*So this post is purely comparing the two – if you want more detail on each product INDIVIDUALLY – please check those posts!!*
I must say – I’m guessing that Skinceuticals spend more on advertising and clinical trials to prove the efficacy of their product (but I’m not sure), so this could mean why their products are more expensive. Also – the ingredients list is different, Timeless do not use Parabens or Sulfates to preserve their serum (which apparently pushes up the price?). SO this means Skinceuticals lasts for 6 months whereas Timeless lasts 3.
This does mean that you would need to purchase Timeless x2 in 6 months and Skinceuticals only once. HOWEVER they are both the same volume, so you could easily run out of the skinceuticals in 3 months and still need to repurchase. So the Timeless is still cost savvy purchasing x2 in 6 months.
FYI: I have absolutely no problem with Parabens
SHELF LIFE: Now because the Timeless C E Ferulic does not contain Parabens and Sulfates – it DOESN’T last as long as the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic serum. Timeless lasts about 3 months. So you have to use it as soon as it opens. Whereas the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic lasts 6 months – but it is more expensive than Timeless.
Is it easy to tell when it’s fully oxidised?: For the Timeless, yes it is easy because the product initially is a clear liquid, so you can see it turn yellow easily. WHEREAS Skinceuticals is a lot harder as the colour is already brown. I asked Skinceuticals how to tell when it’s off and they said: when it turns a ”coca cola colour” which I still think is difficult because it’s brown upon opening.
Volume: Both are 30ml (standard for a serum).
pH: (a low pH makes the ascorbic acid an effective antioxidant). Skinceuticals = 2.0-3.5 (is what Skinceuticals told me – BUT then I’ve read in other places that it’s 2.5 OR 3.5 so I guess it ranges?) Personally, I’ve found the Timeless stings more at 2.4 – (but it only stings if one has a cut/open wound)
Apparently Skinceuticals has a higher pH to reduce irritation. Timeless does irritate the skin more IF YOU HAVE AN OPEN WOUND OR CUT/ Active acne! compared to the Skinceuticals!!
Texture: Now this is where either serum is a massive hit or miss for me. I find texture extremely important because 1. it encourages re-use 2. It makes the experience either pleasant or a misery for me. Both serums are light upon application. It’s the drying down/absorbing bit that is an issue for me: Skinceuticals sits on top of my skin. This serum makes me feel like my skin slightly can’t breathe. It also balls up on my skin, UNDER MY SPF (read more about this ON MY DETAILED REVIEW HERE). Therefore I have to use it in the PM because I can’t wear it in the AM as I feel like it compromises my sunblock application. Timeless absolutely is thinner. It goes straight into the skin just like my Argireline solution, and disappears.
So Timeless wins on texture. The Skinceuticals just doesn’t agree texture-wise with me.
Packaging: Both are pretty much the same i.e. glass dropper and glass bottle. Both are easy to dispense product BUT I would say Timeless is a bit easier BECAUSE the dropper has a pointed tip whereas Skinceuticals is flat/rounded – I feel like more product accidentally drips out.
AM or PM use?: Both apparently can be used in the AM and PM, both companies have told me. Of course accompanied with an SPF. As said before, I personally use the Skinceuticals in the PM because it balls up on me in the AM.
Smell: Skinceuticals smells very strongly of Ferulic acid – I don’t like the smell of it at all. I really really don’t like it, and the smell doesn’t go away. The closest comparison is like smearing coffee on your face. BUT I’m happy it doesn’t have fragrance/ essential oils! The timeless serum smells like Citrus which makes sense since vitamin C is in there. No essential oils or fragrance in either. So Timeless wins in terms of smell but I’m happy both are’t fragranced.
Ingredients: I’m not a cosmetic scientist, so I can’t pick apart the ingredients list and fully compare and contrast in terms of which formula is more efficacious, but I’ll list them here for you to look at.
Timeless: Water, Ethoxydiglycol (solvent), L-Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C), Propylene Glycol (solvent)/humectant), Alpha Tocopherol (vitamin E), Polysorbate 80 (emulsifier), Panthenol (skin conditioning), Ferulic Acid (antioxidant), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin conditioning), Benzylalcohol (solvent/preservative), Dehydroacetic Acid (preservative).
