5 Most Frequently Asked Questions About FutureDerm Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum – Answered!

Skin Care

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We’ve been hard at work here at FutureDerm, perfecting every last detail on the FutureDerm Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum ($89.00, Shop.FutureDerm.com). And now I’m happy to say we are just about there!  We’re going to move out of pre-order and start shipping next Monday, April 15!

1.) What are the two forms of vitamin C?

FutureDerm Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum includes 16% vitamin C = 8% microencapsulated L-ascorbic acid + 8% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.

L-ascorbic acid is the “traditional” form of vitamin C.  L-ascorbic acid in concentrations of 10% or higher have been found to have a number of benefits for the skin with typical topical application, including stimulation of collagen production (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2001), treatment of sun spots and other signs of hyperpigmentation (Journal of Biochemistry, 1993) and an increase in sunscreen protection by four-fold (American Journal of Dermatology2005). Compared to other forms of vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid has also been found to be more exfoliating, due primarily to the low [acidic] pH.

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate penetrates the skin better than L-ascorbic acid:  According to a study published in Dermatologic Surgery, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate penetrates directly into the epidermis (the uppermost layer of skin) and dermis (the deepest layer of skin).  Other ascorbic acids were found to sit on top of the stratum corneum (uppermost layer of the skin) without a thinning solution like ethoxydiglycol or ethanol (found in many CE serums).

2.) Why microencapsulated L-ascorbic acid?

We used microencapsulated L-ascorbic acid for two reasons. First, L-ascorbic acid is pretty unstable as far as antioxidants go. (If L-ascorbic acid was a family member, she wouldn’t be as unstable as the distant relative no one speaks of, but perhaps as unstable as the crazy great-aunt who never shuts up and chews with her mouth open.)

Second, regular L-ascorbic acid unless it is in a thinning solution, like an alcohol (e.g., ethoxydiglycol, ethanol, etc.) I combatted those problems for FutureDerm Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum without a thinning solution by using microencapsulated L-ascorbic acid. Not only did this increase the stability of L-ascorbic acid in the presence of light and air, it also enhances its absorption in the skin.

3.) What is caffeic acid?

Caffeic acid has something in common with other “hot” ingredients on the market right now, including coffee berry, argan oil, and many “natural” products. This is because hundreds of plants naturally produce caffeic acid, and caffeic acid is not only found in coffee, but is also one of the major polyphenol sources in argan oil (American Journal of Food Technology, 1997).  FutureDerm Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum includes caffeic acid as a powerhouse antioxidant source, because caffeic acid has been shown to have higher antioxidant potential than ferulic acid (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 1997; Cancer Research, 1988).

Caffeic acid is classified as a hydroxycinnamic acid, from a class of micronutrient antioxidant compounds known as polyphenols. (Other sources include green tea, red wine, coffee, and chocolate.)

4.) Where are the preservatives?

Here’s a little secret: If you take a stick of butter and put it on a table, no bacteria will grow on it. Ever.

The reason? Butter is anhydrous, literally meaning it is “without water.” In the presence of no water, butter or any other substance will not be able to grow bacteria or fungi.

In the same fashion, some companies have started to formulate anhydrous products, so neither parabens nor potentially irritating paraben alternatives like limonene or benzoic acid are used. After some time, we managed to formulate FutureDerm Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum so it is completely anhydrous. Our stability and bacterial testing proves it – FutureDerm Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum is completely sterile for two years (and perhaps longer) after opening! (For those who are skeptical, get out a stick of butter and try it. Really – anhydrous is safe.)

5.) How is it different than other serums on the market?

Research from Skin Research and Technology in 2008 showed that vitamin C as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, L-ascorbic acid, and one other form are all hydrating for the skin. Unfortunately, due to the low pH and high alcohol content of many vitamin C serums, some people find them too drying. We realized that most people want to use vitamin CE serums under sunscreens or moisturizer with sunscreens for maximal UV protection-boosting benefits, so we decided to make ours as much like a primer as possible. We designed it so that application of the slip agents will leave your skin feeling smooth on the top, but have a lattice-like configuration underneath with holes big enough for the beneficial ingredients to still reach your skin. Our results are fantastic!

6.) If I order today, when will I receive mine?

It depends on your location, but we plan to start shipping FutureDerm Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum next Monday, April 15.

Have additional questions? Please – ask in comments below!

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  • Jelena

    Hi Nicky,

    Will the product oxidize quickly given its packaging? I know you had that complain about the Skinceuticals serum which is packed the same way as yours is.



  • Cindhu

    Hi nicki,

    Iam a new follower of your blog from India . Iam a 24 yrs old girl looking for anti ageing products. Can I use this serum from now on. Please through some light on this and let me know how much does this cost for shipping to India . Thanks in advance.


  • Theresa

    What is the ascorbic acid encapsulated in?

  • Catarina

    Do I understand right, that it makes sense using this as the first product because other product ingredients layered on top of it like in a moisturizer can penentrate trough the lattice holes of the silicon polymer?

  • Is this safe to use during pregnancy?

  • That’ great news! Any free sample.

  • sherri

    Can this product help dark facial spots that have been unresponsive to Retin A?

    Would it be recommended to use this in the am under sunscreen and makeup and Retin A at bedtime?

  • Perry Andrews

    What is the size… 15ml?

  • Justine

    When it comes to baking, it makes a big difference (in texture, etc.) that butter has water in it and pure fats (such as lard and shortening) do not. In the U.S., commercial butter usually has 12%-18% water with most manufacturers aiming for 16%-17% water. European butter has less water content than American butter.

  • Janessa

    I’m so happy for you, Nicki, for launching your own products! I’m going to try this when I finish my current bottle of vitamin c. I firmly believe in you and all the other Future Derm contributors. 🙂

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