You know you love a skin care product when people start to identify you by it:
“Oh wow! You’re FutureDerm! And what’s that product you’re always recommending, CE what?”
- Girl at the bookstore
“Hey! You’re the blogger who loves that vitamin C serum! Welcome to my site!”
- Fellow online blogger
“Hey, I know you! You got me started on that Skinceuticals stuff!”
- Man at Sephora
1. Vitamins C + E are more proven than Vitamin C + Phloretin.
Don’t get me wrong, phloretin, a natural derivative from plants, has a lot of promise. Taking five years to develop, Skinceuticals advisor Dr. Brenton B. Koch, M.D., F.A.C.S., notes, “Phloretin divides and conquers when it comes to damage at every level. Phloretin CF protects against not only free radicals, but also against the range of other reactive molecules known to cause damage and DNA mutations among integral cell types. In addition, it corrects existing damage by stimulating the synthesis of essential proteins and fibers and accelerating cell turnover.”
Phloretin CF may also preserve the youth of your skin’s collagen fibers. Research in The Journal of Biological Chemistry shows that phloretin is an inhibitor of sugar transport in red blood cells. This means phloretin may delay the deposition of sugar deposits into the skin (called advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs). These sugar deposits, or AGEs, cause hardening of collagen with age.
So why do I still prefer the combination of vitamins C + E over vitamin C + phloretin? Simple – it’s even more proven to work.
Vitamins C and E are network antioxidants that reinforce the power of one another. When one antioxidant donates its electron to neutralize a free radical, it can “borrow” another electron from the second antioxidant to renew itself. In the case of vitamins C and E, this combination is potent enough to prevent the formation of cancerous compounds in the rat, called carcinogenic nitrosamines.
As far as anti-aging skin care goes, vitamins C and E enhance the photoprotective effects of sunscreen. Vitamin C has been reported to enhance UVA protection, whereas vitamin E is more effective against UVB. Either way, the combination makes a great daily addition under sunscreen. Vitamin C also prevents and treats age spots and general hyperpigmentation, though far less significantly than 4% hydroquinone. Vitamin E is the dominant natural hydrator within the skin, and application leaves skin soft and supple.
2. Skinceuticals CE Ferulic is better for normal, dry, and sensitive skin.
Skinceuticals Phloretin CF contains a very high concentration of drying denatured alcohol. The reason is because denatured alcohol works with dipropylene glycol to penetrate the skin deeply, delivering phloretin, vitamin C, and ferulic acid into the dermis. Unfortunately, this delivery system of Skinceuticals Phloretin CF can also leave those with normal, dry, or sensitive skin feeling a bit parched.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you may actually prefer the drying nature of Skinceuticals Phloretin CF. I personally have normal/sensitive skin, and find that Skinceuticals CE Ferulic has worked much better in the long run.
3. Skinceuticals CE Ferulic does not smell.
I’m convinced scent is a major selling factor in skin care and cosmetics. In fact, I believe one of the reasons Estée Lauder products have such longevity is due to their tremendously pleasing aromas. (I would wear Perfectionist as perfume if it was sold as such!) At any rate, Skinceuticals CE Ferulic is scentless, making it perfect for use under a wide variety of sunscreens. On the other hand, Skinceuticals Phloretin CF is a bit malodorous, with a hint of an alcoholic stench to it. While this is a relatively minor point, I felt it was worth bringing up.
Choosing One Might Be Difficult, But Don’t You Dare Layer Them:
A number of readers have mentioned they couldn’t choose between Skinceuticals CE Ferulic or Skinceuticals Phloretin CF, so they’ve chosen to layer the products. Unfortunately, your skin can only absorb a concentration of up to 15% L-ascorbic acid (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2003). In fact, vitamin C stabilizes within the skin, and traces of it are available for 4 days (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2003). So after you are applying Skinceuticals CE Ferulic with 15% L-ascorbic acid, you’re not getting any additional benefits from other vitamin C-containing products. You’re basically just throwing your money away.
Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Ingredients:
Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Alpha Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate
Skinceuticals Phloretin CF Ingredients:
Aqua/Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., Ascorbic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Triethyl Citrate, Phloretin, Ferulic Acid.
- 64If you read my blog enough, you know that I am a diehard Skinceuticals CE Ferulic junkie. I would probably inject, inhale, and snort the $128 serum if it were possible to do so. (And yes, this is me being sarcastic, haha.) :-) So imagine my surprise when I discovered that Skinceuticals has a new…
- 61After a few days of using Skinceuticals' new Phloretin CF instead of my beloved Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, I have come to a surprising decision on what works best: using both together! After speaking to a friend in the beauty business, it was suggested that perhaps Skinceuticals manufactured Phloretin CF without vitamin E so that CE…
- 54About the author: John Su is an established skin care expert and aspiring dermatologist. He also runs a blog, The Triple Helix Liaison, dedicated to providing unbiased, meaningful, and insightful information about skin care. For his full bio, please visit our About page. I’ve been on such a kick talking about tretinoin recently, that…