Skinceuticals: Water, Ethoxydiglycol (solvent), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Glycerin (solvent/humectant), Propylene Glycol, Laureth-23, Phenoxyethanol (perservative), Tocopherol, Triethanolamine (pH balancer), Ferulic Acid (atioxidant), Panthenol (skin conditioning), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin conditioning)
Both seem quite similar however just from looking; they are in slightly different orders which could mean the concentration of some ingredients differ between formulas (i.e. for Skinceuticals, Hyaluronic acid is lower on the list compared to Timeless). I have put in bold – some of the additional ingredients Skineuticals have.
For your information: Ethoxydiglycol – this is an alcohol compound (in both formulas) and is used as a solvent.
Propylene glycol: alcohol that helps ingredients get into the skin (helps absorption).
Glycerin is uses to help the product spread – I think this is what makes the serum ball up on me and under my spf.
Vitamin E: Both have vitamin E at 1%
Ferulic acid: Timeless is 1% whereas Skinceuticals: 0.5%
Vitamin C %: Timeless: L-Ascorbic Acid (20%) whereas Skinceuticals uses Pure Ascorbic Acid (15%)
The Effect: Personally, I didn’t see a difference in effect between these two serums. But that’s because I’m using these serums AS A PREVENTATIVE. I also use them for their antioxidant properties. I don’t use them for brightening the skin.
HOWEVER: I would say the Skinceuticals serum has a lot more science and clinical trials backing up its efficacy (See my full review post to see the pictures). I think a lot of people overlook this when they instantly go for any dupe over the Skinceuticals – the science, formula – clinical evidence and data ARE SO IMPORTANT. That being said, the Timeless serum does have pretty much the same ingredients list, so you could assume that they would have the same/similar effect (of course this is not always the case as concentration is important). Personally I didn’t see a huge difference in the effect between the two serums, and neither irritated my skin. – also the Skinceuticals is really expensive so I can understand that people would want a dupe!
Are they hydrating?: I wouldn’t say either serum is remarkably hydrating. For me it requires a moisturiser on top.
Good for hot weather?: I would say the Timeless serum is better for hot weather because it doesn’t form this weird barrier or layer on top of the skin like the Skinceuticals serum does.
Good for sensitive skin?: I definitely think that the Skinceuticals is better for sensitive skins.
I would like to add that when asking both companies about their products; Timeless was a lot more helpful and forthcoming to answering my queries whereas with Skinceuticals, they sort of ghosted me when I asked why exactly their product was at the price that it was – basically to explain if the formula is so unique and potent that that was why the price is justifiable. I received no reply.
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In Conclusion: Overall, I prefer the Timeless C E Ferulic Serum
I prefer it because it’s lighter, sits better under makeup / SPF and it smells better. Therefore it is more wearable and more comfortable for me. I don’t have wearability issues with it and therefore I don’t grimace before applying it. I love lightweight textures and products, so I think this suits me well. As with any pure Ascorbic Acid product, I get anxiety with this as the process of oxidation does begin with this product before I’ve finished it so then I need to hurry up. It is much cheaper than the Skinceuticals serum, so I don’t feel worried about using as much product as I need per application.
I don’t doubt the efficacy of the C E Ferulic serum – I’m sure there is a lot of science and research backing it up, but the price is astronomical. I feel like those who have a very small routine could get away with purchasing the Skinceuticals serum and reaping its benefits.
But for me, the Skinceuticals doesn’t even sit well under my spf and I don’t enjoy the texture or the feel of it on my skin.
I think the Timeless is decent, it’s got a high % vitamin C and a low pH – so hopefully it does work as an effective antioxidant.
Overall i prefer the Timeless because the texture of it is much lighter and wearable. The Skinceuticals balls up on me. And the pricing of the Skinceuticals is off-putting.
Would I repurchase?: I would repurchase the Timeless.
If I changed my SPF (which I won’t be doing anytime soon because I love the Missha Aqua Sun Gel too much), then perhaps I’d purchase the Skinceuticals and see if it still balls up (but I don’t know if I’d be able to get over the smell). I am also very much open to finding other Vitamin C serums (like the By Wishtrend 21.5% vitamin C serum – but that one is a bit annoying because it needs to be stored in the fridge).
Where to purchase: Mine is from the Timeless UK website HERE
Skinceuticals website HERE
Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.