a dupe for Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

What’s the best Vitamin C serum for acne-prone skin?

I usually recommend Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum. It has Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP), a Vitamin C derivative that tackles both wrinkles and acne.

Or I did… until InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum started giving it a run for its money. Like Mad Hippie, it opted for SAP – but the price is even cheaper!

Does that make InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum a dupe for Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum? Let’s find out:

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Did you know Vitamin C comes in many forms? L-Ascorbic Acid (LAA) is the pure form. Studies show it can:

The catch? There are a couple:

  • Irritation: LAA needs a low pH to work. Low pHs irritate sensitive skin, make it sting and turn it red.
  • Spoils quickly: LAA usually goes bad within 3 months! You know when this happens – the serum turns brown.

How can you get all the benefits of LAA sans the side effects? Enter Vitamin C derivatives, like Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (the form used in Mad Hippie and InstaNatural Vitamin C Serums).

SAP converts to L-Ascorbic Acid in the skin. It’s still a little less effective than pure LAA, but way gentler and lasts for months. Phew!

If you have oily, acne-prone skin, you have another reason to switch to SAP: it helps treat acne. Studies show SAP reduces sebum oxidation (a main cause of acne and inflammation) by up to 40%! It’s also more effective than 5% benzoyl peroxide and 0.1% differin.

Related: Is Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate The Best Vitamin C Derivative?

Vitamin E + Ferulic Acid

I’m sure you’ve heard that Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid boost the effectiveness of Vitamin C.

Good news: both Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum and InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum have their fair share of Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid.

Together, Vitamins C + E + Ferulic acid make one other more effective and increase the sun protection your sunscreen gives you. That’s why I recommend you use your Vitamin C in the morning.

P.S. Ferulic acid is an antioxidant on steroids. It fights THREE types of free radicals! (Most antioxidants only destroy one).

Related: Is Ferulic Acid The Most Powerful Antioxidant Of Them All?

What Else Do You Need To Know?

Both Mad Hippie and InstaNatural Vitamin C Serums have their fair share of antioxidants. InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum has the upper hand here. It has a higher concentration of antioxidants, including:

Mad Hippie, on the other hand, wins in the hydration department. This Vitamin C serum is loaded with glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid, two moisture magnets that attract water from the air into the skin.

Hyaluronic Acid is particularly good at this: it binds to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water! All that extra moisture helps to keep skin soft and supple for hours.

Related: Is Green Tea The Best Antioxidant Out There?

Which Of The Two Should You Go For?

Go for Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum if:

  • You have oily and dehydrated skin that needs the extra moisture
  • You have sensitive skin (Mad Hippie has fewer ingredients, so fewer chances of irritations)

Go for InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum if:

  • You are more concerned with anti-aging and want as many antioxidants in your serum as possible
  • You’re on a strict budget

Related: Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum Full Review


Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum ($33.99/£28.00): Available at Free People, iHerb and Ulta

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum ($22.00/£17.75): Available at Beauty Bay and iHerb

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Is InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum A Dupe For Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum?

I wouldn’t say InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum is an exact dupe for Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum. But it’s a good alternative for acne-prone ladies (and gentlemen) on a budget.

Have you tried InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum and Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum? Share your pick in the comments below.

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum Ingredients: Water Deionized, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Alkyl Benzoate, Vegetable Glycerin, Water, Glycerin, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea), Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis), Hyaluronic acid, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Vitamin E (Tocotrienol), Ferulic acid, Chamomile Flower Extract (Recutita Matricaria), Sodium Phytate, Xanthum Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose 

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Extract, Globularia Cordifolia Callus Culture Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Algae Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Ferulic Acid, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Centella Asiatica Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Extract, Geranium Maculatum Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.