Vitamin C Serum Buyers Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin C Serums for Skincare and Beauty

What is Vitamin C Serum?

In the most simplest form, a vitamin C serum is a topical infused with high concentrations of vitamin c along with other active ingredients to promote skin care and health.

What Does Vitamin C Serum Do?

Vitamin C Serums attempt to accomplish two things: make your skin biologically healthier and make your skin look aesthetically better.

Different serums attempt to achieve this through different means, and thus not every vitamin c serum is equal.

The Problem With Vitamin C Serum

The wrong Vitamin C serum, at best, will have no effect, but at worst can damage your skin and cause breakouts. Thus, understanding what makes a Vitamin C Serum "effective" is important.

First, we need to set a goal for the product. In the case of Firstbase skincare, some of what our product achieves includes:

  • Exfoliation
  • Hydration
  • Protection
  • Evening skin tone
  • Brightening skin
  • Wrinkle reduction
  • Skin care

You'd think that all the Vitamin C Serums online are similar enough, or well researched enough that there wouldn't be a big difference between brands, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Understanding what makes a Vitamin C Serum "good" isn't actually about the Vitamin C itself, but about which secondary ingredients are added to the serum.

This matters because a few questions you should be asking yourself are:

  • How does this protect my skin on a biological level?
  • What effects do the secondary compounds produce when combined together?
  • Will this make me break out?
  • Will this dry out my skin?
  • Via what biological mechanisms does the Vitamin C Serum achieve my desired skin result (toning, hydration, "glow", etc...)
  • Are any of these compounds carcinogenic?

And of course, you may have concerns over how the product is made (eco certified, vegan, organic, etc...).

Over the course of this article, we'll outline the different ingredients that the Firstbase Skincare team has selected for our Vitamin C Serum, which common compounds we intentionally left out, and we'll answer all of the questions above along the way.

How to Choose a Pharmacologically Effective Vitamin C Serum

Understanding the skin-repair process will help you pick an effective vitamin C serum. A vitamin C Serum that's effective needs to do 3 things:

1. Exfoliate the upper layer of dead/damaged skin

2. Nourish the newly exposed skin.

3. Add a layer of protection to safeguard the newly exposed skin.

Our Vitamin C Serum Active Ingredients

So when looking at the ingredients of a Vitamin C Serum, you need to make sure that they check those 3 boxes. For example, at Firstbase Skincare, we use Willow Bark Extract to exfoliate, Acmella Oleracea Extract to relax the skin, Lotus Flower Extract to nourish it and Baobab Extract to moisturize and protect the skin.


Not all Vitamin C Serums are created equally. In this section, we're going to go over, in detail, the benefits of our unique Double Dose Vitamin C Serum formula.

Does Vitamin C Serum Hydrate?

While most Vitamin C Serum creators will opt-in to use artificially isolated ingredients like Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate for hydration, we've taken a different, more natural approach by using Baobab Extract.

For Hydrating Skincare

The key player in maintaining moisturized, nourished, and healthy skin is your skin barrier, otherwise known as the outermost layer of the epidermis. A nourished skin barrier gives you the "glow" you dream of. By keeping the outer layer nourished, you can achieve soft and smooth skin that won't dry out.


While other skincare products harm the skin barrier, the Baobab Extract used in our Vitamin C Serum nourishes it, thus helping retain moisture and hydration.


Your skin's strength comes from a protein known as Collagen. As you get older, your collagen production naturally decreases. And while it's important to maintain a healthy diet to support new collagen production, it's equally as important to support existing collagen and prevent breakdown. The Baobab Extract in our Vitamin C serum helps you with exactly that.

Protecting Collagen

Lastly, our Vitamin C Serum is loaded with anti-wrinkle ingredients. Wrinkles and fine lines come from the breakdown of collagen. As we explored in our previous section "Vitamin C Serum for Collagen", the Baobab Extract specializes in maintaining existing collagen and preventing that breakdown, thus giving your skin a chance to recover.


