7 Best Vitamin C Creams for Hydrated and Glowing Skin (2021 ✅)

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Find the best vitamin C cream for your skin type, skin condition, and budget! Overall, my top recommendation is Vichy Liftactiv Peptide-C.

Are you looking to fade age spots and boost radiance without sacrificing moisture hydration? Consider getting a vitamin C cream, as it brightens hyperpigmentation, stimulates collagen production, and protects from free radicals! (Pullar, 2017)

In this article, we’ll explain the science behind the ingredients and help narrow down the best vitamin C cream for you. Let’s get you glowing!

RELATED:

What Is The Best Vitamin C Cream?

Here are my top recommendations:

  1. Editor's Choice: Vichy Liftactiv Peptide-C
  2. Best for Dark Spots: La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Cream Firming Moisturizing Filler
  3. Best for Brighter & Plumper Skin: Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Bright & Plump Moisturizer
  4. Rave Reviews: IMAGE Skincare VITAL C Hydrating Repair Crème
  5. Most Popular Pick: TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer
  6. Best Face & Body Cream: Advanced Clinicals Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Cream
  7. Best Day Cream w/ SPF 30: Murad Essential C Moisture Broad Spectrum
Vichy Liftactiv Peptide-C Anti-Aging Moisturizer
1
EDITOR'S CHOICE

Vichy Liftactiv Peptide-C 
Anti-Aging Moisturizer

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Best For:

✅ A
✅ B
✅ C

Key Ingredients:

⭐ A
⭐ B
⭐ C

Key Features:

👍 A
👍 B
👍 C

With Vichy Liftactiv Peptide-C, why bother with a face-lift?

This face cream uses ascorbyl glucoside (AG), a water-soluble form of vitamin C that is great for stimulating collagen production, brightening the complexion, and fighting free radicals. It also contains vitamin E, which strengthens the skin barrier, and adenosine, which improves skin elasticity.

It even has two sources of peptides: 

  • Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9: works to restore the skin’s natural support

  • Pea Extract: a good source of phyto peptides, which help make the skin appear smoother and plumper

According to the company, this formulation helps users achieve an 11% reduction in crow’s feet in 4 weeks and a 24% reduction in forehead wrinkles in 8 weeks.

With 1,000+ reviews and over 70% five-stars, many customers agreed that it indeed made their skin tighter and appear more contoured.

Some reviewers also loved how rich the cream is to the touch, yet it feels lightweight and powder-like once applied on the face. This soft finish allows the easy layering of sunscreen and make-up. 

But if you want a quick apply-and-go, you may also consider Vichy LiftActiv Sunscreen, which is the sunscreen variation of this cream and has a similar formula. Both are suitable for all skin types and have been tested for sensitive skin.

Just watch out for fakes and previously-opened products on Amazon.

Our Verdict: Battle anti-aging and discoloration with Vichy Liftactiv Peptide-C, featuring vitamin C, vitamin E, and peptides!

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La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Cream Firming Moisturizing Filler
2
BEST FOR DARK SPOTS

La Roche-Posay 
Pure Vitamin C Cream 
Firming Moisturizing Filler

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Best For:

✅ A
✅ B
✅ C

Key Ingredients:

⭐ A
⭐ B
⭐ C

Key Features:

👍 A
👍 B
👍 C

Say goodbye to dark spots and say hello pure radiance with La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Cream Firming Moisturizing Filler.

It contains 5% l ascorbic acid (LAA), otherwise known as pure vitamin C, which is proven to reduce discoloration, lighten dark spots, and protect the skin from sun damage (Paula’s Choice)

It also has:

  • Madecassoside: inhibits inflammation

  • Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid: binds water particles to your skin and makes it appear plump and smooth (Healthline)

  • Neurosensine: relieves redness and sensitivity (Seite, 2013)

  • Mannose: reinforces the moisture barrier to prevent water loss (Style Caster)

  • Thermal Spring Water: calms and soothes the skin

When madecassoside is combined with vitamin C, its antioxidant benefits are enhanced. Mixing it with hyaluronic acid also increases its hydrating effects (Byrdie). This makes the product great for addressing concerns such as wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven skin tone.

With 500+ reviews on Amazon, several users attest to this cream’s lightweight texture. It’s oil-free, doesn’t leave a greasy feeling, and works great on aging and sensitive skin types.

You just have to be a little patient, as you would need at least three weeks of consistent use before you get to see some results.

Our Verdict: Achieve plump and healthy skin with La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Cream Firming Moisturizing Filler, as it uses pure vitamin C, madecassoside, hyaluronic acid, mannose, and neurosensine.

