Best -Vitamin -C -Serum
Vitamin-C-Super-Serum
best niacinamide
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Protocol Vitamin C
Beauty Editor Favorite

Vitamin C Superserum

Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 310 reviews
  • Rapidly boosts complexion brightness & evenness
  • Fades dark spots/discoloration
  • Visible improvements guaranteed in 60 days
  • Lab-made batch, ready to ship
Regular price$72.00
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30ml/1oz, 60-day treatment

Lab Summary:
This groundbreaking serum redefined the standard of how Vitamin C serums should look, feel and perform––which is why it’s earned a cult following from almost every beauty editor in the industry. This water-based serum is bottled in a 100% oxygen-free and light-free environment, capturing Vitamin C in its absolute purest natural form.

Read below to see why this clinical-grade, super-effective serum does not need foul-smelling ferulic acid or a concentration of Vitamin C that's higher than 10%. 

Most clients see visible improvements in 14 days.

Therapeutic active:
10% L-ascorbic acid, pH 3.46

All products are vegan, cruelty free and 100% recyclable through our Empties Recycling Program.

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Water, Witch Hazel Water, Ascorbic Acid (L), Glycerin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate (D-alpha), Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Phenoxyethanol

Apply one pump in the morning after cleansing or rinsing with water while skin is still damp. Let sit for 1-2 minutes before following up with moisturizer or daily SPF. This product is compatible with other toners or actives except for leave-on acids, which should be used at a different time of day. However, as a general practice our lab team recommends a simple cleanser, active, moisturizer routine for all skin types. Our clients often find that this serum allows them to remove several steps from their routine with better results.

Vitamin C Superserum

Regular price$72.00 / 30ml/1oz, 60-day treatment
Vitamin C

Brightens dull skin

vitamin c serum

More even complexion

best vitamin c

Fades dark spots and boosts collagen

Don't take our word for it

★★★★★

A cult-favorite among editors and influencers in the know

Lauren Caruso

CNN Underscored

★★★★★

The airtight bottle (also bottled in a UV-free environment) allows for the potent concentration of 10-percent vitamin C to remain as stable as possible until the last pump. Translation: better, stronger, faster results for us.

Danielle Fontana Dooley

New Beauty

★★★★★

I’m happy to report that I’ve come across a super-effective antioxidant serum that falls into that sweet spot between super-expensive and too-good-to-be-true—and I actually think it has a leg-up on its pricier counterparts.

Paige Axel

Insider Beauty Buzz

★★★★★

This is a holy grail product for me honestly. It instantly helps my skin glow and brightens up my skin tone. It’s honestly changed the way my skin looks and I’m really enjoying it. You only need one pump, I use it daily and y’all my skin looks so good I’m just so happy with this.

Hajar

Verified Buyer

★★★★★

I have never seen a carefully packaged Vitamin C like this before, and if you care about the potency and effectivity of your Vitamin C serums (which you should), you have to check out protocolskincare

Chesca

Verified Buyer

★★★★★

One of my goals for the new year is to take better care of my skin. Thanks to @protocolskincare , I’ve finally added a Vitamin C Serum into my morning skincare routine ☀️. I’m not kidding when I say this stuff is SO good!! I’ve used it for two weeks and my skin is already looking noticeably brighter and feels so soft!! 😍

Nikki

Verified Buyer

★★★★★

I can say that the feeling of putting it on is unique in a couple of ways: One, unlike another very popular and expensive vitamin C serum I've used, it's pretty much colorless and doesn't smell bad. Two, unlike almost every product I use, except for my prescription retinoid, I don't have that momentary thought of, "Is this even doing anything?" Instead of blind faith, I have confidence that I'm putting on an effective version of an effective ingredient.

Dhani Mau

fashionista.com

★★★★★

I can honestly say that this is the best Vitamin C serum I’ve EVER tried. I’m all about honest reviews and this formula is truly insanely good. I’ve tried at least a dozen different Vitamin C serums before but this one is next level! It literally just melts into my skin and makes the texture look better almost instantly. Crazy good, I’m telling you. You need to try this one. Then you’ll know what I’m talking about. 🙌🏼😍

Jelena

Verified Buyer

★★★★★

This is my first experience using a dedicated vitamin c serum. I am 50 yo and have significant sun spots and hyperpigmentation that I have tried treating with laser therapy. While that helped a bit, I resigned to the fact that it’s years of neglect that I will live with. This serum does seem to reduce the appearance of the dark spots while giving a firmer and brighter look. I definitely notice a difference in my skin after just one month of use and plan on continue using this product.

Rhonda J.

