Where to purchase: Available at Trinny London: LINK.
Price: £65 / $78.38
Made in: The United Kingdom
What is it?: A Vitamin C-derivative, balm-textured serum that aims to brighten the skin and ”boost skin radiance”.
What does it do?: Brighten the skin and reduce the look of dark spots (and provide antioxidative properties).
Supposedly Good For: All Skin Types except; the brand states this is not for first-time Vitamin C users or those with sensitive and reactive skin.
What I think: I would agree with the above warning. In terms of whether this suits oily or dry skins; it’s more about if you like the feel of Silicone on the skin.
Cruelty Free?: Yes
How long does it last after opening?: 12 Months after opening.
pH: Not stated. However this doesn’t need to be formulated at a very low pH compared to if L-Ascorbic acid so this doesn’t feel as sting-y.
Packaging: Like the Retinal Serum, This comes in a plastic tube that you twist up to pump out product. It makes this great for travelling with, the packaging is sturdy and reduces oxidation, meaning this doesn’t oxidise as quickly like in dropper bottles.
Note: This comes with a refill: LINK.
NOTE: The end of this product (i.e. when you use this product the next day) gunks up. So when you do that first pump; you get this hard ball of product that you have to remove/wipe away (or accidentally wipe onto your face) and it’s very annoying. It also means I mess up the tip of the applicator with product. So that’s really frustrating for me.
Directions: Start by using x2 a week at the beginning and then build to regular (daily) use. Patch test before first use. Adjust use according to your skin. Apply one pump to the face (avoid the eyes), and then another pump for the neck and décolleté after cleansing in the morning. Use consistently for the best results, and follow up with a moisturiser and SPF. (From the Trinny London Website).
How I use it: I use this in the AM as instructed and before my SPF. I have to be careful as layering this product with other products can cause balling up, so I need to ensure my toner isn’t thick and my SPF will sit on top of this adequately. I use 1 pump for the face and 1 pump for the neck.
- I didn’t find this stung or irritated my skin (I don’t use a lot of acids, just Differin every 2-3 days), so I was able to use this 2-3x a week without irritating my skin.
Key Ingredients: 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C Derivative which is more stable i.e. it lasts longer than L-AA, and is less irritating): Antioxidant (protects the skin from environmental aggressors) but most of all, this helps to brighten the skin and reduce the formation of dark spots. This product is soluble both in water and oil, and a lot of research has shown that this Vitamin C Derivative does help brighten the skin.
Other Key Ingredients: Rosemary Leaf Extract (Antioxidant and Soothing) / Lactic Acid (Exfoliant and pH adjusting) / Sucrose (Soothing). Liquorice Root Extract (Soothing + Brightening).
Emollients; Jojoba Seed Oil, Meadowfoam Sead Oil + Sunflower Seed Oil (and Dimethicone i.e. Silicone).
Full Ingredients: 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Aqua (Water), Propanediol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Glycerin, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Diisooctyl Succinate, Sucrose Polystearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Lactobacillus/Lemon Peel Ferment Extract, Plankton Extract, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Echium Plantagineum (Echium) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Dimethicone, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Sucrose, Hydroxyacetophenone, Xanthan Gum, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Lecithin, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol.
NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE.
Texture: The brand states this has a ”luxurious balmy texture” This feels similar to products like the Niod Neck Elasticity Catalyst, and the Stratia C+C Serum in terms of a silicone-heavy product. However, this does have a slightly more moisturising feeling to it (i.e. this is a bit more moisturising on the skin which I like).
Sticky?: Not as long as you don’t apply too much product. And also, like silicone; this ends up becoming soft on the skin and dries down in the process. But that doesn’t mean this product disappears into the skin, it has that layer on top that gently sits on the skin, but is present.
Greasy?: This is nearly oily. It contains oil, so that’s the feeling I get along with that velvet-texture silicone has. It means this isn’t heavy on the skin. The slight oily feedback means this is moisturising.
