Ask a Beauty Editor: My Sensitive, Oily Complexion Needs a Dark Spot-Fading Vitamin C Serum. What Do I Try?

L-ascorbic acid is the answer.

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Ask a Beauty Editor: Vitamin C Serum


As a beauty editor, I’m often asked for beauty advice and recommendations from my coworkers. In this series, I’ll be sharing some of the questions I receive from my colleagues and the successful recommendations I’ve made. 
“My skin is acne-prone and oily, and it's pretty sensitive, too. I am looking for a vitamin C serum that will fend off free radicals and help to lighten my sun spots and acne scarring. What do you recommend?”

Jessica Mattern, Amazon Commerce Editorial Director

When brainstorming a serum to recommend to Jessica, there were a few aspects I needed to consider. First and foremost, it needed to be sensitive-skin safe; the serum won’t be efficient if her skin can’t tolerate it. I also needed to find something with a specific type of vitamin C in it, known as L-ascorbic acid. It’s the purest form of the ingredient and studies show that it's especially effective in countering the collagen degradation and dark spots caused by exposure to UVA. There also needed to be at least one anti-inflammatory and/or skin-soothing ingredient to combat any potential irritation. My recommendation? Allies of Skin 35 Percent Vitamin C Perfecting Serum.

Allies of Skin 35% Vitamin C Perfecting Serum


Shop now: $115;

Allies of Skin 35 Percent Vitamin C Perfecting Serum, which met my first two requirements — it has a 25 percent concentration of L-ascorbic acid and superoxide dismutase, an inflammation-reducing, wound-healing, and age spot-lightening powerhouse. But there are a bunch of additional benefits to this formula. It’s waterless, which means the active ingredients are less diluted and more potent. It also means few preservative ingredients are needed since bacteria growth is therefore less of an issue. 

Jessica’s Review

 After a month of using the Allies of Skin Vitamin C Serum, Jessica told me “this vitamin C serum you recommended to me is so fantastic. I’m in love with it. It's too soon to notice a difference in the sun spots and acne scars, but within the first week, my acne cleared up and my skin is much brighter and glowier!”

The only problem Jessica has with the serum is its price. If you also have a beauty budget, I recommend these two similar, less-expensive alternatives that have the power of L-ascorbic acid and a soothing ingredient: Ursa Major’s Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum and PSA’s Gifted Acai and Sea Buckthorn Vitamin C Glow Oil. (The latter is a product from Allies of Skin’s less-expensive sister brand, so that may be the closest alternative.)

Head to Dermstore to shop the beauty editor-recommended Allies of Skin Vitamin C Serum.  

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