This Ingredient Has *55 Times* More Vitamin C Than Oranges, and It’s Proving To Be a Skin-Care Superstar

Photo: Getty Images / Viktoria Ovcharenko
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Of all the popular skin-care ingredients to grace our bathroom vanities (retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid), vitamin C is the one that’s repeatedly recommended by virtually every dermatologist we speak to. The holy grail antioxidant protects skin from free radical damage and environmental aggressors like pollution, smoke, and UV rays—which can damage skin and accelerate the signs of skin aging—and it helps brighten dark spots. While oranges are commonly considered the ultimate source of vitamin C, there’s a new kid (read: ingredient) on the block that’s giving them a run for their money—the kakadu plum.

Experts In This Article

“The Kakadu Plum is a small green fruit that only grows on trees in the Northwest Territories of Australia,” explains Audrey Kunin MD, board-certified dermatologist, DERMAdoctor founder, and chief product officer at NovaBay Pharmaceuticals. “It is wild harvested (not grown in orchards) traditionally by the Aboriginal peoples.” According to Dr. Kunin, kakadu plums are said to be the world’s most concentrated source of vitamin C, containing 55 times the amount of vitamin c than oranges. “It also contains 5 times the antioxidants than blueberries,” she adds.

Kakadu plum benefits

What does all this antioxidant goodness mean for your skin? It means kakadu plum does all of the things, basically. “With the high level of vitamin C and antioxidants, Kakadu plum helps brighten, even, firm, and tighten skin, making it the ideal anti-aging ingredient,” says Dr. Kunin. In other words, dullness, dark spots, and fine lines don’t stand a chance.

Unlike other forms of vitamin C that can stir up trouble for folks with acne or blemish-prone skin, kakadu plum benefits all skin types, and can even help keep blemishes at bay. “Kakadu Plum combats acne, reverses hyperpigmentation caused by UV rays, and increases the skin's hydration,” adds Tiffany Torrence, an esthetician at Skin & Body Klinic in New Jersey. “Not only do serums that incorporate this antioxidant superhero really turn the skin around, it has created space at the table for skin that is acne-prone, allowing that skin type to also reap the benefits!” Ready for your kakadu plum fix? Scroll on for our go-to kakadu plum products.

9 Kakadu plum products to try ASAP

kakadu plum cleanser by dermadoctor on a white background
Dermadoctor, Kakadu C Brightening Daily Cleanser — $39.00

A cleanser, toner, and makeup remover, Dermadoctor’s kakadu-based cleanser is three skin-care steps in one. The gentle gel formula effectively melts away makeup and pore-clogging impurities, all while giving skin a vital boost of hydration and brightening antioxidants. What you get is clean, hydrated, and glowy-looking skin—and the convenience of a pared down routine, of course.

glow recipe plum plump moisturizer tub with kakadu plum on a white background
Glow Recipe, Plum Plump Hyaluronic Moisturizer — $40.00

Glow Recipe’s Plum Plump Hyaluronic Moisturizer gives you kakadu plum in oil and powdered form for an extra dose of glow-boosting antioxidants, and multiple weights of hyaluronic acid for long lasting hydration. It even contains polyglutamic acid—a hydrating peptide that can absorb up to 5,000 times its weight in water—to lock in the moisture and support softer, bouncier skin. Plus, the whipped gel formula doesn’t overwhelm oily or combination skin.

current state of skin brightening serum with kakadu plum on a white background
Current State, Vitamin C + Super Greens Brightening Serum — $20.00

In addition to kakadu plum, this gel serum contains two additional stable forms of vitamin C. Plus, it’s got nutrient-rich greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli leaf extracts to double down on antioxidant protection and effectively brighten dark spots and discoloration. What’s more, hydrating aloe and glycerin offer lightweight, refreshing hydration to dry and dehydrated skin. It’s like a green juice for your face.

three ships beauty dew drop serum with kakadu plum on a white background
Three Ships, Dew Drops Mushroom Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum — $38.00

This Three Ships brightening serum has sold out seven times, it’s that good. Vitamin C rich kakadu plum packs the brightening power—evening out skin tone and reducing the look of dark spots—while hyaluronic acid sourced from tremella mushrooms and hydrating red algae extract to leave skin feeling smoother, firmer, and protected from environmental aggressors.

kora organics noni glow sleep mask with kakadu plum on a white background
Kora Organics, Noni Glow Overnight Plumping Hydration Mask — $54.00

This hydrating gel mask features a blend of kakadu plum, gently exfoliating caviar lime extract, soothing coconut milk, and moisturizing silver ear mushroom to intensely nourish skin overnight. Simply slather it onto clean, dry skin and leave it on while you snooze for radiant, plumped up skin by morning—or rinse it off after 15 minutes for a quick flash of hydration.

apto skincare kakadu plum serum on a white background
Apto Skincare, Kakadu Plum Serum with 8% Vitamin C — $33.00

Apto Skincare’s Kakadu Plum Serum combines the Aussie ingredient with two other sources of vitamin C for an 8 percent concentration that delivers a luminous glow, while still being gentle enough for sensitive skin. It also features bisabolol (an ingredient derived from chamomile) and cardiospermum (AKA balloon vine extract, an herb touted for its calming, antioxidant properties) to effectively soothe sensitive skin as it brightens.

wander beauty sight c-er kakadu plum serum
Wander Beauty, Sight C-er Vitamin C Concentrate — $42.00

For all the antioxidant benefits of kakadu plum, and then some—you’re going to want the Wander Beauty Sight C-er in your cabinet. The Korean-made serum lists kakadu plum as its second ingredient (which means you’re getting the highest concentration), and it contains other derm-beloved ingredients like niacinamide to help support an even skin tone and texture, squalane to strengthen your moisture barrier, and hyaluronic acid for visibly plump and radiant skin.

ren glow and protect serum with kakadu plum on a white background
REN Clean Skincare, Radiance Vitamin C Glow Serum — $69.00

“Kakadu Plum is the key source of Vitamin C in REN Clean Skincare Glow & Protect Serum,” says board-certified dermatologist, Nava Greenfield MD. “Clinical data demonstrates this product’s ability to brighten and protect skin.” How, you ask? With a potent blend of ingredients—that also happen to sound like a tropical fruit salad—like dragon fruit, which is packed with skin-loving minerals, and pomegranate oil, which is naturally rich in antioxidant omega 5 (AKA punicic acid).

rms beauty kakadu plum elixir on a white background
RMS Beauty, Kakadu Evening Beauty Elixir — $39.00

To supercharge skin while you sleep, look no further than this kakadu-powered face oil. The Evening Beauty Elixir uses brightening vitamin C, collagen-boosting coenzyme Q10 (or COQ10 for short), and balancing adaptogens like ashwagandha and turmeric, to deeply nourish and replenish all skin types. What’s more, shoppers say it’s a must for dewy and bright skin by morning. “My skin is loving this! I’ve been using it every night and I wake up with glowing skin,” says one shopper in a 5-star review.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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