Skincare That Works: Vitamin C HA Peptide Serum

Thursday, January 10, 2013

If you've been reading my blog long enough, you'll know that on the rare occasion, I can be a little cantankerous. (Okay, okay, sometimes I can be a lot cantankerous, LOL.) Although it may not always endear me to PR folks, my cantankerousness leads me to do all sorts of things - sometimes I dismiss the marketing claims made by products, sometimes I make fun of brands, and sometimes I just plain outright say that a product sucks. So, when a product makes me rave, you know its gotta be good!

I was sent this Vitamin C HA Peptide Serum from Natural Skin Shop a loooong time ago (shamefully long, I'll admit!), but on the bright side, you know this means I've had the chance to use it fully, and give you a totally thorough review!

I was pretty excited to try this product, as vitamin C is one of the few things proven to actually help your skin in the long run, and, along with retinoids and sunscreen, are actually backed up by published studies in science journals. But, it just doesn't get as much hype from a marketing perspective, I guess.

Even when companies put out Vitamin C products, not all of them package the product securely. Vitamin C can be very volatile, depending on the type - L-ascorbic Acid is the most effective but also the most volatile, as compared to its other forms, e.g. magnesium ascorbyl glucoside, ascorbyl glucoside, ascorbyl palmitate etc. The best way to package these are in small, dark bottles or airtight pumps. Fortunately, the Natural Skin Shop Vitamin C HA Peptide Serum is packaged in a dark bottle - great!

Anyway, this product is a watery, clear liquid with a slight brown tinge, like most well-formulated Vitamin C serums. This photo was taken sometime after I actually began using the serum, so it isn't this brown when you first get it - when you first get it, the product is almost colorless. It just oxidizes and turns brown with exposure to air and the elements. So, I do advise you to 1) store this in the fridge to slow down the oxidation process, and 2) use it as soon as you get it!

vitamin c serum ha natural skin shop (2)

So, how exactly do you use a Vitamin C Serum? I've personally found it best to use in the day - there is some evidence that Vitamin C and E when used topically, can help to boost the UV protection you receive from your sunscreen. So I personally like to use this as the first thing on my skin after I wash my face in the morning, before moisturizer and sunscreen. As the texture is watery, it absorbs really quickly, thus making it a quick and easy addition to any skincare routine. Also, as it has a slightly drying/matti dying effect on the skin, people with oily skin will also like that it doesn't make them look like a greaseball, although its suitable for all skin types too. The exception would be people with rosacea, since acids can irritate their skin.

Here are the ingredients. As you can see, there's a lot of good stuff in here - L-Ascorbic Acid is the most potent form of Vitamin C that can be applied topically (and also the most volatile, hence the need for storage in brown bottles, refrigeration, and for quick usage). There's also Hyaluronic Acid, which helps to moisturize skin, and a whole lot of botanical extracts and peptides. I have to say, I'm impressed by the ingredients list!

LABEL INGREDIENTS: Distilled Water, L-Ascorbic Acid, (Vitamin C), Hyaluronic Acid, Acetyl -3 (Argireline), Hibiscus Extract, Seaweed Extract (Plankton Extract, Sea Buckthorn Extract, Watercress Extract, Marine Algae), Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol.

I really enjoyed using this product - I did find when using it that my skin quality was better overall - my skin seemed a little brighter, less tired and I had better skintone overall. I rarely do this with skincare products, but I really recommend the Vitamin C HA Peptide Serum from Natural Skin Shop. It is effectively formulated, well-packaged, and easy and quick to use. The only drawback is the price (but then again most similarly formulated and packages Vitamin C serums also tend to be priced around the same range, or more expensive). If you are looking for one skincare product to splurge on that really works (and don't have rosacea0, this is it. The Natural Skin Shop ships internationally and have other equally excellently-formulated products, so it's worth checking out.

(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)


  1. Hmmmm...interesting and impressive. I think I wanna try out this one it seems like a good product to try out.

  2. Cosmetic Skin Solutions have a range of vitamin C serums that are very reasonably priced. Their C E serum has the exact same ingredients as the SkinCeuticals $150 one for $39. International shipping is also very reasonable. I have no connection to the company, just a happy customer!

  3. I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but vitamin C, and L-Ascorbic Acid in particular, is no longer effective once it has oxidized. So what you're having is useless. L-Ascorbic Acid is highly unstable and it's usually fully oxidised in 1, maximum 2 weeks. Using an oxidized serum will do nothing for your skin, in fact, I read that oxidized vitamin C actually builds up free radicals on your skin. My advice would be to throw it away.

    I'm making my own homemade vitamin C serum for a fraction of the price (rosewater, glycerin, pure L-ascorbic acid and tocopherol) and never use it for longer than 2 weeks. It's supposed to sting your skin a bit when applied, since vitamin C performs a sort of chemical exfoliation; once that sensation is gone and your serum is oxidized, it becomes useless.

    1. @Jo: You're correct that Vit C serums need to be used in 1-2 weeks for best results, because ascorbic acid does oxidize really, really fast! However, no worries about oxidized Vit C. It doesn't build up free radicals on your skin. It just won't counteract them, but it doesn't harm your skin in anyway. Vit C works by reacting with free radicals, a very useful property on your skin. Once that is done (i.e. when it oxidizes either on your skin or before it reaches your skin) then it doesn't react further, so it won't harm your skin. Vit C can sting your skin, but the stinging sensation largely depends on the concentration. It's possible to have a lower-concentration Vit C that stings less. But I agree that Vit C serums should be used up as fast as possible, as mentioned in the blogpost.

    2. I understand the part about free radicals, thanks for the explanation! Still, I wonder what's the use in buying quite large bottles of vitamin C serums when they'll stop being effective in 1-2 weeks. What do you think ?
      This blog is great btw, I loved your post on collagen in skincare. Your critical approach to beauty products is awesome!

    3. @Jo: Agree, probably best not to stock up on Vit C serums! That's the tricky thing about them, you can't stock up because they oxidize so fast. Your DIY Vit C serum is definitely a great alternative, because it's fresher and you can actually mix up a batch everyday. I know lots of girls who do it to great effect. And thanks for the compliments on the blog, you're very kind :)


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