Is This The Best Vitamin C Serum For Acne-Prone Skin?

by Gio
mad hippie vitamin c serum for acne

Can Vitamin C treat acne?

Usually, no. This is a superpower most forms of Vitamin C do NOT have.

The exception? Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. If you have acne-prone skin, this is the kind of Vitamin C you want in your stash.

You can find it in Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum. Here’s what sets it apart from other Vitamin C serums out there.

Key Ingredients In Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C)

L-Ascorbic Acid (LAA) is the pure form of Vitamin C. Study after study has proven its anti-aging properties:

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum uses Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP), a derivative of Vitamin C that’s less studied than L-Ascorbic Acid.

Studies show SAP does convert to L-Ascorbic Acid in the skin, but we still don’t know how it compares to LAA. It’s probably a little less effective at fighting wrinkles.

So why should you use SAP instead of LAA? Three reasons:

  • Longer shelf life: LAA is famous for being unstable. It goes bad when exposed to light, heat and air. Even when you buy a freshly-made LAA serum that’s properly preserved to prolong its shelf-life, it usually lasts only a few short weeks. SAP is way stabler and lasts you for many months.
  • Less irritation: High concentrations of LAA can irritate skin, especially if it’s sensitive. SAP is way gentler. All skin types can tolerate it.
  • Acne-fighter: Unlike SAP, LAA can’t fight 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.

If you have acne, sensitive skin or are simply tired of wasting a small fortune on vitamin C serums that go bad after a month, switching to Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate makes sense.

P.S. Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum uses 10% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. That’s a higher dose than you’ll find in most serums.

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

Vitamin E & Ferulic Acid

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant on its own. It works even better when paired with vitamin E and ferulic acid. Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum contains both. Phew!

Studies show these three antioxidants boost one another’s effectiveness and increase the sun protection your sunscreen gives you. That’s why I layer underneath it every 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?

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant on steroids. Hume… what?

Humectant is a fancy way of describing ingredients that can draw water from the air into your skin and bind it there. Hyaluronic Acid is the best at this: it holds up to 1000 times its weight in water!

All that moisture has a plumping effect on the skin that reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It makes it softer to the touch and gives it a translucent glow, too.

P.S. Hyaluronic Acid ain’t the only humectant in Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum. This baby has glycerin, too.

Related: What The Heck Are Humectants And Why Should You Use Them?

Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use And Opinion

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum has a lightweight, runny texture that sinks quickly into the skin and dries to a matte finish without leaving a greasy residue behind.

I apply it straight after cleansing and slather on sunscreen on top (I don’t use moisturizer in the mornings). It layers well under most sunscreens I’ve tried. No pilling or anything like that.

I find the serum fairly hydrating. The addition of Hyaluronic Acid and glycerin gives my skin an extra boost of moisture that helps to keep it hydrated all day long. If your skin’s drier than mine, you may need a moisturizer to keep an optimal moisture level as you go through your day.

I don’t have acne so I can’t vouch for how well it works. Still, the science is solid here so I’m confident it will make a difference.

What I can vouch for is the brightening effect. The serum gives my skin a lovely glow. It also helps me keep wrinkles at bay thanks to the infusion of antioxidants.

If you’re looking for an alternative to LAA, Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum is definitely worth checking out.

P.S. This serum has a light floral scent that fades away quickly. That’s the natural smell of the ingredients. Mad Hippie didn’t add any scent to it.

Available at: $33.99 at Free People, iHerb, Mad Hippie and Ulta


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

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 

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Kathleen May 9, 2019 - 1:49 pm

I started my 25 y.o. daughter on Mad Hippie Vitamin C, because she does deal with acne. I’m not sure if it has any effect, but it’s certainly better than other forms of Vitamin C. It doesn’t seem to “cause” any breakouts.

Gio June 5, 2019 - 12:41 pm

Kathleen, glad it’s working well for her.

Nina May 10, 2019 - 5:17 am

Hi Gio! I recently discovered your blog and love it!! Thank you for writing such awesome and helpful analysis for us skincare junkies 🙂 I have been eyeing Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C serum for a while, but what do you think about the fact that it contains grapefruit? According to Paula’s Choice Ingredient Dictionary, this is an irritating ingredient ( Any thoughts?

Gio June 4, 2019 - 6:14 pm

Nina, I agree grapefruit isn’t the best ingredient to use in skincare because it can irritate some people. But that doesn’t affect you, I don’t see the point in hating a product that has an otherwise flawless formula. if it were loaded with irritants, it’d be another matter.

Vivi May 11, 2019 - 2:39 pm

Hi Gio!

I just found your website, and I love your insight on dealing with all types of skincare. This blog truly is a blessing and find it very helpful, so thank you!!! I actually purchased 2 products ( Paula’s Choice Salicylic Exfoliant and Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster) that I want to incorporate into my acne prone skin routine. I’m 21 and I deal with hyperpigmentation, moderate acne around my T-zone (sometimes cheeks), large pores, and oily skin. For the hyperpigmentation I was hoping to use a serum like this. My original skincare routine is very simple, and I don’t know how to transition into a routine using first my two new purchased products( Azelaic and Salicylic acid) , and second this vitamin C serum I would like to start using too. What do you reccomend I do when it comes to the order I should use this stuff? (Side note: I use La Roche Posay for everything..Target started carrying the brand and I went HAM)
La Roche Posay Salicylic Acne Wash Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash
La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
La Roche Posay Eye Cream Repair
La Roche Posay Mineral Sunscreen
La Roche Posay Salicylic Acne Wash Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash
La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
La Roche Posay Eye Cream Repair

Thank you Again!

Gio May 31, 2019 - 12:47 pm

Vivi, you can use vitamin C right after cleansing in the morning and azelaic acid right after cleansing in the evening. Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster contains salicylic acid too, so the salicylic acid exfoliant is redundant. If you can, return it.

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