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Best Vitamin C Serum For Hyperpigmentation

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Today on Prada & Pearls I’m diving into the best Vitamin C serum for hyperpigmentation.  There are so many vitamin C serums out there on the market and honestly a lot of them are crap.  When it comes to Vitamin C you really need to pay attention to the ingredients and the PH of the product.  That’s why today I’m going into my top recommendations based on price point so you can start working towards clearer skin!

The Best Vitamin C Serum For Hyperpigmentation

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is when areas of your skin become darker than others.  The reason is due to an excessive production of melanin.  There are a lot of hyperpigmentation causes, one of the largest is sun exposure.  It can also occur, due to a change in hormones and/or injury.

How can Vitamin C help with Hyperpigmentation

One of the main effects of a Vitamin C serum is that it impedes the production of Melanin, which improves the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.  It’s typically recommended to use a Vitamin C serum for 2-3 months before assessing its effectiveness.

Vitamin C also has the following additional benefits:

  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Increases collagen production (which is great for anti-ageing)
  • Evens and brightens skin tone
  • Acts as a barrier against pollution and free radicals that causes ageing


Types of Vitamin C

Vitamin C Serum’s can be a bit difficult to figure out since there’s so many different types of Vitamin C compounds.  To make this easier for you, I created the following chart of the most common types.  If you see any of these ingredients in your skincare products they are vitamin C derivatives (different types):

Now, not all Vitamin C derivatives are created equal.  Some are more effective and stable than others, therefore making them a lot more effective.

Ascorbic/ L-Ascorbic

Ascorbic or L-Ascorbic is Vitamin C derivative that has the most research backing it.  It has also been deemed as the most effective Vitamin C compound for your skin.  It packs the most punch and is known to be both effective and fast acting.  I have tried a lot of Vitamin C serums, and I can honestly say the ones with L-ascorbic acid really made a difference in my skin tone.

The reason L-ascorbic acid works so well, is that it’s water soluble and can pass through the epidermal layer of your skin (top layer) allowing for easy absorption.  It also triggers collagen synthesis which is crucial in reversing the effects of ageing.


Oxidization is an important thing to discuss when it comes to vitamin C especially products with Ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid is known to oxidize extremely fast when exposed to oxygen and sunlight.  Once oxidized, the vitamin c is no longer effective and needs to be thrown out.  Vitamin C serums typically start out as clear or with a light yellow tinge.  As it ages, it will be become more yellow in color.  If your product is a dark yellow or mustard color, it’s time to throw away as too much oxidization has occurred.  That’s why it’s important to use your product consistently once opened to ensure nothing’s wasted.

Other things to consider

  • You want the serum to have a PH Level of 2.5-3.5 for stability
  • Contained in a dark glass jar or airless pump container so there’s less oxidization
  • 10%-20% Vitamin C concentration
  • Vitamin E & Ferulic acid addition helps boost effectiveness


If you’re going to use a vitamin C serum you NEED to use a sunscreen.  With that said, you need to use a stand alone product.  Many think they are protected since their foundations contain spf.  Unfortunately, according to dermatologists, you won’t get even coverage and you won’t get the required amount of protection.  That’s why I always apply a face sunscreen before my makeup.

Vitamin C makes your skin incredibly sensitive to the sun and therefore can cause more hyperpigmentation and sun damage if you do not use an SPF product in conjunction.  There’s no point of using Vitamin C if you’re not going to protect your skin because it will do more damage than good.  Also, always use a mineral based sunscreen.

This is my favourite sunscreen.  It’s doesn’t cause breakouts or leave a white sheen:

Check it out here on Amazon

Top Vitamin C Serums I highly Recommend

Below are the top vitamin C serums I recommend for hyperpigmentation and for anyone who wants to even out their completion.  You’ll notice there are three below.  I wanted to share the best serums based on your budget.  Some of you might be able to afford the luxury brand (which is amazing quality), however I also understand that some of us including myself need a more effective budget friendly option (I actually use the lowest cost serum myself).  All of these are fantastic and will really make a difference.

Low Cost Range ($25.95/ 1fl Ounce)

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See the Timeless Vitamin C serum here

This is actually the vitamin c serum I personally use myself!  Here’s what I love about this serum:

  • It’s the most cost effective at only $25.95 per 1 ounce
  • It has an airtight pump making oxidation minimal
  • 20% L-Ascorbic Acid, make it a powerful vitamin C serum

This serum is really lightweight and absorbs quick.  It has helped me achieve a healthy glow and has helped reduce my acne scarring.

Medium Cost Range ($73.13/ 1fl Ounce)

Get the Paula’s Choice Vitamin C Serum here

This is another Vitamin C serum that’s a strong contender.  It sits in the middle range in terms of price point.  The actually bottle is only $49 but it contains 0.67 fluid ounces meaning that it technically costs $73 per one fluid ounce.

If you haven’t heard of Paula’s Choice, it’s a skin care brand founded by Paula Begoun who has been in the beauty industry for over 25 years.  Paula has been a leader in skincare and is well known for her ingredient dictionaries that help educate consumers on ingredients in their products.  Her skincare products are trusted in the industry and show great results!

  • 15% L-ascorbic acid
  • PH level 3%
  • Contains Vitamin E, Ferulic acid and Peptides
  • Quick absorption


High End Cost Range ($185/ 1fl Ounce)

Get the Skinceuticals Serum here

This is probably the most well-known Vitamin C serum on the market.  It has thousands of popular reviews online with customers raving about the effectiveness.  This really was the first Vitamin C serum to combine L-ascorbic acid with and Vitamin E and Ferulic acid.  The serum has a hefty price tag at $185 per 1 ounce.  However, this cult favourite is worth it.  If you decide to splurge, this would be the serum to try.

  • 15% L-ascorbic Acid
  • Formulated under the Duke Antioxidant Patent
  • Includes 1% Vitamin E and 0.5% of Ferulic acid
  • Cult Favourite – extremely high amount of positive reviews
  • Quick acting – many notice a change after 1 day of use

Honourable Mention (great for sensitive skin)

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See TruSkin Vitamin C Serum On Amazon here

Alright this product is an interesting one.  It actually contains Vitamin C in the form of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate which I normally wouldn’t recommend, however it also contains Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid.  Both of these ingredients are great for hydration and damage caused by free radicals.  Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is often seen as a weaker version of L-ascorbic acid.  It’s a gently form of vitamin C and good for individuals with sensitive skin.  It’s effectiveness however, may take a bit longer than L-ascorbic to start working.

This serum has 49,000 positive reviews on amazon along with before and after photos showing a dramatic improvement in hyperpigmentation.  I highly recommend if you’re looking for a gently serum that’s affordable!

Read this next!

Those are my top serums, I hope this helps you find the best vitamin c serum for hyperpigmentation that works for you!  You can’t go wrong with any of the serums mentioned above.  Personally, I love using a Vitamin C serum, it really helps give you a natural glow.  It also really helps with reducing the appearance of dark spots.  If you’re looking for more beauty recommendations, read these next:

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