Vitamin C is one of my favorite skincare actives. It does everything from brightening to fading brown spots, to plumping the skin, improving radiance, and treating fine lines. I also have a soft spot for it personally because it was one of the products that catapulted me into my skincare obsession. A vitamin C serum cleared up my pregnancy acne and I haven’t looked back since.
I’m a firm believer that anyone who is serious about skincare should try a vitamin C serum. Used properly, it is highly effective and most people seem to tolerate it quite well. Recently, Timeless Skin Care reached out to me to offer a couple products to review, and I chose the well-regarded Vitamin C + E Ferulic serum and the CoQ10 serum. For the sake of space I’ll review the Vitamin C here, but you’ll see that I love the CoQ10 serum as well!
I received these products free to review. I was not paid to review these and all reviews are my honest opinion. There are some affiliate links in this post (buying through the link will generate a commission that helps support this blog, without extra cost to you).
A Quick Primer on Vitamin C Serums
With the disclaimer that I’m not a skincare professional nor am I a chemist, let me just quickly explain the somewhat complicated world of Vitamin C serums from a layperson’s perspective.
The most effective form of Vitamin C in skin care is L-ascorbic acid (or sometimes just ascorbic acid). This water-soluble form of Vitamin C needs to be formulated at an acidic pH for stability and effectiveness. Even when formulated in an acidic form, it is notoriously unstable, so many vitamin C serums add vitamin E and ferulic acid to the mix, which stabilize the formula and also boost the serum’s photoprotective properties. Vitamin E and ferulic acid both also have some great skin benefits.
Even when stabilized, L-ascorbic acid will oxidize fairly quickly, so generally the shelf life of an L-ascorbic acid product won’t be longer than 3 months, though you can extend this by keeping it in the fridge.
Because L-ascorbic acid is an acidic form of vitamin C, it can exfoliate your skin, which can be both good or bad depending on your personal situation. On the one hand, the exfoliation means that your skin gets brighter and may clear up faster. On the other hand, this property may irritate sensitive skin.
There are other forms of Vitamin C which consist of vitamin C derivatives — combining ascorbic acid with another molecule to form a different vitamin C compound. Generally, these vitamin C derivatives are shelf-stable, and they have the added benefit of being far more gentle on your skin. You won’t see as results as quickly as an L-AA serum though.
The Timeless C + E Ferulic Acid Serum
Within this world of Vitamin C serums, the Timeless C+E Ferulic Acid Serum is known to be one of the most effective with 20% L-ascorbic acid. It has the same active ingredients as the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum, which is the OG of vitamin C serums, though the Timeless has more Vitamin C (the Skinceuticals has 15%). I’ve used the Skinceuticals before and found it to be a great serum, but the price wasn’t exactly friendly to the wallet. (The Timeless also has the added plus of not including triethanolamine, which some people are sensitive to.)
Timeless C + E Ferulic Serum Ingredients: Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alpha Tocopherol, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.
Texture and Scent
I find the Timeless C serum to feel and smell almost identical to the Skinceuticals, right down to the slightly hot dog-like smell. Both feel watery and slightly moisturizing, though the Skinceuticals might have a very slightly oilier feel. The Timeless felt a little stronger and I experienced a bit of stinging at the beginning when my skin was first getting used to it (which makes sense as it has 20% vitamin C compared to 15% for the Skinceuticals, and the Timeless is slightly more acidic).
When I first received the Timeless Vitamin C, the serum was colorless, indicating that it was fresh. I have had it for about 3 months kept at cool room temperature, and it has oxidized to a light champagne color, which is still usable. You should discard it when it turns orange. I was impressed with the longevity of this serum, as I have tried other vitamin C serums that have oxidized much faster.
I did not keep this in the fridge, as I have kept other vitamin C serums in the fridge and I kept forgetting to use them, meaning they oxidized long before I got my money’s worth of use from them.
I used the Timeless Vitamin C almost every night for 2 months, taking a break for a day or two whenever I felt like the exfoliating was getting to be a bit too much for my skin. This is a VERY effective serum. After 2 months, my skin was noticeably brighter and more even, and some dark spots had faded slightly. More importantly, my skin looked healthy and radiant. I definitely saw results faster and more dramatically than I did with other vitamin C serums.
I used the Timeless Vitamin C in conjunction with the Timeless CoQ10 serum, which may have boosted its effects synergistically.
In terms of irritation, the Timeless Vitamin C was fine, as long as I listened to my skin and backed off on it when it needed a break. It was about the same irritation-wise as the Skinceuticals and the CosRX Triple C (from Sokoglam), and much less irritating/drying than the OST C20 (now called the TIAM C Source). It oxidized much slower than ALL of the other vitamin C serums, probably in part because of how fresh it was when I received it.
I also want to jump in here and say that although this is a Timeless Vitamin C serum review, I also highly recommend the Timeless CoQ10 serum to be used together with the Vitamin C. The CoQ10 serum is so plush, hydrating, and nourishing, it makes a perfect counterpart to the more watery Vitamin C serum. Look at the creamy texture!
I had great results with the Timeless Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid serum, with noticeable brightening and increased radiance.
Buy Timeless Vitamin C Serum At
Timeless Skin Care for $24.95
Amazon for significantly cheaper, but there’s no guarantee the serum will be fresh from third party sellers (this might be a good way to see if you like it though).