Hence, the Firstbase Skincare Vitamin C Serum's mechanism of action involves protecting your collagen, preventing further breakdown, and allowing your skin to recover. The end result is the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.


If your skincare routine includes comedogenic ingredients, then that's why you experience blackheads.

A comedo is the earliest, identifiable form of acne. Acne comes from clogged pores which become infected. Thus, cosmetic ingredients that can clog pores are known to be comedogenic.

Unfortunately, many traditional vitamin C serums include comedogenic ingredients and can contribute to breakouts if those ingredients are found in high enough concentrations. And that's an important point to understand - the same ingredient can be both comedogenic and noncomedogenic, it just depends on how highly concentrated it is.

When formulating our Vitamin C Serum, the team at Firstbase Skincare paid particular attention to produce the most non-comedogenic product possible.


One of the key ingredients in our Vitamin C Serum for anti-aging is Lotus Extract. Traditionally used in Asian countries for its medicinal purposes, we found it to be a powerful ingredient in our own Vitamin C Serum.

While other skincare products might use artificial ingredients that could damage your skin barrier, Lotus Extract is a natural ingredient absolutely rich with polyphenol, vitamins, antioxidants and flavonoids.

Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serum

Aging is caused by the unraveling of the end-caps of your DNA. These end-caps are known as telomeres. The easiest way to imagine a telomere are that they're like little caps at the end of your DNA, found in each cell. As these caps loosen, you age. Although Vitamin C Serum can't reverse this process, it can reduce the aesthetic impact that this leaves on your skin.

Anti Aging

As we were looking for a natural ingredient, with maximum upside, we came across dozens of published research to back up lotus extract's efficacy as a Vitamin C Serum ingredient. According to a 2011 paper published in the Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering, Nelumbo Nucifera extract (lotus extract) was proven to be an effective anti-wrinkle cosmetic agent.

Protects Against Sun Damage

Other studies, such as the 2015 publication found in the Preventive Nutrition and Food Sciences journal found Lotus Extract to be a powerful agent in protecting the skin from UVB radiation.


According to a published 2013 research by the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, Vitamin C has one of the safest skin profiles amongst topical agents. People with hypersensitive skin may experience minor skin irritation, but for most people, applying Vitamin C serum to their skin is safe.

Firstbase Skincare Vitamin C Serum

Skin Hyperpigmentation Explained

Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the skin and it can occur in small patches, large areas or the entire body. Hyperpigmentation has 3 main types which include: Melasma (induced by hormonal changes during pregnancy), sunspots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (induced after an injury to the skin such as acne or a wound).

So how can a Vitamin C Serum help with hyperpigmentation? Hyperpigmentation will require more than just Vitamin C Serum to treat, however, one important component is keeping the skin nourished and healthy.

Reduces Skin Hyperpigmentation

This is where the Vitamin C Serum ingredients come into a synergistic effect with each other. The Salicyclic acid derived from the willow bark extract serves to exfoliate your skin, where it is then nourished and toned by the lotus flower extract, baobab extract and acmella oleracea extracts.

Evens Out Your Skin Tone

The synergy between these 4 ingredients in our vitamin c serum works to even out skin tone, reduce hyperpigmentation, and create a natural, vibrant glow.

Reduces Circles Under Eyes

Likewise, if you're wondering if the vitamin c serum will work to reduce circles under your eyes, then the answer is yes. By evening the skin tone, the appearance of under-eye circles will decrease.



Skin Exfoliation

Instead of harsh synthetic ingredients, Firstbase Skincare uses Willow Bark Extract as our exfoliating agent. Willow Bark Extract is a natural Beta Hydroxy Acid and is more commonly known as Salicylic acid.

Is It Organic?

Yes, all the Firstbase Skincare Vitamin C Serum is made using all organic ingredients in eco-certified facilities.

Hyaluronic Acid

In 2014, the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology published a research that involved 33 women to measure the effects of Hyaluronic Acid. Overall, they found significant improvements across the board in decreasing wrinkle visibility while improving skin elasticity, firmness, and hydration.

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