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Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Bright & Plump Moisturizer
3
BEST FOR BRIGHTER & PLUMPER SKIN

Peter Thomas Roth 
Potent-C Bright & Plump Moisturizer

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Best For:

✅ A
✅ B
✅ C

Key Ingredients:

⭐ A
⭐ B
⭐ C

Key Features:

👍 A
👍 B
👍 C

Get the latest on vitamin C care with Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Bright & Plump Moisturizer!

It anchors its formula on 10% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD), an oil-soluble vitamin C derivative. 

Peter Thomas Roth claims that THD is “50x more powerful than traditional vitamin C.” However, all vitamin C derivatives are less potent than pure vitamin C because the skin still has to convert them to L-AA. We can then interpret the company’s claim as an ode to THD’s greater stability, not greater potency.

On the bright side, studies have suggested that THD can penetrate the skin better than other vitamin C forms, including L-AA, because it’s lipid-soluble (The Derm Review).

However, more still research needs to be done in this regard as THD is a relatively new form of vitamin C.

Additional ingredients include:

  • 3% Vitamin E: reduces UV damage and works in synergy with vitamin C
  • 2% Ferulic Acid: reduces fine lines and stabilizes vitamin C
  • Hydrolyzed Collagen: moisturizes the skin
  • Hyaluronic Acid: binds water to collagen
  • Trimoist KMF: boosts and protects the moisture barrier (Mibelle Biochemistry)
  • Hydrolyzed Elastin: promotes cell growth and maintains skin elasticity
  • Astaxanthin: minimizes age spots
  • Turmeric Root Extract: brightens the skin
  • Ginger Root Extract: combats redness and irritation
  • Gluconolactone: a polyhydroxy acid (PHA) that gently exfoliates the skin

This powerful mix of ingredients comes in a luxurious, creamy texture that is soothing to the skin. Understandably, it also comes at a high price - specifically, $40/oz. 

So do be careful when dropping those dollars on Amazon, as several users have complained about receiving products that have expired or been tampered with.

Our Verdict: Brightening, hydrating, anti-aging, and fragrance-free, Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Bright & Plump Moisturizer brings its A-game with vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, collagen, and Trimoist™ LMF!

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IMAGE Skincare VITAL C Hydrating Repair Crème
4
RAVE REVIEWS

IMAGE Skincare 
VITAL C Hydrating Repair Crème

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Best For:

✅ A
✅ B
✅ C

Key Ingredients:

⭐ A
⭐ B
⭐ C

Key Features:

👍 A
👍 B
👍 C

Are you looking for a product that can nourish, brighten, and revitalize your skin? 

Consider IMAGE Skincare Vital C Hydrating Repair Creme, a cream that has FOUR (!!!) sources of vitamin C. THD, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), ascorbyl palmitate (AP), and ascorbic acid (AA) all work to aid collagen production, brighten skin tone, and improve skin texture.

Vitamin E is then added to strengthen the skin barrier and heighten the antioxidant effects of vitamin C. At the same time, vitamin A protects your skin from free radical damage and increases skin cell turnover. This makes the cream an ACE when it comes to skin protection and nourishment.

Hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, panthenol, aloe vera, and ceramides take this up a notch, as they moisturize the skin and smoothen your wrinkles. It even has allantoin, which softens the skin!

Users attest that this cream melts into the skin when applied, and the feeling of softening and smoothening is almost instant. This makes it great for dry skin types.

Unsurprisingly, such an impressive formula garnered almost 1,500 reviews and 85% five-star on Amazon! For comparison, the previous three products only achieved <80% five-stars.

Nonetheless, you still have to maintain caution since this product contains citrus oils, which can be irritating for sensitive skin.

Our Verdict: Discover what the rave is all about with IMAGE Skincare Vital C Hydrating Repair Creme and its mix of vitamins A, C, and E, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and aloe vera!

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TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer
5
MOST POPULAR PICK

TruSkin Naturals 
Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer

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Best For:

✅ A
✅ B
✅ C

Key Ingredients:

⭐ A
⭐ B
⭐ C

Key Features:

👍 A
👍 B
👍 C

Get your daily dose of antioxidant protection with TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer!

