17 Best Antioxidant Serums in 2023 to Brighten and Even Skin Tone

Must read

Now that you have all the info, it’s time to put antioxidants to the test. Below, take a look at some of the best antioxidant-fueled serums that derms and Allure editors alike are fans of.

Our Top Picks:

  1. Best Overall: La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Face Serum SPF 50, $45
  2. Redness Reducer: Alastin Skincare A-Luminate Brightening Serum, $168
  3. Best for Mature Skin: Isdin Isdinceutics Flavo-C Ultraglican Daily Antioxidant Serum, $112
  4. Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Skinfix Acne+ Adapinoid Gel, $48
  5. Best Brightening Serum: Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum, $89
  6. The Award-Winner: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $182
  7. The Multitasker: Lancôme Rénergie H.C.F. Triple Serum, $140

Best Overall: La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Face Serum SPF 50

La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Face Serum SPF 50

Dr. Wang calls La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Face Serum SPF 50 the “one-stop-shop” of antioxidant serums. “In addition to vitamins C and E, this serum contains scutellaria baicalensis root extract, which is potent in antioxidants,” he says. “Best of all, it already contains broad-spectrum SPF 50.”


Redness Reducer: Alastin Skincare A-Luminate Brightening Serum

Alastin Skincare A-Luminate Brightening Serum

Connecticut-based, board-certified dermatologist Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD says she’s especially impressed by Alastin Skincare’s A-Luminate Brightening Serum for its irritation-free formulation, which is mainly powered by brightening antioxidants niacinamide and tranexamic acid. “My favorite thing about this serum is how the antioxidant profile helps reduce redness while calming the skin, which is not usual of other topical brightening agents, which can be very irritating and cause redness,” she says.


Best for Mature Skin: Isdin Isdinceutics Flavo-C Ultraglican Daily Antioxidant Serum

Isdin Isdinceutics Flavo-C Ultraglican Daily Antioxidant Serum

If you’re on the market for a serum that’ll reduce the appearance of fine lines, Dr. Robinson says to look no further than Isdin’s Isdinceutics Flavo-C Ultraglican Daily Antioxidant Serum. Its main ingredient is powerhouse antioxidant vitamin C, but Dr. Robinson says this lightweight serum-in-ampoule also contains additives with dryness-reducing, skin-plumping benefits. “It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid for deep hydration, and the brand’s proprietary UltraGlycans — which is a combination of proteoglycans and pre-proteogylcans — to help with firmness and elasticity and deliver a radiant glow,” she says.


Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Skinfix Acne+ Adapinoid Gel

Skinfix Acne+ Adapinoid Gel

If acne is one of your biggest skin-care concerns, you can target blemishes with the antioxidant-powered Skinfix Acne+ Adapinoid Gel. The star of this formulation is niacinamide, a powerful breakout-reducing antioxidant that not only reduces dark spots but also absorbs pore-clogging oil and significantly reduces redness. To keep dryness at bay, this acne treatment also contains moisture-replenishing squalane.


Brightens and Moisturizes: Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Serum

Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Serum

If brightening, moisturizing, firming, and tone-evening benefits are all a must for you, allow us to introduce you to the Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Serum. This serum covers all your bases with an intensive blend of, you guessed it, antioxidants. Along with vitamin C, the serum is infused with vitamin E to defend the skin against environmental aggressors while coenzyme Q10 calms the skin and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Not to mention, it also contains ceramides to replenish moisture and support the skin barrier.


Best Affordable Serum: The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%

The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%

For less than $10, The Ordinary’s Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% is pretty impressive when it comes to reducing the look of dark spots and uneven skin tone. As its name suggests, this serum provides a double dose of antioxidant protection to guard skin against free radical damage while addressing pigmentation concerns.


Best Anti-Inflammatory Serum: Eau Thermale Avène A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum

Eau Thermale Avène A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum

Dr. Wang also suggests grabbing Eau Thermale Avène’s A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defense Serum, which has an intensive antioxidant mix of vitamins C and E that’s suitable for sensitive skin types. “This product absorbs quickly into the skin and contains thermal spring water, which has anti-inflammatory properties,” he says.


Best Drugstore Serum: CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

If you’re on the hunt for a dermatologist-approved drugstore serum, Dr. Wang says to try CeraVe’s Resurfacing Retinol Serum. “This product contains vitamin B3 [also known as niacinamide] and retinol, which is actually a vitamin A derivative,” he says. Those who are sensitive to retinol’s intensive properties will be happy to know that this formulation encapsulates the ingredient in soothing, conditioning ceramides and hyaluronic acid to reduce any chances of irritation.


