Why FutureDerm CE Caffeic is Better than Skinceuticals CE Ferulic

Skin Care

Vitamin C(Of course I think that, but…) For years, as FutureDerm readers know, my favorite product was Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($129.99, Amazon.com). Yet, after six years of using it daily, the scientist in me started to become aggravated with certain aspects of the product. For one, the vitamin C in each and every bottle started to oxidize when I got towards the bottom, leaving a smelly, crystallized orange mess that aggravated me to no end. For another, I didn’t like the fact that the serum left my skin feeling a bit dry before applying moisturizer. I started to devise ways to create Skinceuticals CE Ferulic without the harsh drying and with longer-lasting vitamin C (and, of course, without violating any patents). As a result, FutureDerm CE Caffeic was born!

1.) Microencapsulation preserves the L-ascorbic acid in FutureDerm CE Caffeic.

Microencapsulation of L-ascorbic acid provides a safe coating that protects L-ascorbic acid from light, heat, and air. This enables the ingredient to work longer.
Microencapsulation of L-ascorbic acid provides a safe coating that protects L-ascorbic acid from light, heat, and air. This enables the ingredient to work longer.

FutureDerm CE Caffeic includes 16% vitamin C, including 8% microencapsulated L-ascorbic acid and 8% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (also known as THA, or BVOSC).

The process by which L-ascorbic acid is microencapsulated is a mechanical process. L-ascorbic acid is wrapped in very small amounts of a safe, protective coating, and then combined into solution with the rest of the formulation. The protective coating is designed to protect L-ascorbic acid from oxidation, pollution, and heat. It is testable, because FutureDerm CE Caffeic Serum has withstood all of our bacterial and heat testing without the slightest tinge of yellow or orange (and no artificial coloring). Of course, the reason why FutureDerm CE Caffeic Serum doesn’t turn yellow or orange because L-ascorbic acid is protected from oxidation. Studies also show microencapsulation of L-ascorbic acid imparts greater stability to light and air (Journal of Microencapsulation, 2001; International Journal of Food Chemistry, 1991).

2.) FutureDerm CE Caffeic leaves the skin soft.

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic contains an alcohol base with propylene glycol and ethoxydiglycol. These alcohols act as thinning agents that dry out the layers of the product, so they are able to penetrate the skin.

However, vitamin C is typically used in the morning, when you may wish to apply a BB cream or foundation with SPF over top. So that got me thinking: Why not use ingredients that are skin-softening and enable vitamin C to reach the skin? FutureDerm CE Caffeic Serum does this in two ways: First, we use an exclusive silicone-based lattice. This lattice feels soft on the skin within seconds of application, but also has molecular gaps that enable vitamins C and E and caffeic acid to still reach the skin. Second, we use a second form of vitamin C the Skinceuticals product doesn’t have, 8% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. As published in Dermatologic Surgery, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate penetrates directly into the epidermis (the uppermost layer of skin) and dermis (the deepest layer of skin), even when it is not embedded in an alcohol-based solution or microencapsulated.

So we accomplish the delivery, while making skin soft. Mission accomplished!

3.) Caffeic acid is a better antioxidant than ferulic acid.

FutureDerm caffeic acid

FutureDerm CE Caffeic Serum uses caffeic acid instead of ferulic acid. Both caffeic and ferulic acid are forms of hydroxycinnamic acid, from a class of micronutrient antioxidant compounds known as polyphenols. (If this word sounds familiar, it’s probably from Welch’s Grape Juice advertising, as grape seed is a great source of polyphenols. Other sources include green tea, red wine, coffee, and chocolate.)

However, caffeic acid has been shown to have higher antioxidant potential than ferulic acid (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 1997; Cancer Research, 1988). Based on our testing, with regular use, FutureDerm CE Caffeic Serum simply doesn’t need a stabilizing agent because our vitamin C is microencapsulated.  As a result, to stay one step ahead of our competitors, we include caffeic acid as an even more potent hydroxycinnamic acid (antioxidant). Boom!

4.) Great benefits in just a few weeks of use!

Of the customers we surveyed, 100% said FutureDerm CE Caffeic Serum left their skin feeling softer after just one use. 80% said FutureDerm CE Caffeic Serum improved the appearance of skin’s texture, and 75% reported lighter sunspots and reduction of uneven spots.

Take the FutureDerm 30-Day Challenge!

Try FutureDerm CE Caffeic Serum for 30 days. If you aren’t completely satisfied, we will refund you 100% of your purchase. Try it through Shop.FutureDerm.com today! Use coupon code “June10” for free shipping! Now through June 17 only.

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  • Sammy

    Hi Nikki, Just a quick question from – I get why your micro-encapsulation with the co-polymer protects the l-ascorbic acid powder from oxidation but how does the ascorbic acid dissolve without any water in your formula? no low pH? How is it thus able to penetrate the skin as a powder? Is the formula not just a suspension? Thanks for info.

    • Sarah

      I was just wondering the same thing, Sammy! Looking forward to an interesting answer from Nikki 🙂

  • grace

    hi — I have tried this product yet. I’ve used Kiehl’s Vitamin C product that contains silicone and goes on dry and I don’t like the way it feels on my face. It’s dry and sort of sticky in a way that i’m aware of it being there on my face. I’m just bringing this up because it would be great if you could describe the difference between CE Caffeic and the Kieh’s product. Note: there are lots of people who love the Kiehl’s product so this complaint of mine would not apply to everyone!

    whoops — I meant I HAVE NOT tried this product yet! – a typo — thanks.

  • theresa

    Yes, it helps and it answers my question. Thanks.

  • Hi there,

    The dimethicone copolymer is the substance with which L-ascorbic acid is microencapsulated. Does that help?

  • theresa

    I am with Catarina on this one. I previously asked what the ascorbic acid is encapsulated in and despite a post supposedly answering this question (https://www.futurederm.com/2013/04/15/5-more-frequently-asked-questions-about-futurederm-ce-caffeic-serum-answered/) it was never answered. I would still love to know what ingredient the ascrobic acid is encapsulated in. Which of the ingredients on the ingredient list is for the encapsulating substance?

  • Great post as always, Nikki! Definitely like the encapsulated ascorbic acid – one of my worries for Vit C products is that they oxidize so fast. Just curious though – what is the “with natural orange” claim on your label referring to? Is this a reference to the ascorbic acid, or the citrus oil that gives it the scent? BTW, I know you explained why you included it previously in another post, but I rather dislike plant oils in my skincare – it seems like rolling a dice to see which ones will make my skin react and which ones won’t. Hopefully you guys will come out with an unfragranced version one day 🙂

  • Catarina

    What I really don’t understand is what mechanical encapsulation could be. I can imagine any special processing technique but if there is no layer of an ingredient of any kind around the ascorbic acid after that process it should still be unstable. But if there is such an ingredient it should show in the ingredient list (which I finally managed to find :)) which it doesn’t. Would you mind explaining?

  • Jennifer

    May I ask why it’s in a dropper bottle instead of something with a pump or otherwise sealed? I agree with your issues with Skinceuticals, but my biggest complaint is the bottle–which is causing some of the others.

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