The 6 Best Facial Moisturizers Packed with Vitamin C

If you buy through external links, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure in full.

The 6 Best Facial Moisturizers Packed with Vitamin C

In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

BEST FOR CLEAN SKINCARE

ZELEN Life Moisturizer

It is well known that Vitamin C protects against photoaging, ultraviolet-induced immunosuppression, and photo-carcinogenesis.

Studies have shown that Vitamin C is photo-protective. Face moisturizers that are rich in Vitamin C are one of the must-haves for those who are looking to prevent sun-injuries to their skin.[1]

Our list will take a closer look at the best facial moisturizers packed with Vitamin C.

Quick summary

Before you buy: 7 Questions to consider when purchasing a moisturizer with Vitamin C

Before you buy a Vitamin C rich moisturizer, there are a few things that you should ask yourself and think about:

1. What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is also known as L-ascorbic acid. It is a water-soluble vitamin. Citrus fruits and vegetables are rich in Vitamin C. Human beings cannot synthesize Vitamin C in their bodies, so it should be a vital component of our diet.

Vitamin C is necessary for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and some neurotransmitters. It is also involved in the metabolism of proteins.[2]

2. Is Vitamin C suitable for you?

Vitamin C in high concentrations can irritate your skin. Especially if you have sensitive skin. Have you tried a Vitamin C moisturizer before? Or used a fruit peel? Did you have any stinging or redness?

If not, then you can go ahead and use a Vitamin C loaded moisturizer. If you’re new to Vitamin C based products, do a patch test and see if it agrees with you.

3. What’s your skin type?

Knowing your skin type is a cardinal rule as you choose a moisturizer. You could have dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, or even combination skin. Combination skin is where your T-zone might be oily, but the rest of your face is dry.

As you pick a moisturizer, you want to select ingredients that are suitable for your skin type. Choosing something that contains alcohol will dehydrate skin and is therefore wrong for dry skin types. However, for oily skin, using a petrolatum-based product might make your skin feeling gunky.

4. Do you wear sunscreen?

Vitamin C does become less effective when exposed to sunlight. Therefore, many moisturizers come with SPF protection so that Vitamin C can be effective in its role in preventing photoaging.

5. Do you have problem areas?

A lot of products on our list are dual-acting. That is, they not only provide radiance to the skin but also act on other skin conditions like acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, frequent bacterial infections, and loss of elasticity.

Do you have other associated skin conditions that need to be taken care of? If yes, you can choose a Vitamin C rich moisturizer with ingredients that will also address your other concerns. So make a list of your problem areas and then decide which formula best suits you.

6. What’s your budget?

Vitamin C infused moisturizers can run on the pricier side, mainly because of the concentration of Vitamin C that goes into making them. You have to consider how much you’re willing to spend on a product that you will apply at least once a day, especially in the summer.

Our list features the best facial moisturizers with Vitamin C, from the most expensive to affordable. There are a few pocket-friendly choices for those who don’t want to splurge.

7. What other products are you using?

You may already be using a product containing Vitamin C. It can be named as ascorbic acid, or ascorbate, or a Vitamin C ester. Fruit stem cells, peels, seeds, stems, or extracts are all rich in Vitamin C.

Are you already using Vitamin C without even knowing it? Also, do you use products that have a similar mechanism of action as that of Vitamin C like retinol?

Keep in mind that these products do not work synergistically; instead, they negatively influence each other. So if you’re using a Vitamin C based product already, there is less need to use another.

The 6 best facial moisturizers with Vitamin C

We rounded up the best facial moisturizers that contain Vitamin C.

Each moisturizer has its pros and cons listed along with its best features to help you pick the one that suits your skin the most.

ZELEN Life Moisturizer (Best for clean skincare)

ZELEN Life Moisturizer


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Non-greasy and lightweight texture
  • No parabens, sulfates, synthetic colors, and fragrances
  • Quickly locks in hydration and protects

The best facial moisturizer for:

Those of all skin types, particularly sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Notable ingredients:

Jojoba, calendula, clary sage, orange

Overview:

The handmade ZELEN Life Moisturizer is formulated with premium organic ingredients such as jojoba, calendula, clary sage, and orange. These ingredients are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids that are significant for healthy skin.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into this moisturizer’s formula.

