Cosmetic Skin Solutions C E Ferulic

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13 reviews

84% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$


Key Ingredients: Ferulic, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Sodium hyaluronate

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Age: 36-43

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I've used Paula's Choice C15 Booster since 2013 and did pretty well with it. I wouldn't have strayed except the price kept creeping up (and discounts less and less). With our falling Canadian dollars, $48 USD for 20ml is looking very expensive indeed.

(I was given Skinceuticals CE Ferulic sample which I was quite okay with also, except for the $166 CAD price tag for a full size. No thanks.)

Finally I gave in and bought CSS' version for about $40 USD for 30ml. It arrived in just over a week, carefully packaged and serum totally clear. I put some in an empty PC sample vial and keep the big bottle (in box) in the back of the fridge. I've refilled the sample vial a few times now - the serum remains clear and there's still a lot left.

So how does this knock-off version compare to Skinceuticals and PC?

Smell: much lighter than Skinceuticals, which does have a hot dog-like scent. The smell doesn't linger I find. I never found PC version has much of a smell to begin with.

Feel: definitely more tacky than PC, but a touch less than Skinceuticals. After 15 minutes of so the tackiness goes away (don't over-apply).

Effect: this may be all in my head but I think CSS version is the most efficacious for my skin - it feels firmer, smoother and appears the most even-toned while using this.

My verdict? I will buy this again. $40 USD/$55 CAD is still not cheap but at least this is 10ml more than PC for less of a hit on my wallet.

10 of 10 people found this helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Green

I originally purchased the sample set of the CSS line up and have since repurchased the CE Ferulic, the Resurfacing, and the Vitamin C 20% serums. I have been using CSS for a little over a month. I have never used the Skinceuticles brand, so I cannot speak to how or if they are similar.

My skin-combination with a tendency towards hormonal breakouts and some blocked pores on my cheeks and chin. Lazy at exfoliating itself and happier if I use chemical exfoliants vs. manual. I have some light hyperpigmentation around my nose and chin, and a few spots from old acne on my cheeks. In winter I have patchy dry spots and in summer I have a super oily T zone. No real fine lines to speak of, though my skin texture around my eyes and just below is odd. I have had problems in the past with products containing lactic, salicylic, and glycolic acid. They work great for a week or so and then my skin seems to get irritated. I've had better luck with treatments/masks containing those acids, but not with stuff that stays on my skin for a prolonged period of time.

The serum arrives in a dark amber bottle with a dropper style top. I ordered one oz. though I believe one can order larger sizes. It looks very mad scientist and it's kinda cool having them lined up in my medicine cabinet.

The consistency of the product is thin, watery, and it smells a bit strange. The scent disappears shortly after application. The product itself is clear. It takes me around 5 drops to cover my face, I dispense it onto my middle finger, spread it over the rest of my fingers and apply to my face and neck. I haven't noticed any stickyness, the product is absorbed by my skin very rapidly. I love that I can't feel it on my face.

I have not noticed any stinging on application, which is odd for me as my skin is typically sensitive. I have not had any reactions at all to any CSS products except for some very light purging (1 or 2 very teeny quickly resolved spots) the first week in.

The value for the money, I think, is quite good. It takes a tiny amount of product to cover my face and, at this rate, one bottle will last me months.

The results-

Wow. My skin has been extremely clear, my hyperpigmentation is resolving, overall tone is evening out, and my skin has started glowing. The texture around my eyes and cheeks has improved greatly, and I haven't had any irritation at all. I will continue to purchase this, I'm thrilled.

My regime (in case your skin is a lot like mine)-

A.M. rinse my face with water. Apply CSS Vit. C 20% and CSS Eye Firming Gel. Wait a few minutes and then apply Loreal Sublime Sun Spf 50. Apply makeup.

P.M. Wash face with whichever cleanser I have on hand. If I'm wearing a lot of makeup I will double cleanse, once with an oil based cleanser to dissolve the makeup and then with something else. Apply CSS Resurfacing, follow with CSS CE Ferulic, and then 'Better Complexions Millia Cream' under my eyes. I wait about 10 minutes and then (depending on the season) I apply Nivea Creme and, if my skin is very dry, follow with a light layer of raw Shea Butter to seal it in. In the summer months I switch from Nivea Creme to Aveda 'All Sensitive' as my skin is oilier in that season.

Weekly Treatments- 2X weekly I do a second cleanse with my Clarisonic Mia (sensitive brush head) and I also use Dermologica's Gentle Cream Exfoliant 2X weekly. If my skin is at all irritated after either of those treatments I follow with rosewater to bring down the irritation.

Having written it all down it seems like a lot of steps and products. However, my skin looks gorgeous and healthy, I don't really need to wear makeup now, so it's worth it to me to keep it up.

