Home Skincare 5 Best Vitamin C Serums For Rosacea

5 Best Vitamin C Serums For Rosacea

by Gabbi

Though this may come as a surprise, rosacea is a fairly ordinary skin problem and affects millions of people around the world. While it’s a commonplace diagnosis, it doesn’t make living with it any easier.

Those struggling with the condition may find their mornings centralizing around calming their skin down as much as possible.

Medicines and topical treatments can reduce the look of rosacea over time, as can finding a gentle skincare routine that works for you.

Keeping your routine as gentle as possible can reduce inflammation, but there’s a certain product we have in mind that can truly aid in the symptoms of rosacea.

And that product is vitamin C. But what makes a vitamin C serum good for those dealing with rosacea? Helpful additives, an unscented formula, and overall clean ingredients are the features of a good serum that can work wonders on angry, inflamed skin.

Learn all about why vitamin C works well on rosacea here, as well as what our top picks are for serums that help those dealing with it. 

Why Vitamin C Serums Help Rosacea

Vitamin C can be a miracle worker for all skin types, but its healing and restorative properties make it especially helpful for those suffering from rosacea. 

There’s a notable difference between using  vitamin C directly on your face and using a serum with vitamin C in it. Serums tend to be diluted formulas, that are much more gentle on the skin.

Depending on the percentage of vitamin C, the formula can be stronger or less abrasive, but their texture and feel are much kinder on the skin than a toner. 

Vitamin C holds strong anti-inflammatory properties due to its bioflavonoid content, which helps support weakened blood vessels that can be caused by rosacea. Compromised vessels are what doctors deem to be the root cause of facial redness. 

Vit-C serums also protect against free radicals, which are unstable atoms that can potentially wreak havoc on the face. Whenever your skin is angry, warm, and inflamed, it’s actually releasing reactive oxygen, when this production is countered by vitamin C- the effects are less striking: less inflammation, redness, and irritation. 

The best part about introducing vitamin C into your skincare routine is that it’s an ingredient that’s highly unlikely to cause further irritation to the skin. It’s tolerated by most skin types, even those with a list of sensitivities.

But, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to do a patch test before continuing use (as you should always do when trying out a new product).

Rosacea-Friendly Vitamin C Serum Features

Helpful Additives

Take a minute to break down your biggest issues with your rosacea. Is it redness, inflammation, acne, dryness, or maybe a combination of multiple?  Being transparent about what your concerns are can help you find the best ingredients to calm your skin.

If you’re dealing with redness, look for a serum that has the soothing benefits of vitamin E, which will hydrate and nourish the skin. This additive can penetrate deep into the skin to target and heal redness at the root- reducing the rosy hue of rosacea overall.

If you’re dealing with inflammation, search for a serum with niacinamide. Niacinamide has pore normalizing properties, reducing the texture of the skin and helping soothe pores back to their natural, non-swollen state. 

If you’re dealing with acne, added salicylic acid can help target excessive oil production and dry out any active acne. Only use this ingredient if you have severe acne, or oily skin, as vitamin C already has the power to increase cell turnover, which may be all you need to keep your acne at bay.

If you’re dealing with dryness, the addition of hyaluronic acid can help your skin draw in moisture from your other skincare products. Hydrating ingredients generally hold soothing properties, so this could be something to look for even if your rosacea doesn’t come with flakiness or dryness. 

Unscented Formula

Having rosacea means that your skin is immediately on the more sensitive side of the spectrum, which means that perfumes and other scented add-ons are definitely a no-no. 

If the scent is naturally derived due to the addition of fruit extracts, or other citrus-based ingredients, then that’s a different story. It’s unlikely that any ingredients found in nature will cause adverse reactions to the skin unless you have an allergy.

However, perfumes and synthetic fragrances almost always contain chemicals and alcohol, both of which can dry out your skin, or further aggravate your rosacea. 

Clean Ingredient List

For the same reasons as opting for an unscented formula, searching for naturally derived ingredients, or dermatologist-approved products will save you trouble in the long run.

If you have a bad reaction to a serum, and are met with a lengthy ingredient list full of chemicals and additives when you’re trying to figure out what caused the reaction, you’ll be left unsure of what part of the serum you’re reacting badly to.

Not only that, but it’s a well-accepted notion that highly manufactured or modified beauty products do hurt your skin in the long run. 

This is especially true for rosacea sufferers, who need to be especially mindful of the ingredients they’re putting on their face, as their skin is more open to bacteria, germs, and other aggressors.