Jojoba is a marvelous ingredient when it comes to the skin benefits it provides. It is rich in vitamins A, E, and D, plus it is blessed with antioxidants and fatty acids that help keep the skin young, healthy, and protected from environmental stressors. If that isn’t enough, jojoba oil also closely mimics the skin’s sebum.

What does this mean?

It means it can penetrate with deep into the skin with ease, nourishing and balancing excess sebum that is often responsible for clogging pores and triggering conditions such as acne.

Calendula is another excellent ingredient when it comes to skincare. Calendula is well recognized for being gentle and its non-irritant properties, meaning you often find it is highly beneficial to sensitive skin. It is soothing and calming due to its anti-inflammatory capabilities and ability to lock in moisture, keeping it supple. It protects from pollutants and promotes healthy collagen.

Clary sage is another great plant that assists in calming the skin and regulating excess oil and greasiness on the face. This assists with reducing the effects of acne breakouts and blemishes. It is also antibacterial and antiseptic, accelerating wound healing and soothing skin redness or itchiness. [3]

Orange is rich in vitamin C. How does vitamin C help the skin? Where do I start?

It is very hydrating and can help fade pigmentation, as it is particularly effective in brightening up the skin. It is shown that it delays melanin production, which is the compound that is responsible for the skin’s color. In other words, this assists with reducing the appearance of dark spots and dullness. [11] As it prevents the production of melanin, it also helps with conditions that occur from melanin overproduction, such as hyperpigmentation – sun damage, and melasma. [12]

Due to its occlusive and non-comedogenic ingredients, it is suitable for all skin (including sensitive types). It is also free from harmful chemicals such as parabens, silicones, synthetic fragrances, alcohols, etc.

While lightweight and non-greasy in texture, it absorbs quickly and still manages to provide powerful hydration that lasts all day. It glides onto the skin easily and smooths it out, leaving it refreshed and calm.

As for its scent, it does have a light aroma that is very pleasing and calms the senses. What is important to note here is that it is not derived from any artificial or synthetic fragrances but comes purely from its organic ingredients. It has a flowery, citrusy character that goes away after a couple of seconds. It surely leaves you wanting more.

The bottle design of this product looks powerful and premium. It is made from recyclable plastic and features an airless pump mechanism. This protects the cream from oxidation and any other environmental contamination i.e. bacteria and germs. The pump also helps apply the correct amount. Thus, it minimizes unnecessarily waste. Just a pea-sized amount (one pump) is enough to keep the skin hydrated for the whole day (if your skin is extra dry, you can apply two pumps).

The green color of the packaging really represents the green ethos of the company and the purely natural formulation of its products.

While it does have a lot of benefits, there are some drawbacks I need to mention.

Firstly, it doesn’t come with sun protection. If you are looking for a moisturizer that contains sunscreen, consider Perricone MD Vitamin C. It comes with SPF 30 which will protect you against harmful UV radiation throughout the day. Perfect for warm summer days.

While it does provide some anti-aging capabilities, if you are looking for a vitamin C moisturizer that is specifically designed to reduce the effects of aging, consider Juice Beauty Stem Cellular. It is also formulated with natural ingredients, such as fruit stem cells, resveratrol, and jojoba which, promote collagen production and tighten up the skin.

