I’ve been hearing about vitamin C serums for years, but never paid much attention to them until this year. Not really sure why. As I was browsing the cosmetic shelves of a store some time ago, I stumbled upon a discount one. There aren’t many such serums readily available around here, so I was intrigued. Its claims about a “stable form of vitamin C” sounded promising. I looked it up, and the stable form it contained was sodium ascorbyl phosphate, a synthetic form of L-ascorbic acid.
I started reading scientific research and user testimonials on the ingredient as I returned home, and came to the conclusion that it’s something I absolutely need in my skincare regime. Its strongest selling points are anti-aging benefits such as erasing hyperpigmentation, reducing redness, healing acne scars, improving texture, and generally making skin more even. Applied under sunscreen, it also increases its protection.
A lot of DIY vitamin C serum recipes can be found online, and I attempted them a couple of times but I wanted something a bit more substantial. Adding ferulic acid alongside other healing ingredients such as vitamin E makes the vitamin C more potent than just suspending it in water, so I searched for something that included those.
There are different strengths available, but I opted for a 20% solution as it offers optimal absorption and results. (My skin is very resilient, however if you have sensitive skin it’s better to start off with lower percentages, like 5%, and slowly build up to 20% to avoid irritation.)
After an extensive search, I bought the Advanced Skin Care 20% Vitamin C Serum which I found on eBay.
Hyaluronic acid, L-ascorbic acid, ferulic acid, vitamin E, vegetable glycerin, leucidal liquid.
It comes in a dark glass bottle with a dropper. The dark glass is important to keep the light away as the vitamin breaks down pretty soon if exposed to it. Minus points go to the dropper, I would prefer a pump instead to avoid exposing it to air, as that also decreases its stability, but I console myself that the bottle neck is relatively small and I try to work quickly (I squeeze the serum in my palm and close the bottle right away). All the serums I saw had this type of packaging, though, but I’ll look further to find one with a pump.
It contains 30 ml of product which should last a couple of months of daily use.
The serum is watery, but ever so slightly thick and slippery. For me, it sinks in fast if I don’t apply too much, otherwise it can leave a bit of a sticky feeling, but even that disappears after a while so I’m not too bothered. I like how my skin feels after application, I find I don’t need moisturiser afterwards as the oils in it are enough to nourish and hydrate my skin, but drier skins might still have to use it.
It has a faint, refreshing zesty smell, and it’s clear in colour; over time, if exposed to air too often, it turns dark yellow which signifies the vitamin C is breaking down. You would still be able to use it, but it probably wouldn’t be as effective.
I use about 5 drops and smooth it over my entire face, and sometimes bring it down my neck. You could also use it on any other areas of the body with hyperpigmentation. I have to note that, as any acid, it can sting a bit if you have any open micro wounds on the skin (a feeling I admit I love as it makes me believe it’s working …).
I’ve been using it for about two months and I can honestly tell a difference. I don’t say that lightly because nothing else has changed the look of my skin for the better before – it’s more supple and radiant, with a healthy glow from within, much more uniform in colour, and foundation applies better. Any acne I get seems to heal faster – I’ve had acne since I was 10, so I don’t rely on cosmetics to get rid of them, but this minimises them noticeably.
As for hyperpigmentation, it has decreased some, but for better results I’ll have to wait a few more months as deeper layers of the skin don’t regenerate as fast as to be able to see a drastic change in a relatively short amount of time.
I’m so glad my hopes weren’t too high, because I’m often disappointed in products lacking results, but this definitely delivered! I’m already on my second bottle.
Thank you for reading! 😊