Vitamin C

What Percentage of Vitamin C Serum is Best?

4 Mins read

At some point in your life, you might have heard about the wonders of vitamin C and how it can help keep your skin looking young and healthy.

If you haven’t tried this ingredient yet, it’s time to take a closer look at what makes it so special.

After all, vitamin C is the most widely-used antioxidant in skincare products because of its ability to prevent signs of aging like wrinkles and hyperpigmentation while also having anti-inflammatory properties that improve acne scarring.

But there’s more to know than just “Vitamin C Serum” being good for your skin; not all serums are created equal, so let’s dive into what percentage is best for your needs!

What Percentage of Vitamin C Serum is Best?

As you can see, there are many reasons to use a vitamin C serum.

And it’s not just for your face! Vitamin C serums are also used to brighten and even out the skin tone of your body.

There are many different concentrations of vitamin C available, but we recommend using one with at least 10% concentration.

The higher the amount of vitamin C in a product, the better it will work.

While there is no maximum recommended percentage of concentration per se (the FDA doesn’t regulate this), we believe that anything over 20% could be too intense for most people’s skin types and may cause irritation or redness after application.

Some people with sensitive skin may find that they experience irritation as their skin adjusts to a more concentrated formula.

If this is happening for you then try reducing your percentage until you find what works best for your needs!

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How Do You Know if Your Vitamin C Serum is Good?

Vitamin C serums are known to be effective in reducing wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and dark circles.

But not all vitamin C serums are the same.

It’s important to know which ones work and which don’t.

Here are some ways how you can know if your Vitamin C Serum is good:

1. It doesn’t sting, tingle, or burn when applied to the skin.

2. It doesn’t have any strong smell or fragrance.

3. It doesn’t feel oily on the skin like Vaseline or petroleum jelly does when applied topically.

4. It doesn’t give you a rash after applying it on your face or neck area for a few days straight (if you have sensitive skin).

5. The consistency of the serum is not too thick nor too thin when applied to your face or neck area (in general).

6. The product has an expiration date printed somewhere on its label or container that’s visible without having to open up its cap or lid first (if it has one).

7. There are no traces of other ingredients mixed with Vitamin C in this product (especially if they’re synthetic ones).

Can You Use 20% Vitamin C Serum?

While you can use 20% vitamin C serum, it’s not necessary to do so.

There are plenty of other non-invasive treatments that you can try first to help brighten your skin and even out its tone before you start using a 20% vitamin C serum.

If you’ve never used any kind of vitamin C product before, or if this is your first foray into the world of high-dose vitamin C serums, then I’d recommend starting with a lower percentage product until you’re sure how well your skin reacts to it.

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After all, it’s always good practice to listen carefully to what our bodies tell us about what we put on them!

What is the Highest Percentage Vitamin C Serum?


The highest percentage vitamin C serum is from SkinCeuticals.

It’s called LHA Cleanser and contains 20% vitamin C.


The second highest percentage of vitamin C is 10%.

This is the percentage found in many of the serums you’re likely to find at your local pharmacy or beauty store.


The third highest percentage of vitamin C is 5%.

This is the percentage found in most of the DIY recipes for vitamin C serums that you’ll find online.


The fourth highest percentage of vitamin C is 2%.

This is the amount used by Dr. Dennis Gross when he created his own brand of vitamin C serum, Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid & Retinol Brightening Solution, which has been on the market since 2005.

Which Form of Vitamin C is Best for Serum?

There are many forms of vitamin C available for skincare products.

The most popular type is L-ascorbic acid, which you’ll find in just about every serum on the market.

Other forms include magnesium ascorbate and sodium ascorbate (more commonly known as vitamin C powder), palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, and others.

For most people looking for a serum with high concentrations of vitamin C, we recommend choosing one with l-ascorbic acid or one that uses other research-backed ingredients like niacinamide or ferulic acid.

How Much Should You Use Your Vitamin C Serum?

The answer to this question depends on the potency of your product and how much skin you want to cover.

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If you’re using a high-quality and potent form of vitamin C, it may be possible for you to use less than 1% of your serum on your face.

In other words, if you are using a 10% Vitamin C cream or serum, then only use 0.1 grams of that product per square inch of facial surface area (or 100 milligrams).

If this seems like too little product for your skin type or condition, then try applying half that amount instead—but no more than 50 milligrams per square inch.

And if even that sounds unmanageable for some reason (such as having very sensitive skin), don’t worry about it!

Just try applying half as much again—say 25 milligrams per square inch—and see how it goes before gradually increasing the amount used over time until reaching 100 milligrams per square inch if needed (100mg/sq in).

Final Thoughts

As we’ve discussed, you can use a vitamin C serum at any percentage.

However, you should be aware of what the best options for your skin type are and how much vitamin C is appropriate for your skin type.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin then try starting with a lower concentration and working up from there.

For example, if you start off using an 8% serum but find that it still causes irritation then try switching over to a 5% formula instead!

Remember that it takes time before any new skincare product will show results so don’t give up too soon!