BEAUTY REVIEW: Si, for Vitamin C

Jade Yong
Lifestyle contributor
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – Essential skincare ingredients tend to rise and fall in trends but there are some that have stood the test of time. I’m looking at you, Vitamin C. Scientifically known as ascorbic acid, this nutrient is well known to brighten and improve skin condition while preventing wrinkling. And since I’ve been on a quest to look for a face oil/serum to improve the state of my sensitive skin, I decided to try out three different products that all of which contain Vitamin C.

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Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow face oil 

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil

Launched in 2019, the Sunday Riley C.E.O Glow face oil has got THD Ascorbate (which is an oil-soluble form of Vitamin C) and turmeric oil extract as its main ingredients with evening primrose oil, red raspberry seed oil, ginger root and bisabolol as its balancing ingredients. It comes in 15ml and 35ml bottles with instructions to apply about 2-3 drops to your face and neck once or twice a day to keep your skin nourished and radiating. 

I found that the C.E.O Glow’s oil consistency is thicker than other oils on the market, requiring more time to massage it into my skin. I personally prefer face oils that are absorbed quickly during the day to accommodate my on-the-go schedule as well as to prevent an oily sheen when I’m out and about. Hence, this product worked best in my nighttime routine when I was not putting on makeup after application, and had more time to allow the oil to get absorbed. 

Since the product contains turmeric, I was hoping to get a mild soothing scent that’s associated with the yellow tuberous plant but instead, it was a mildly unpleasant smell. The scent was quite off-putting at first, but I got desensitised after giving it a few days and hardly noticed the scent after that. 

In terms of skin condition, I’ve got to say that I definitely did see improvements. My face felt a lot more moisturised and looked more radiant than before, and true to the turmeric oil extract, my skin had a golden glow. Overall, the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow face oil gives the results it promises but it might not be the best option for daytime use or if you’re someone who prefers a quick fix-up in the morning.

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil, 15ml retails at an RRP of SGD113. 

The Inkey List Vitamin C Serum

The Inkey List Vitamin C Serum

I was particularly keen to try out The Inkey List Vitamin C Serum mostly because it is described as having a lightweight and smooth substance to it and also as being able to protect the skin from damaging pollutants in the air. The serum comes in a 30ml bottle and claims to contain 30% Vitamin C which happens to be one of the highest in the market. Despite the appeal of high concentration, it is commonly known for Vitamin C to induce irritation and cause flaking or breakouts when the concentration is too high. 

Since I have sensitive skin, I tried this product on a test area first just to make sure I did not have an allergic reaction. I was surprisingly pleased that it had a mattifying effect instead, when applied. I was not so pleased though, when my skin started stinging for the first 20 minutes after application. 

This serum is made out of pure L’Ascorbic Acid in a waterless base to avoid irritation of the skin, but my sensitive skin found the concentration still too high. So to ease my skin into it, I diluted the serum with hyaluronic acid as instructed on the box. While trying to figure out the right serum to hyaluronic acid ratio, I definitely felt more irritation if I stepped out under the sun. So again, I only used this product at night. 

After two weeks, my face had a brighter complexion but it was also drier than usual. If you have sensitive skin, try this product on a test area, dilute it if it is too harsh, and start with applying every other day until you build a higher tolerance for daily application. I’m not sure if it’s worth continuing use if your skin disagrees with this product though, I’m sure there are other Vitamin C products in the market that are friendlier - hence more effective - for sensitive skin such as mine. 

The Inkey List Vitamin C serum, 30ml, retails at an RRP of SGD18 at Sephora online, Lazada Singapore or at Orchard Ion. 

Biossance Squalane Vitamin C Rose Oil

Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

Last but not least, I got my hands on Biossance’s Squalane Vitamin C Rose Oil which comes in a 30ml bottle. The face oil contains 100% plant-derived sustainable squalane, which is a moisturising molecule that hydrates the skin instantly while locking in the essential moisture, Vitamin C, Chios crystal oil, and Damascus Rose extract. 

I personally love floral notes so the moment I took off the cap, I got an amazing whiff of rose scent which had a calming and pampering effect on me. The vegan rose oil, which is made for all skin types was surprisingly light, got easily absorbed into my skin without leaving an oily sheen on my face. 

Another thing I liked about the Biossance’s Squalane Vitamin C Rose Oil is that it can be used on its own, over a moisturiser or even applied as a foundation primer. With the third option, I mixed two drops of the oil with my primer and ended up getting a nice radiant and sheer finish. Within 14 days of using the rose oil, my skin felt softer and more supple, hydrated, and had a noticeably brighter complexion as well.

After weeks of trying out each of these Vitamin C infused facial serum and oils, the Biossance’s Squalane Vitamin C Rose Oil is a clear winner, especially if you have sensitive skin like mine. It’s not overly oily, great for daily usage, and is very mild on the skin. All three products delivered results, but the rose oil is my personal favourite from application to results. Different skin types will respond differently to these products, but the good news is there are plenty of Vitamin C products on the market for anyone to get that youthful, radiant glow… you just need to experiment before you find your match! 

The Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, 30ml retails at an RRP of SGD103.