A skincare regimen without Vitamin C is akin to an existence without water. Vitamin C serums are essentially potent antioxidants that can neutralise free radicals; in the same way that antioxidant-rich foods help your body, topical antioxidants act the same way to help your skin by off-setting daily aggressors like UV damage and exposure to environmental pollutants. Why would you live without ‘em?

Any skincare brand worth their weight would have some sort of Vitamin C in their offerings — but unfortunately, just like any other product, Vitamin C serums are not made equal. To be able to experience the full benefits, it’s crucial for the vitamin to be pure, and formulated specially to match your skin type. It’s not a one-size-fits-all business, and here’s where SkinCeuticals comes into play.

SkinCeuticals
Credit: SkinCeuticals

After much trial-and-error, here are three vitamin C serums from the brand that work for three women with different skin types:

SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF: Amiera Raushan

Amiera’s skin type: Oily

Amiera Raushan
Credit: Amiera Raushan

Known for its abilities to protect skin against UV light exposure and free radicals, Silymarin (derived from milk thistle fruit and seeds) is the key ingredient in SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF, $248 that makes it great for those with oily, blemish-prone skin. Clinically proven to reduce oil oxidation by up to 76 per cent, this clever formula also features L-ascorbic acid, ferulic acid and salicylic acid — all of which are designed to decrease grease, reduce the appearance of pores, smooth skin and fade fine lines and discolouration. 

Why we like it: “As someone whose skin can get oilier than a breakfast fry-up, I didn’t expect SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF to be any different from serums I’ve tried before. The serum feels a little tacky upon application, but it soaks into the skin fast and disappears after a few minutes. There is a medicinal smell too, but it dissipates quickly.

With use, I’ve found dark spots lightening and lo and behold — I’m actually less oily on my most problematic areas like my nose, chin and forehead! My skin is brighter and plumper — for the first time for as long as I can remember — not oily! Yes, it costs a pretty penny but never has an over-the-counter product done this for me!”

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic: Faz Gaffa

Faz’s skin type: Dry and sensitive

Faz Gaffa
Credit: Faz Gaffa

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, $248 ensures you’re getting all of the good stuff with encapsulated 15% L-ascorbic acid, delivered at full strength. This cult-favourite is also housed in a dark brown bottle that prevents the vitamin C from getting exposed to air and light. The result: a more even, firmer and brighter complexion. 

Why we like it: “Skincare is religious — and when you use products with high efficacy with consistency, it shows. 

Without a doubt, I jumped at the chance to try the famed C E Ferulic serum from SkinCeuticals. I’m risking the possibility of falling in love with it but some sacrifices have to be made for the greater good. After all, any self-respecting skincare enthusiast has contemplated forgoing her organic avocados addiction for this serum.

Having used many Vitamin C serums, I knew what to expect. I welcomed the slight medicinal smell with wide open arms — I was like a modern day witch doctor about to slather the conduit of youth on my thirty-something face. The serum is light, easily absorbed into the skin, and unnoticeable under other skincare and SPF I layered on right after.

I’m at the brink of my mid-thirties and my skin tends to be dry and sensitive, with signs of aging slowly starting to set in, with fine lines waving ‘hey’ despite me trying to outrun them with arms flailing. In a world where skincare promises cherubic skin in a few days, C E Ferulic stands out for delivering exactly what it says. With only a few days of use, my skin is brighter, hyperpigmentation slowly diminished and it feels a lot less dehydrated. I guess I’m bidding goodbye to too-pricey-for-their-own-good organic avocados for good.”

SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF: Letty Seah 

Letty’s skin type: Textured and sensitive

Skinceuticals phloretin cf
Credit: Letty Seah

The antioxidant phloretin (derived from apples and the root bark of fruit trees) is the secret ingredient in this serum. When combined with a potent dose of 10% L-ascorbic acid, it creates a gentle yet potent powerhouse that accelerates cell turnover. The best part? SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF, $268 is clinically proven to penetrate skin to prevent harmful effects of sun exposure such as wrinkles and dark spots.

Why we like it: “I’m really impressed with this serum. After my first application, my skin looked visibly brighter and smoother. After a week, I noticed a huge difference in the texture and clarity of my complexion. Just like other products from the brand, there is a mild chemical smell to this serum. It goes off after a couple of minutes so I’m not too bothered by it. It has a liquidy texture that absorbs into the skin quickly to leave behind a silky finish, laying the perfect foundation for the next steps of your skincare routine. I am obsessed with the lit-from-within glow it bestows. I definitely recommend it to anyone with sensitive or reactive skin who is on the hunt for a no-nonsense, science-backed vitamin C serum that works.” 

SkinCeuticals can be found at BHG.com and other authorised retailers.

Brought to you by SkinCeuticals