The good:

  • Lightweight and non-greasy
  • Ultra-calming and soothes any signs of inflammation
  • Contains essential vitamins such as A, E, D, C, essential fatty acids, as well as essential antioxidants
  • All-natural formulation

Things to think about:

  • No SPF

Bottom line:

This is an organic Vitamin C-rich moisturizer that is kind to sensitive and problem skin types.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Photo Brightening Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (Best for sun protection)

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Photo Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • SPF 30
  • Anti-aging moisturizer
  • Vitamin C esters allow more absorption of Vitamin C into the skin

The best facial moisturizer for:

Those looking for a moisturizer with SPF

Notable ingredients:

Vitamin C ester, alpha-lipoic acid, mineral-based sunscreen

Overview:

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Photo Brightening Moisturizer is an oil-free moisturizer that contains mineral-based SPF 30 protection. Its formulation includes vitamin C esters and alpha-lipoic acid, which create a very hydrating cream that is balanced in thickness.

First, let’s explain what are vitamin C esters:

Vitamin C esters are a highly differentiated, fat-soluble form of Vitamin C. It is more stable than the original vitamin C nutrient. Because of this, it can penetrate deeper into the skin – providing protection from the inside out. They deliver a high concentration of Vitamin C to your skin.

As mentioned above, vitamin C increases the skin’s elasticity and reduces the effect of hyperpigmentation. It is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. It protects the skin from damaging environmental stressors and reduces the signs of aging.

Alpha-lipoic acid reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Earlier, studies disputed its efficacy topically. However, recent studies have shown that alpha-lipoic acid, reduces facial lines and almost completely resolves them in the periorbital region and upper lip area. It also improves skin color and texture.[4]

As it contains SPF, it is advisable to be used in the mornings. This means that you will need a separate moisturizer to use before bed.

As for texture, this is definitely not the most lightweight nor the heaviest cream you will find. It can leave a greasy residue if over-applied. But on the plus side, it is very hydrating and offers decent UV protection throughout the day.

Overall, Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Photo Brightening Moisturizer provides great long-lasting hydration. However, as it is not the most lightweight moisturizer on the list, it is advisable to apply only a small amount for quicker absorption.

The scent:

The scent of this moisturizer is light – almost non-existent – and doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. It has a citrus character and fades away completely after application.

Drawbacks:

The jar design is made of glass and looks high-end due to its minimalistic design. It feels luxurious holding it in the hand. But one thing I didn’t like is the fact that the cream is prone to oxidation and bacteria contamination, because it is not airless.

A moisturizer in an airless jar or bottle such as Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular, the ZELEN Life Moisturizer, boscia’s Revitalizing Black Charcoal Gel Face Moisturizer, etc. prevents the cream from contaminants. This results in a lower risk of bacteria overgrowth, fewer irritations and acne breakouts.

Furthermore, this product has a high price tag. If you are looking for a cheaper moisturizer that is rich in vitamin C, consider Mario Badescu Hydro Vitamin C in our list. However, it doesn’t contain any SPF protection, meaning you would need to apply this separately.

The good:

  • Sun protection
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Deeply hydrates

Things to think about:

  • Need a separate night moisturizer with Vitamin C
  • Might be thick for some
  • Very expensive

Bottom line:

This is an excellent moisturizer for those looking for sun protection with SPF 30.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

Mario Badescu Hydro Moisturizer with Vitamin C (Best for hydration)

Mario Badescu Hydro Moisturizer with Vitamin C


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Antioxidant moisturizer
  • Hydrates tired, dry, dehydrated skin

The best facial moisturizer for:

Those with flaky, dry skin looking for an affordable moisturizer.

Notable ingredients:

Vitamin C, squalane, lemongrass

Overview:

If you have dry skin and you are looking for a moisturizer that is affordable, rich in vitamin C and gets the job done, then Mario Badescu Hydro Moisturizer has you covered. It is formulated with squalane, lemongrass, and, of course, vitamin C.

We mentioned the plethora of benefits that vitamin C provides to the skin in the above moisturizer reviews, so we are going to skip repeating them here.

Now, let’s discuss squalene and lemongrass.

Squalane is very rich in anti-inflammatory properties, assisting in reducing conditions such as acne, redness, and swelling. It naturally cleanses the skin, cleaning out its pores from excess oil, dead skin cells, and germs. It is also proven to be excellent for dry skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, and dermatitis.

