Review | The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% and How to Use It

This product is my best skincare “secret”. So underrated. A lot of people just don’t like it. And I get it. She’s not easy to get to know. She’s stings. Literally. But if you give her a chance, you’ll love her.

Vitamin C is that magic ingredient that takes care of uneven skintone and hyper pigmentation. It also gives a glow to the skin that has nothing to do with oilyness – it’s a sort of natural, healthy brightness. It is, however, a tricky ingredient: it oxidizes very quickly, specially in water formulations. If you have a vitamin C product that has gone from white to orange/brown, stop using it. It’s gone. Some formulas have vitamin C in a silicone base, but silicone also interferes with the amount of exposure your skin gets to the ingredient.

You can see the dark, orange-y residual product around the cap – that’s the serum oxidized, after being in contact with air. The product inside is actually white.

Knowing this, when I first got into vitamin C, I wanted the most powerful serum I could get. Because I have no patience and want results NOW. Well, I got what I asked for. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% is a water-free and silicone-free serum that’s so potent it chemically burned my skin.

Twice.

I’m not dumb, but I could be smarter.

I learned, the hard, red patchy, skin rash-y way that I had to use way less of this than any other serum. And for me it’s not an everyday thing. Once to twice a week, or when I feel like my skins needs a boost, is enough for me. If my skin is looking too dull, or if I have an event the next day, which in these quarantine times means going out to the gas station to get a pack of gum, then I’ll use this the night before. I wake up the next day magically glowing, with a healthier look. With stress and lack of sleep, my skin develops a kind of grayish tint, but this product helps me lie. You would never know I go to bed at 2:00 AM and worry about stuff.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% Ingredients: Ascorbic Acid, Squalane, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Coconut Alkanes, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glucomannan, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Trihydroxystearin, BHT.

Well, the first ingredient is exactly what the product advertises (Ascorbic Acid is the vitamin C). This also contains squalane, great for its moisturizing and antioxidants properties, and hyaluronic acid (Sodium Hyaluronate), the superstar of hydration.

Because this is a powder suspension, the texture is somewhat gritty. The powder particles are not really visible to the naked eye, but I can certainly feel them, like very, very finely milled sand. It’s something that really throws people off. That, combined with the fact that it very mildly stings when you apply it, it’s enough to make people give up on this. I get it, it’s unpleasant for me too.

How I like to use this is to mix it with a heavier, night time moisturizer, with the proportion of 1/3 vitamin C to 2/3 moisturizer. Both the grittiness and the stinging are drastically reduced, and I still get very visible results.

The left blob is my regular moisturizer, the right blob is the Vitamin C serum. That’s more or less the proportions of my “concoction”.

So, SkinCeutical’s C E Ferulic or The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23%, which is better? Unpopular opinion from my part, but I choose The Ordinary Vitamin C. I’ve used and finished up the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic – and didn’t feel the need to repurchase. It’s nice, but not the holy grail many people describe – not for me at least. I feel like The Ordinary delivers better results overnight than the SkinCeuticals serum did over two weeks, and it’s insanely cheaper for the same amount (30ml). But I understand that The Ordinary’s version is harder to use – and riskier for sensitive skin. This b*tch is strong. She’s rough. Again, literally.

Always use strong SPF the day after, on with your vitamin C serums because your skin is more sensitive to sun exposure when using them.

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