Skinceuticals made skincare history when it launched CE Ferulic, the first CEF Serum.
That’s Vitamin C + Vitamin E + ferulic acid, one of the most powerful antioxidant combos you can get your hands on.
And, for a while, you could only get your hands on it by forking out $160+ on Skinceuticals. The “rascals” had patented it!
But now the patent’s expired, every skincare brand worth its salt is coming out with a dupe. One of the cheapest is Timeless 20% Vitamin C + Ferulic Acid Serum. Should you make the switch?
L-Ascorbic Acid is the pure form of vitamin C. It’s the most effective. And the most irritating.
Let’s start with the good. Studies show it can:
- fight the free radicals that give you wrinkles
- boost the production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm
- reduces transepidermal water loss, helping to keep skin hydrated
- has skin-lightening properties that can fade away hyperpigmentation
It’s quite the multitasker, isn’t it? But there’s a price to pay for all this goodness. Well, two:
- L-Ascorbic Acid is highly unstable: it degrades, and becomes ineffective, in a few short months. Use your bottles quickly! (P.S. You’ll know when it become useless: its turns brown).
- L-Ascorbic Acid can cause irritations: the higher the dose, the higher the risk (and the benefits). Especially if you have sensitive skin.
The concentration of L-Ascorbic Acid is the deal-breaker here. Skinceuticals has 15% while Timeless 20%.
If your skin’s sensitive or you simply never used vitamin C before, go with Skinceuticals (or a dupe that has 15% L-Ascorbic Acid too, like Paula’s Choice C15 Booster).
If you’re a Vitamin C pro with resistant skin, upgrade to Timeless. It’s cheaper and a little more effective too. 🙂
This is vitamin E. It’s a powerful antioxidant that doubles up as moisturizer (it strengthens the skin’s natural barrier and reduces water loss).
Vitamin E works wonders on its own. But it’s when paired with Vitamin C that it really shines. The two are network antioxidants, a fancy way of saying they boost each other’s effectiveness.
Not only this combo helps you fight premature wrinkles better together but it also has photoprotective properties that can help prevent sun damage (the main cause of premature wrinkles).
Related: What Does Vitamin E Do For Skin?
Ferulic Acid is an antioxidant on steroids. Most antioxidants only destroy one type of free radical. Ferulic acid destroys three: superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and nitric oxide.
To make the most of it, use it with its best buddies, vitamins C & E.
A 2005 study shows that “its incorporation into a topical solution of 15%l-ascorbic acid and 1%alpha-tocopherol improved chemical stability of the vitamins (C+E) and doubled photoprotection. […] This combination of pure natural low molecular weight antioxidants provides meaningful synergistic protection against oxidative stress in skin and should be useful for protection against photoaging”.
Translation: 15% vitamin C + 1% vitamin E + 1% ferulic acid fights free radicals, prevents sun damage and makes the antioxidants last (and be effective) for longer.
FYI, if you’re allergic to grains such as wheat, corn, or barley, consult your doctor before using products with ferulic acid.
What Else Do You Need To Know?
Both Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum keep their formulas pretty simple. Antioxidants aside, they both have sodium hyaluronate to hydrate skin.
Sodium hyaluronate is moisture magnet: it attracts water from the air and drops it into the skin. It’s so powerful, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water and works well both in high and low humidity conditions.
Skinceuticals CE Ferulic goes a step further: it also glycerin, another moisture magnet. It does the same thing as sodium hyaluronate but on a smaller scale.
What that means? If you’ve got dry skin, you’ll probably like Skinceuticals a little bit more.
Skinceuticals CE Ferulic: $166.00 at Dermstore
Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum: $15.47 at Amazon
So, Is Timeless 20% Vitamin C + Ferulic Acid Serum A Dupe For Skinceuticals CE Ferulic?
Yes, Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum is a great dupe for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. It’s even a little more powerful (and slightly more irritating). Unless you have sensitive skin, you can switch safely.
Have you tried these serums? Share your experience in the comments below.
Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Ingredients: Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Laureth 23, Alpha Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate
Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum Ingredients: Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alpha Tocopherol, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Fragrance.
Take The Guesswork Out Of Skincare Shopping
Get access to the “Pro Skincare Library” for exclusive skincare routine “cheat sheets” and tricks to help you navigate the beauty aisles jungle like a pro and immediately know what to pick off the shelves to achieve the gorgeous skin of your dreams - even when you’re drowning in an endless sea of skincare products.