Are They Dupes?: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic VS Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum

by Gio
timeless dupe for skinceuticals ce ferulic

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 its own version. One of the cheapest dupes for Skinceuticals CEF Ferulic is Timeless 20% Vitamin C + Ferulic Acid Serum. Should you make the switch?

What Key Ingredients Do Skinceuticals CE Ferulic And Timeless 20% Vitamin C + Ferulic Acid Serum Have In Common?


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:

It’s quite the multitasker, isn’t it? But there’s a price to pay for all this goodness. Well, two:

  1. 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).
  2. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Related: How To Know When Your Vitamin C Serum Has Gone Bad


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.

Related: Why You Should Add Ferulic Acid To Your Skincare Routine

What Else Is In These Vitamin C Serums?

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 has 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.

Related: Why Hyaluronic Acid Is A Must For Dry Skin

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What’s The Texture Like?

Both serums have a thin, lightweight texture, but Timeless 20% Vitamin C + Ferulic Acid Serum is a little oilier.

What’s The Packaging Like?

When it comes to Vitamin C, packaging matters. L-Ascorbic Acid is fickle and goes bad quickly when exposed to light and air. Put it in a jar and it becomes useless quickly.

This isn’t something you can stock up on during a sale. Even when properly packaged, every bottle only lasts a few weeks, so buy it only when you’re ready to use it.

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic comes in a tinted bottle with a dropper applicator. It makes application easy and keeps the Vitamin C stable for longer.

Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum has changed the packaging to a bright yellow bottle with a pump dispenser that reduces contact with light and air as much as possible to make Vitamin C last as long as possible. Translation: it has the better packaging.

How To Use Them

Studies show that Vitamin C + Vitamin E + Ferulic Acid boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen. That’s why I recommend you use these serums in the morning.

Apply them as close to clean skin as possible. The ideal routine is cleansing, Vitamin C serum and sunscreen. If you have dry skin, add a moisturiser in between serum and sunscreen.

Which Of The Two Should You Go For?

If you have sensitive skin, go with Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. It’s the gentler of the two.

If your skin can tolerate high concentrations of Vitamin C without problems, opt for Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum instead. It has better packaging, too.


Skinceuticals CE Ferulic: $166.00/ยฃ135.00 at Dermstore and Look Fantastic

Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum: $25.95/ยฃ21.02 at Yes Style

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

Aqua/Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate

Timeless 20% Vitamin C + Ferulic Acid Serum Ingredients

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alpha Tocopherol, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.



Laurie October 31, 2014 - 1:47 pm

I tried SkinCeuticals awhile back — I didn’t like the smell so much, but now that I’ve tried other serums, this seems to be the case with anything else that’s comparable. So I’ve just gotten used to it.

Are the products sold on Amazon legit, then? Sometimes you read reviews from people claiming that it’s not the real formula, which is why the price is lower. I’d like to buy from Amazon for the savings, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be getting the real thing.

Gio October 31, 2014 - 7:03 pm

Laurie, I think the smell is due to one or more of the active ingredients as the Skinceuticals serum doesn’t have a fragrance. Timeless does, so maybe it’ll smell a bit better?

I never thought of that. I don’t really pay much attentions to review on Amazon cos I don’t find them helpful most of the time. I guess the best thing would be to contact Skinceuticals and ask if the seller on Amazon is a legit retailer?

Laurie October 31, 2014 - 8:24 pm

That’s a good idea. If I’m going to pay that much, it should at least be the real thing!

Gio October 31, 2014 - 8:38 pm

It should indeed! ๐Ÿ™‚

Deb February 14, 2019 - 4:31 pm

I buy my Timeless serum directly from their website.

Gio February 15, 2019 - 2:08 pm

Deb, I think that’s the best place to get them too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Deb February 14, 2019 - 4:33 pm

You can also contact Timeless to see if Amazon is an approved supplier.

Gio February 15, 2019 - 2:09 pm

Deb, that’s a good idea too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Chic Readings October 31, 2014 - 3:05 pm

The affordable alternative sounds great but I have sensitive skin so would probably have to give more money like always:)

Gio October 31, 2014 - 8:08 pm

Helena, ๐Ÿ™ . Maybe there’s a cheaper alternative that’s suitable for sensitive skin too? But at least Skinceuticals is a great product. It’s expensive, but it delivers.