Balls up?: Yes; If I use the incorrect product under/on top (i.e. water-based or too oily). This is the most frustrating thing with this product, alongside that silicone texture.
- As you can see, this has a transluscent look to it. It is not a liquid, but moreso a silicone (almost oily) gel.
To be honest; I’m quite surprised with the packaging, that this doesn’t contain pure L-AA (Pure Vitamin C and not a derivative). And instead, I would have formulated this as a liquid over a silicone-type product.
- As you can see, this looks silicone-y. It becomes feathered and lightweight on the skin once it has spread.
Product Swatch Comparison: No Product (Left) VS Product (Right)
- You can see that slight shiny-look to the skin due to the oils included (hence why this is slightly moisturising).
Does this Sting if the Skin has been Irritated / Sensitised by Shaving/Heavy Retinol Use?: Yes.
Summer or Winter?: Oily Skins: Winter. Dry Skins: All-year round (as this is moisturising).
Layerable?: Depends what you apply under/on top of this product. It’s not as easy as the Retinal Serum for instance. This will ball up depending on how oily/watery the product you apply underneath/on top is.
- As you can see, this has a silicone-base to it. Initially it looks sticky and tacky, but it does eventually soften on the skin. This is moisturising on the skin (I wouldn’t call it hydrating).
Fragrance?: Fragrance + EO Free (But has that typical Vitamin-C scent).
Good Under Makeup?: No I would not recommend this for under makeup due to the silicone (may ball up).
How long have I been using this?: 3 Months.
Will I use until Completion?: Yes, as I think this product works and although I’m not a fan of the silicone texture (or the annoying gunk/ball that forms at the tip of this product and i have to remove before applying the product), this isn’t unpleasant to use.
How Long will that take?: 2-3 Months.
The Effect?: This has been very effective and potent on my skin with helping improve the look of dark marks after blemishes especially. I’m also really pleased this did not sting or irritate my skin. Also for my Oily-Combo Skins, this has been slightly moisturising (not creamy, but adding some oil to the skin). But it’s the layering (balling up) issues which I haven’t enjoyed, or that very silicone-like texture this has.
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What I like:
- Fragrance + EO Free
- Effective + Potent
- Airtight packaging (to reduce oxidation)
- Slightly Moisturising
What I don’t like:
- I don’t like the gunked up ball that sits at the tip of the hole (makes product application messier)
- Potentially can ball up
- Silicone-heavy texture
- Vitamin C Derivative (not pure L-ascorbic acid)
Overall Rating and Conclusion: 3.9 / 5: This is effective. I like the airtight packaging. I also like that this didn’t sting or irritate my skin. What I don’t like is the silicone texture and because of that, how this balls up more often than not. This is also almost sticky and almost greasy which I’m also not a fan of. It would have been nice if this was in a liquid format to avoid balling up issues and be more suitable for my skin-type.
Would I repurchase?: I prefer Vitamin C Serums that are watery overall, so I would not repurchase as a personal texture preference. But I don’t think this is a failed product.
Dupes?: The Stratia C+C Serum: LINK (Swatches + Review HERE). This is Fragrance and Essential Oil Free and is also silicone-heavy (if you like that texture).
- My personal favourite Vitamin C Serum at the moment is The Paula’s Choice 15% Vitamin C Serum (it’s watery): Review HERE.
- ALLIES OF SKIN: 20% Vitamin C Brighten + Firm Serum (LINK). This also contains 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid and is Fragrance and Essential Oil Free.
ALLIES OF SKIN: 35% Vitamin C + Perfecting Serum (LINK). This contains both 20% 3-E-O Ethyl Ascorbic acid and 10% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C derivative). Also, this is Fragrance and Essential Oil Free
- If you don’t mind a greasier-feeling serum that is lightweight (i.e. in a dropper bottle and is cheaper), then The Ordinary’s 15% 3-O-Ehtyl Ascorbic Acid Serum isn’t a bad alternative. It is also 15% so it wont be as potentially irritating on the skin. This is Fragrance and Essential Oil Free
My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated 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.
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