Verified Buyer

clinically effective
Visible Improvements Guaranteed in 60 Days

Vitamin C in the ascorbic acid form is the most effective topical antioxidant by a very wide margin. (For clients interested, the second most effective is green tea extract as provided in our AHA cleanser.)

No other antioxidant is proven to be as clinically effective at reversing signs of environmental stressors like UV and pollutants exposure or is proven capable of encouraging natural collagen production. Most clients see a boost in evenness and brightness to their complexion within the first week of use.

The noticable fading of visible dark spots or hyperpigmentation can take a month or the full 60 day course.

We recommend at least 2-3 treatments per year with this full-potency ascorbic acid to maximize results through continuous use for ongoing correction and protection is of course ideal. Clients are encouraged to document their skin's progress using the Setlist App.

Vitamin C
best vitamin c

Vitamin C serum

84% saw a brighter, more even complexion within 14 days.

Little orange bottle
Little orange bottle
LITTLE ORANGE INGREDIENT FORTRESS
Patented Aerospace Containment Technology

All Protocol serums are created and bottled in a 100% oxygen-free and light-free environment, using patented aerospace containment technology.

Why has no one else done this? Because it's really, really hard. Another skincare CEO famously called it "unrealistic." Our engineering team loved that.

Protocol's founding team had to look outside the skincare industry, in the aerospace and nuclear industries, to find the technology that could make oxygen-free and light-free bottling possible. The final result is 10% ascorbic acid delivered to you exactly as nature intended it: pure and perfect.

Frequently Asked Questions

Serums containing "ascorbyl palmitate," "tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate," "magnesium ascorbyl phosphate,"...etc. are all legally allowed to be called "Vitamin C serums," though these derivative forms have little-to-no actual Vitamin C antioxidant power on their own. The ingredient you're looking for is l-ascorbic acid, which is the pure, natural, full-potency form of Vitamin C you'd find in a freshly-picked orange. This is also the form that will show the greatest visible benefits to your complexion. We include some derivative forms on top of l-ascorbic acid, since your skin has some capacity to store these forms for later conversion to the real deal.

The second thing to note is that if your Vitamin C serum doesn't smell sweet and look like light yellow apple sauce, it's no longer Vitamin C. There's a lot of talk out there about "stabilized Vitamin C" created by adding water or ferulic acid. These indeed slow degradation a bit, but if the serum is bottled with oxygen exposure, every hour it sits on the shelf it will continue to oxidize, degrade and lose its effectiveness significantly. If you read the fine print of most of the popular ascorbic-acid serums on the market, you'll see a plea saying "don't stock up."

All Protocol serums are created and bottled in a100% oxygen-free and light-free environment, using patented aerospace containment technology.

Because it's really, really hard. Another skincare CEO famously called it "unrealistic." our engineering team loved that.

Protocol's founding team had to look outside the skincare industry, in the aerospace and nuclear industries, to find the technology that could make oxygen-free and light-free bottling possible.  The final result is 10% ascorbic acid delivered to you exactly as nature intended it: pure and perfect.

The secret that brings it all together is what we call our "little orange ingredient fortress".

A proprietary, clinical-grade, totally airless and UV proof bottle that's built like the space shuttle to protect our advanced and fragile ingredients. The quality of product it delivers will be apparent from the first pump.

Because it smells like hot dogs. And because your skin can't use that much Vitamin C.

Ferulic acid is primarily added to ascorbic acid serums in attempt to extend the shelf life of a highly unstable serum. Unlike the popular (expensive) CE Ferulic Acid ascorbic acid serum, we do not have this problem––since our serums are bottled with out oxygen exposure and using an airless bottle. Ferulic acid also boosts the sun protective properties of ascorbic acid––but nowhere close to what you can get by simply applying sunscreen (which you should do anyway!). As documented by ResearchGate, the most important component of topical ascorbic acid effectiveness is its pH (it must be below 3.5). This study also shows that at a proper pH (like the Protocol Vitamin C Superserum at 3.4), the skin reaches a saturation point where it cannot take on more Vitamin C after just a few days of application. Based on these recommendations, we have lowered the concentration of our serum to 10% ascorbic acid, which allows for total antioxidant saturation but with a gentler daily application. In other words, 20% is more harsh and goes to waste anyway after day 3 of use.

Vitamin C (in the ascorbic acid form) is the most powerful topical antioxidant on Earth. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C combats environmental stressors, like UV light and pollutants, that can cause the breakdown of collagen in your skin and dark spots to form. What does this mean for your skin? Vitamin C fades dark spots, brightens dull skin, builds a more even complexion, and encourage collagen creation for plumper smoother skin.

Absolutely! In fact, the best way to use a Vitamin C serum is to apply it every morning, followed by sunscreen and/or moisturizer. Daily application (or at least 4x per week) ensures you are actively protecting your skin against the build up of environmental stressors.

