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  • Brooke Walter

So Many Fish in the "VITAMIN C": Breaking down my favorites

Vitamin C is one of the most researched and renowned ingredients for its brightening and anti-oxidant properties, but with several different forms available it can be confusing to determine the right one for your skin.


L-ascorbic acid is considered the gold standard form of Vitamin C for efficacy, however one of its primary downsides is instability and degradation over time. The last thing you want from a product is to see it turn colors quickly after spending a pretty penny on it, as most quality serums end up being quite pricey.


I’ve heard rave reviews about Drunk Elephant C-Firma, however after purchasing it once and seeing it turn orange within weeks, I decided I wanted to purchase something more stable/ a better value for my money spent.


My current Vitamin C in rotation has been Allies of Skin 35% Vitamin C Collagen Rebuilding Serum. I’ve never found anything like it. Its unique waterless formula makes it more stable, based on: 25% Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid + 10% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate. It is the ONLY formula on the market with a waterless formula, and although it retails at $118, it has doubled the results of the formulas I’ve spent $60-$80 on, making it a far better “bang for your buck” product.


I don’t splurge on all items in my daily routine- I don’t think cleansers need to be exorbitantly priced when they don’t stay on your face for long, nor do I think a moisturizer needs to be anything fancy when I’m relying on my middle steps (serums) to do the heavy lifting. I personally think that the splurge worthy items are the serums you select for your specific skin concerns, which often ended up being some form of Vitamin C and Retinol. (I’ll save retinol for another day!)


Skinceuticals CE Ferulic is one of the industry renowned, patented formulas that stands the test of time. I have not personally tried this one yet, mostly because I’m scared to fall in love with a product at that price. However, the science is there about the power of these ingredients combined, so I always suggest looking for the trio of L-Ascorbic Acid/ Vitamin E/ Ferulic Acid in your ingredients label when you are searching for a Vitamin C serum.


I also wanted to touch on the concept of ampoules and their benefits versus a traditional serum. I just recently tried Filorga’s C Recover Radiance Boosting Concentrate. Designed to be used within 1 week of opening, these small doses pack a punch with 8% pure concentrated Vitamin C, I saw a significant reduction in post acne pigmentation and increased radiance in 7 days: results which sometimes take months from a normal serum. I would recommend these for anyone with a swifter timeline of results/ for use before a special event for an overall glow and radiant complexion.


While there are TONS of Vitamin C serums on the market, don’t let pretty packaging or clever branding fool you. I recommend selecting a formula that has a documented percentage on the label. Just because you see Vitamin C as a description doesn’t mean anything, it could be the last ingredient included in the formula. The Allies of Skin and Filorga are both on the pricier side, however they also WORK. I look forward to sharing other options in the future that may be better “budget friendly” versions, but I also think a quality Vitamin C is money well spent! It’s what keeps me “Bright Skin Brooke”!

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