Best Vitamin C Serums For Rosacea

RankProductKey Features
1.Vichy LiftActiv SerumAllergy tested, prevents against free radicals, volcanic water
2.Innisfree Tangerine Serum Pore soothing, naturally derived vitamin C, niacinamide
3.IT Cosmetics Bye-Bye DullnessHyaluronic acid, water-light formula, dermatologist-tested
4.TruSkin Vitamin C Facial SerumVitamin E and jojoba, hyaluronic acid, leaping bunny certification
5.CeraVe Vitamin C SerumContains ceramides, dermatologist recommended, hydrating formula

1. Vichy LiftActive Serum

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Vichy takes the term ‘beautifully bare’ to whole new levels with their LiftActive Serum.

Something that people tend to forget about clean, natural formulas is that they’re no fuss- that means they may smell and look different than preservative-packed products.

This serum comes in a yellow tone that transitions to amber over time due to oxidation – this is something that will happen to all true vitamin C serums over time.

Because there are no added scents or alcohol, it may smell a little more on the medicinal side – but worry not, it’s a gentle formula and fantastic at soothing angry skin.

Containing hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, we would highly recommend this to rosacea sufferers who are dealing with dry, itchy, red skin. When paired with good sunscreen, your skin will stay protected from irritants all morning long. 

2. Innisfree Tangerine Serum

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Korean skincare is on the up and up, and a brand that is making significant strides has to be Innisfree.

The approach to Korean skincare is very nourishing, and we appreciate their consistent effort in searching for naturally derived ingredients to add to their formulas.

This vitamin C serum gains all of its brightening, soothing properties from Jeju tangerines, a fruit found on the South Korean peninsula.

This extract is then paired with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and panthenol. Together, these ingredients hydrate, smooth, fill in fine lines and aid in inflammation and texture.

3. IT Cosmetics Bye-Bye Dullness

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IT Cosmetics may be known for their stellar makeup products, but we think that their skincare line deservers just as much hype- especially when it has products like their Bye-Bye Dullness vitamin C Serum.

The over exposure to UV rays, dehydrated skin, and moisture barrier damage can actually be exaggerating the look of rosacea on your face.

With continued use of this serum, which features 15% vitamin C, you’ll be able to rebuild the strength of your skin at a rate that won’t cause any irritation. 

An all vegan formula that features the moisturizing powers of vitamin E, this product is fragrance-free and dermatologist approved- making it the perfect addition for your rosacea-friendly skincare routine. 

4. TruSkin Vitamin C Facial Serum

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All natural formulas are something to be celebrated, which is why we absolutely love the botanically based ingredient list of this vitamin C Serum from TruSkin – a brand that’s dedicated to using the simplest ingredients possible. 

The collagen rich blend in this serum can help those with mature skin suffering from rosacea and can help hone in and rebuild the areas of your face that are in need of plumping, especially due to scarring or pitting from acne inflammation.

This serum is free-radical fighting, super rich in antioxidants, and features powerhouse ingredients like jojoba oil (for moisture) and witch hazel (for calming redness). 

5. CeraVe Vitamin C Serum

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CeraVe is beloved in the skincare realm. From ages eight to eighty, no one in the world couldn’t benefit from the addition of ceramides to their daily skin routines.

It’s a belief that CeraVe has built its empire on, and their vitamin C Serum doesn’t fall short of that.

While lightweight enough to melt into your skin, this serum is rich in antioxidants to promote an even, clear, and healthy-looking complexion.

Hyaluronic acid makes an appearance to help draw moisture and plump the skin, and then there are the essential ceramides- which help strengthen and nourish your skin’s natural protective barrier.

Related Questions

How often should I use vitamin C serum?

If it’s your first time introducing a new product to your skin, we highly recommend using it once every other day to see how your skin reacts to it. If there are no bad reactions, you can then increase your serum use to once every single morning (no nights). 

Remember that vitamin C should always be paired with sunscreen, as it increases your sensitivity to UV rays. Skipping this step could aggravate your rosacea. 

What percentage of vitamin C should people with rosacea start with?

You should always opt for the lowest possible percentage of vitamin C possible.

The only loophole is if the vitamin C is derived from fruits or natural botanicals, in which case, it’s likely less abrasive than chemically formulated vitamin C, and you can get away with using it in higher percentages.

To start, find a formula that’s around 10% and build on that for a couple of months. It may take some trial and error, which is why we recommend doing a patch test underneath your jaw so you can see how your facial skin will react. 

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