As for lemongrass, recent studies have provided the very first evidence of its anti-inflammatory activity in human skin cells. It is an excellent therapeutic ingredient for treating inflammatory conditions of the skin.[5] It is lightweight and antioxidant-rich, helping flaky, dry skin regain clarity and health.

Now, let’s discuss its texture and application experience.

The texture of this moisturizer is definitely not the most lightweight in terms of thickness. It has, however, a balanced consistency. If you have combination or oily skin, you might find this moisturizer a bit on the greasy side. But, I didn’t find it clogged the pores. Bonus!

It does a pretty effective job in hydrating the skin, helping it regain its natural shine and elasticity. Upon application, you will surely notice its scent. While it doesn’t contain any artificial fragrance, I didn’t find it very pleasing. I found it a bit strong for my taste. Additionally, its formula is not the most natural. Thus, it might irritate sensitive skin types due to the inclusion of particular ingredients, such as parabens.

Its packaging and bottle design is basic. But on the plus side, as I mentioned it is very affordable. This makes it a good choice for those who are have a tighter budget and are looking for value.

The good:

  • Alcohol-free, so does not dehydrate
  • Does not clog pores
  • Vitamin C brightens the skin

Things to think about:

  • Feels slightly greasy

Bottom line:

This is a great moisturizer for those with dry skin as it deeply hydrates.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
3.5 Overall Score

boscia Revitalizing Black Charcoal and Vitamin C Daily Hydration Gel Face Moisturizer (Best for large pores)

Boscia Revitalizing Black Charcoal and Vitamin C Daily Hydration Gel Face Moisturizer


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Ultra-light gel consistency
  • Absorbs excess oils
  • Provides a healthy, glowing complexion

The best facial moisturizer for:

Those with oily and combination skin and those with large pores.

Notable ingredients:

Activated charcoal, artichoke leaf extract

Overview:

boscia’s Revitalizing Black Charcoal is a cooling gel moisturizer. It is meant for oily skin types and is the best for reducing large pores.

Its main ingredients are charcoal, artichokes, and vitamin C. The inclusion of activated charcoal balances sebum and impurities, while detoxifying and exfoliating, leaving the skin free of irritation and feeling fresh. It removes debris and any other toxins that might clog the pores having as an effect, making them appear less in size.

The artichoke leaf extract tightens the size of pores and increases elasticity. Artichokes are rich in polyphenols, inulin, vitamins, and minerals. Studies have shown that they are a potential anti-inflammatory agent. They protect the lymphatic vessels from oxidative damage. Additionally, the artichoke extract improved the expression of genes involved in anti-aging pathways.[6] Clinical testing on human skin indicated reduced roughness and elasticity.

The texture of this gel is lightweight and doesn’t leave a greasy residue upon application. It provides a solid hydration to the skin, but if you apply it to dry skin types you might find its moisturization lacking. Due to its selection of ingredients, you might experience some tingling when applying. This is normal and nothing to worry about.

Additionally, if you have a dry skin type and overapply this cream, it might cause some flaking and peeling. This is due to its strong oil balancing ingredients. If you are looking for a moisturizer that performs better at hydrating dry skin, consider the ZELEN Life Moisturizer. It contains all-natural ingredients, such as calendula and clary sage that are also very effective in balancing excess oil and unclogging the skin’s pores, reducing their large size. It also contains vitamin C due to its inclusion of lemon.

The scent of this gel is pleasurable and balanced. It is not overpowering and comes purely from its ingredients, as it doesn’t have any artificial fragrance. The packaging and bottle looks and feels luxurious. Even though I didn’t experience any issues with the bottle, some users have reported that the pump can break easily.

The good:

  • Charcoal refines pores
  • Prevents breakouts
  • Leaves the complexion instantly feeling smooth, refreshed, and clarified
  • Great scent

Things to think about:

  • Can cause peeling and flaking due to glycolic acid
  • Pump breaks easily

Bottom line:

This a charcoal-based moisturizer that is a refreshing, pore-tightener.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
3.5 Overall Score

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer (Best anti-aging)

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Resveratrol that fights free radicals
  • Contains fruit stem cells
  • Rich in vitamin C
  • Improves skin tone and radiance

The best facial moisturizer for:

Those with pigmentation and looking to improve skin tone.

