.


TruSkin Vitamin C Serum for Face

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum for Face

I believe this is one of the best vitamin C serums for hyperpigmentation, and Amazon reviewers agree: 37,000 people gave the product 5 stars, with some touting it as the best product they’ve ever used. What makes it so great? This serum uses a blend of skin-loving ingredients, such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, witch hazel, and jojoba oil, to diminish aging signs and hyperpigmented spots while being suitable for all skin types. You’ll see no parabens, fragrances, sulfates, PEGs, or synthetic colors on its label, I guarantee.


Eva Serum with Vitamin C for Hyperpigmentation

Eva Naturals Serum with Vitamin C

Apply this so much appreciated serum if you want to control hyperpigmentation, acne, and large pores. Infused with vitamin C, aloe, green tea, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and retinol, it provides intense hydration and collagen breakdown restoration, making it great for mature skin. Eva Naturals’ vitamin C serum is widely used for concerns like hyperpigmentation, dull skin, uneven tone, and fine lines, satisfying all expectations thanks to the combination of good-for-skin ingredients — no wonder why it’s so popular.


Vitamin C Serum by Tree of Life

Vitamin C Serum by Tree of Life

This one was created to moisturize and brighten the skin as it is applied. Due to the powerful key ingredients included, such as vitamins C and E, jojoba oil, aloe vera, and witch hazel, to name a few, rest assured you are receiving the best skincare available in a serum. Highly organic, I believe this vitamin C serum will make your skin look even and smooth while keeping it healthy. And it comes at a fair price too!


OZNaturals Vitamin C Serum for Hyperpigmentation

OZNaturals Vitamin C Serum for Hyperpigmentation

A fan-favorite, with its powerful cocktail of non-toxic ingredients, this serum stimulates collagen and skin cell regeneration, helping minimize hyperpigmentation signs. Combining vitamin C with hyaluronic acid, OZNaturals created a potent antioxidant serum that goes on the skin smoothly and helps brighten it. Its formula fights against dull tone with a proprietary blend of 20% vitamin C and Astaxanthin (a pigment with intense antioxidant activity). The serum also acts as a shield against free radical damage and helps reverse the damage caused by sun exposure.


Clean Skin Club Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Clean Skin Club Vitamin C Brightening Serum

With a potent mix of pineapple, watermelon, and green tea extracts, this vitamin C serum brightens the complexion for glowing skin, protecting it against UV damage and helping reduce aging signs ATST. It also works excellent for acne-prone skin due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that pineapple enzymes have and thanks to the green tea extract. Clever, huh? Tips: add some of this serum to your moisturizer to supercharge it with miraculous effects.


U Beauty Resurfacing Compound Serum

U Beauty Resurfacing Compound Serum for Hyperpigmentation

OK, time to get a bit techy — this serum features a patent-pending SIREN capsule that enables the delivery of key elements to the skin in a different way for maximum efficacy. Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid are just a few of the miraculous ingredients in its formula that keep your skin moisturized, exfoliated, and protected every time you apply it. You won’t need as many steps in your skincare routine with this serum; it does it all!


Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Serum

Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Serum

An award-winner loved by all skin types, with a fresh, energizing aroma courtesy of natural orange peel. Use it if you want to fight the look of dark spots, discoloration, and uneven tone, and if you’re planning to provide your skin with antioxidant defense against daily stressors. As one of the best vitamin C serums for hyperpigmentation, it’s enhanced with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E helping lock in hydration and supporting plump, bouncy skin. More than that, the multiple forms of vitamin C in its formula help brighten your skin, helping fade hyperpigmentation away pretty fast.


Eminence Citrus & Kale Potent C Plus E Serum 

Eminence Citrus & Kale Potent C Plus E Serum 

Hey, organic skincare lovers, this is for you. Three times award-winner, this dose of vitamin C in serum is stabilized by botanically-derived ferulic acid to deliver optimal antioxidant benefits and smooth overall skin appearance. Fast-absorbing and suitable for all skin types, Eminence serum not only contains vitamin C (lemon & grapefruit-derived) but also vitamin E from avocado plus hyaluronic acid to keep skin nourished all day long. It’s magic in a bottle!


InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum 

To enhance vitamin C benefits, InstaNatural serum is also infused with ferulic acid to defend against environmental stressors, while the hyaluronic acid and sea buckthorn oil support the skin’s protective barrier for preventing further damage. All the nutrients found in this serum help brighten your skin and inhibit aging signs, like fine lines and discoloration. Also, a blend of plant stem cells, natural oils, and botanical extracts, such as ginkgo Biloba and algae extract, nourish the skin while improving its tone and texture. And it’s sooo clean!


Brightening Serum for Hyperpigmentation

Brightening Serum for Hyperpigmentation by ZONE – 365

On the affordable side, there’s ZONE-365 brightening serum. Get protected from sun damage, brighten and even out skin tone, reduce irritation, and diminish fine lines with this fast-absorbing serum. It contains ferulic acid, vitamins C and E, and hyaluronic acid for a high antioxidant effect, giving sun damage protection while intensely hydrating the skin. There’s no reason not to try it.

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