SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Is the Gold Standard in Vitamin C Serums

SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic is one of my holy grail vitamin C serums (it ranks supreme for pretty much every beauty editor); it’s also beloved by dermatologists and aestheticians for cracking the antioxidant code, which is essential for fighting free-radicals and preventing skin aging. Its patented formula has been mimicked by numerous brands, but there’s a reason people keep coming back to this tried-and-true serum: RESULTS. Whether your skin is dry, normal or combination, in just a few weeks of use, the science-backed skin brightener will impart a glow like you’ve never experienced before. Here’s everything you should know.

My Skin Type:

Combination. I’m drier in the cold-weather months and oilier in the warm-weather ones thanks to the high humidity on the East Coast.

The benefits:

The powerful infusion of three key antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid make this serum a true triple threat against environmental damage caused by free radicals (think UV rays, ozone pollution and diesel engine exhaust) that can lead to signs of aging on the skin. In clinical studies, the serum reduced this oxidative damage by up to 41 percent and simultaneously improved the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and photodamage like dark spots, and also helped stimulate collagen production to enhance firmness.

SkinCeuticals’ founder, dermatologist Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, is known as the founding father of topical antioxidants, and formulated CE Ferulic under the Duke Antioxidant patent, which specifies the delivery system for the vitamin C to penetrate skin effectively. His breakthrough research changed the future of skin care—prior to his discoveries, sunscreen was the only method being used to protect against environmental damage.

Key Ingredients:

15% L-ascorbic acid (a highly potent form of pure vitamin C), 1% alpha tocopherol (a pure form of vitamin E) and 0.5% ferulic acid (a plant-based antioxidant)

What It’s Free From:

Parabens

What It Smiles Like:

Though it’s one of the most popular vitamin C serums of all time, its scent is one I could do without. “Hot dog water” is how it’s often described, and that’s pretty spot-on, but it does dissipate. Some people can’t get past it, but others who have been wowed by their rejuvenated, glowing skin are willing to turn a blind eye (or nose).

What It Feels Like:

It’s a liquidy serum that leaves behind a slightly sticky residue if it doesn’t fully absorb into skin. (For example, if you apply it on skin that isn’t clean, or you apply too much, you’ll probably feel a residue on your skin and fingers.) If you’re new to vitamin C, or this is your first time using a 15-percent vitamin C formula, you may also feel a bit of a tingling sensation.

How to Use It:

In the morning, on clean skin, press four to five drops into your face, neck and décolleté (more is not better with this serum, as too much could leave behind a filmy residue). This video demonstrates the brand’s recommended application. You can also apply it after toner if you use one. I like to let it fully soak in for about 10 minutes before applying anything else on top. Then I follow with moisturizer and sunscreen, the latter being an imperative step. When layered under SPF, the two complement each other perfectly, skyrocketing your skin’s daily protection.

The Bottom Line:

Though its price falls on the higher side, a few drops go a long way, and the brighter, healthier-looking glow it gives my skin—I truly notice a difference in the overall luminosity and look of my skin, and feel confident going without makeup—makes it well worth it.

Price/Where to Buy:

$169, dermstore.com

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