Notable ingredients:

Shea butter, resveratrol (grape juice), apple, fruit stem cells

Overview:

Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular Moisturizer contains a mixture of fruit stem cells, shea butter, apple, and resveratrol-rich grapeseed. This combination provides a formula that is very hydrating and rich in anti-aging properties.

Let’s dive deeper into its formulation.

Stem cells are rich in antioxidants, even richer than human cells. Antioxidants protect from environmental stressors and pollutants, boost collagen and prevent premature aging. [13]

Shea butter hydrates the skin due to its rich in fatty acid content. It forms a barrier that maintains the skin hydrated, preventing the loss of water without making it oily or greasy. It helps boost collagen production as it contains triterpenes, making the skin appear plumper.

Apples are a rich source of phytochemicals. They have a lot of antioxidant action, can stop cancer cells from growing, and reduce lipid oxidation.[7] They influence aging via oxidative stress.[8] Apples are also rich in acetic acid, which helps reduce accumulated bacteria and germs, reducing this way the effects of conditions such as acne and itchiness. It exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells and debris, unclogging the pores.

Lastly, resveratrol is another remarkable ingredient that combats the effects of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. It is also a hydrating ingredient, with a study to mention that it can also help with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. [14, 15]

The texture of this cream is lightweight and definitely gets absorbed quickly by the skin. It doesn’t leave any greasy residue behind, and you will definitely feel your skin plumped and more elastic after usage. As with any anti-aging cream, don’t expect to see reduced wrinkles and fine lines after just one use. However, if you have patience and apply it daily, you are likely to notice that your skin is more youthful after approximately three to six months of use.

As for its scent, I have to report that it is a bit on the stronger side. It is, however, very pleasant and citrusy, reflecting its natural formulation. While it doesn’t have any artificial fragrance included, it can still sensitize people who have susceptible to strong smells. If you are one of those people, consider using the ZELEN Life Moisturizer in our list. It does have ingredients such as jojoba, clary sage, and calendula, which also provide a potent anti-aging action while having a subtler natural scent that is not overpowering.

The jar design is pretty practical as it protects the cream from environmental contamination. However, for its high price tag, you would expect something more premium-looking.

The good:

  • Hydrates skin with organic antioxidant-rich ingredients
  • Powerful antiaging properties
  • Improves skin elasticity

Things to think about:

  • Very expensive
  • Very strong citrus scent

Bottom line:

This is a quality moisturizer for those looking to reduce fine lines and wrinkles due to loss of elasticity rather than sun damage.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.5 Overall Score

Murad City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer – Vitamin C Night Cream (Best for overnight use)

Murad City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer - Vitamin C Night Cream


Analysis:

MoisturizingMoisturizing
Drying Drying
Moisturizing Moisturizing
Balanced

FormulaFormula
Artifical Artifical
Natural Natural
Balanced

SensitivitySensitivity
Non-Sensitive Non-Sensitive
Sensitive Sensitive
Balanced

ThicknessThickness
Lightweight Lightweight
Thick Thick
Balanced

GreasinessGreasiness
Non-Greasy Non-Greasy
Greasy Greasy
Balanced

ScentScent
Unscented Unscented
Strong Strong
Balanced

PackagingPackaging
Basic Basic
Premium Premium
Balanced

PricePrice
Low Low
High High
Balanced

Paraben-free
Paraben-free
Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic
Non-Comedogenic
Non-Comedogenic
Cruelty-free
Cruelty-free
Vegan
Vegan
SPF
SPF

Unique features:

  • Vitamin C helps brighten and even tone
  • Nourishing botanicals plump skin to help visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Formulated without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates

The best facial moisturizer for:

Those looking for an overnight skincare routine.

