Are you looking for Korean vitamin C serums for glowing, youthful skin? Well, it is true that vitamin C packs a bunch of skin benefits like fighting hyperpigmentation, reducing acne, and promoting collagen synthesis. It is also considered to be one of the most powerful antioxidants for the skin, as it deals with free radicals like a champ!
So, it is no surprise that K-beauty brands offer vitamin C serums that target a number of skin concerns. Whether it is acne, dark spots, or wrinkles, there is a Korean vitamin C serum made just for your skin. What makes them special is their lightweight texture that pairs with other amazing ingredients like Hyaluronic acid, Snail mucin, or Niacinamide.
Before we get into our top picks for the best Korean vitamin C serums, let’s delve into the pros and cons of Vitamin C for the skin.
Main skin benefits of Vitamin C:
Vitamin C comes in handy for so many skin concerns, that’s why it is a true multitasker! Here are some of the things it can do for your skin.
# Brightens the skin and fades dark spots
If you have been dealing with acne spots, dark spots, or hyperpigmentation, and you have seen a dermatologist about it, chances are they have mentioned Vitamin C. It prevents melanin (pigment that causes darkness) production, thus fading the dark spots and events out the skin tone.
# Helps acne
In general, Vitamin C is also known for its anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. Studies show that it has been effective for acne treatment, as well as potential rosacea and redness. It can also be used to treat acne scars and stubborn acne spots.
# Makes sunscreen more effective
Sun’s harmful UV rays are the number one reason behind skin aging. (or photoaging, to be exact). The only way to prevent this is to wear sunscreen daily, but hear me out. You can maximize the effect of your sunscreen by layering a Vitamin C serum as a previous step. That way, you can prevent your skin’s exposure to free radicals and UV lights throughout the day!
While Vitamin C boasts a number of skin benefits, it also does have some side effects and cautions that come with it.
Downsides of using Vitamin C for skin:
# It can irritate the skin
The most common catch with Vitamin C is that it can easily irritate the skin, especially sensitive skin. This mostly happens when the product has a high percentage of Vitamin C, or just due to the fact that the skin hasn’t developed tolerance towards vitamin C. It also makes the skin more sensitive to the Sun, so it is better to always wear SPF when using Vitamin C in your routine.
Read more here: 4 Side Effects of Vitamin C serums, Benefits and More
# Vitamin C is unstable
You have probably heard about how Vitamin C serums oxidize and change color. I mean, this is its most notorious trait! That’s because it is very unstable and loses its effectiveness when exposed to air, heart, or light. You have to store it in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. I keep mine in the fridge, I think it is the best to store your vitamin C serum!
Now that we are done with the pros and cons of vitamin C, it is time to jump into our best picks for the Best Korean vitamin c serums!
8 Top Korean Vitamin C Serums worth your money
#1. Best Korean vitamin C serum for sensitive skin: Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
- Beginner friendly
- Gentle on sensitive skin
- Infused with Centella
- Contains essential oils
Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop is probably the first product that comes to mind when talking about Korean vitamin C serums. Infused with 5% pure Vitamin C, (aka Ascorbic acid), the serum also has a gentle derivative of Vitamin C, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. It is known for its strong antioxidant benefits and for helping with acne. The formula also includes Centella Asiatica to soothe the skin and a whopping 5 types of peptides which we absolutely love!
Overall, this is a very beginner-friendly Korean Vitamin C serum that can be a great place to start off your Vitamin C journey. It was one of the first vitamin C serums I have ever used, and I have sensitive skin that has to grow wary of everything (unfortunately) I put on my skin. It is very effective against acne scars and dark spots.
The only thing I didn’t like about this is the fact that it contains some essential oils. Other than that, a very decent K-beauty Vitamin c serum made for sensitive skin.
#2. Best Korean vitamin C serum for acne-prone skin: By Wishtrend – Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum
- Non-sticky texture
- Packed with soothing ingredients
- Great for treating acne
- High-potency Vitamin C serum can irritate the skin
By Wishtrend’s bestselling Vitamin C serum is one of the most popular Korean Vitamin C serums on the internet. This formula packs 21.5 % of pure Vitamin C and is excellent for dealing even with the most stubborn dark spots or pigments in general. Its watery, non-sticky, and light consistency makes it perfect for oily, acne-prone skin! Apart from the apparent star of the show, (Vitamin C, in case you missed it) this serum also contains skin-friendly ingredients like Sodium hyaluronate (a type of Hyaluronic Acid), Panthenol, and Allantoin.
The higher the potency of Vitamin C is, the higher chance of skin irritation. To be on the safe side, do a patch test before using this product.
#3. Best Korean vitamin C serum for large pores: SOME BY MI Galactomyces Pure Vitamin C Glow Serum
- Minimizes pores
- Multifunctional formula
- Packed with antioxidants
- Gets absorbed really fast
- Nothing to report yet
The thing that makes Korean vitamin C serums to unique has to be their multifunctional nature. Almost every serum out there has some other beneficial ingredients along with Vitamin C. And the SOME BY MI Galactomyces Pure Vitamin C Glow Serum is definitely one of them.
Galactomyces, aka Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, is a type of yeast derived from the process of sake fermentation. This traditional Japanese drink made by fermenting rice had led to an important discovery – Galactomyces when people noticed how soft the hands of sake brewers were. Long story short, since then galactomyces ferment filtrate has been hailed in Asian skincare as a magic liquid. It is rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids.