MonicaP October 31, 2014 - 5:06 pm

I have tried the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and found that it has a really unpleasant scent so I just didn’t use it. In fact, I just dumped it in favor of the Vital C Serum from the Body Deli.


Gio October 31, 2014 - 8:11 pm

Monica, what a shame! I appreciate that Skinceuticals didn’t add a synthetic fragrance to the serum, but if its ingredients don’t smell it good, it can put off a lot of customers. I’m glad you found an alternative that works well for you.

Janine February 9, 2016 - 7:37 am

I’ve tried the serum too as I had a sample size at home but I really can’t deal with the smell either. It kinda smelled like burned popcorn and I don’t want this smell on my face. Hope they’ll add a fragrance soon because I read many raving reviews about the serum. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gio February 9, 2016 - 7:59 am

Janine, what a shame. Fragrances can be very irritating if you have sensitive skin. But if you don’t add one the product can really stink. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t *sighs*

dianna July 2, 2016 - 4:05 am

I remember smelling a serum that had ferulic acid in it, and the scent was so horrible. It smelled like burnt plastic. It’s hard to get passed that scent. I guess applying a moisturizer after can help cover the smell.

Gio July 14, 2016 - 8:51 pm

Dianna, I agree, the smell isn’t the best. But, ferulic acid is really good for the skin, so if you can find a way to get past that, use it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Betty December 13, 2016 - 7:20 pm

I have a very keen and sensitive sense of smell and do not notice any unpleasant smell when I use c e feurulic. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

Gio December 13, 2016 - 8:31 pm

Betty, scents are very personal things, I guess. Glad it’s not bothering you, though.

Allison November 2, 2014 - 2:18 am

The unpleasant scent that some commenters are referring to comes from the way that vitamin C is combined with ferulic acid according to one of the chemists who own one of the million brands of vitamin C serum I have reviewed. In order to get rid of the scent, they are changing the way or the order in which the ingredients are combined to mitigate the scent and they are adding sweet orange oil.

Gio November 2, 2014 - 6:02 am

Allison, thank you for the explanation! Hopefully, these serums will smell much better soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rachel November 4, 2014 - 5:33 am

Thanks for the comprehensive information on these products. Would you recommend to use these during the day or as a treatment at night?

Gio November 4, 2014 - 8:55 pm

Rachel, you’re welcome. I think it’s best to use them during the day because they can enhance the effectiveness of sunscreen. But there’s nothing wrong with using them at night, if you prefer that.

Sharon December 9, 2014 - 6:45 pm

I have been using SkinCeuticals C E ferulic for several years and I purchase it from Amazon. My problem is that it drys out my skin, I work outside and I am very fair skinned so I do use an SP but being winter I lay off the sp as it irritates my skin as well and I am looking for a moisturizing skin cream that has some anti aging capabilities without the skin irritation. Even Kiehl’s irritates any suggestions anyone? Thanks for the help.

Gio December 9, 2014 - 7:40 pm

Sharon, sorry to hear about your problem. Skinceutical ce ferulic is a serum and shouldn’t be used alone, without a moisturizer. But it’s difficult to recommend one without knowing what it is that irritates your skin. Do you know which ingredients you react badly to? In the meantime, you can check out my post about some of my favourite moisturizers for dry skin:

teresa montano January 28, 2015 - 3:25 pm

Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), ethylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Carbomer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil) Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.
Hi Paisano
I’m about to purchase my second bottle of timeless C until I came across this Poppy Austin web site listing their vitamin c serum .
They give you twice the amount of Timeless for the same low $
What is your opinion of the ingredient list
I’m 65 .

Gio January 28, 2015 - 9:26 pm

Teresa, it seems ok to me. I’m not a big fan of witch hazel because it can be irritating, especially to sensitive skin, but there doesn’t seem to be much of it in here so it shouldn’t cause problems.I also would like to know what the organic herbal infusion is. I’m sure it’s nothing bad, but without knowing what it is made up of, it is difficult to say about beneficial it is.

Although this is not a bad serum, I’d still go with the Timeless one. That’s because the Timeless serum contains vitamin c, vitamin e, and ferulic acid, which is much more beneficial than using vitamin c alone with a bunch of natural ingredients.

