Cerave's Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum Gave My Skin a Lit-From-Within Glow

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CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

Elise Tabin

What We Like
  • Lightweight texture

  • Suitable for sensitive skin

  • Works well under makeup

What We Don't Like
  • Packaging tends to leak

  • Caused some breakouts

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum is incredibly effective. It absorbs into the skin quickly and doesn’t pill, so it’s easy to wear under makeup. And after a few weeks of use, my skin appeared brighter, more even, and healthier overall.


CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

Elise Tabin

Vitamin C deserves a place in every skincare routine. Not only does it help to brighten the skin and minimize signs of hyperpigmentation, but it is also a tried-and-true antioxidant that protects against free radical damage (which can age the skin). Today, there are tons of vitamin C-infused skincare products on the market; however, I typically incorporate the ingredient into my routine via serums. Recently, I had the opportunity to add the CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum to my rotation, and I was eager to see if it lived up to the hype. Ahead, read my full review.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

Best for: All skin types

Uses: Brightening the skin, improving dark spots and fine lines, and restoring the skin barrier

Potential allergens: No

Active ingredients: 10% vitamin C, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin B5

Cruelty-Free?: Yes

Price: $30

About the brand: CeraVe creates dermatologist-developed skincare products that contain an exclusive combination of three essential ceramides to restore the skin’s barrier.

About My Skin: Aging, oily and acne-prone

My almost 45-year-old skin is oily and still breaks out. I’m no stranger to vitamin C and use it daily for its anti-aging benefits and to lighten leftover acne spots, which tend to always debut on my skin after a pimple. However, vitamin C serums usually take at least a month or two, if not longer, to brighten discoloration and dark marks on my skin.

The Feel: Lightweight and hydrating

texture shot of cerave vitamin c serum

Elise Tabin

The serum is extremely lightweight and feels deeply moisturizing. After cleansing my skin in the morning, I applied a dime-sized amount of the serum to my bare skin. It absorbed right into my skin with little effort. I didn’t have to wait long between applying the serum and the following products in my skincare routine since my skin drank it up and left no greasy residue behind. I also layered makeup over the serum, and it never piled.

The Ingredients: 10% pure vitamin C, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and more

The Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum is made with 10% vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), which helps to brighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation. The formula also contains three essential ceramides that strengthen the skin's barrier, plus hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 for a hydrating effect. Additionally, the serum features MultiVesicular Emuslion Technology (MVE), which slowly releases the trio of ceramides over time, so the hydrating effects continue long after applying the serum.

Since I break out at the drop of a hat, I have to ensure that the vitamin C serums I use aren't irritating or oil-based. Since this one is formulated with moisturizing ingredients, I can happily report I didn't experience any dryness or irritation while testing the serum.

The Results: Radiant, even-toned skin

before and after photos of byrdie writer elise tabin wearing cerave vitamin c serum

Elise Tabin / Byrdie

I didn't notice any major changes in my skin after the first few days of using CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum. But around day ten or so, I started to see a lit-from-within glow before applying my skincare and any makeup. A friend complimented me on my skin, saying it looked bouncy and healthy like I just had a facial. Naturally, I whipped a compact mirror out mid-lunch to inspect my complexion.

I could see more of a change when I compared the before and after photos I took. I was shocked when I looked at the pictures side by side and saw a reduction in skin discoloration, especially on my cheeks, which I've been trying to erase for the past six months. My skin also feels soft and hydrated and boasts a natural, pretty glow, almost like I'm wearing the faintest hint of highlighter.

However, my one caveat with the CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum is that it caused a few breakouts about one week into using it. I had two small pimples on my forehead and a few on my chin, and while I continued to test the products, the breakouts didn't stop.

The Value: Totally worth it

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum is one of the most effective yet budget-friendly vitamin C serums I've come across in a long time. It usually retails for around $30 for a one-ounce tube, which is fairly affordable in my eyes. On average, the vitamin C serums I purchase regularly are well over $50. The benefits of this serum, of course, justify the price point. It moisturizes and restores your skin barrier while illuminating your skin, so you're getting a lot of bang for your buck.

Similar Products: You have options

Farmacy 10% Waterless Vitamin C Serum: Containing 10% vitamin C, alpha arbutin, ferulic acid, and hydrating ingredients (like tangerine peel and sugar beet), this gentle serum helps to improve the look of dark spots and reduce signs of hyperpigmentation. Farmacy's Vitamin C Serum ($50) is ideal for all skin types, and because the formulation is waterless, it remains potent and stable without ever oxidizing.

Glossier Super Glow: This lightweight vitamin C-rich serum only contains 5% vitamin C, but it still helps you achieve a more even complexion when used consistently. In addition to vitamin C, Super Glow ($29) contains magnesium PCA to help reenergize and hydrate the skin without any sticky or greasy residue.

Final Verdict

CeraVe's Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum is a winner because it is suitable for all skin types and produces visible results. It helped boost my skin's radiance, moisture levels, and softness. However, if your skin breaks out easily (*raises hand), especially from vitamin C, you may need to ease into using this serum, as I experienced a few minor breakouts.


  • Product Name Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum
  • Product Brand CeraVe
  • Price $30.00
  • Weight 1 oz.

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