With Protocol's Vitamin C Superserum, we guarantee visible improvements within 60 days, though some users see results in as little as two weeks. A boost to your skin's brightness and evenness typically happens right away, while the permanent fading of dark spots or hyperpigmentation can take multiple courses. We recommend at least 2-3 treatments per year to maximize and maintain results.

average rating 4.9 out of 5
Based on 310 reviews
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97% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
Customer photos and videos
310 Reviews
Reviewed by Erika
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

CLEAN, PRISTINE, & INTELLIGENT SKINCARE

I cant even express to you how much I’ve battled with hormonal cystic acne, dark hyperpigmentation, dry, and oily skin. I’ve spent thousands on peels, creams, serums, pills, and countless sad evenings researching ingredients and how they can alter your skin and gut microbiome. Through the years I’ve had to learn the hard way how paramount clean and well preserved ingredients are. After 13 years of an arduous journey- I’ve landed, with confidence, on Protocol. As we all know, Vitamin C is a cute but unstable monster, retinol is an irritating acid at certain percentages, HA is tricky without the right moisture/reactive combination but Protocol has mastered all of it with scientific sophistication. Aside from its CLEAN (non carcinogenic, paraben free, hormone-disrupter free) ingredients, the packages are ingenious (check out their page on the way no light or air penetrate the serums). Also, their customer care is the sweetest, most understanding, and most responsive I’ve dealt with.

Listen, I don’t usually freak like this over a brand but I’m telling you it will change your life and simplify your complicated skin routine. I look younger, I look fresher, I look brighter, and I feel like I can just take a breath and trust this brand. You owe it to yourself to try this. My skin made me sad for so long and with this I’m getting my confidence back every day.

XX

Erika

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Reviewed by Kimberly
Verified Reviewer
I recommend this product
Age
35 - 44
Skin Type
Combination
Skin Concerns
  • Acne
  • Age Defense
  • Dark Spots
  • Pores
My Results
  • Brighter Complexion
  • Glowing Skin
  • More Even Tone
  • Reduced Sun Spots/Discoloration
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

My 10 year old acne scars literally fell off my face

I thought I was imagining it at first but 3 weeks in my whole family was commenting on how good my skin looked and asking what I was doing. I took before pic a few days in because it already seemed to be changing so quickly. The after pics are from my 2nd round of the complete line and the improvement is REAL. I'm shook. THANK YOU PROTOCOL!!

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Reviewed by Kate
I recommend this product
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

I can't believe it

This is unbelievable. I'm 32. I've been using retinol products and "Retin-'A'" 0.05 for about 6 years. I microneedle and get red light therapy. This is the best retinol I have ever used. I've seen more results from one week of use than I have from months of "Retin-'A'". I can also use it every night without drying which is insane. I'll report back in 6 months but this is not a drill. It is. The best.

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Reviewed by Kirby O.
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Fan for life.

I've had issues with my skin for the past two or so years, I think because of damage done to my skin barrier from using Biologique Recherche p50, and then other chemical exfoliants. My skin was very, very angry with me, and I responded with panic and more products. Wrong. I finally gave my skin some space to breath (thank you stay-at-home orders), and didn't put anything besides sunscreen on for two weeks - highly recommend. The first products I used again were Protocol and Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream (so good for sensitive skin), and my skin has never looked better. Like ever.

I have never seen these types of results, yet alone this quickly (about three months with Retinol/Vit C/Moisturizer). I use the Retinol every second or third night so I don't have bitchy skin deja-vu. The cleanser is magic, truly. So worth it. I just started using it, and every other night works best so far. I think I started out putting too much of the moisturizer on (I feel like this might have been part of my problem all along), but now that I take more time to apply instead of just slapping it on I am much happier with how my skin really absorbs the product. I use it during the daytime, and Cicalfate at night. My skin is completely different now - blemish free, less redness, super plump and strong, and I worry far less about it (the best part).

Protocol's customer service is also fantastic in general, they get that it's 2020 and they're a skincare brand. Thank you!!

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Reviewed by Sarah G.
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
Age
35 - 44
Skin Type
Combination
Skin Concerns
  • Acne
  • Age Defense
  • Dark Spots
  • Dullness
  • Pores
My Results
  • Glowing Skin
  • Smoother Skin
  • Firm & Lifted Skin
  • Skin Radiance
  • Softer Skin
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Amazing Results!

My 43 year old stressed acneic aging skin has never looked better! The protocol line of products has brought new life to my problem skin. I feel such a sense of rejuvenation since using this line! My skin is softer, more supple, and brighter. I also see fewer fine lines and acne scars!

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