Jen March 20, 2015 - 4:26 pm

When I received the product it was nice and clear. It had a nice feel to it and felt good on my skin.
After a few weeks it oxidizes, going from yellow then to brown. I know that oxidizing leaves the product ineffective.
I emailed the company at least two times with no reply at all.
I left a review on their site but they didn’t print it. I notice they have a 5 star rating. There are almost all fives with a few fours.
If they don’t print all reviews, I believe this is false advertisement.
It would have been nice to at least receive a reply.

Gio March 22, 2015 - 8:07 pm

Jen, that’s appalling! That is false advertisement, and they should reply to customers. It’s things like this that makes you lose trust in a brand and take your money elsewhere.

Unfortunately, it is normal for products with antioxidants to oxidize, but it shouldn’t happen so soon. Not if they are properly formulated, packaged, and stocked. Maybe you got an old bottle?

This Guy May 7, 2015 - 8:05 am

It’s not clear which product you purchased. Can you clarify?

Gio May 7, 2015 - 6:37 pm

This Guy, I didn’t purchase one.I just compared them, based on their ingredients and what scientific studies say about them. I hope this will help you decide whether your skin is sensitive enough to warrant the purchase of the Skinceuticals serum or if a cheaper alternative would do as well.If I did, I’d go with the Timeless one. It provides the same benefits at a fraction of the cost.

Vanessa August 20, 2015 - 4:34 pm

What about pH levels for Timeless formula? I read on the Beautypedia site that the Skinceuticals formula is a pH level 3, which is ideal ascorbic acid to work. Do we know the pH level of the Timeless serum?

Gio August 20, 2015 - 5:54 pm

Vanessa, I believe the ph of the Timeless serum is slightly higher, but still in the effective range. ๐Ÿ™‚

Vanessa August 30, 2015 - 12:12 pm

I’ve just noticed that my bottle of Timeless serum doesn’t list fragrance as an ingredient. The last ingredient in the list is DHA. Perhaps they’ve improved the formulation by leaving out the fragrance?

Gio August 30, 2015 - 5:33 pm

Vanessa, yes, I think they’ve reformulated it. But all the goodies are still there. So rare to come across a brand that changes its formula for the better, isn’t it?

Susan August 25, 2015 - 12:53 am

I asked Timeless’s pH and its 2.4. Also if I’ve ever had any issue they’ve responded quickly and appropriately. Never have had an issue with Timeless’s customer service.

Gio August 25, 2015 - 5:44 am

Susan, thanks for sharing. 2.2 is a bit low, but you should still work well. Glad to hear they are so helpful too.

Kim October 22, 2015 - 10:29 am

In looking to buy another bottle I’ve found this article. What I did to preserve the product’s use was to distribute it into a few small dropper bottles and store the ones not in use in the refrigerator. I had these available at my work. Worked a treat! The last bottle only oxidised as I dragged out it’s use towards the end.

Gio October 22, 2015 - 10:47 am

Kim, what a clever trick! Thanks for sharing.

Jackie November 14, 2015 - 9:50 pm

Have you tried Cosmetic Skin Solutions C+E? I heard that’s another dupe for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and virtually identical in terms of ingredients.

Gio November 16, 2015 - 5:18 pm

Jackie, I haven’t tried it myself, but, judging from the ingredient, it sounds like a great alternative indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lina February 8, 2016 - 8:41 pm

My concern with using the timeless is the alcohol. It is benzylalcohol(pardon the spelling don’t have it in front of me) This from what I have read is a “bad” alcohol. I started using the cosmetic skin solutions and I wrote the company and they replied that they also use alcohol in their c,e ferulic serum. and their 20% c serum. Their ingredients are identical to skinceuticals.

Gio February 8, 2016 - 9:09 pm

Lina, where did you hear it’s bad? In very high concentrations, yes, but then too much of something is almost always bad. But, in the amounts used in cosmetics, it doesn’t cause any problems (unless you have super sensitive skin, of course).

Benzyl alcohol is an organic alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits, like apricots. It’s usually used as a preservative, and it’s very volatile, so it won’t stay in contact with the skin long. You can learn more about it here:

Lina February 8, 2016 - 8:43 pm

I just wanted to add that I was told the alcohol is used to deliver the vit c deep into the skin, however I would like to know if this is at the cost of damaging your skin. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.

