Do the Anti-Aging Results of This $14 Vitamin C Powder Really Compare to a $95 Serum?

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Save Vs. Splurge: Shoppers Over 65 Noticed Brighter Skin in Weeks with Both This $95 and $14 Vitamin C Treatment
Dermalogica / Versed.

Of all the skincare ingredients out there, few have proven to do as much for mature complexions as vitamin C (aka, L-ascorbic acid). In addition to minimizing hyperpigmentation and age spots, this powerful antioxidant “is known for its ability to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, one of skin's primary proteins, which is responsible for the appearance of a firmer, tauter, and smoother-looking complexion," dermatologist Dr. Geeta Yadav previously told Shape. 

Considering that it’s the only ingredient known to reverse the harmful effects of UV rays (a major contributor to wrinkles), you may be tempted to load your routine with products claiming to contain it. However, harnessing the benefits of vitamin C is trickier than you may think. While incredibly helpful, the ingredient is notoriously unstable and breaks down (i.e. becomes ineffective) when exposed to oxygen or light. For this reason, the best vitamin C products depend on both the concentration of the ingredient and the protective quality of its container.

Below is a comparison of a unique but effective $14 formula and a $95 treatment shoppers swear by. Here’s how they break down.

Save: Versed Found The Light Vitamin C Powder



Buy It: $14 (was $20),

Key Features:

Main Ingredient: This formula delivers vitamin C in the form of an ultra-fine powder, a method that some brands use to keep the antioxidant stabilized.

Other ingredients: This minimalist treatment only has one active ingredient.

How to Use: Take a tiny amount of this powder onto your hand and blend it into your usual serum, moisturizer, or SPF. Be sure not to combine it with any product containing retinol or niacinamide, as both can diminish the potency of vitamin C. 

What We Love:

Skincare brands across the pricing spectrum are coming out with powdered vitamin C formulas. Considering it might be more resistant to destabilization, it's easy to see why this form of L-ascorbic acid might be “the next big thing.” This formula from Versed excludes parabens, silicones, and sulfates, and is a super easy addition to any night or daytime beauty routine. It “improved the texture of my skin so much, as well as helped reduce my hyperpigmentation from cystic acne,” wrote one reviewer.

Keep in Mind: 

This treatment does not have quite as high of a concentration of vitamin C as other liquid formulas or pricier powder formulas like that from True Botanicals or The Nue

Splurge: Dermalogica Biolumin-C Vitamin C Serum

Dermalogica biolumin-c vitamin c serum


Buy It: $95,

Key Features:

Main Ingredient: Vitamin C takes a liquid form in this lightweight serum, which helps the antioxidant absorb quickly into skin. 

Other Ingredients: Moisturizing glycerin and seed oil leaves skin looking hydrated and feeling soft. Plus, peptides contribute to collagen production and improve your skin’s elasticity. 

How to Use: Apply a full dropper to clean, dry skin and follow it up with moisturizer. You can incorporate this serum into both your morning and night routine.

What We Love:

Reviewers in their 60s and 70s rave that this serum brightens skin and smooths wrinkles. “I have been using this product for three months and my skin is so much better” wrote one 67-year-old shopper, who explained that their age marks and “small wrinkles” are disappearing. The texture of the formula is silky and luxurious and leaves your skin feeling the same way — just as you’d expect from a $95 product.

Keep in Mind:

While the glass container of this serum looks nice, it’s not air-tight, and leaves the vitamin C inside more prone to breaking down from environmental exposure. What’s more, some shoppers with very sensitive skin experienced irritation from the high concentration.

In Conclusion:

Based on the impressive ingredient list and hundreds of customer reviews, Dermalogica’s serum lives up to its promises to smooth and brighten skin. However, if $95 seems too steep for a 1-oz serum, Versed’s powder formula is a great alternative to test out, especially while it’s on sale for just $14.

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