Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules Radiance Renewal Serum review

Is Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules Radiance Renewal Serum the most powerful Vitamin C serum on the planet?

Liz claims it’s 178x more potent than traditional Vitamin C serums! At first glance, it has a lot going for it:

  • A form of Vitamin C that deeply penetrates skin
  • Single-use capsules that keep Vitamin C as fresh as possible
  • The addition of ceramides to make sure Vitamin C doesn’t dry out your skin

But when you dig deeper, not all these things are as remarkable as they seem. Here’s why:

What’s In Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules Radiance Renewal Serum?


Did you know there’s more than one type of Vitamin C? L-Ascorbic Acid is the most effective for anti-aging – and the most problematic.

It’s irritating. Goes bad quickly. Struggle to penetrate skin. It’s a total pain to formulate with.

Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules ditched it in favour of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (TA), an oil-soluble derivative. It isn’t as powerful as L-Ascorbic Acid. But it does two things way better than it:

  1. Stability: It doesn’t oxidise (i.e. go bad) as quickly when exposed to light and air (read: you can actually finish the bottle!).
  2. Penetration: While L-Ascorbic Acid only penetrates the epidermis (uppermost layers of your skin), TA penetrates both the epidermis and the dermis (the deeper layer below it).

TA is so good at penetrating skin because it’s one of the few forms of vitamin C that’s oil-soluble. That means it can easily get through your skin’s lipid protective barrier and do its job more easily.

What does it do once it penetrates skin? Studies say it:

  1. Brightens the complexion
  2. Fights the free radicals that cause wrinkles
  3. Boost collagen production

The catch? These studies are done by using either high concentrations of TA (20%>) or by combining lower doses (8%>) with L-Ascorbic Acid.

These capsules have way less. That doesn’t mean they don’t work. It’ll just take longer to see results.

One more thing: vitamin C works better when used together with vitamin E and ferulic acid. These capsules only have vitamin E.

Related: Why You Should Add Vitamin C Into Your Skincare Routine

elizabeth arden vitamin c ceramide capsules


Ceramides are oily waxes (“cera” means wax in Latin) that make up the glue that holds skin cells together (together with fatty acids, cholesterol etc).

Their job is to strengthen and waterproof the skin’s protective barrier, so that moisture stays in (where it needs to be to hydrate skin!) and germs, pollutants, and other germs stay out (no irritations!).

A stronger protective barrier also helps skin better withstand the attacks of harsh weather, pollutants, and anything else that’s trying to harm it.

Talking about harm… You know when your barrier has broken down. All of a sudden, your skin becomes dry. Red. Flaky, even. Adding ceramides to your skincare routine can prevent this from happening in the first place – or nurse skin back to health if it’s already happened.

Related: Are Ceramides The Key To Healthy Skin?


Elizabeth Arden describes it as a “satiny dry oil serum”. The runny texture is defined oily, but not dry. It never fully sinks in, leaving a greasy layer all over your skin.



How To Use It

Morning or night, right after cleansing. I usually prefer to use Vitamin C in the morning to boost sun protection. But, because of the oily texture, I use these at night instead.

To open the capsule, gently pinch and twist off its neck. Be sure to hold it upright or the serum inside will end up all over your bathroom wall (guess how I know?).

Struggling to put together an anti-aging skincare routine that works? Download the “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started. It features product recommendations + right application order:

Performance & Personal Opinion

Elizabeth Arden claims Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules Radiance Renewal Serum is formulated for maximum effectiveness.

Vitamin C goes bad quickly when exposed to light, air, and water. Put it in individual capsules and problem solved. It stays fully fresh until it’s time to use it.

This is a great idea if you’re using L-Ascorbic Acid, the pure form of Vitamin C. That’s highly unstable and goes bad quickly.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, the derivative used here, is stable enough, it doesn’t need to be put in individual capsules to maintain its freshness and effectiveness.

That just makes it a pain to use. I appreciate these capsules tell you exactly how much Vitamin C to use per application. BUT, you have to be super careful when you open them. The juice inside has a tendency to land on your shirt or leak into your sink….

It’s also oily and never really fully absorbs into your skin. It doesn’t feel too greasy or heavy on, but it’s still tacky and shiny enough to bother oily and acne-prone skin.

But it’s performance that counts right? These capsules made my skin both soft and glowing. Not surprising since they contain both moisturising niacinamide and brightening Vitamin C serum.

They just don’t work any better than other Vitamin C serums out there. Not sure where they got that 178x figure from, but my skin doesn’t agree with it.

P.S. If you want to fade away dark spots, pair it with another skin-brightener, like retinol or arbutin. Alone, it’ll take too long to see results.

Related: Battle Of The Skin-Lighteners: Which One Is The Best Alternative To Hydroquinone?

Who Is This For?

  • Dry skin
  • Sensitive skin
  • Young women who want to prevent premature aging

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Acne-prone skin
  • Oily skin

Does Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules Radiance Renewal Serum Live Up To Its Claims?

178X more potent than traditional Vitamin C (Unlike traditional Vitamin C, ours is more potent because it’s more stable—see visibly brighter skin after one use.)It is more stable than traditional Vitamin C, but that doesn’t necessarily makes 178x times more potent. I’m not sure how they came up with this number.
This luxurious, lightweight dry oil serum combines two powerhouse ingredients in one capsule: Vitamin C for its brightening superpowers, and ceramides to help prevent moisture loss. Mostly true. But it’s not dry. The oily texture never fully sinks in and feels tacky on the skin.
Brightens skin and improves radiance.True.
Minimises the look of dark spots and discoloration.Notice how they say the capsules minimise “the look of dark spots”, not that they minimise the dark spots themselves. They can help overtime, but you need to be consistent.
Protects against free radical damage that contributes to ageing signs.True.
Supports skin’s natural collagen and elastin matrix.Notice how vague this claim is. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production. But Elizabeth Arden only states these capsules support the skin’s natural collagen matrix, not that they stimulate the production of more collagen.
Encapsulation: Sealed to keep active ingredients potent and fresh.True. But, there’s no reason to encapsulate Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate. Unlike L-Ascorbic Acid, it doesn’t go bad quickly.
Single-Dose Capsules: Pre-measured and portable—takes the guesswork out of skincare.True.


These capsules are housed in a clear plastic bottle. It’s not the prettiest, but it does the job. Each bottle comes with 30 or 60 capsules, each of them containing 0.46ml of serum. More than enough for the whole face.

FYI, Elizabeth Arden will tell you they’ve put Vitamin C in capsules because it goes bad quickly when exposed to light and air. That’s true for L-Ascorbic acid.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate has a longer shelf-life. You can store it in an opaque bottle without compromising its effectiveness (and cut down on a lot of plastic in the process).

But hey, at least these capsules are biodegradable, so you don’t have to feel too guilty about using them.

Price & Availability

$51.00/£45.00 for 30 capsules, $87.00 for 60 capsules at Escentual, Feel Unique, Look Fantastic, and Ulta

Do You Need It?

If you have dry or sensitive skin, you’ll like this.

Dupes & Alternatives


Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ceramide NP, Ceramide NS, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Glyceryl Dioleate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Phytosphingosine, Phytosterols, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Sclareolide, Tocopherol, Triolein, Phenoxyethanol.