Gio February 8, 2016 - 9:13 pm

Lina, that would depend on several factors, including what other ingredients are included in the formula. If the product is well-formulated, then it’ll contain antioxidants, anti-irritants, and cell-communicating ingredients that’ll balance out any potential side effects the harsher ingredients may cause so as not to damage skin.

Lina February 17, 2016 - 2:23 pm

Hello Cosmetic skin solutions ing are not virtually identical they ARE identical to skinceuticals. What ing. is the alcohol in the skinceuticals and the Cosmetic skin solutions? I started with paulas choice. I wanted something to help with redness in my skin. I then tried skinceuticals then I tried the css. I noticed with Paulas the pores on the side of my nose were getting larger. One night I slept with the css c e plus ferulic and the css 20% vit c serum on my skin. I woke and my skin was never the same. I had lines on the side of my nose, and the pores were a mess. My skin has never been the same. What do you think caused this? I had a bottle of timeless that I never used because I realized when I got it home that it had alcohol in it. I tried some this morning and it does soften the skin nicely. I like the brightening benefit from vit. c. In the morning I put some on mixed with a moisturizer and wear it while I workout. I then wash it off with cereve lotion ( use lotion as a cleanser). I then only use moisturizer and sunscreen if I go out. ( sunscreen in rain and snow cloudy or clear). My skin is definitely brighter, and softer. I noticed the lines around my eyes are thinner and very fine now. I was disenchanted when I had the reaction on my nose. I wanted the benefits of the vit c though. I just steer clear of my nose when I apply it. I know it can “travel” , but I only use it briefly ( 20-25 min before washing). The skinceuticals states it remains on the skin for 72 hours. Because the ing. are the same would you think the same would happen with this? Also, do you have any idea why this happened to my nose? I want to thank you for this extraordinary website. I found it when I was asking google about alcohol in vit c serum. Thank you for being so generous with your time and your knowledge. I will continue to refer to it. The ing dictionary is wonderful. Warm regards, Lina

Lina February 17, 2016 - 2:36 pm

Thank you Thank you Thank you. That link which I only just saw that lead me to Paulas rating eased my mind completely as far as the alcohol concern!!!!! I hadn’t realized that it was you that I wrote to before. I was going to add that this was the first I used the times vit c serum and my skin is very soft. I still wash it off, now that I got the ok from you and from Paula, I might just leave it on. One last thing. Do you know what ing in the skinceuticals and the the cosmetic skin solutions is alcohol?? I thought it was the phenoxyethanol. I don’t see the word “alcohol” in the ing. list but quite a few sites have said they contain alcohol. There are a few people out there that were able to obtain the ph level in the css. If I can find them I will pass the info. along. Would this make the Cosmetic Skin Solutions the best dupe, If the css has a good ph level, being that the ing. being that the ing. are identical? I would really value your opinion on this. Thank you again for taking the time to keep others so informed. Warm regards, Lina

Gio February 20, 2016 - 2:44 pm

Lina, my pleasure. Glad to be of help. Definitely leave it on, you will see much better results.

No, phenoxyethanol looks and sounds like an alcohol, but it isn’t. Propylene glycol, which is a penetration enhancer, is in the alcohol family.

I remember reading somewhere that the ph of css is slightly higher than skinceuticals. I think timeless has the most similar ph, so that would be the best dupe.

michelle March 22, 2016 - 7:34 pm

I went to a local spa and had my first facial and peel. I found out that I have melisma from birth control. I thought It was sun damage. The spa told me that I would need to use the ce ferulic with a good cleanser and moisturizer. I can’t afford the price and was wondering if this would help with the Melisma. Thanks

Gio March 22, 2016 - 9:25 pm

Michelle, yes, it will. It has the same ingredients, so it performs pretty much the same.

shilpi Sahu May 18, 2016 - 12:06 pm

I ordered for timeless ce serum. but the colour has changed from white to extremely faint yellow can I still use it because it just Been 1 month and the product has turned in to extremely yellow colur

Gio May 19, 2016 - 1:05 pm

Shilpi, it’s not dangerous, but, the more yellow it becomes, the less effective it gets. So, if you keep using it, don’t expect the same results.

Kerry cole May 24, 2016 - 7:05 pm

Skinceuticals def has a great product, but they should be arrested for GREED! The price has increased over 300% since its beginning NOT that many years ago.

