This is an excellent Vitamin C serum for a certain kind of person. It's based on Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, which is a great anti-acne agent, and if you're like me, the other two popular kinds -- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and L-Ascorbic Acid -- tend to break you out. So, at my weird stage of life where I'm still battling acne but wanting to take advantage of Vitamin C's amazing photoprotection and antioxidant capacities, it's perfect.
With that said, a study showed that SAP is *significantly* less effective at collagen synthesis than the other types, but that's not my major priority now (and I have other actives that promote collagen synthesis), so it's fine.
The one thing I will say is that even though it has great moisturizing capacities (hyaluronic acid for the win!) it does leave my skin a tad dry. I follow it up with jojoba oil or the line's antioxidant face oil or moisturizer.
I tried this while sampling numerous expensive makeup products at PCC. I only used it on half of my face on the spot where the pores are largest. Halfway through shopping I looked at my skin and was amazed. The pores had shrunk in that one spot! I didn't buy it though- it was too expensive:( My best friend bought it though and her skin has been looking excellent. Honestly, this is my favorite Mad Hippie Product, though it seems the most useless (don't bother with the antioxidant serum!).
I like that this serum is light and is packed with awesome ingredients. It goes on smoothly, but has a tendency to pill if you try to layer products over it too soon. I recommend waiting at least ten minutes before applying other moisturizers. It is difficult to tell if this has a significant improvement, but I do think that this product helps with the brightness and general healthfulness of the skin.
Update 11/01/2014: I have used this product under many different creams, lotions, and oil, and ultimately, it pills up upon application. It is very frustrating to wait twenty minutes between serum application and moisturizer application, so I have removed one lippie from my review.
I ordered this after I ran out of NuFountain C20+Ferulic and needed some good antioxidant serum after a truly DISASTROUS IPL tx (read my revew on that, still recovering). The pkging is a great dropper, the serum is light and silky, and leaves no stickiness or tackiness, the ings list looks fantastic .... but, something in this just does not seem to agree w/ my even more sensitive, irritated, post-IPL skin. I got some mild irritation/redness w/ this, and as I'm dealing w/ a lot of weird post IPL problems, I just did not want to risk using this any more than than the one week I did. I usually try to test something longer, and the slight redness I got was very slight, but after the IPL I just don't want to risk any more problems. I got no irritation from the NuFountain C20+Ferulic, so I am going to go back to that. Too bad, as the ingredients looked great.
I've been working hard to find a regimen that works well for my acne-prone, sun-damaged skin and this is a keeper. Brightens and softens. Paired with my Clairsonic & Mario Badescu glycolic toner, it's a winning combination.
Such a great product for any ladies with sun damage. I came across is at Earth Fare and the lady in the store said I had to try it. It smelled wonderful, so I figured I would give it a try. I have to say I was overwhelmed with the positive results. I occasionally get breakouts, but this product seems to make me never breakout. The spots of sun damage that I had on my face are significantly better after using two products and I have to say, I think I am now a user for life.
I am writing this review so I can kick myself and be reminded not to buy this product again. I read so many glowing reviews on iherb.com (lots of Korean girls love this and I know that Koreans care VERY much about skincare)--- the first time, it gave me small, red bumps and cystic zits. I ended up giving it to my mom who loves it.
I recently bought a second bottle (stupid, I know) thinking that maybe when I first tried it, my skin was just in bad condition and hopefully the second time, I will get the amazing brightening, tone-evening effect that everyone seems to get. Boy was I wrong! It gave me red, patchy spots and cystic acne again. I think there is some ingredient in this that does not suit my skin very well.
Regarding the suspicious reviews below, I do also think that it's somewhat sketchy, but I think it is also a miraculous product for many people and it has really good ingredients. If you want to give this a shot to see if it delivers for you, you can use code YEW608 on iherb to get $10 off your first order.
The only vitamin C product I used before this serum was a vitamin C mask. I liked the mask, and so I researched a bit and found this serum via amazon. I liked this serum, it created a slight tightness to my skin, but that went away within 5 minutes. I do believe the serum helped control my acne and reduce some of my hyperpigmentation left over from previous breakouts, but it was by no means a cure all. I believe for the price the serum did a good job. And while the price was not terrible, because the serum did last a while, it was still too expensive for me to keep repurchasing it. So instead I decided to purchase cosmetic grade vit. C and add it to my daily moisturizer. So far, it has worked just as good. I also use a 50% glycolic acid peel at least once a week (pls, if you use a glycolic peel, work yourself up from the lowest percentage). This combination has really helped with my acne, hyperpigmentation and rolling scars.
I've almost used up a full bottle and I actually really like this product. They don't list it on the label (annoying) but I emailed the company and they replied promptly to tell me that the vitamin c percentage is around 10% in the form of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (often referred to as SAP.)
I really wanted to try a vitamin c serum with SAP as the form because it's supposed to be a lot gentler than the l-ascorbic acid form and potentially good for acne-prone skin. Additionally, I read a Japanese study posted on the skin care board in which a SAP serum (not this one, obviously) in conjunction with glycolic acid peels helped improve indented acne scarring over several months. The glycolic acid group alone had some results, but the group that used SAP serum in addition had significantly better results. So, it made me really interested in trying out a SAP-based serum for myself.
I've used it for almost 3 months and I love the brightening and plumping effect it has given my skin over time. I generally use it in the morning under SPF, but there have been a few nights that I'll wear it to bed and my skin always looks particularly nice the next morning. If money were no object, I'd probably use it both morning and evening.
It does have some herbal extracts and a slight natural fragrance (maybe clary sage? I actually surprisingly like it) that might not work for some, but I have found it very gentle and a great overall addition to my skincare regimen
I found it for the best price online from the Walgreens website, believe it or not. They seem to keep their products very fresh and I've had surprisingly good luck with them for lots of random products (including good prices on perfume, just fyi!) They have random good sales and frequent 15-20% off codes. The serum retails for around $33 but I ended up getting it from Walgreens for around $21 on sale.
Super bummed about this serum. I was a dingbat and didn't do the research on it that I usually put into skincare before purchasing...hurriedly looked on MUA, saw rave reviews, and hit the buy button before I realized some of the reviews were most likely fluff reviews from phony users :(. I agree with the reviewer just before me, there is no way the 3 "true converts" are real life users...because its just not that caliber a product no matter how ya slice it. A recent employment change in my household left me on a tight budget for skincare, so looking for a well priced serum was my reason for trying this one. It smells good and initially feels good going on the face, but seconds later, my face feels just as drawn up and dehydrated as it did before application. No brightening, no firming, nada...and I'm well into my 5th week of use. The packaging is somewhat unsanitary and is NOT airtight (which is crucial for protecting and keeping ingredients stable). The only thing I like is that I can see how much I have left. I have had better luck with the $20 Olay serum I picked up at Walmart. Will not repurchase this or any other of the Mad Hippie products I wasted money on. Less than mediocre indeed.