While I had a solid skincare routine for years, I never really thought about a vitamin C serum, other than trying random samples I got years ago when I still used BirchBox. But when Beautycounter launched a vitamin C serum a few years ago, I quickly tried it since I love all their skincare. I’ve been using the serum for a few years now, and it’s a must in my skincare routine. I thought my skin was bright – I mean, honestly it was. But now I feel like it glows so easily, with or without makeup. And I feel like it’s keeping my melasma at bay while pregnant. I haven’t noticed melasma popping up at all in this pregnancy!
Before I get into all the details, I thought a little “before and after” of the Beautycounter All Bright C Serum would be fun. The difference was SO impressive after just a couple weeks.
After Vitamin C Serum
Here is a photo of me after using the serum for a few weeks when it very first launched. And you can see from the picture above, my skin has even more of a glow after using it for a few years.
Before Vitamin C Serum
This is about two months before the serum. My skin looked great, but I immediately notice that my age spots on my cheeks and nose are a LOT lighter now. And my skin just looks like it has a true glow and is almost bright from within in the above photos.
Brightens and evens skin tone.
Defends against environmental stressors and free radicals that negatively impact skin’s appearance.
Helps prevent and reduce dark spots and discoloration (e.g. age spots, melasma, acne scars) to boost and brighten skin.
Supports the skin’s natural collagen production to make skin look more youthful.
When people ask about the “percent” of vitamin C, they often think higher is better, but actually, super high potency can cause irritation. And, while most brands on the market use 15%, you also have to look at the stability of those products and the type of vitamin C used in them. Many brands that claim 15% actually don’t live up to the percentage claim when they are tested. When tested off the shelf, the Vitamin C in them aged and degraded, even before they sat in a bathroom at home.
Most popular, high-end vitamin C brands use a less stable form of Vitamin C, 15% L-Ascorbic Acid. Alternatively, the Beautycounter All Bright Serum uses a total of 10% of ultra-stable Vitamin C from Japan. The two types are 5% bis-glyceryl ascorbate and 5% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. These were specifically selected for their stability and efficacy over time.
Additionally, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is effective at lower concentrations, which means less potential for irritation. This formulation is also lipid-soluble, so its effects are deeper and longer-lasting in the skin. It actually penetrates the skin, which is a much better delivery system. L-Ascorbic Acid, on the other hand, is tricky to formulate with. It loses efficacy when it comes into contact with water. That’s why you are seeing high-end brands sell DIY products that mix the Vitamin C with the serum at point of use to help avoid that.
So, all that to say, when you look buying a vitamin C serum, make sure you look at the type of vitamin C used, not just the percentage.
One of the leading Vitamin C serums on the market (which is considered the gold standard in Vitamin C serums) sells for for $166 for 30 ml, while the Beautycounter Vitamin C serum is $90 for 30 ml.
Bottom line: I think Beautycounter’s All Bright Serum is your best bet in terms of efficacy, cost, and lower risk for irritation.
The all Bright Serum uses Turmeric Root Extract to give the serum its bright yellow hue. They never use dyes.
Turmeric (curcuma longa) is an antioxidant superstar that helps even skin tone and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains Camu Camu Fruit Extract to help reduce the appearance of dark spots while brightening to visually improve signs of skin fatigue.
The ingredients in this serum (especially the curcuma Longa (turmeric) root extract, myrciaria dubia fruit extract), are powerhouses.
Like mentioned above, Vitamin C products can be very unstable and lose their effectiveness quickly. Beautycounter’s vitamin C serum is a blend of two ultra-stable forms of vitamin C. If you’re currently using a Vitamin C product, check to see what form of Vitamin C it contains. Most on the market contain the L-ascorbic form, which turns brown. The Beautycounter All Bright C Serum won’t oxidize and lose its potency.
When a serum’s concentration of vitamin C is too high, there’s a chance of skin irritation—but when it’s too low, it doesn’t deliver as many benefits. Beautycounter’s vitamin C is the best of both worlds: effective without irritation. It uses:
The All Bright C Serum is formulated without ethoxylated ingredients (including PEGs) due to reproductive and developmental concerns (as well as toxicity to the aquatic environment). It’s also formulated without dyes. As always, every ingredient used by Beautycounter has gone through rigorous raw materials screening and testing to ensure it’s safe.
Use the All Bright C Serum as a “treat” step with any regimen. After cleansing and toning in the morning, use your regimen’s regular serum, wait about 30 seconds, then layer All Bright C Serum on top. Apply to face, neck, and décolletage. Follow with your moisturizer, eye cream and sunscreen. If you’re looking for a more in-depth how-to for a skincare regimen, you can join my skincare course (for free!).
Nope! This is designed to be used during the day. For a product that works while you sleep, use the overnight resurfacing peel! The combo of the two is amazing! While the peel works overnight, the Vitamin C serum is designed for day use. It won’t hurt to use it at night, but it includes ingredients to help protect against environmental stressors and potential sun damage you’re exposed to during the day. So, that’s when you’ll get the most out of it! (This post explains more about the overnight resurfacing peel.)
Yep! I use it as my AM skincare serum, followed by moisturizer, SPF, and then makeup.
Yes! Vitamin C helps reduce (and prevent) dark spots and discoloration, such as melasma. It helped keep my melasma at bay while I was pregnant with my first and now my second.
The new serum has a much higher dose of Vitamin C compared to the Beautycounter Brightening Oil. That means the vitamin C serum will be much more effective at brightening. Think of it this way: the primary job of face oils is to improve hydration and the brightening benefits you’ll get are secondary. If brightening, reducing dark spots, and/or improving dullness are your main goals, you’ll want the new Vitamin C serum rather than the Beautycounter Brightening Oil.
Purging is when a new product causes your skin cells to turn over more quickly and results in a temporary breakout. Since Vitamin C does include fruit acids, it’s possible to experience some purging. However, I didn’t have that issue. I always recommend doing a patch test on your arm before using a new product on your face, so that you can determine if your skin is having a normal reaction while getting adjusted to a new product, or if the product is truly not good for your skin.
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