Gio May 24, 2016 - 11:12 pm

Kerry, I agree. Their prices are outrageous, but at least the products work. So many brands, like Chanel and Dior, charge the same for very simple and ineffective formulas. *sighs*

Sindyt June 27, 2016 - 11:03 pm

So – Timeless would be a good product to use after micro needling?

Gio July 17, 2016 - 11:30 pm

Sindyt, yes, it would. ๐Ÿ™‚

Renee Butterfield July 6, 2016 - 6:13 pm

Thanks for such great information! I just discovered your website and have already read several super informative articles. Question: I have a lot of sun damage, hormonal acne and fine lines/wrinkles and am currently using retinol (this one from Amazon is great: I’ve also read a ton of good things about using CE Ferulic. Can you use both and if so, in what order?

Gio July 14, 2016 - 8:41 pm

Renee, you’re welcome. I’m glad you’re finding my blog useful. Yes, you can absolutely use both. If you have lots of sun damage, this combination (retinol + CE ferulic) will give you even better results. But, it could also be harsh at first, as both retinol and vitamin c are very powerful. I’d recommend you start using the products on alternate days at first, and then CE ferulic in the morning (together with sunscreen) and retinol at night. Hope this helps.

Ann July 10, 2016 - 3:49 pm

Is their a dupe product for Skinceiticals Phorectic serum ..?? SC price is outrageous. But I have frequent breakouts so I can’t use timeless ferulic acid.

Gio July 14, 2016 - 10:52 pm

Ann, the only one I know of is Cosmetic Skin Solutions Phloretin serum. They make a lot of SC dupes and the prices are more reasonable too.

Heather July 17, 2016 - 5:56 pm

Have you tried the Candid Essentials vit c serum? Is it comparable to SkinCeuticals or is Timeless better? Thank you!!!

Gio July 31, 2016 - 5:32 pm

Heather, I haven’t personally tried it, but judging from the ingredients it is a good serum. The main difference is the form of vitamin C used. Both Timeless and Skinceuticals use pure vitamin C, while Candid Essentials a derivative, sodium ascorbyl phosphate. That’s more gentle but may be less effective. Frankly, there’s not much research about this particular form of vitamin C and its effects on wrinkles. That’s why I’d rather stick to Timeless or Skinceuticals.

Betty December 13, 2016 - 3:26 am

I use the c e feurulic and love it. How long can I keep it. I was told 6 months. I also saw on a video that it should be refrigerated . I had not heard that before. I did notice after several months when I hadn’t used for awhile it it did turn darker. Would there be any harm In using it, I usually use it winter only but perhaps it would be an advantage to also use in the summer to protect from sun damage? Is that a good idea. Thanks for any help you can give me. I especially wonder about refrigeration and will it therefore last longer without oxidizing,

Gio December 13, 2016 - 9:02 am

Betty, I wouldn’t say that keeping it refrigerated is a must, but it definitely helps to make it last longer. The thing with antioxidants is that they need to be used very quickly. You can’t buy a serum with them, use it once or twice, forget all about it and expect it to be still working 8 months later (it’s a pain, I know!). If it’s turned darker, I’m afraid it’s too late. That means the active ingredients aren’t working anymore. If it hasn’t been contaminated by bacteria, it won’t be dangerous to use, but it’ll be like splashing water on your face. All its ant-aging benefits are gone. ๐Ÿ™

Brittany January 20, 2017 - 4:09 am

How would the Timeless do with acne prone skin? Thank you so much for all of information you have on your blog!!!

Gio January 22, 2017 - 6:19 pm

Brittany, it works well for acne prone skin too. There’s nothing there that would bother it. Unless your skin is too sensitive to tolerate such a high concentration of vitamin C, but if you start using it gradually you shouldn’t have any problems with it.

Sachiko January 22, 2017 - 12:02 am

Hello Gio, I’ve been reading your blog for the first time this past week, very informative. I recently heard about the Skinceuticles product but of course the price put me off. I decided to purchase the Timeless product. I think I’ll test it out before I put it on my face to make sure I don’t have a reaction. I’ve never used anything this strong on my face.

Gio January 24, 2017 - 10:11 am

Sachiko, so glad you’ve found it useful. The Timeless serum is a great choice but it’s a bit strong than the Skinceuticals one so a patch test is a great idea. You can also start using it two or three times a week and build up frequency gradually.

