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Which SkinCeuticals Vitamin C Serum Is Right for You?

By Wendy Rodewald-Sulz · February 22, 2021

A vitamin C serum is a morning skin care staple with major anti-aging benefits. And there are plenty of reasons why SkinCeuticals’ C E Ferulic is the most sought-after vitamin C serum of all time. It’s been vetted by scientific studies galore and has over two thousand five-star reviews from Dermstore shoppers, for starters. But it isn’t the only powerhouse vitamin C in the brand’s repertoire—which also includes Phloretin CF and the newest addition, Silymarin CF. All three formulas help prevent and correct damage from oxidative stress (dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles) and are backed by serious science. So which one should you be using to start your day? It all comes down to your skin type.

We checked in with SkinCeuticals educator Shari Ballinger to learn more about these three antioxidant serums—and to help you find your ideal match.

  • Best for Dry and Normal Skin

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    This gold-standard vitamin C serum offers “serious anti-aging benefits and prevention” for drier types or even sensitive skin, says Ballinger, who notes that the vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) in the formula can help replenish lipids. Its blend of potent antioxidants, which also includes ferulic acid (a plant-based antioxidant that enhances the benefits of vitamins C and E), “is designed to help improve the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles, photodamage and loss of elasticity all while brightening the skin,” she explains.

  • Best for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

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    SkinCeuticals’ latest innovation—six years in the making—is this oil-free vitamin C serum designed to “prevent oil oxidation that can lead to breakouts,” says Ballinger. The formula also “delivers advanced environmental protection, reduces oiliness and helps refine texture and improves clarity, uneven skin tone and fine lines.” Like C E Ferulic, it contains pure vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid, plus plant-based ferulic acid. Silymarin, an antioxidant derived from the milk-thistle plant, helps prevent oil oxidation, while salicylic acid (a beta-hydroxy acid) fights breakouts.

  • Best for Combination Skin

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    If discoloration and signs of photo-aging are your main concerns, then Phloretin CF is for you. This formula combines vitamin C and ferulic acid with phloretin, an antioxidant derived from apples that does a number on dark spots. Unlike C E Ferulic, it doesn’t contain vitamin E, which makes it better suited for skin types with an oily T-zone (vitamin E can be too rich for combination skin).

Wendy Rodewald-Sulz

Wendy Rodewald-Sulz

Wendy Rodewald-Sulz is Dermstore's Content Manager and a lifelong skin care and beauty devotee. She graduated from cruising the drugstore aisles for Lip Smackers as a teen to a career as a beauty editor, where she learned her antioxidants from her AH... Read More >