The 7 Best Korean Vitamin C Serums for that Extra Glow

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best korean vitamin c serums

Korean skincare is the talk of the town for good reasons. When it comes to serums, skincare enthusiasts are drawn to Korean vitamin C serums.

If you haven’t found the best Korean vitamin C serum for your face yet, explore our list of the top choices.

Want to add Vitamin C to your skincare regime but are confused about which one to choose? Don’t worry! We have got your back.

Check out our list of the affordable and best Korean vitamin C serums and pick your favorite.

#1 Neogen Dermatology Real Vita C Serum

best korean vitamin c serums

With 10% Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (a stable derivative of Vitamin C), 12% Acerola-plex and other active ingredients, Neogen dermatology Real Vita C Serum is one of the best Korean Vitamin C serums for acne-prone skin.

Active Ingredients

  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate – a stable and antioxidant derivative of Vitamin C. Besides treating acne, it also prevents it.
  • Niacinamide – helps to moisturize oily skin and regulate sebum production. A moisturized skin is less likely to wrinkle and show signs of aging.
  • Panthenol – contributes to skin soothing and healing.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate – This substance maintains the skin’s suppleness and softness.

Texture: This serum is water-based, making it very lightweight. Since it absorbs quickly, it leaves no sticky residue.

Ideal for: Normal, combination, and oily skin.

Treats: Signs of aging, sun damage, discoloration.

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What We Like

  • Beginners will appreciate the packaging. There is a pump that makes it easy to dispense the right amount of product.
  • The scent is citrusy and refreshing. Due to its formulation using a derivative of vitamin C, it is stable and won’t react with most skin types.
  • There is niacinamide in it, which hydrates and controls sebum production.

What We Don’t Like

  • The price is slightly higher than other options.
  • Because of the 22% concentration, the formula is not beginner-friendly.

#2 Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

Klairs’ Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop contains 5% ascorbic acid (pure Vitamin C), making it one of the best Korean vitamin C serums for hyperpigmentation and sunspots.

An Ascorbic acid concentration of 5% is less irritating to the skin but provides all the benefits of Vitamin C.

The serum is fragrance-free, ethanol-free, silicone-free, and artificial color-free.

Active Ingredients

  • Ascorbic acid – fades discolorations, protects the skin from UV rays, and stimulates collagen production.
  • Sodium ascorbyl phosphate – This derivative of Vitamin C is stable and also features antioxidant properties.
  • Centella Asiatica extract – anti-inflammatory, heals, and moisturizes the skin.
  • Scutellaria baicalensis root extract – The root extract of Skullcap, Scutellaria baicalensis, is antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and complexion-brightening.

Texture: Klairs vitamin C serum is a water-based serum that makes it the best Korean vitamin C serum for oily skin.

Ideal for: Normal, Combination, and Oily skin.

Treats: Acne, acne marks, sun spots, large pores.

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What We Like

  • The packaging is beginner-friendly. The pump makes it easier to take out the right amount of product.
  • Budget-friendly
  • Evens and smoothens skin tone
  • Fades acne scars
  • Aloe and Hyaluronic acid are both present in this serum, which moisturizes the skin.
  • The ingredients are clean.

What We Don’t Like

  • The formula has a 15% concentration of Ascorbic acid (the purest form of vitamin C), which is not beginner-friendly.
  • Not for sensitive skin.
  • Packaging is not storage-friendly. The container is not opaque and made of plastic.

#3 Cos De Baha Vitamin C 15 Serum

best korean vitamin c serums

Cod De Baha Vitamin C 15 Serum, made in South Korea, is excellent for those who have age spots and sun damage.

The concentration of 15% L-Ascorbic is ideal for skin smoothening and brightening, making this serum the best Korean vitamin C serum for acne scarring.

Active Ingredients

  • Ascorbic acid – fades discolorations, protects against UV rays and stimulates collagen production.
  • Camellia sinensis leaf extract – a natural antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and sun protection properties.
  • Panthenol – known for its healing and soothing properties.
  • Aloe leaf extract – soothes and moisturizes the skin.
  • Arginine – helps in the production of collagen and the healing of the skin.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate – retains water and keeps the skin soft and plump. Perfect for dry skin.

Texture: This serum is aloe-based, so it’s lightweight and absorbs quickly.

Ideal for: Normal, combination, and oily skin.

Treats: Sun damage, age spots, acne scars, discoloration, and pigmentation.