Carla M St John February 20, 2017 - 3:38 am

I’ve been using Timeless C and E Ferulic (bought on Amazon) for over a year now, and I think it works great. I have always had large pores, and they used to turn dark on the nose and chin area, despite daily cleansing, using Clarisonic, toners, etc. Now that I’m on my 2nd year of Timeless C E Ferulic, I am pretty convinced that it has made the difference — my pores stay much “cleaner” looking. I also use Retin-A about twice a week. Other than that, I don’t do much. I use Cerave moisturizer before makeup. I also use a simple oil (currently macadamia oil, but have also use jojoba oil) at night. The C E Ferulic and Retin-A are the products I would buy repeatedly. I’ve never used Skinceuticals, so I can’t comment on how it compares to Timeless brand., except to say that Timeless is a lot less expensive.

Gio February 25, 2017 - 8:56 pm

Carla, thanks for sharing. Good to hear you’ve created a skincare regime that works so well for you. Retinoids and vitamin C do make miracles together. And there’s no reason to spend a fortune on them. ๐Ÿ™‚

trin May 24, 2017 - 11:03 am

Hi Gio,

I’m pretty much sold on the Timeless serum but I have read on their website that they don’t recommend it for oily skin as it contains Vit E. I did a little research and apparently vit E clogs pores? Please tell me it’s not true!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I also use Pai’s rosehip oil in my routine which contains vit E and works wonders. I really like it and will continue to use it but I just realise it might be giving me some blackheads on my chin! I’m getting more lately and didn’t know why it was but that could be it. Could exfoliating more help? Or avoiding the chin area? I don’t seem to have blackheads anywhere else.



Gio May 27, 2017 - 6:06 pm

Trin, pure vitamin E has a comedogenicity rating of 2, which is moderate. But comedogenicity ratings aren’t 100% reliable so it’s difficult to tell. A lot of people say that isopropyl palmitate, for example, is not comedogenic yet it ALWAYS breaks me out like crazy. In the end, it’s all about listening to your skin and monitoring the way it’s reacting. But yes, exfoliation will help to keep your skin blemish-free. Make sure you use salicylic acid as that’s the only thing that can get inside the pores and remove the blackheads.

Louise September 11, 2017 - 1:41 pm

Love your blog! So useful!
So, a quick question; I have been using Skinceuticals C E Ferulic for 2-3 months now, I love it. So, would you recommend the Timeless dupe or the Cosmetic Skin Solutions dupe?

Gio September 17, 2017 - 9:27 am

Louise, that depends. The CSS dupe has the same amount of vitamin C as the Skinceuticals, so your skin shouldn’t have any problems with it. The Timeless serum has a higher concentration. If your skin is sensitive, I’d stick to CSS. If it’s pretty resistant and you’d like the extra boost of vitamin C, Timeless is a good option too.

Caroline October 8, 2017 - 2:51 am

I very much appreciate the aim and the information on this blog but the Timeless serum did absolutely nothing for my skin.
I used it as directed, kept it in the fridge and zero results. Very disappointing and I can’t understand all the raves about this product. Thanks.

Gio October 14, 2017 - 10:20 am

Caroline, sorry the Timless serum didn’t work for you. This combination is preventative. It can prevent wrinkles from appearing too soon but it won’t do anything for the wrinkles you already have. But you should still have seen some improvements like a smoother texture and brighter skin tone. Did you try other serums with this combo?

K-pop whiz November 1, 2017 - 4:16 pm

It’s 2017 and Skinceuticals is now $165 dollars, haha.

Gio November 5, 2017 - 5:14 pm

K-Pop Whiz, thanks for the update. So annoying prices keep rising. lol

Jenny December 6, 2017 - 9:04 pm

Hey thank you so much for this great read, very informative. I have been on the hunt for a great vitamin C and heard about SkinCeauticals but my god the price is OUTRAGEOUS. Therefore, I am glad you found this Timeless dupe! I am just wondering, is there a great vitamin c with a lower % concentration than 20% so that I can start with and work my way up? I heard that 20% can be harsh for first timers so I am trying to find a great similar serum with less % for now.

Gio December 10, 2017 - 2:08 pm

Jenny, yes, you’ve ready right. 20% Vitamin C can be very harsh on the skin if you’ve never used it before. I’d start with something like Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum because it uses a derivative of Vitamin C that’s gentler on the skin. Plus, it also has ferulic acid and vitamin E.

