Welcome to Hi/Lo Beauty! In this franchise, I’ll be comparing products on the pricier, and on the more affordable, ends of the spectrum in various categories. In each post I’ll compare and contrast the products, and let you know what I think is worth the splurge, and what’s not. And this week, it’s all about Vitamin C serums.
I’m comparing two options—one from BeautyStat, and the other from Neutrogena. I’ll give you some basic info on the products, and a quick review. Then you can decide what sounds worth it!
I picked up this serum after hearing about it on one of my favorite beauty podcasts, Gloss Angeles. Billed as a potent and easy-to-apply serum with no stickiness, it sounded like a great fit for a Florida summer. Tons of reviews also lauded its ability to refine pores; given that’s an issue for me, it was another Plus on the list.
And because it’s formulated by a a cosmetic chemist with over 20 years experience formulating for other giant brands, I knew it had science on its side.
Silky feel, due to its silicone base
Airless pump, which preserves Vitamin C stability
White in color (no colorants added)
Blends into skin leaving no cast
Very potent; this is a formula you can feel working.
No “sink-in” time; you can apply your SPF shortly after using this.
I loved this for the first week or two I was using it. Then, I realized I was probably using it too frequently, because I began to have some redness and irritation on my cheeks.
This was totally my bad, as I frequently forget that Vitamin C is in fact an acid (L-ascorbic acid, to be exact), and it’s smart to get your skin used to a product like this by using every other day, or every couple days, until you’re adjusted.
User error aside, this is a fantastic Vitamin C serum that is so easy to use, even a skin care beginner could find a spot for it in her routine. I saw an almost-immediate brightening of my skin and a lightening of some of my sun spots (they’re on the lighter side, but they’re there).
Expect a product that’s cosmetically elegant, powerful and easy to add into your existing routine. Just start slow. 😉
Now hear me out: I know $36 doesn’t fall squarely under the “affordable” umbrella, per se, but it’s a drugstore product from a brand that has a ton of research backing it. And to be honest, if you want a Vitamin C product that’s formulated well, and packaged to stay potent, you do tend to pay a little bit of a premium.
That being said, I chose this because of its availability, and because it still does fall on the more affordable end of the spectrum for a skin care serum.
Rather than a bottle of product that is pumped out, these are individual, soft capsules that are filled with a Vitamin C lotion that can be applied alone to dry skin, or can be mixed into a basic moisturizer to help blend it out. (Just make sure that moisturizer doesn’t have any other active ingredients in it! This one by CeraVe would work as a good blending base.
The individual “serving sizes” mean the Vitamin C can stay stable longer
Great for travel; pop a few in a bag or container and go!
White in color, no colorants added
True lotion texture—not too heavy, not too light, but I found it wasn’t enough on its own to spread over my entire face, so I preferred to blend with a lotion as mentioned above, and then spread it on my face, neck and chest.
Not irritating at all
I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked these. I have never used capsules before—only standard products in a bottle or tube—and I do think that the packaging preserves the integrity of the Vitamin C. (Also, on a non-skincare-related note, it was weirdly gratifying to pop off the end of these and squeeze them out… a sensory bonus! Ha!)
Unlike the BeautyStat, you can feel this product on your skin. This is neither good nor bad—if you’re the kinda gal who likes a little dose of moisture with her serum, this is for you! But it’s worth noting for someone with oily skin, who may prefer the blendability of a silicone-based product, like the BeautyStat one above.
I saw slight brightening with these, not as drastic or as quickly as I saw the BeautyStat. I think if I were to give it a little more time, maybe another month or so, I would have seen better results on this front. On the other hand, I experienced no irritation with this formula, which I found to be rather gentle on this skin.