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What We Like

  • Beginners will find the packaging easy to use. The pump allows them to dispense the right amount of product.
  • Compared to other products on the market, it is very cheap.
  • Besides aloe, it contains glycerine, which is good for moisturizing the skin.
  • Contains clean ingredients.

What We Don’t Like

  • The formula is not beginner-friendly as it has Ascorbic acid (purest vitamin C) at 15% concentration.
  • Not for those with sensitive skin.

#4 Seoul Ceutical Day Glow Serum

Seoul Ceutical Day Glow Serum

You can find a well-known dupe of the high-end brand Skin Ceuticals in Seoul Ceuticals Day Glow Serum.

Active Ingredients

  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate – a stable derivative of Vitamin C that also has antioxidant properties.
  • Hyaluronic acid – keeps the skin plump and supple, making it the best Korean vitamin C serum for dry skin.
  • Vitamin E – helps fight acne, moisturize, and repair sun damage.
  • Centella Asiatica extract – provides anti-inflammatory and healing properties as well as moisture to the skin.
  • Ferulic acid – when combined with other pure vitamins C, it boosts the performance of serums. Moreover, it prevents the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.

Texture: a lightweight, water-based serum that is milky in color. Skin absorbs it quickly without leaving behind any residue.

Ideal for: normal, combination, and oily skin.

Treats: Signs of aging, fine lines, age spots, wrinkles.

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What We Like

  • Gives skin a noticeable, healthy glow
  • Minimizes the appearance of pores
  • Makes skin bouncy
  • Hyaluronic acid helps moisturize the skin.
  • A sensitive skin-friendly formulation with sodium ascorbyl phosphate.
  • A water-based serum that sinks quickly into the skin.

What We Don’t Like

  • Does not list the percentage of HA and ferulic acid.
  • Not for those seeking a serum with a higher concentration of Vitamin C.

#5 Meebak Cica Vitamin C Serum

best korean vitamin c serum

Cica Vitamin C Serum is the best Korean vitamin C serum for mature skin as it is cruelty-, paraben-, and sulfate-free. The serum intends to restore damaged skin and strengthen the skin barrier.

Active Ingredients

  • Cica – also known as tiger grass, is the star ingredient of this serum. Repairs skin damage, hydrates it and smoothes its texture.
  • Centella Asiatica extract – provides hydration and anti-inflammatory properties to your skin.
  • Niacinamide – oily skin benefits from its ability to moisturize and control sebum production. Skin that is moisturized looks younger and is less prone to wrinkles.
  • Panthenol – also called Vitamin B-5, is moisturizing and healing for the skin.
  • Ascorbic acid – fades discoloration, protects the skin from the sun and boosts collagen production.
  • Green tea – reduces inflammation and redness while protecting you from free radicals.

Texture: an oil-based serum that is transparent in color. Lightweight and moisturizing at the same time.

Ideal for: Normal, combination, and dry skin.

Treats: Acne, acne marks, pigmentation, redness, and signs of aging.

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What We Like

  • The pump makes it easier to take out the right amount of product, and the glass bottle is thick and opaque.
  • A scent of oranges.
  • Firms skin and minimizes fine lines
  • Tightens skin
  • Brightening effect upon application
  • With Centella Asiatica & glycerine, it is great for soothing irritations and hydrating skin.
  • Brightens the face.
  • The ingredients are cruelty-free and clean.

What We Don’t Like

  • Does not show the amount of Vitamin C used.
  • The formula is not for a potent Vitamin C serum since it is quite mild on the skin.

#6 I Dew Care Bright Side up, Brightening Vitamin C Serum

I Dew Care Bright Side up, Brightening Vitamin C Serum

With vitamin C and grapefruit extract, I Dew Care Bright Side Up brightens the complexion, reduces dullness, and prevents the appearance of wrinkles.

The formula has no sulfates, parabens, SLS, formaldehyde, or coal tar, which is eye-catching and trendy.

Active Ingredients

  • Ascorbic acid – vitamin C’s purest form, which lightens discoloration, protects the skin from UV rays and promotes collagen production.
  • Grapefruit extract – effectively reduces wrinkles and signs of aging.
  • Niacinamide – moisturizes the skin and regulates sebum production in oily skin.
  • Panthenol – naturally soothing and healing for the skin.
  • Vitamin E – prevents acne, moisturizes, and repairs sun damage.
  • Glycerin – hydrates dehydrated skin, making it soft and supple.