Chantal March 7, 2018 - 10:13 pm

Hello there!! I’ve been finding this read very interesting.
I just wanted to know whether any of these products mentioned reverse skin damage i.e loose skin? I am 27 years old and I have been using Skinceuticals serum 10 but I feel like my skin is not really benefiting from it. I do have a facial regime with it however I wasn’t too sure whether to try out using the CE Ferulic since I’ve been using Serum 10 for almost a year now. What do you suggest?
It may sound ridiculous that I am concerned about loose skin at this age however my skin has gone through a lot of changes since I had a bell palsy last year and I’d like to improve the damage that was made due to stress.
Many thanks,

Gio March 16, 2018 - 5:55 pm

Chantal, the CEF combination CAN boost collagen and firm skin but you have to be realistic. It can keep your skin firmer for longer and make a skin feel more toned but once skin has sagged no topical product can completely reverse the damage. ๐Ÿ™

sarah hayes March 18, 2018 - 12:52 pm

Hi, Iโ€™ve noticed that You have written another blog about Paulaโ€™s choice c15 is a good dupe for c e ferulic. Which is best do you believe? Timeles or PC C15? Thanks!

Gio March 23, 2018 - 7:40 pm

Sarah, it depends on what your skin can tolerate. Timeless contains a slightly higher dose than Paula’s Choice and Skinceuticals. If your skin is well used to them and not too sensitive, it may be worth it to upgrade to Timeless.

Rorie March 30, 2018 - 8:05 am

Hello Gio,

I am so glad I found your site, after reading many articles on your blog its safe to say I trust your reviews and advice MORE than the people who are “marketing” this stuff out to us. I have combination skin with some light rolling scars on my cheeks and I have been agonizing over putting together a decent skincare regime for myself and am dying for some advice. I have been kinda “obsessive” with trying to put together a regimen that includes ALL the superstar ingredients- but I know that can be hard to do with out going “overboard” with many products and there has been confusion on how well it will work because I know ingredients in a moisturizer will work differently than if they were in a serum. So i have really been wanting to have a serum with the magic 3- ferulic-vit c and e but skinceuticals is way too expensive so I had TIMELESS on my radar to try. If I had that as my serum and used Drunk Elephants new Protini Polypeptide moisturizer ( its so lovely!) and used The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion at night- would that be enough? Would using Timeless be enough antioxidants for me? Should I incorporate a hyaluronic acid serum? peptides via Protini moisturizer enough? ( I use mandelic acid peels from Makeup Artists choice 2x a month and use Pixi glow peel pads with 20% gycolic acid as my weekly exfoliation /maintence) What do you think? THANK YOU!

Gio March 31, 2018 - 8:36 am

Rorie, I say listen to your skin, not marketing claims or skincare hype you see online. Does your skin need a hyaluronic acid serum? I use one in winter when my skin gets drier and needs the extra hydrating help. In the summer, I do without. My advice is to stick to Protini for now and if you find that still leaves your skin feeling tight and dry, then you can add a hyaluronic acid serum to the mix.

I understand the desire to use all the antiaging superstars but not everyone can do that. For example, if your skin is sensitive, you may not be able to use retinol or high concentrations of vitamin C. If your skin is oily, salicylic acid is a better option than glycolic acid. Again, the trick is to understand what your skin needs and give it that. In your case, I’d say Timeless Vitamin C serum and Granactive Retinoid 2% is a great place to start an antiaging regime. You may add more antioxidants later on if you feel your skin needs them but these two products are the basis for any antiaging routine. Also, you can always get more antioxidants through your diet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cindy May 2, 2018 - 12:55 am

Just purchased the Timeless Vitamin C.
Tried the Ordinary and did not like the feel at all, too gritty, even when mixed with other product as recommended.
Had a sample of Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate and loved it but not the price.
Hoping the Timeless works well with my other recent Paula’s Choice precuts.

Gio May 5, 2018 - 7:43 am

Cindy, I hear ya. The Ordinary products are effective but they compromise on texture. The Timeless Vitamin C is one of my faves. I’m sure you’ll love it too.

Cindy August 15, 2018 - 4:30 pm

Gio, have heard of or tried Maelove’s Glow Maker?
Vitamins C (15% L-ascorbic acid), E and Ferulic Acid , Hyaluronic Acid, Vitis Vinifera, Aloe, Aurantium Dulcis and Magnolia

Gio August 16, 2018 - 11:43 am

I’m not a fan of the fragrance but, as a vitamin C serum, it should work well.