Notable ingredients:

Sunflower, cucumber, and barley blend, marrubium plant stem cells, vitamin C

Overview:

Murad’s City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer is a Vitamin C night cream. Its main ingredients are marrubium plant stem cells, sunflower, cucumber, and barley. These ingredients work together to detoxify and revitalize the skin.

Marrubium plant acts as an excellent antioxidant agent, due to its high proportion of phenolic compounds. In traditional medicine, it is used to treat skin damage, ulcers, and wounds.[9] It cleanses the skin by eliminating pollutants and enhancing its natural repair mechanisms.

Sunflower, cucumber, and barley hydrate the skin, while locking in the moisture, creating a barrier that protects from dehydration. The blend also assists in reducing signs of aging, such as wrinkles, by promoting youthful texture. Sunflower seed oil also maintains cutaneous homeostasis and preserves the integrity of the outermost layer of the skin.[10] It is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents, that keep the skin healthy, young, and free from conditions such as acne.

The texture of this moisturizer is balanced, meaning it is not that heavy nor very lightweight. It does a fantastic job of keeping the skin hydrated for a long period of time without feeling oily. However, you might feel a little bit greasy in the morning if you use too much.

The scent of this night moisturizer has a citrus character, and it is subtle. It fades away fairly quickly, even though it contains a subtle amount of artificial fragrance. While we didn’t find it unpleasant, it does give a more plastic artificial character. 

Whatsmore, it is pricey product. So it is not the most affordable for the mass market. If this applies to you, then consider Mario Badescu’s Hydro. It doesn’t have a high price tag, but it is also very moisturizing. It is rich in vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties, keeping the skin bright and young. However, it does contain parabens. This is something you should keep in mind.

The good:

  • Plant stem cells neutralize toxins and promote skin repair
  • Strong anti-aging and moisturizing action

Things to think about:

  • Can irritate people  sensitive to artificial fragrances
  • Pricey; it’s an expensive luxury moisturizer

Bottom line:

This is great as an overnight moisturizer for sun-damaged skin with wrinkles

and fine lines.

  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Value for money
4.0 Overall Score

Enjoying this article? Get similar skincare content direct to your inbox! Subscribe to our exclusive newsletter and we will help you master your routine. Receive regular tips and tricks, how-to's, special offers and more...

How we chose these products

The first thing we looked at was the Vitamin C content. We wanted to provide a comprehensive list of the best facial moisturizer with Vitamin C out there on the market.

We chose products that had Vitamin C in water-soluble forms that work for younger skin and Vitamin C esters that would deliver more of the ingredient to mature skin.

We also added products that had sun protective factors. Since people are looking to minimize the steps in their skincare routines, we decided to look for products that had dual actions.

The skin types were also considered. We have included a Vitamin C-rich moisturizer for every skin type and that addresses various concerns, such as acne, dark spots, or fine lines, etc.

We also looked at the budget. This is a long-term product, especially in the summer. We added a whole range to satisfy every budget. If you’re looking for a luxury patented formula or a blended formula that is not so pricey, we got you covered.

Frequently asked questions

Should I use Vitamin C?

Well, it is good to have an antioxidant in your moisturizer. Vitamin C will give you radiant, healthy skin, and yes, you need it. It fades dark spots, evens skin tone, tightens the skin, and brightens it while also protecting it from free radicals. So why not?

Can’t I just eat more fruit?

You can. Dietary Vitamin C is often used for the many chemical reactions in the body. Whatever is left is used for the skin. Often, the damage is external, and so we require Vitamin C from an external source applied directly to uneven skin, damaged skin, and fine lines.

Since Vitamin C is generally distributed all over the body, there’s little chance that your skin’s problem areas will be addressed by dietary Vitamin C.

How to use Vitamin C?

Vitamin C can be used in serums. In the case of serums, they are often used freshly cleansed skin before you moisturize your face. However, a Vitamin C moisturizer is used as the last step in your skincare routine.

How much Vitamin C is necessary for my skin?