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

on 8/1/2012 7:01:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I've used this product for a few years after discovering it on's one of those (rare) products that really make a difference to my skin. It's definitely clearer and brighter. I have a few products that I'm loyal to and this is one of them. I was originally introduced to Skinceuticals at a medical cosmetic salon however the price meant I couldn't continue using that brand even though I thought it very effective. Cosmetic skin solutions is, in my opinion, exactly the same. Even with shipping to Australia it's very good value ($40 approx inc shipping). My only complaint, and this applies to the skinceutical products as well, is that the dropper packaging is not the best way to keep the antioxidants fresh and effective. Ideally the packaging should be airtight.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

on 4/18/2012 5:25:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Loving this, I bought the sample pack which includes 5 or 6 vials of their products after initially wanting to buy skinceuticals and then reading reviews for this. Love it, fresher skin and smaller pores and I am noticing some changes to fine wrinkles.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 11/10/2011 2:29:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

This is simply an awesome product. I've used the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic many times, ordered from different sources... and it's always oxidized! Whether it's light yellow or deep yellow in color or whether it smells slightly of hotdogs or strongly, I have never found a fresh Skinceuticals CE Ferulic from any where... and that's after spending close to $140! I love the CSS version. First, it's the same exact formulation. Second, nothing I've received from them ever looked or smelled like it's oxidized. Third, the shipping is free, making it even more cost effective... and they ship super fast! Wonderful product. (As an aside, I've also used the CSS AOX 20, also seems to be an exact dupe of the Skinceuticals version).

7 of 8 people found this helpful.

on 6/13/2011 9:35:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Because of the price of skinceuticals serums I was looking for an alternative. I buy this off of Amazon. I have tried their brands CE ferulic, AOX 20 antioxidant and their Phloretin. Their CE Ferulic is by far the best. the other two are fine, didn't make my skin worse, but for me I notice a big difference and "glow" with this product. Put it this way when I use this product people compliment my skin. I store it in the fridge to prevent oxidation (it comes clear-a sign of a fresh batch) although towards the end sometimes crystals appear so I just shake it up. Their costumer service is helpful too. I have ordered this about 3 times and a bottle seems to last me a couple of months. I also order phloretin powder to stick in it. I try other vitamin c serums and always come back to this.

6 of 7 people found this helpful.

on 5/22/2011 8:52:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I've used Skinceuticals C E Ferulic many, many times and they have ALL suffered some degree of oxidation (even after being assured by a Harrod's SA that the batch was fresh in). This serum should be as clear as water- any colour change is oxidation and dangerous to apply to the skin. So, after paying 124 for 30 ml I have always ended up throwing them out. Enter the CSS version. Not only is it so much cheaper (I paid around 45 pounds for 30 ml and delivery from America), but it was, as it should be, CLEAR AS WATER. This will be the only antioxidant serum I will use indefinitely. I use a sunscreen containing Mexoryl SX/XL everyday too. A rare HG for me.

Update: I just received my second bottle of this- clear as water again- yay! :)

12 of 13 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I have used this ce ferulic every morning for more than half a year and am already on my third bottle, so I think I can write a thorough review on this. The other stuff I use is tretinoin 0.1% cream every night which keeps my skin very clear.

- gives you a glow
- very moisturizing
- definitely fades some superficial hyperpigmentation e.g. acne marks after 6 months
- contains no drying alcohol which is in cf phloretin

- makes you look oily and shiny for a whole day even after I wash my face with facial cleanser at night. I limit my usage from 4 drops in the winter to 2 drops now in the summer, but my face is still very shiny and sweaty looking, which is embarrassing for me
- causes blackheads and pimples in places where I never get them
- does not help with fine lines

I keep my bottle in an air tight metal container in a fridge, which keeps it fresh and clear looking for around 3 months. Sadly, if I can only use 2 drops every morning because of the oiliness, I will probably have a half or a third of bottle left turning yellow and wasted.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

on 4/6/2015 4:29:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

My skin (Asian): combo (drier in winter months and as I get older, less and less oily in t-zone). Sun damage on cheeks and prone to redness/discoloration around t-zone area (primarily due to mis-doing a peel at home); a few fine lines beginning to form around inner corner of eyes. Can no longer get away with sleeping in makeup and when i don't take care of my skin, it can look crepey...

Packaging: dark brown, glass bottle w/ dropper

Texture: thin, runny, barely yellow, clear liquid that smells like hot dogs (identical in texture, color and smell to Skinceuticals')

Usage: applied once in AM (about 4-6 drops) > let absorb for a minute or less > apply sunscreen (Allie Extra UV Long Keep Gel SPF 50 PA++++). My first bottle, I applied both morning and night; currently with this second bottle, I've just been applying in the morning but i may up to twice a day again for better results.

Effect: I had first tried CSS' C+E Ferulic serum which brightened up my skin and gave the skin texture a more youthful, firm look. I then ordered CSS' Vit C 20% AOX which allowed me to maintain the brightness, improved skin texture and tone; however, the serum didn't improve my skin any further. I finished the bottle and am now back to using the C+E Ferulic which seems to work better for me.

Price: waaaaaay cheaper than Skinceuticals CE Ferulic (which I tried years ago) and definitely just as effective so worth at least a try imho.

Bottom Line: effective, affordable, and I've already repurchased...

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

on 8/6/2014 6:44:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

My skin looks great. The only problem I have with it is that it doesn't have a lot of "slip" and I feel like I have to use more than the suggested 5 or 6 drops to cover everything. I'm now using ASDM Vitamin C serum and that seems to go on a bit silkier.

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