Claudia May 16, 2018 - 11:43 pm

Iโ€™ve been reading all your comments and they are extremely useful Iโ€™m only 25 but have made mistakes in the past of tanning my face and am starting to see the repercussions. I have been trying to decide between the skinceuticals and cosmetic skin solutions C E FERULIC serums but have also seen other people combine the skinceuticals Ha intensifier, Discolouration defence, Phloretin cf and Iโ€™m curious on what the combination of those products will do for your skin would you recommend purchasing all three or just the c e ferulic serum?

Gio May 18, 2018 - 3:47 pm

Claudia, I recommend introducing one skincare product into your routine at a time otherwise you won’t know what really works and what doesn’t. Start with CSS CE Ferulic or Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and see how your skin reacts before deciding if you need something else.

Helena Bombin June 17, 2018 - 9:41 am

Hello! First of all I love your blog. Thanks!
How does Timeless Skin Care – 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum 1 oz compare to Paulaโ€™s choice C15 Super Booster? I have been using Paulaโ€™s choice for the last 6 months and I like it but thinking of trying a different option for comparison? Is this worth doing? If not Timeless, which other vitamin C serum or booster would you recommend? Thank you in advance!

Gio June 22, 2018 - 10:49 am

Helena, thank you for your support. Timeless has a slightly higher concentration of vitamin C than Paula’s Choice (20 vs 15). That makes it a little more effective but also a little more irritating. If you find your skin tolerates Paula’s Choice C15 Booster well, it may be worth upgrading to Timeless.

Oliva July 23, 2018 - 6:30 pm

Hi Gio, have you tried Bombshell Bathtime’s Vitamin C E Ferulic Acid serum? It’s about $25 and is pretty similar to SkinCeuticals Vitamin C E Ferulic, with 17% L-Ascorbic Acid and 0.5% Ferulic Acid with a 2.6-2.9 pH. You’ll notice that the ingredients list looks better and it smells better, but without any added fragrance because of the rosewater base.

Gio July 28, 2018 - 6:30 pm

Olivia, no, I haven’t yet but glad to know there’s another dupe around. Well done!

dominique October 6, 2018 - 3:07 pm

Hello Gio ! thanks form Paris ๐Ÿ˜‰
does it goes with retin A creams like retancnyl ?
I’ve got a little rosacea and want anti-aging, and retancnyl did great about it, but is difficult to wear as it act as a peeling…
could I replace it with the same benefits ?

Gio October 7, 2018 - 2:50 pm

Dominique, I love Paris, such a beautiful city. You’re so lucky to live there!

A vitamin C serum with vitamin E and ferulic acid is great at preventing wrinkles but it can’t treat the ones you don’t have. That’s why it’s not a substitute for any forms of vitamin A. If your sensitive skin can tolerate it, use vitamin C in the morning and vitamin A at night. If not, stick to vitamin A. It provides the most anti aging benefits.

Kathleen February 13, 2019 - 7:06 pm

Hello! As usual, your information and advise is “spot-on”. Thanks so much. I have 2 dupes that I really love. I wasn’t a fan of Timeless. Mine are Maelove Glow Serum and Shero Science C/E/ferulic serum. Love them both!

Gio February 15, 2019 - 1:54 pm

Kathleen, thanks for sharing. Always love finding new dupes. ๐Ÿ™‚

Geo February 14, 2019 - 1:48 am

Great tip, Gio. Thanks! I was gonna try one of The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Serums, but now I want to try this dupe instead. I just don’t like to buy any skincare from Amazon since they regularly sell knock offs. Hopefully it is carried at a more reputable dealer.

Gio February 15, 2019 - 2:00 pm

Geo, I hear ya! I stopped linking to Amazing reading so many horror stories. I think you can buy Timeless on their website.

V October 10, 2019 - 9:49 pm

Hi, I use SkinCeuticals CEF and am considering changing to Timeless. The price of SkC is just too much. For those who may not know; Timeless has an app. I use CoEnzyme Q 10 and Matryxil Syth serum. Hoping Timeless CEF serum is as effective. I noticed Huffpost just published an article touting the superiority of Skinceuticals. They must be hurting. People canโ€™t justify the 166.00 dollar cost in 2019!

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