With 75% galactomyces ferment filtrate and 3% of pure Vitamin C, this serum combines both skin whitening and anti-aging effects. This is largely thanks to its high antioxidant content and other holy grail ingredients like Niacinamide, Adenosine. If you are dealing with acne scars, hyperpigmentation, or wrinkles and you don’t know where to start with the Vitamin C journey, this is a good option.
#4. Best Korean vitamin C serum with antioxidants: JUMISO – All Day Vitamin Brightening & Balancing Facial Serum
- Alcohol & Fragrance-free
- Works for all skin types
- Super light texture
- Packed with antioxidants
- Brightening feature might fall short
This serum by Jumiso is like a vitamin party for every skin! You might have come across this one by its former name, Drop The Vita C Facial Serum. They have improved the formula and the new one is more stable.
In short, it is a stable vitamin complex-infused formula that provides the ultimate nourishment your skin needs. Apart from Vitamin C, the formula includes Vitamin A, B, C, D, and E!
At 86.14% of vitamin tree extract, the formula offers skin-healing and anti-inflammatory benefits for the skin. It adds a healthy glow and helps revitalize the skin. What’s more, it also has skin-soothing goodies like Centella Asiatica, Camomile Extract, and Hyaluronic Acid. Plus, unlike other Vitamin C serums, this formula doesn’t leave a heat sensation on the skin!
#5. Best Korean vitamin C serum for oily skin: PURITO Pure Vitamin C Serum
- Contains Niacinamide
- Packaging preventing from rapid oxidation
- Vegan & Cruelty-free
- Nothing major to report
This Vitamin C serum by Purito combines the best of both worlds for oily skin – Niacinamide and yes, Vitamin C! (in the form of Ascorbic Acid). Vitamin C at 5% helps deal with acne and acne scars that come with having oily skin while Niacinamide deals with excess oil production.
And because every skin needs moisture, we have Sodium Hyaluronate (a form of Hyaluronic Acid) that prevents moisture evaporation and provides long-lasting hydration.
You might remember this serum in its old brownish packaging. Just like the packaging, they have tweaked the formula. The updated formula also contains bamboo water and adenosine to help strengthen the skin barrier and soothe damaged skin.
If you are dealing with oily/combo skin and suffer from hyperpigmentation and dullness, this serum will effectively address those. Plus, they have used agents that prevent rapid oxidation and improve the product’s stability. It is packaged in a dark brown bottle to provide the ingredients with maximum protection from sunlight. Being hypoallergenic, it is less likely to irritate the skin. That said, doing a patch test is always a MUST while using Vitamin C serums!
#6. Best Korean vitamin C serum with hydrating ingredients: NEOGEN – Dermalogy Real Vitamin C Serum
- Very lightweight texture
- Has 3 types of Hyaluronic acid
- Gives the skin an antioxidant boost
- Will oxidize after 3 months of use
Looking for a K-beauty Vitamin C serum that almost does it all? Besides brightening up and revitalizing the skin, this serum by NEOGEN boasts hydrating and soothing qualities. This Korean Vitamin C serum is a bit underrated in my opinion, but totally deserves your attention.
The central Vitamin C derivative here is Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP) at 22% – a stabilized form of Vitamin C. What makes this a very hydrating and soothing is the Hyaluronic acid, vitamin complex (Vitamin E, Vitamin B5) and the ultimate goodie – Vitamin B3, Niacinamide.
What’s special about Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP) is that it doesn’t easily degrade from oxidation. If you suffer from acne, acne scars but you also need something that is on the soothing side, this Korean Vitamin C serum should be on your wishlist.
#7. Best Korean vitamin C serum for skin on the dry side: Isntree C-Niacin Toning Ampoule
- Free of essential oils and fragrance
- Has Niacinamide
- Works well under makeup
- A bit tacky to the touch
This serum will provide the ultimate antioxidant boost for your skin due to 70% Sea buckthorn that is rich in Vitamin C, A, B, K. Studies show that linoleic acid in sea buckthorn oil can help with acne and excess oil production of the skin. Plus, the Ethyl Ascorbic Acid in the formula is way less irritating compared to other Vitamin C derivatives.
In addition, this one is formulated with Niacinamide, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), and bioflavonoids (Vitamin P). It has excellent skin lightening effect along with being very moisturizing. Oh, did I mention that it also packs Aloe and Hyaluronic Acid? The ultimate party for your skin!
If you have been following Isntree for a while, yes, they have changed the packaging. However, the formula stays the same. The only catch with this formula is that it can feel a bit tacky on the skin.
#8. Best Korean vitamin C serum for wrinkles: COSRX – The Vitamin C 23 Serum
- Can show results very early
- Very effective against fine lines and wrinkles
- High concentrated Vitamin C can irritate the skin
Did you really think this list was going to be complete without a COSRX product? Although this specific Vitamin C serum hit the shelves recently, it has become a favourite already! Best Korean vitamin C serums are the ones that target different skin concerns. This one is the anti-aging fighter against fine lines and wrinkles.
23% Pure Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) helps achieve glowing skin while Super Vitamin E (Tocotrienol) helps fight signs of aging and slows down skin damage. Plus, Hyaluronic acid delivers rich moisture deep into skin and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Another great news about this is that it works real fast! Most people reported results in 4 weeks time. Since it is a highly concentrated formula (I mean, 23%!), your skin has to build tolerance before you start Vitamin C routine. This is definitely not a beginner’s formula, just to be careful and give this a try if you have already used Vitamin C before.
Korean Vitamin C serums are in a league of their own. Whether it is oily, combo or dry skin you are dealing with, there is always a Vitamin C serum for you in the K-beauty world!