Texture: hydrating and jelly-like in consistency, absorbs quickly.

Ideal for: Dry, combination, and sensitive skin.

Treats: Hyperpigmentation, discoloration, signs of aging, dehydration, and dryness.

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What We Like

  • Pump packaging looks cute.
  • The serum has a pink scent and color, which makes the skincare routine fun.
  • Refreshes, revitalizes and brightens the skin.
  • Shows a significant improvement in sun-damaged skin and its texture
  • A little bit goes a long way.

What We Don’t Like

  • The serum doesn’t specify how much Vitamin C was used.
  • The fragrance is artificial.
  • Contains alcohol that can dry out the skin.

#7 Dr. Song Vitamin C Serum

best korean vitamin c serum

Dr. Song Vitamin C serum is a Korean vitamin C serum for acne scars because it has polishing properties. Apart from Vitamin C, other ingredients include Vitamin E, aloe vera, lavender oil, jojoba oil, and rose water.

The serum also reduces melanin production, preventing hyperpigmentation.

Active Ingredients

  • Vitamin C – encourages collagen production, prevents skin discoloration, and protects against UV damage.
  • Vitamin E – prevents acne, moisturizes, and repairs sun damage.
  • Hyaluronic acid – ensures that the skin is supple and plump.
  • Jojoba oil – popular for its healing properties, non-comedogenic, and hydrating, so it won’t clog your pores.
  • Aloe Vera extract – heals and moisturizes the skin. Also, it reduces inflammation.
  • Rose water – it is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, having the ability to hydrate and protect the skin.

Texture: the formulation is of medium consistency as it contains lavender and jojoba oil.

Ideal for: Normal, Combination, and dry skin.

Treats: Signs of aging, age spots, sun damage, hyper-pigmentation, dehydration.

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What We Like

  • Efficacious at brightening and smoothing overall skin tone.
  • Instantly, the skin appears firm, bright, and soft.
  • Super hydrating ingredients make it the best Korean vitamin C serum for dry skin.
  • Relieves skin irritation.
  • Cruelty-free.

What We Don’t Like

  • Leaves skin sticky
  • For some, the smell is an issue
  • Doesn’t specify the amount of vitamin C present.
  • Contains alcohol.

How to Choose a Perfect Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C in a skincare regime is a big step, and if the product chosen doesn’t suit your skin type or routine, it can backfire. Even the best Korean vitamin C serums may not work if you haven’t made the right choice.

Here are a few things you should look for in a vitamin C serum before making a purchase.

Know the types

In serums, there are two main types of Vitamin C:

L-ascorbic acid

  • The purest form of vitamin C
  • Highly unstable. Not suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Oxidizes quickly

Derivative of vitamin C

  • Sodium ascorbyl phosphate and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate are the most common derivatives of Vitamin C.
  • Stable formula. Hence, sensitive skin-friendly.
  • Has a longer shelf life than pure Vitamin C.

Concentration

There is evidence that 10% of pure vitamin C is crucial for brightening skin. However, you should avoid pure vitamin C with a concentration of more than 5%. More vitamin C means more skin sensitivity.

When it comes into contact with the skin, vitamin C’s derivative becomes ascorbic acid. The % of the ascorbic is less than the % of the derivative after coming in contact with the skin. Meaning, if you’re using a 10% derivative, it will only give you 3% of Ascorbic acid.

Ingredients

In a Vitamin C serum, you need to look for two ingredients: moisturizing and stabilizing.

Stabilizers

  • Makes the vitamin C formula more stable.
  • Ferulic acid and Vitamin E are stabilizers.
  • Used in pure Vitamin C formulas.

Moisturizers

  • Provide skin with hydration.
  • Vitamin C can be used in both its pure and derivative forms.
  • Among the moisturizing ingredients are hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, jojoba oil, and grape seed.

These ingredients will help your Vitamin C serum to be less irritating and more effective.

Ph Balance

Acidic, low-pH formulas are quickly absorbed into the skin. pH levels between 2 and 3 may be optimal for maximum absorption, according to some studies.

pH level 2 to 3 is ideal for people with normal skin. Those with sensitive skin should, however, stick with products that are closer to the pH level of the skin (5 to 6).

The bottom line

With the best Korean vitamin C serums, your skin will glow like the sun. What’s more challenging is figuring out which is best for you based on your skin type. Hopefully, you were able to pick the right serum after reading this guide.

More Korean Skin Product Recommendations

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