It has 22 ingredients, and almost all of them directly benefit the skin. The most notable include:

  • MSM (Organic Sulfur): absorbs excess sebum and unclogs pores
  • Vitamin C (SAP): tones skin and neutralizes free radicals
  • Jojoba Oil: helps treat acne, eczema, and fine lines (Healthline)
  • Shea Butter: improves the skin’s natural barrier
  • Vitamin E: reduces UV damage
  • Green Tea: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial (Healthline)
  • Gotu Kola (Centella): speeds up cell and collagen production
  • Horsetail Extract: has antioxidant and skin-soothing properties (Paula’s Choice)
  • Dandelion Extract: protects from UV damage and brightens skin tone (Yang and Li, 2015)
  • Aloe Vera: moisturizes skin and reduces redness
  • Organic Sunflower: brightens skin and combats acne

Since TruSkin doesn’t disclose the percentage of the SAP and it’s 8th on the ingredient list, we can presume that this product contains a relatively low amount of vitamin C. 

Still, with the other ingredients, this cream would work great for daily moisturizing, focusing on addressing pigmentation, keeping skin moisturized, and fighting free radicals. 

Its inclusion of sunflower, aloe, gotu kola, and MSM would also make it great for acne prone skin.

Our Verdict: With over 11,000 reviews on Amazon and ingredients that address various skin concerns, TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer cements its place as the most popular vitamin C cream.

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Advanced Clinicals Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Cream
6
BEST FACE & BODY CREAM

Advanced Clinicals 
Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Cream

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Best For:

✅ A
✅ B
✅ C

Key Ingredients:

⭐ A
⭐ B
⭐ C

Key Features:

👍 A
👍 B
👍 C

Who says skin care has to be limited to your face? Get full-body care with Advanced Clinicals Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Cream!

You may think that using vitamin C on your body would be wasteful, but it’s effective for brightening stretch marks, scars, and discoloration (Pullar, 2017).

Plus, this product has a terrific value at $12.50 for 16 oz! With three types of vitamin C (aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate, THD, and AA) at that price point, it’s difficult to go wrong.

It also has aloe vera, green tea, and vitamin E, which all work to soothe the skin, fight free radicals, and minimize signs of aging. Ferulic acid, which works best when paired with other antioxidants, then enhances these effects while stabilizing vitamin C.

Because the cream also functions as a body lotion, it’s lighter than your usual facial creams. On the upside, it absorbs quickly without any greasiness. 

Just be mindful that it contains coconut oil, mineral oil, and fragrance, which may break you out if you have sensitive skin.

Our Verdict: Get rid of scars and achieve even skin tone with Advanced Clinicals Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Cream, as it indulges your entire body with three types of vitamin C, aloe vera, green tea, vitamin E, and ferulic acid!

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Murad Essential-C Moisture Broad Spectrum
7
BEST DAY CREAM W/ SPF 30

Murad Essential-C 
Moisture Broad Spectrum

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Best For:

✅ A
✅ B
✅ C

Key Ingredients:

⭐ A
⭐ B
⭐ C

Key Features:

👍 A
👍 B
👍 C

Vitamin C is best paired with sunscreen, and Murad Essential C Moisture Broad Spectrum is best paired with you.

As the name implies, this vitamin C cream functions as a moisturizer and sunscreen. It offers SPF 30 protection, and as a chemical sunscreen, it’s lightweight, non-sticky, and sheer. This means you don’t have to worry about getting a white cast or looking greasy. 

Here is a breakdown of the sunscreen agents in this product:

  • 3% Avobenzone: a UVA filter
  • 6.5% Homosalate: a UVB filter 
  • 7.5% Octinoxate: a UVB filter 
  • 5.0% Octisalate: a UVB filter
  • 2.0% Oxybenzone: filters both UVA and UVB

As a facial cream, it also relies on the following ingredients:

  • Yeast Amino Acids: improves collagen synthesis 
  • Vitamin A: increases skin cell turnover
  • Vitamin E: has photoprotection against UVB rays
  • Vitamin C (AP, THD): improves skin tone and increases collagen production
  • Ginkgo Biloba: reduces inflammation and lightens skin
  • Urea: softens and smoothes the skin
  • Trehalose: protects and maintains the moisture barrier
  • Betaine: minimizes the appearance of wrinkles
  • Zinc Gluconate: regulates sebum
  • Grape Seed Extract: lightens acne scars and dark circles

Because of its SPF content, this is best used as a moisturizer during the day. With 1,100+ reviews and over 80% five-star reviews, this $37.50/oz cream proves its worth. Just be wary of buying on Amazon, as several buyers have complained about receiving watered-down products with varying consistencies.

Our Verdict: Discover the ease of having a moisturizer and sunscreen in one product with Murad Essential C Moisture Broad Spectrum, as it empowers you to face the sun with no fear!

However, if you have sensitive skin and can’t tolerate chemical sunscreen, you can opt for a moisturizer with a physical one. For that, we recommend Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Photo-Brightening Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 with 4.2% titanium dioxide and vitamin C (THD). 

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