By: Chonx Tibajia
There is an article in The Cut with the title, “Why Do Vitamin C Serums Smell Like Hotdogs?” — my exact question all this time, or at least until I tried 111Skin’s Vitamin C Brightening Booster. As much as I’d love to reap the benefits of vitamin C, I always have the same issues with the serums I have tried. First, consistency. Many of them feel very sticky on the skin, and leave a shiny film upon application. Second, the scent. They can smell like hotdogs, or like a toddler who’s eaten candies with his hands. It’s a range, all not the ideal smell for a face product.
London-based 111Skin’s Vitamin C Brightening Booster was a pleasant surprise. The product contains a concentrated dose of active brightening ingredients to target signs of hyperpigmentation, age spots, uneven skin tone and discoloration. These include pure vitamin C, glutathione, and licorice root to boost antioxidant effects, and citric acid to help skin absorb the ingredients better. Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals for healthy skin and improves visible signs of sun damage. Here’s what I love about this product:
The transparent fluid is non-sticky on the skin. Since it spreads quite easily, a little goes a long way. Vitamin C is also very unstable, and should not be exposed to bright light. This one comes in a dark bottle, which means you don’t have to rush through the product immediately because it keeps the formula stable for a long time.
It’s also unscented, which is really one of the things I like about it. It has fragrance on its ingredients list, but this is to mask the other smells of other ingredients that would normally make vitamin C serums smell unpleasant.
Since this wasn’t my first vitamin C rodeo, I wasn’t concerned about whether the formula would be too strong for me. For newbies, it’s best to do a patch test first. However, even for someone who tries a lot of products, I still have a bit of skin sensitivity when it comes to acids, especially vitamin C, which usually makes me break out. 111Skin Vitamin C Brightening Booster’s formula did not irritate my skin or make it feel itchy. Instead it felt nourishing and comforting immediately upon application, and made my skin more supple with every use.
Before I started using this product, I was previously using lactic acid twice a week for skin brightening. I waited two weeks before I switched products to allow my skin to rest and avoid irritation. With the lactic acid, I barely noticed any effects even after using it for a month. I’ve only been using 111Skin Vitamin C Brightening Booster for almost two weeks, and I see the difference in my skin every morning. While my acne scars are still here (you need more than two weeks for those), I did notice that my skin is more hydrated, more plump, and brighter (not lighter, but glowy). Even with only a few hours of sleep, my skin looks well-rested. My eye bags are a different story, but that’s another product for another day.
Big fan of glutathione
Glutathione has its haters, but it’s all misconceptions. A lot of people think the main purpose of glutathione is to whiten the skin and that it’s unnatural. On the contrary, glutathione is a naturally occurring antioxidant in the human body and its function is to protect cells against oxidative damage, and support the healthy production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin. These are things we all want in our skin. Given an extra boost from this product, skin becomes brighter faster and looks a lot healthier.
Pro-tip: It’s important to always wear sunscreen anyway, but it’s even more important to wear sunscreen when using vitamin C serums to prevent it from oxidizing on your skin and make it more effective.