Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serum: 11 Effective and Inexpensive Products

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When you think of vitamin C serum, you have to know it does beyond lightening your skin. Now, there are different types of vitamin C serums in different forms and categories. However, when you hear drugstore vitamin C serum, it means inexpensive, easy to access, and effective.

Vitamin C is an essential component used in promoting collagen and improving skin cell turnover, which helps to keep your skin in a bright and clean condition. You need the component whether ingested or applied topically to boost skin renewal.

Moreover, once you identify why you need vitamin C, you have half of the essential routine down. However, vitamin C serums differ from the rest.

If you are wondering that the only way to get a rich vitamin C serum formula is by breaking the bank, well this list of the best drugstore vitamin C serum is here to prove you wrong.

Although not every drugstore serum can be vouched for, these stand out in the crowd for their efficacy. The list of best drugstore vitamin C serums was derived through sales data and engagement in e-commerce stores.

1. Best Overall Drugstore Vitamin C Serum

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum

This serum for the face is essential if you want to treat signs of aging and hyperpigmentation on your skin. It is a known product that can be found anywhere and is readily available. The serum also improves collagen production in the skin, smoothening out rough and patchy skin.

Furthermore, the serum contains vitamin E, witch hazel, hyaluronic acid, and jojoba oil to moisturize and hydrate the skin always. Use the serum to drastically improve your skin to a brighter and fresher one with a few uses.

It’s recommended you use the serum in your morning skincare routine to protect and soothe your skin against external effects.

2. Best Recommended Drugstore Vitamin C Serum

Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

Fortified with extra hyaluronic acid and glycerin, the serum helps to brighten and plump your skin. The serum reduces wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven skin tone and spots. The serum is also antioxidant-rich to protect your skin against free radicals.

With its humectant-infused formula, your skin stays moisturized all through. Moreover, it is safe to use daily. Consequently, your skin stays brightened and smooth while you use the serum.

3. Best Drugstore Brand Vitamin C Serum

CeraVe Vitamin C Serum

CeraVe is a trusted brand if you are looking for effective and simple brand products. As a result, you should try this serum. The serum helps to improve your overall skin complexion, evening out the spots and brightening your skin.

Moreover, with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and water, your skin stays moisturized and supple. Additionally, it contains vitamin B5 and ceramides 1, 3, 6 II to soothe your skin and protect it against free radicals.

The serum is also safe to use. It does not contain parabens and fragrances. The non-comedogenic product easily penetrates the skin to improve your skin tone.

4. Best Fast-Acting Drugstore Vitamin C Serum

L’Oreal Paris Vitamin C Serum Revitalift Derm Intensives

The serum’s formula contains a potent 10% vitamin C serum to stabilize your skincare. The serum is highly concentrated and improves the skin’s texture in no time.

The formula is lightweight and does not clog your pores. Furthermore, it has a matte finish on the skin. Layering other products becomes easy with the serum. It also offers optimal penetration, quickly seeping into the skin and rejuvenating your skin from the dermis level.

Use the serum if you need a fast-acting serum to brighten and even your skin tone.

5. Best Concentrated Drugstore Vitamin C Serum

Obagi Professional Vitamin C Serum

This contains a concentrated 10% L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to improve your skin texture and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The serum is not like all drugstore vitamin C serums because it strives to achieve one goal; to defend your skin against oxidative stress.

This, in turn, helps to brighten the skin, and reduce aging effects and sun damage. Furthermore, this improves the overall appearance of your skin. The antioxidant serum works for normal to sensitive skin to protect against external aggressors.

You can use the serum to improve your overall skin texture and keep it clear. Although it is highly concentrated, it is suitable for everyday use. The serum would not stress your skin or irritate it.

6. Best Brightening Drugstore Vitamin C Serum

RoC Multic Correcxion Revive + Glow Vitamin C Serum

The serum is a multitasking serum that helps to brighten your skin, revealing luminous skin underneath. The serum contains antioxidant ingredients and ascorbic acid to improve your skin color and firm your outer skin layer.

This serum stands out for its effectiveness. It shows visible progress within a week of using the serum and a complete skin change within 4 weeks of using the serum. Therefore, it is fast-acting and skin-enhancing.

You can use the serum to improve the color of your skin around your face and neck area.

7. Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serum for Dry Skin

Elbbub Premium 20% vitamin C Serum

The vitamin C formula with hyaluronic acid, amino acid, and retinol packs a punch when it comes to concentration just to keep your skin hydrated and plump all the time.

The serum also contains witch hazel and jojoba oil to soothe and moisturize your skin always. Furthermore, the serum revitalizes the skin, peeling off the dull look to make it look youthful and silky smooth.

You can use the serum to maintain a natural glow and keep your skin hydrated.

8. Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serum for Oily Skin

Bliss Bright Idea Vitamin C with Tri-Peptide Collagen Protecting and Brightening Serum

The serum helps to reduce dark spots and firm the skin. The serum contains tri-peptides to serve as a coat on the skin and protect it from free radicals.

The serum is also a lightweight formula that provides optimum hydration while leaving a light invisible layer on the skin. It can be layered with moisturizer and makeup without feeling dewy or shiny.

Additionally, the serum, fortified with glycerin and licorice root extract, helps to deeply hydrate the skin for a lasting time. Use the serum if you want to maintain a balanced and hydrated skin texture.

9. Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serum for Sensitive Skin

La Roche Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum

Fortified with salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid, the serum helps to boost your skin’s radiance. The serum is soothing and fragrance-free. It also doesn’t irritate the skin with its concentrated formula. This makes it suitable for sensitive skin types.

Asides from this, the serum defines your skin complexion, brightening and improving skin cell turnover. The serum, therefore, reduces signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines. It also refines your skin texture, giving you silky smooth skin.

You can use the allergy- and dermatologically-tested serum to hydrate and brighten your skin without irritation.

10. Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serum for Acne-Prone Skin

Vichy Vitamin C Serum

Rich in enough ascorbic acid and antioxidants, use this soothing serum to brighten and plump your skin. The face serum contains 15% vitamin C and natural hyaluronic acid to glow up and firm your skin from the deeper dermis level.

Furthermore, the serum reduces fine lines and other effects caused by oxidative stress. It also evens and minimizes the darkening effect of the sun on the skin.

If you need a long-lasting hydrating formula to keep your skin soothed and refreshed, use this serum in the morning and close up with a retinol serum to rejuvenate your skin before you sleep.

11. Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serum for Hyperpigmentation

Tree of Life Glow Vitamin C Serum

The serum helps to correct dark spots on the skin, evening your skin tone in the process. The serum contains witch hazel and vitamin E to soothe the skin, organic aloe and jojoba to moisturize your skin, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to keep your skin brightened.

The serum is also lightweight. It does not weigh on your skin nor stick to it. In addition, you can layer your moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup on the serum. The serum is great for oily and dry skin. Sensitive skins can also use the serum because it lacks harmful ingredients like parabens.

Choosing the Right Drugstore Vitamin C Serum


This comes first when choosing your vitamin C serum. You have to pick the right formula with the right concentration. Highly concentrated products work faster. Although they are drugstores, some may have a weaker or less than required potency level.

Therefore, you should choose the right product that would improve and work as a barrier against free radicals in the skin.

Absorption rate

Drugstore vitamin C serums should have a fast absorption rate. Vitamin C serums work best in the morning skincare routine; as a result, they need to be fast-acting in the skin. Furthermore, the serum should work efficiently on the skin to provide optimum potent results.


Vitamin C serums are highly potent, therefore, they should have antioxidants that would soothe the skin and prevent the skin from side effects.

Ingredients or components you will find accompanying vitamin C serums are hyaluronic acids, green tea, vitamin D, peptides, and ferulic acid. These components serve as antioxidants that protect the skin from any harsh side effects from using the serum.

Skin type

Your skin type would also determine what serum you choose. This has to do with if you have oily, dry sensitive, normal, or combination skin. For instance, dry skin should use thick serums with oil bases. Meanwhile, oily skin should use water-based serums.

On the other hand, sensitive skin should use serums rich in antioxidants. And combination and normal skins can use serums based on their present skin needs. They are to stick to gel serums because they are thick but water-based.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are drugstore vitamin C serums better than high-end serums?

There is no straight answer to this because what determines the best serum is the components and the formula. High-end serums can have less effect than a drugstore vitamin C serum and vice versa.

What matters when choosing a serum is the formula’s match to your skin and skin’s needs. There are occasions where a drugstore is a best-matched serum than its more expensive counterpart.

Can you apply vitamin C serum at night?

Yes, you can. If the serum does not have a specific time it needs to be applied, you can apply your vitamin C serum before bed.

However, vitamin C serums are great in the morning routine because it protects your skin against free radicals and sun damage you are exposed to during the day.

Does vitamin C serum work for hyperpigmentation?

Yes, it does. You can use vitamin C serum to lighten your skin’s hyperpigmentation. The component works by improving skin cell turnover, which improves the dark patches on your skin as new cells are regenerated.  


Usually, people think buying drugstore vitamin C serum would mean substandard. However, there are products that would prove you wrong. They are inexpensive and effective.

For instance, I would recommend CeraVe Vitamin C Serum because the well-known brand delivers effective skincare products that. Therefore, using the serum would be a plus to your normal skincare.

Additionally, if you want a fast-acting product, stick with L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Vitamin C Serum to get into your skin and treat it from within.

Nonetheless, no matter the serum you choose, it has to match your skin type and goal. And if you are worried you will be getting a substandard product, trust the brand history and reviews to guide you.

Thanks for reading.

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