Alem Alem
last year

Vitamin C journey

I'm 22 years old, have combination sensitive skin and my concerns are hyperpigmentation (sun spots) and brightening my skin tone.

I have been using Skinceuticals vitamin C (CE ferulic and serum 10) for the past year. When I use it on a regular basis (every morning) I really see a difference in the radiance of my skin. However my skin reacts very badly to it when it begins to oxidize, therefore I can only use a serum for 3 months and then have to buy a new one. I strongly believe that this serum is made to last 3 months and no more contrary to what the bottle says. I would love to purchase 15ml bottles instead of 30ml but they do not sell them in europe. I hit rock bottom when I opened my latest C E ferulic to find it had already oxidised before even using it.

I am at a crossroads where I wonder if it is worth it for me to keep using ascorbic acid. I don't think I can justify spending 170+ euros on a serum every 3 months.

I have tried dupes such as paula's choice and geek and grogeous but I am sensitive to them and I seem to only tolerate Skinceuticals. They don't have cerave vitamin C in europe and clinique's fresh pressed has salicylic acid in it which I cannot tolerate on a daily basis.

I started using the Bubble Skincare "Day Dream" serum with Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Arbutin and Tranexamic Acid for a few weeks but i don't know if it's a good alternative to L-AA.

I head THD Ascorbate was a promising derivative but I can't seem to find a good serum with it in europe.

What do you think about my situation?

Thank you so much

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Have you tried this serum? It has 10% ascorbic acid, so the formula is gentler and is very similar to the Skinceuticals one - it might be worth a try since it's only about 20 EUR (I think it's available at the brands' eu store:

Ascorbic Acid is the most effective anti-oxidant in skincare, and it is hard to find something that matches both the protection from new sun damage + helps target existing pigmentation spots - especially since you've seen good results for your skin with it already. At the same time, also look into azelaic acid and niacinamide against pigmentation - both are effective and work for sensitive skin (more in our actives guide here:


Thank you for you advice! Unfortunately the timeless vitamin C isn’t available in Europe… otherwise it would have been a great alternative.

AA definitely helped me have more luminous and “glowy” skin however I did not notice a difference in my sun spots.

I used the geek and gorgeous azelaic acid for a few months but didn’t notice any difference.

I’m kind of at a loss on how to target my hyperpigmentation as I cannot tolerate retinoids and all the actives I have tried haven’t made a noticeable difference.

I was thinking of maybe starting skinceuticals discoloration defense or thiamidol.


I don't have any advice really but just wanted to say I empathise. I really wish Skinceuticals sold a smaller bottle as there's no way it lasts 12 months. Having used Geek & Gorgeous, I've tried to do the same thing with the Skinceuticals serum -- i.e., I decant some into a smaller bottle and leave the main serum in the fridge. Too soon to tell if it helps it last more than 3 months but wroth worth a try.


Thanks for the reply! I had the same idea and I actually think it helps but it still oxidized after 3/4 months for me, I had to take it out of the fridge for a few hours because I moved so maybe that’s why? It definitely did elongate it’s life though so i would definitely do it again.


If trying with azelaic acid I would probably go with 10-15% azelaic acid rather than a derivative, such as in Geek & Gorgeous. In some EU countries 15-20% azelaic acid is actually available as a prescription-free medicine (eg Skinoren in my home country). I also tried Theramid AZID 15% from Niche Beauty Lab. In my experience azelaic acid does something, including brightening of overall complexion, although for many of its actions you can probably get a more targeted treatment. I doubt it would fade sunspots?

I bought recently Eucerin products with Thiamidol, including Triple action serum and anti-pigment SPF 50 for my husband but it's too early to have an opinion on its action.

Personally, what I found thusfar most effective in brightening were retinoids but you wrote you can't tolerate them. I used a derivative retinyl retinoate (retinol 8) found in eg Verso products for a more gentle action. They also have a new patented derivative combining retinoids with niacinamide (NEAR1), which is supposed to be gentler and brightening but I can’t say much about its effectivness and it's on a pricier side.

Did you consider having something done to fade sunspots professionally?


You can try using a smaller glass bottle to DIY small container that you open everyday. It really helps slow down the 30ml bottle oxidize. Much better if you can get a glass bottle which you can get the product out WITHOUT opening the bottle everytime, to maximize the prevention of oxidize process.


I really like to use Mary&May's Vitamin C Niacinamide face masks in the morning. I believe Vitamin C is supposed to be used in the morning. They are on sale on Stylevana. It can take a month or so to arrive but the masks come in an easy to use 30 pack. I believe they are available on Amazon and directly from the brands site. I use this every morning and notice a strong difference. I use a rodial vitamin c cleanser before (I just found these on sale so I would just use a well rated cleanser no need to spend Rodial prices.). I then pat the innisfree youth enriched toner with orchid. Then I use the Mary&May sheet mask. Then I finish with Holika Holika Gold Kiwi Vita C+ Brightening Serum, Beauty of J... snail revive serum. Then I put on a moisturizer and spf. I do wait to let each layer dry before adding the next.


Hi I've had a similar issue as well and doing my research found the 2sol Recovery booster (Note I haven't used it yet but just purchased from Stylevana and am VERY hopeful). Ingredients and formula look reallyyy good and have seen great reviews and helps out that it's $30 on Stylevana or similar sites and you can easily find 15-20% off coupon codes as well.


I use the Bubble Skincare "Day Dream" serum. If hyperpigmentation is your focus - STICK WITH THAT ONE! For myself, it made such a difference with my hyperpigmentation - more than any other vitamin C I have tried. I understand your hesitation because Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate while still a good antioxidant and helps aid in collagen boosting, it's not the "the best" form of vitamin C. I am such a fan of the Day Dream formula. I highly recommend, especially for your age and goals. It has made such a good difference in my skin (I'm 24 btw).