Vitamin C is present in various concentrations in moisturizers. This could be from 5% to 30%. It’s a wide range. If you have skin allergies and sensitive skin, 5% is what you should start with. Work your way up from there if you can manage it. For others, you can try higher percentages and see if its enough for you.

How to store Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is always available in dark, opaque bottles. This is because sunlight oxidizes Vitamin C. Therefore, make sure your Vitamin C moisturizer is stored in a dark, cool place. If you notice the color of your moisturizer has changed, it means your formula has oxidized and is no longer effective.

What other products should I avoid while using Vitamin C?

Vitamin is an ingredient that can easily be affected by other products. For example, benzoyl peroxide. You cannot use them in the same sitting as the benzoyl peroxide oxidizes Vitamin C.

You can use one in the morning and the other in the evening just not in the same skincare routine. Another product you have to be careful about is retinol. They have similar effects on the skin, and therefore you should be cautious about using them together.

When should I apply a Vitamin C moisturizer?

It is best to apply it in the morning when UV radiation is the most. However, bear in mind that Vitamin C does get oxidized as it is exposed to the sun. After applying your moisturizer, wait until it is absorbed into the skin and then head outside.

Is a Vitamin C serum better than a Vitamin C moisturizer?

Serums provide antioxidants and Vitamin C swiftly. This makes the skin radiant by brightening, exfoliating, and hydrating the skin.

Contrarily, moisturizers have larger molecules than serums. Therefore, they don’t penetrate the epidermis or outermost layer of the skin. Their main goal is to seal the skin, to lock in moisture and nutrients. These thicker, emollients can lock out the antioxidants and Vitamin C. It depends on what effect you’re looking for.

What to do if I develop a reaction?

It is possible that you may experience some initial redness to Vitamin C, especially if you’re using it for the first time. Wash away with cold water. Try reducing the percentage of the Vitamin C.

Ideally, do a patch test on your neck and see if the formula works for you. Any redness, itching, wheals, and swelling, are signs of an allergic reaction and should be seen by a dermatologist.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve seen our list of the best facial moisturizers with Vitamin C, we’d love to hear from you.

Do you use Vitamin C moisturizers or other products containing Vitamin C?

If yes, let us know what you use in your skincare routine and how it has changed your skin.

Did you find this article useful? Enter your email to receive subscriber-only skincare advice to help you perfect your routine and achieve radiant skin. Get tips and tricks, how to's and exclusive offers direct to your inbox...