TikTok-Approved: Topicals Faded Serum

You’ve probably spotted the Topicals Faded Serum somewhere on your TikTok FYP, and that’s not just because the brand has pretty packaging. This creamy serum contains tranexamic acid, an antioxidant known for its dark mark-fading properties, and kojic acid, another exfoliating additive that targets hyperpigmentation.


Best Brightening Serum: Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum

Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum

One of Dr. Wang’s favorite splurge-worthy antioxidant serums is, without a doubt, Tatcha’s Violet-C Brightening Serum. “In addition to containing a few active forms of vitamin C, it also contains various antioxidant-rich phytoextracts,” he says. He also notes that this serum also has skin-conditioning benefits, thanks to the addition of hydrating hyaluronic acid and moisture-retaining glycerin.


The Award-Winner: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

If we had a dollar for every time a dermatologist recommended the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum to us, we’d be rolling in dough right now. We’re not kidding: it’s one of the most-used skin-care products amongst dermatologists, so they’re actually fans of the product. This game-changing vitamin C, E, and ferulic acid serum became the most derm-beloved formula for its trifecta of antioxidants. Together, these ingredients address concerns like skin texture, tone, and sun damage — no wonder it’s a five-time Allure Best of Beauty and Readers’ Choice Award winner.


Best for Sensitive Skin Types: Vichy Liftactiv Vitamin C Serum

Vichy Liftactiv Vitamin C Serum

Dr. Greenfield says Vichy’s Liftactiv Vitamin C Serum is the perfect addition to any sensitive skin type’s routine since it contains a powerful 15 percent vitamin C formula that won’t lead to irritation or redness. This formulation also contains vitamin E to boost the serum’s efficacy and polyphenols for moisture retention.


Best for Dark Spots: Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum

Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C is one of skin care’s most beloved ingredients for its brightening, antioxidant powers, but not all vitamin C is worthy of the hype. Mario Badescu’s serum is one you can feel good about applying. It contains two of the most effective forms of the hero ingredient: an ascorbate and 3-0-ethyl-ascorbic acid, both stabilized forms of vitamin C. It helps fade hyperpigmentation like sun spots, gives skin an overall glow, and wears beautifully under the rest of your routine. And even though it’s potent, drastically fading the sunspots across editor Talia Gutierrez’s cheeks and hormonal acne scars on her chin in about one month, it didn’t irritate her sensitive skin or cause any redness: “Brightens and evens out skin tones with each and every morning application,” Gutierrez says. 


Dullness Defyer: Ren Skincare Glow and Protect Serum

Ren Clean Skincare Glow and Protect Serum

Ren Skincare’s Glow and Protect Serum is powered by kakadu plum extract, which is rich in discoloration- and dullness-reducing vitamin C, but that’s not the only reason why Dr. Greenfield says it’s one of her favorite formulas. This intensive serum partners the additive with vitamin E and pomegranate-derived polyphenols for a hefty dose of antioxidants in just a few drops. “This serum has a powerful combination of antioxidants combined in a formulation that provides protection against some of the most damaging environmental toxins and can even skin tone in as little as 2 weeks,” she says.


The Multitasker: Lancôme Rénergie H.C.F. Triple Serum

Lancôme Rénergie H.C.F. Triple Serum

Lancôme’s Rénergie H.C.F. Triple Serum is such a hit within the Allure office that it won a Best of Beauty Award in 2022 for its oxidation-reducing formula. This potent skin-care elixir targets dullness, dry skin, and environmental aggressors with a heavy-hitting blend of hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, niacinamide, and ferulic acid. It basically checks off every skin-care benefit we could think of, so how could we not love it?


Intensive Exfoliator: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Want an intensive exfoliating serum? Look no further than Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, a glycolic acid-based formula that’s practically made for acne-prone skin. On top of the skin-tightening alpha hydroxy acid, this serum also contains pore-unclogging salicylic acid to tackle blemishes and breakouts while antioxidant-rich raspberry extract soothes and replenishes moisture.


Best for Dry Skin Types: Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Dullness and dark spots are no match for Sunday Riley’s C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum. This rich, cream-like serum utilizes a stabilized version of vitamin C known as THD ascorbate to boost your complexion’s radiance while moisturizing skin and reducing the look of discoloration, making it great for dry skin types.

More articles

Latest article