Years ago, vitamin C serums were mostly pretty awful. I mean, there was Skinceuticals CE Ferulic with 15% L-ascorbic acid, 1% vitamin E, and stabilizing ferulic acid, and this product was practically the gold standard, but then nearly everybody else was trying to get away with low amounts of vitamin C, low or non-existent amounts of vitamin E, and no stabilizers.
Thankfully, it’s now 2018, and the question isn’t is there another good vitamin C serum out there?, but Which vitamin C serum is the best? Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum is one great example of this: With what I estimate to be 15% of a vitamin C derivative, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, which is proven in studies to be even more potent than L-ascorbic acid, plus L-ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, plus what I estimate to be at least 3% brightening niacinamide, this product may quickly become a new gold standard in skincare.
A Quick Guide to the Forms of Vitamin C in Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum
- Vitamin C esters like 3-0-ethyl ascorbic acid. Probably the best of the bunch. In a clinical skin lightening test, a solution containing just 2% 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid was found to improve skin whitening and radiance after just 28 days of twice-daily application (Cosmetics and Toiletries).
- L-ascorbic acid. The original and arguably the best to date at penetrating to deeper layers of the skin. Must be formulated at an acidic pH to have optimal effects.
- Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. Like all forms of vitamin C, it must be converted to L-ascorbic acid to have effects in the skin. However, unlike L-ascorbic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate has been shown to penetrate both the epidermis (the uppermost layer of skin) and dermis (the deepest layer of skin) — whereas L-ascorbic acid is resigned to mostly the uppermost layers of skin. For this reason, I do like using tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.
Throwing in niacinamide and resorcinol, plus these three forms of vitamin C, and this is a new gold-standard serum for anyone with sunspots, melasma, or other forms of hyperpigmentation. I know that I will be using it religiously under sunscreen to treat a few extra sunspots I’m dealing with post-pregnancy!
Ingredients in Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum
Water, Glycerin, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, Glycereth-7 Triacetate, Lactic Acid, SD Alcohol 40-B, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ascorbic Acid, Collagen Amino Acids, Superoxide Dismutase, Glycine, Carnitine HCl, Ubiquinone, Hexylresorcinol, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Isoquercetin, Mandelic Acid, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Phytic Acid, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate, Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, T-Butyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide, Polysorbate 80, Denatonium Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Natural Colorant.