Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum review

Confession time: I’m using a serum with Vitamin C + niacinamide.

Shock horror!

I know, I know, you’ve probably heard something horrible will happen if you mix those two together.

You’ll get beautiful, glowy skin.

I know, not that horrible, isn’t it? Me thinks it’s time to bust some myths so you can enjoy amazing serums like Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum that has both anti-aging superstars:

What’s In Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum?


Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum has not one, not two, but three types of Vitamin C:

All this vitamin C helps your skin fight wrinkles, fades dark spots and gives your skin a beautiful glow.

Related: Types Of Vitamin C In Skincare Products: What They Are And What They Do

Need help creating an anti-aging routine that really works? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Anti-Aging Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).


Niacinamide is another antiaging superstar that’s part of any everyday skincare routine. This multitasker:

  • Brightens skin
  • Fades dark spots
  • Fights wrinkles
  • Hydrates skin
  • Soothes irritations and rosacea
  • Treats acne

So why do people say it doesn’t play well with Vitamin C?

Here’s the deal: when you mix the two, the solution turns yellow. That’s usually the colour of death for Vitamin C. It means it has become useless.

Usually. Because in this case, the yellow colour is caused by the formation of Niacinamide Ascorbate. Basically, an electron transferred from Vitamin C to Niacinamide, holding them together.

But this reaction is reversible. As they travel deep into your skin, Vitamin C and Niacinamide go their merry separate ways, so you don’t have to worry about this chemical reaction at all.

The best part? Niacinamide Ascorbate isn’t as useless as it seems. Studies show it can still help fight sun damage.

Related: Can You Use Vitamin C And Niacinamide Together?


The three forms of Vitamin C aren’t the only antioxidants here. Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum also has superoxide dismutase, ubiquinone, quercetin…

I’m particularly thrilled to see that superoxide dismutase has made it onto the ingredient list. It’s one of those antioxidants that you come across rarely, which is a shame because it’s super powerful.

Superoxide Dismutase destroys Superoxide, one of the worst types of free radicals. Superoxide is the primary trigger of inflammation. This inflammation then turns into wrinkles and dark spots and may have trigger a bout of acne!

Give me a dose of Superoxide Dismutase pronto!

Related: Is Superoxide Dismutase The Best Antioxidant Of All?


So far this serum sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Well, there is one little nasty thing lurking in here: SD Alcohol 40-B. I guess it’s here to help the active ingredients penetrate skin more easily.

But too much alcohol can be drying for the skin. You can counteract this by applying moisturiser afterwards, which you should do anyway. I did this and had no problem at all.

But again, if you have sensitive or very dry skin, the combo of alcohol and lots of Vitamin C could irritate your skin. Be careful!

Related: The Truth About Alcohol-Free In Skincare: What Does It Really Mean?


Lightweight, gel-like texture. It sinks quickly into my skin without leaving a sticky feeling behind.


It’s fragrance-free. But the natural odour of the ingredients is NOT good. This thing smells. But, I’d rather put up with that for a few seconds than the irritation caused by added fragrances. Just saying…

Related: Is Fragrance In Skincare As Bad As Paula Begoun Says?

How To Use It

In the morning, right after cleansing.

dr dennis gross c collagen brighten and firm vitamin c serum

Performance & Personal Opinion

Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum is an orangey caramel in colour. This does NOT mean Vitamin C has gone bad. Caramel is one of the ingredients here. 🙂

I apply it just after cleansing to allow it to penetrate more deeply into my skin. After a couple of weeks, I could already see my skin was more radiant than usual. My skin felt a little tighter, too.

Of course, the serum can’t lift skin that has already sagged (you still need a little nip and tuck for that), but it keeps everything tight.

The good cocktail of antiaging ingredients fights wrinkles and boosts collagen, keeping your skin in good, youthful condition. There’s enough Vitamin C here to lighten your dark spots as well, but I can’t vouch for it personally. I’m lucky I don’t have any yet. I’m planning to keep it that way. 😉

Who Is This For?

Anyone interested in preventing wrinkles.

Who Is This NOT For?

If you have sensitive skin, this may be too much for you.


A yellow tube that reminds you of Vitamin C. The pump applicator releases just the right amount of product you need, so that none gets wasted.

Does Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum Live Up To Its Claims?

A power-packed, weightless gel serum that revitalizes dull, tired or aging skin.True.
Long term, experience an improvement in the appearance of wrinkles and banish the look of dark spots. Truish. It can improve the look of wrinkles and dark spots, but not fade them away completely.

Price & Availability

$78.00/£72.00 at Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Nordstrom, and Sephora

Do You Need It?

If you’re looking for a Vitamin C serum, this is a good option to consider.


Dupes & Alternatives


Water, Glycerin, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, Glycereth-7 Triacetate, Lactic Acid, SD Alcohol 40-B, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ascorbic Acid, Collagen Amino Acids, Superoxide Dismutase, Glycine, Carnitine HCl, Ubiquinone, Hexylresorcinol, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Isoquercetin, Mandelic Acid, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Phytic Acid, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate, Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, T-Butyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide, Polysorbate 80, Denatonium Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Caramel.