References

  1. Al-Niaimi F, Chiang NYZ. Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017;10(7):14-17.
  2. Li Y, Schellhorn HE. New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. J Nutr. 2007;137(10):2171-2184. doi:10.1093/jn/137.10.2171
  3. Sienkiewicz M, Głowacka A, Poznańska-Kurowska K, Kaszuba A, Urbaniak A, Kowalczyk E. The effect of clary sage oil on staphylococci responsible for wound infections. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2015;32(1):21-26. doi:10.5114/pdia.2014.40957
  4. Sherif S, Bendas ER, Badawy S. The clinical efficacy of cosmeceutical application of liquid crystalline nanostructured dispersions of alpha lipoic acid as anti-wrinkle. Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2014;86(2):251-259. doi:10.1016/j.ejpb.2013.09.008
  5. Han X, Parker TL. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) essential oil demonstrated anti-inflammatory effect in pre-inflamed human dermal fibroblasts. Biochim Open. 2017;4:107-111. Published 2017 Mar 21. doi:10.1016/j.biopen.2017.03.004
  6. D’Antuono I, Carola A, Sena LM, et al. Artichoke Polyphenols Produce Skin Anti-Age Effects by Improving Endothelial Cell Integrity and Functionality. Molecules. 2018;23(11):2729. Published 2018 Oct 23. doi:10.3390/molecules23112729
  7. Boyer J, Liu RH. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutr J. 2004;3:5. Published 2004 May 12. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-3-5
  8. Palermo V, Mattivi F, Silvestri R, La Regina G, Falcone C, Mazzoni C. Apple can act as anti-aging on yeast cells. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012;2012:491759. doi:10.1155/2012/491759
  9. Aćimović M, Jeremić K, Salaj N, et al. Marrubium vulgare L.: A Phytochemical and Pharmacological Overview. Molecules. 2020;25(12):2898. Published 2020 Jun 24. doi:10.3390/molecules25122898
  10. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70. Published 2017 Dec 27. doi:10.3390/ijms19010070
  11. Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(8):866. Published 2017 Aug 12. doi:10.3390/nu9080866
  12. Sanadi RM, Deshmukh RS. The effect of Vitamin C on melanin pigmentation – A systematic review. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2020;24(2):374-382. doi:10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_207_20
  13. Tito A, Carola A, Bimonte M, et al. A tomato stem cell extract, containing antioxidant compounds and metal chelating factors, protects skin cells from heavy metal-induced damages. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2011;33(6):543-552. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2494.2011.00668.x
  14. Farris P, Yatskayer M, Chen N, Krol Y, Oresajo C. Evaluation of efficacy and tolerance of a nighttime topical antioxidant containing resveratrol, baicalin, and vitamin e for treatment of mild to moderately photodamaged skin. J Drugs Dermatol. 2014;13(12):1467-1472.
  15. Gugleva V, Zasheva S, Hristova M, Andonova V (2020) Topical use of resveratrol: technological aspects. Pharmacia 67(2): 89-94. https://doi.org/10.3897/pharmacia.67.e48472
ZELEN Life Moisturizer
BEST FOR CLEAN SKINCARE
ZELEN Life Moisturizer
  • Loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants
  • Fast aborbing, non-greasy formula
  • Organic jojoba and calendula hydrate and protect
All skin types
All skin types
Check It Out
Our score:
Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Photo Brightening Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
BEST FOR SUN PROTECTION
Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Photo Brightening Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
  • Vitamin C esters help Vitamin C absorb into skin
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Sun protection SPF 30
Mature skin
Mature skin
Check on Amazon
Our score:
Mario Badescu Hydro Moisturizer with Vitamin C
BEST FOR HYDRATION
Mario Badescu Hydro Moisturizer with Vitamin C
  • Lightweight formula
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Brightens and revitalizes skin
Dry skin
Dry skin
Check on Amazon
Our score:
Boscia Revitalizing Black Charcoal and Vitamin C Daily Hydration Gel Face Moisturizer
BEST FOR LARGE PORES
Boscia Revitalizing Black Charcoal and Vitamin C Daily Hydration Gel Face Moisturizer
  • Black charcoal detoxifies and refines pores
  • Light, gel-based formula
  • Helps to reduce breakouts
Oily skin
Oily skin
Check on Amazon
Our score:
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer
BEST ANTI-AGING
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer
  • Vitamin C resveratrol rich grapeseed formula
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Fights free radicals
Mature skin
Mature skin
Check on Amazon
Our score:
Murad City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer - Vitamin C Night Cream
BEST FOR OVERNIGHT USE
Murad City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer - Vitamin C Night Cream
  • Enriched botanical blend
  • Vitamin C brightens skin tone
  • Strengthens the skin’s barrier at night
Normal skin
Normal skin
Check on Amazon
Our score:

About The Author

avatar

Doctor and Seasoned Medical Writer

Doctor of Medicine MD (Angeles University College of Medicine)

United States

Pamela Q. Fernandes is a doctor and medical writer. Born and raised in Kuwait, she graduated from Angeles University College of Medicine, Philippines in 2007. Soon after that, she started her career as a medical writer and physician. Pamela is an advocate of preventive health, rural medicine, women’s health and tele-medicine having been active in these roles for the majority of her decade long career in medicine. As a seasoned medical writer, she has worked with many medical publishing houses and doctors, as well as pharmaceuticals, hospitals and practices. She specializes in training material for doctors and patient education material. As an academic writer, she is a qualified writer of articles for medical journals, case reports and medical presentations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We ship to US, CA, UK & EU in 2 - 5 days ($5 flat rate). International delivery in 7 - 14 days ($10 flat rate).