Where have I been, you ask? Well, I decided to buy Fallout 4. Ten days later, I finally remembered I have a blog that needs updating! I regret nothing!!!

On to the review!

I have trouble with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It seems like whenever a pimple pops up, it leaves behind an angry mark that takes FOREVER to fade. I did a bit of research into fading hyperpigmentation and vitamin C came up quite a lot. I decided to take the plunge and trotted over to Sephora to see what I could find. I didn’t find anything that I liked in store, but I did find the Drunk Elephant brand online.

Product information:

From the Drunk Elephant website:

A newly reformulated, refreshing gel formula featuring a clinically effective vitamin C (15%) and ferulic acid combination to correct past UV damage while preventing additional future damage for a youthful appearance.

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Ingredients:

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Ferment Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica (Indian Gooseberry) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopherol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Acetyl Glucosamine, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Glutamylamidoethyl Imidazole, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tetrahydro Curcuminoids, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Glycine, Sucrose, Maltodextrin, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan gum, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60

You can view the CosDNA analysis of the ingredients here.

Ingredient Spotlight:

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a powerful multitasker—it acts as an antioxidant, increases collagen production to smooth fine lines, and lightens the skin. There is also evidence to suggest it is protective against UVA rays, so think of it as a little booster to your sunscreen!

As an antioxidant, vitamin C is one of the most powerful and most numerous in the skin. When combined with other ingredients, such as vitamin E and ferulic acid, its stability and effectiveness increase. Indeed, when combined with vitamin E it acts to recycle the vitamin E back to its active form and regenerate its antioxidant status! Vitamin C’s skin lightening properties come from its ability to inhibit tyrosinase (an enzyme responsible for increasing skin pigmentation) and its anti-inflammatory properties.

Unfortunately there are some drawbacks with vitamin C. Vitamin C penetrates the skin best at a pH of 2-2.5, but because this can be extremely irritating to skin it is should be formulated at a pH of 3-3.5. In addition, vitamin C is very unstable and degrades quickly to an inert form when exposed to light and air. It must be packaged carefully to ensure this breakdown does not occur.

Assessment:

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This serum comes in a square white plastic bottle with a bright orange top. It has a simple pump dispenser. Be warned, however, that this stuff sprays EVERYWHERE when you pump it out. I minimized the spray by pumping it into my cupped palm before smoothing it all over my face and neck. The serum itself is the consistency of water and colored light orange. For some reason I thought it would smell like oranges—it doesn’t. It smells like deli meat. Luckily, this smell doesn’t last long once you slap it on your face.

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Here is the color of the serum in the palm of my hand. You can see how watery its consistency is!

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Just to show the color a little better, I squirted a bit onto a cotton square.

I used this vitamin C serum once a day in the morning, right after cleansing and toning, for the last four weeks. I (stupidly) forgot to take before and after pictures so you’ll just have to take my word—this stuff is AMAZING. By the end of my four week testing period, I had significant lightening of my post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. While I was testing it, I also developed a monster pimple just under my chin that left a huge brown-red mark. With the help of this serum, that ugly mark faded down to almost nothing. Score!

Some people have issues with a stinging or burning sensation when they apply vitamin C, but I am happy to report that my skin really liked this product.  I had no negative skin reaction whatsoever.

The Drunk Elephant website claims:

This everyday serum delivers advanced protection against damaging free radicals while replenishing lipids to visibly reduce wrinkles, firm, and brighten the skin. Jam-packed with a game-changing antioxidant complex and an antiaging chronopeptide that transforms into vitamin D—plus pumpkin ferment and pomegranate enzymes that gently dissolve unwanted surface skin cells—it supports natural collagen production and cell regeneration. Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer delivers intense hydration—allowing the formula to absorb quickly and easily into the skin with a reservoir effect, meaning it remains effective for a minimum of 72 hours. The result is incredible radiance and luminosity. The pH level of C-Firma™ is 3.3-3.5.

I am happy to say that these claims ring true! As detailed above, vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant that will help reduce the signs of aging and fade skin hyperpigmentation. In addition, the pH is at the right level for the serum to be effective and the airtight opaque pump will keep the ingredients from degrading.

Conclusion:

Because of its anti-aging properties, its lightening properties, and the fact it is housed in an airtight pump, I have to give this serum full marks.   It will definitely be a staple in my beauty routine, and I am excited to try more products from the Drunk Elephant line!

TL;DR:

  • vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant with anti-aging and lightening properties
  • packed in an airless opaque pump to protect ingredients from breaking down
  • expensive, but worth every penny
  • recommended to buy

Score: 5/5

Where to buy: Sephora

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This vitamin C serum gets the Beautiful Hound Seal of Approval!

 

References

Baumann, L. (2014). Cosmeceuticals and cosmetic ingredients. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional.

Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary A – Z: Cosmetics Cop Expert Advice. (n.d.). Retrieved 28 February 2015, from http://www.paulaschoice.com/cosmetic-ingredient-dictionary/

Michalun, M. V., & Dinardo, J. C. (2015). Milady Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary (4th ed.). Clifton Park, NY, USA: Cengage Learning.

Winter, R. (2009). A consumer’s dictionary of cosmetic ingredients: complete information about the harmful and desirable ingredients found in cosmetics and cosmeceuticals. United States: Three Rivers Press.

 

Edited November 19, 2015 for clarity and formatting

Edited November 20, 2015 for CosDNA link

Edited November 28, 2015 for typo