The 7 Best Vitamin C Serums To Fade Dark Spots From Sun Exposure & Acne, According To A Derm
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
While sunspots and post acne marks are formed two entirely different ways, both types of hyperpigmentation respond to gentle exfoliation, a generous dose of sunscreen, and the best vitamin C serums to fade dark spots from sun exposure and acne. Effective serums include a stable form of vitamin C, like ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbyl phosphate, in a concentration that makes sense for your skin. If you need a vitamin C serum for sensitive skin, look for a lower concentration of 15% or less, while a more potent dose should have a 20% concentration for maximum absorption. You might also want to keep an eye out for vitamin C ingredient combinations for brighter skin, as many serums contain other ingredients to enhance your results.
What does vitamin C serum do?
Many people probably don't realize that in addition to sunspots, the sun contributes to the formation of post-acne marks as well. These pesky red or brownish blotches pop up after a pimple heals, usually a big one, but exposing them to the sun darkens these marks and makes them stick around longer. This is where vitamin C comes in. “This potent antioxidant interferes with the production of pigment in the skin, fading dark spots,” Dr. Ellen Marmur, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of MMSkincare, explains to Bustle. By inhibiting your skin's melanin production, a vitamin C serum should keep new sunspots from forming, too.
And, that's not the only way vitamin C fades dark spots on the skin! It's also a chemical exfoliant, which — over time — sloughs off discolored skin. Because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin C aids your skin's natural regeneration process, which helps your body repair damaged skin cells and produce new ones.
How to use vitamin C serum
Vitamin C is also able to neutralize some of the damage the sun unleashes on your skin. While you definitely shouldn't be skipping your SPF, it's a great idea to apply your vitamin C serum in the daytime. “Always apply vitamin C in the morning,” Dr. Marmur says. “These treatments are intended for daytime use because of their ability to neutralize free radicals, using your serum at night will just create a reservoir that remains in the skin.”