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The Truth About Vitamin C Serums

From boosting collagen production to diminishing the signs of aging to correcting dark spots, Vitamin C is a highly efficacious skincare ingredient with a wide range of benefits. With all of the myths and misinformation circulating about Vitamin C, it’s important to learn the truth about the benefits of a Vitamin C serum.

More than 13 years ago, Kiehl’s stabilized 10.5% Vitamin C in our Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate and became pioneers in Vitamin C skin care. Now, this beloved product is formulated with even more Vitamin C. With 12.5% Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid, our new formula helps visibly reduce lines and wrinkles, boost radiance and smooth skin texture.

Learn more about this powerful ingredient and discover how to choose the best Vitamin C products to integrate into your daily skincare routine.

Fact: Not All Vitamin C Serums are Created Equal

While different forms of Vitamin C have overlapping benefits, Kiehl’s often uses Pure Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid) to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, Vitamin Cg to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles over time and Activated C for lightening hyperpigmentation and skin discolorations. Each Kiehl’s Vitamin C serum and cream effectively incorporates a form of topical Vitamin C that is carefully selected to maximize its targeted efficacy.

Fiction: The More Vitamin C in your Skin Care Routine, the Better

When products have concentrations of L-Ascorbic Acid that are too high, skin can experience irritation. Kiehl’s selects the best forms of Vitamin C at concentrations that are both efficacious and gentle. Our products are then dermatologist-tested for safety, demonstrating the appropriateness of our formulas for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Fact: Your Skin Needs Topical Vitamin C

Just as Vitamin C is an essential part of your diet, it is also an important step in your skincare routine. The human body does not produce its own Vitamin C but relies on obtaining it through nutritional and topical applications. Vitamin C benefits for skin include stimulating collagen production and neutralizing free radicals. Daily use of a balanced and stabilized Vitamin C facial serum or cream will ensure that your skin soaks up all of the perks of this powerful ingredient.

Fiction: Vitamin C Causes Skin Sensitivity to the Sun

In actuality, topical Vitamin C has been demonstrated to be a second line of defense against harmful UVA rays while also helping to bolster skin’s antioxidant defenses. We recommend applying a Vitamin C serum in the morning before adding SPF.

Fact: Vitamin C Products Benefit All Types of Skin

The Vitamin C facial benefits extend to all skin types, including sensitive and dry skin. There are also effective formulations of Vitamin C serums that can help to correct dark spots and post-acne marks like the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution.

Fiction: Vitamin C Serums are Not for Sensitive Skin

At Kiehl’s, our Vitamin C serums are designed to be gentle enough for sensitive skin. When first beginning to use facial Vitamin C skincare products, start with a once daily application and gradually build to twice a day. Always consult with your dermatologist when incorporating new skincare products into your routine.

Fact: Store Your Vitamin C Serum in a Cool, Dry Place

Store L-Ascorbic Acid serums like Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate in a place other than your bathroom cabinet as they are best kept in an area without humidity. Additionally, the best Vitamin C serums are kept in dark-colored or amber bottles that effectively protect the formula from air and light.

Fact: Apply Vitamin C Serums Before Your Moisturizer

After you cleanse and tone your skin, apply a thin layer of Vitamin C serum. Smooth it on morning and night before your moisturizer to lock in Vitamin C benefits for skin.

Vitamin C Serum Benefits

  • Boosts Collagen Production
  • Diminishes Visible Signs of Aging Including Fine Lines and Wrinkles
  • Minimizes the Appearance of Dark Spots
  • Provides a Second Line of Defense Against Harmful UV Rays
  • Hydrates and Firms for Improved Radiance and Texture

Forms of Vitamin C

Pure Vitamin CL-Ascorbic Acid or Pure Vitamin C is a powerful skincare ingredient that easily absorbs into skin and begins working immediately. A dermatologist-recommended ingredient, L-Ascorbic Acid is frequently used in anti-aging products to improve radiance and skin texture while diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet. Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate uses 10.5% of Pure Vitamin C. L-Ascorbic Acid is also found in Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate.

Vitamin CgAscorbyl Glucoside is a potent derivative of Vitamin C that boosts collagen production, provides antioxidant protection and helps to minimize the visible signs of aging. Vitamin Cg activates once absorbed into skin to boost the duration of Vitamin C activity. In Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, 2% of Vitamin Cg is included to enhance the efficacy of Vitamin C benefits over time. It is also found in the Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men.

Activated CActivated C is a next-generation Vitamin C derivative that is highly efficacious. This powerful form of Vitamin C penetrates skin and is proven to effectively fade acne marks and age marks and reduce skin discolorations. Activated C is a key ingredient in the Clearly Corrective Collection from Kiehl’s including Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution and Clearly Corrective Brightening and Smoothing Moisture Treatment.