What is it?: A Vitamin C derivative (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) serum (a more stable form of vitamin C than pure L-AA (however, less effective because of this but still decent at brightening the skin). A less irritating form of vitamin C (as it’s not also at a low pH) made for people who struggle with higher %, pure vitamin C serums. A serum that contains Vitamin E (antioxidant) and Ferulic Acid (also an antioxidant) to create the famous ‘C E Ferulic’ blend. This also contains Hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin.
Good for: Sensitive skins (i.e. if pure L-AA is hard on your skin, or you can’t handle the low pH of vitamin C serums and want something less irritating). Also dehydrated/oily skins – this is suprisingly lightweight and hydrating in my opinion!
Concerns: Ageing, Dehydration, Uneven Skin Tone (is what Mad Hippie say. I would say if you want a more potent antioxidant vitamin C serum however, going for L-AA may be more effective, if it’s the anti-ageing part of vitamin C you want. If it’s more for dehydration and uneven skin tone then this serum is fine!).
Skin Types: Normal, Oily, Combination, Dry, Sensitive (I would say yes to all of these unless you are sensitive to chamomile extract, Clary Sage oil or Grapefruit).
Packaging: Glass bottle – I screwed on the Niod Pump – but originally this has a regular dropper.
Directions: ”After cleansing and toning, apply a few drops of serum all over your face and neck, trying to spread an even amount across all areas.”
How I use it: After cleansing, toning and applying my Argireline solution 10% from the Ordinary, I then apply this serum (in the PM only – I prefer to apply products containing citrus in the PM). And then I put my moisturiser on top once this has dried down. It takes roughly 2 minutes for this product to dry down fully for me. I do also apply this on my neck.
Key Ingredients: Vitamin C (derivative), E and Ferulic Acid. As well as HA and Chamomile Extract, a supposed antioxidant. I also like the addition of Aloe vera. Konjac is supposed to help nourish the skin.
Full Ingredients: Water Deionized, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Alkyl Benzoate, Vegetable Glycerin, Water, Glycerin, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea), Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis), Hyaluronic acid, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Vitamin E (Tocotrienol), Ferulic acid, Chamomile Flower Extract (Recutita Matricaria), Sodium Phytate, Xanthum Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose
Not a fan of the Sage oil and the Grapefruit. Also apparently Chamomile Flower extract may induce allergic reactions for some people, but it was fine for m! I do like the addition of Glycerin and HA. It does make this product hydrating, and I think the Aloe Vera helps make this product as light and spreadable as it is (like a near-gel texture, see below).
NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE
Texture: The product comes out like a thick-ish serum (still eventually runs down the hand). It’s a pleasant feeling however, a gel with a cooling effect on the skin. it spreads very easily and is very lightweight. It absorbs into the skin but you can still tell the product is there, so it does not disappear – it simply forms a hydrating barrier on the skin.
This has a slight yellow tint to it, but I don’t think it means the product is oxidising as it came slightly yellow-tinted.
As you can see, it looks like a gel/watery-type texture.
Once dried down this product gives a sort of dewy (but not sweaty) look to the skin as it’s hydrated the skin while drying down.
YOUTUBE VIDEO – LIVE VIDEO SWATCH OF THE PRODUCT
Fragrance?: Yes, contains Clary Sage oil – I must note that when I’m doing my skincare routine my sister does remark on how weird I smell after I’ve applied this. I’m not sure if the addition of Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis) also has an effect on the smell.
Good Under Makeup?: Haven’t tried as I’ve been in lockdown! BUT this has been fine under my other skincare products!
How long have I been using this?: Just over a month
The Effect?: It’s definitely kept my skin hydrated, and I do think it has helped with keeping my complexion even. It also hasn’t seemed to aggrevate or irritate my skin.
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What I like:
- Absorbs well
- Lightweight (not water, but a good thickness to it that it hydrates the skin)
- I like the addition of Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid (antioxidants)
- Also like the addition of HA and Konjac root was an interesting addition at least
What I don’t like:
- Essential Oil addition (makes the product smell not the best and I fear it could potentially irritate those with very sensitive skins)
- Not pure L-AA (so don’t expect the same effect)
Overall Rating and Conclusion: 3.6/5 – Not a fan of the addition of EO and the consequential smell emitting from this product. I do however like the texture, it has genuinely hydrated my skin. I’m also happy that this hasn’t irritated my skin, and it has sat comfortabley under my skincare products without balling up. Although it’s not a pure vitamin C, I think for those who can’t handle a low pH vitamin C product, and easily get irritated and therefore want to use a derivative that is soothing, then this serum could be something to test out!
Would I repurchase?: I don’t like the essential oil fragrance, even if it does disappear – I think that would prevent me from repurchasing. And also personally, if I had to pick, I would rather go for a pure L-Ascorbic acid product IF it is a pure vitamin C serum I want.
K-beauty Dupe?: The By Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum is a pure L-AA vitamin C serum (which means you’ll have to keep this in the fridge which is annoying) but at least it is more potent, so technically you see results better with this.
Western Dupe?: Unfortunately, although pricey – I do really like the Drunk Elephant C-firma and it is also 1. it’s pure L-AA, and 2. It is probably one of the only pure L-AA serums I’ve tried which doesn’t feel stingy/acidic. However the C-firma is more oily compared to this which is more water/gel-based.
If you want a dupe that is still a vitamin C derivative, then the Sunday Riley CEO Brightening Serum isn’t a bad option (despite the price) as it also contains Glycolic acid, so a very 2-in-1 option.
- The OG vitamin C E Ferulic however is by Skinceuticals HERE
- And the dupe of that is from Timeless (C E Ferulic) but that is very high % and can irritate.
My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.
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.