We are often spoilt for choice on the wide range of vitamin C serums in the market- from top of the range bestsellers such as SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, Obagi Professional-C Serum, Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum to mass—market brands like Mad Hippie and Wishtrend. All of them promise to deliver excellent anti-aging benefits and give us a smooth, even and glowy complexion. So how exactly do we choose the best for our skin?
Benefits of Vitamin C on Face and How to choose an effective serum
Vitamin C serums are nature’s powerful antioxidants that fights fine lines and signs of aging by stimulating collagen production and protecting the skin from free radicals and environment stressors. It often creates an even, brighter complexion by blocking excess pigmentation, tightening skin and fading acne scars.
Contrary to common perception, while vitamin C is a potent antioxidant serum, it is safe to use for all ages and most skin types with no side-effects, as long as you know how to limit possible irritation from the understanding of your skin type and condition. Being highly acidic in nature, Vitamin C serums usually range between 10-20% concentration, and beginners or sensitive skin users should work upwards progressively starting from the lower end of the scale to prevent possible stinging effects at higher concentrations.
Ideally, find a Vitamin C that contains 15-20% L-ascorbic acid to maximize its effectiveness, else Ferulic Acid, Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin E components are great for stabilizing Vitamin C and enhancing skin absorption as well. Wear your Vitamin C serums with sunscreen in the day, and pair it with peptide treatments such as The Ordinary Buffet. Unless you have advice from a medical expert, try not to mix Vitamin C serum with other acids such as AHAs, retinols, benzoly peroxides, BHAs (glycolic, salicylic acids, for example) since both are acids and a wrong combination can easily irritate or dry out your skin to produce adverse results.
Vitamin C serums are highly sensitive to heat and light, hence you might notice that serums always come packaged in opaque, dark-coloured bottles and packed air-tight. Also, always store it in a shady area or in the fridge after opening, if possible.
Here, I have chosen to test out the latest By Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 15% Serum with Ferulic Acid, since it has a fantastic safety factor on CosDNA, with the below ingredient list:
Hippophae Rhamnoides Water, Propanediol, Ascorbic Acid, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethyl Ascorbyl Ether, Tromethamine, Ferulic Acid, Diglycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyglycerin-3, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Water, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Maltodextrin, Sodium, Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pyridoxine HCl, Silica
How to use
I use By Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 15% Serum as a topical treatment every morning on my T-zone where its oily and has enlarged pores, acne scars and also on some dry patches on my cheeks. After washing face and toner, I apply 1-2 drops on the area and pat lightly for 1-2 minutes until fully absorbed. The serum is watery and transparent in color, fragrance feel and dispenses easily from a built-in dropper. It absorbs quickly into the skin and looks matt but leaves a semi-oily feel.
After using for a week, I am thoroughly blown away! While it was slightly uncomfortable layering my moisturiser and sunblock on top of a semi-greasy layer, the large pores on my nose bridge definitely shrank in size! This is a huge miracle to me because I have tried so many “pore-reducing” treatments in the past with lacklustre results. Also, By Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 15% Serum seemed to have faded off some acne scars and regulated the oiler T-zone areas to stay matt for longer period through the day. However, it did little for the dry patches on my skin- for some reason, it seemed to get oilier. I also did not see any visible brightening effects.
Ecstatic with the results, I did continue for a month or so, but the effects of the serum soon seemed to reach a plateau with no more visible shrinking of my pores. It is here where I decided to take a break to let the skin “breathe” and hopefully reduce its product immunity before restarting. Unfortunately, even though I stored the bottle capped tightly in the fridge, the serum has since oxidized and turned dark yellow after a month, rendering unfit for usage. It appears that the By Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 15% Serum have a very short shelf life upon opening, and the packaging is not designed well enough to maintain its integrity.
Whichever the case, I would say get this serum for its anti-aging, healing and pore tightening properties, but not so much if you are looking for brightening or hydrating effects. Vitamin C is still a game-changer and you bet I am on the lookout for my next miracle!