Product Review: Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum

by Gio

skin actives vitamin c serum

Name: Vitamin C Serum
Brand: Skin Actives
Size: 30ml
Price: $15.50

From Skin Actives’ website:
Refresh your skin with our ready-to-mix Vitamin C Serum. The acidity of Ascorbic Acid (L) and the Orange and Lemon extracts will exfoliate and promote skin renewal. The Vitamin C will help restore elasticity to aging skin, promote collagen synthesis, protect against UV Damage, reduce redness, promote wound healing, suppress melanin synthesis, and more.
The serum can be purchased in premixed 15% form, or in a ‘mix-your-own’ kit that can be used to make a serum customized up to 20%

What I liked:
– lightweight texture, sinks quickly into the skin
– loaded with antioxidants that can protect skin from UV damage and prevent premature aging
– exfoliates skin, making it look brighter and pores smaller
– can reduce hyperpigmentation
– leaves skin soft and smooth
– opaque, air-tight bottle keeps the antioxidant stable and effective for long
– pump dispenser pours out only the amount of product you need
– the price

What I didn’t like:
– because the concentration of vitamin c is so high, it could irritate sensitive skin

Vitamin C is one of the anti-aging superstars everyone should include in her skincare routine. But if you’re on a budget, finding a good vitamin C serum or moisturizer can be tricky. Most products out there are either quite expensive, or packaged in jars that make vitamin c go bad pretty soon, or contain so little of it to provide barely any benefits at all.

Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum 15% Ascorbic Acid (L) provides all the benefits of vitamin C without any of these cons. It is available in two versions, Premixed and Mix Your Own, both of which cost only $15.50. The serum is packaged in an opaque and air-tight bottle that keeps vitamin C and the other antioxidants stable and effective. And the concentration of vitamin C is so high (%15) to be very effective. A little too much maybe for those with sensitive skin, who could experience irritation while using it. Everyone else though, will love it. Here’s why:

Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Ferulic Acid

L-Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C) does it all. It can brighten skin and lighten discolourations, it stimulates collagen production, and can fight free radicals, thus preventing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.Very effective on its own, it works even better when used with antioxidants Vitamin E and ferulic acid, both of which are included in the formula.

According to a study performed by Duke University, “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 and skin cancer.” It’s no substitute for sunscreen, but it helps.

Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid

Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are both humectants. These ingredients work by drawing water from the environment into the skin, thus helping to keep it hydrated and supple. Hylauronic acid is particularly beneficial for the skin because it has the ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water and works well both in high and low humidity conditions, making it an excellent choice for dry skin.

Final considerations on the formula

In addition to vitamins C and E and ferulic acid, Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum contains many other antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid and astaxanthin (it’s what gives salmon its red colour), which can fight free radicals and keep wrinkles at bay for longer. I could have done without the inclusion of the exfoliating citrus oils, because they can be irritating, but at least their concentrations are too small to do skin any harm.

Texture and performance

The serum has a lightweight consistency that sinks quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy or sticky residue behind. Because the concentration of vitamin C is pretty strong, the instructions say to use it only once or twice a week. My skin can tolerate pretty much anything, so I use it three times a week. The first time I used it, I felt a slightly tingling and warming sensation on my skin, but that never happened again. I guess my skin got used to it pretty fast.

That doesn’t mean that the serum isn’t working though. On the contrary, I can see a big improvement in how my skin looks and feels. My skin feels softer and smoother and looks a little bit brighter. My pores have always been pretty much invisible everywhere bar on my nose and the surrounding area, which is the oiliest on my face. Well, since using this serum, they look smaller. The exfoliating action of vitamin C helps prevent them from getting all clogged up and stretched out, thus making them look smaller.

What about its antiaging properties? Well, I’ve been using this serum for little more than a month, so it’s too soon to say how good it is at keeping the signs of aging at bay. But it contains high concentrations of effective antioxidants so, with regular use, it can certainly help your skin age more slowly and gracefully.


Water, Ascorbic Acid (L) (Vitamin C),Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Phloretin, Pomegranate Seed (Punica granatum) Oil, Tocotrienols, Vitamin E Oil (Alpha-D-Tocopherol), Astaxanthin, Lycopene, Lutein, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Beta Carotene, Xanthan Gum, Lemon (Citrus limon) Extract, Orange (Citrus sinensis) Extract, Citrus Essential Oils, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol,Sorbic Acid.

Mix Your Own:
Serum: Water, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Phloretin, Pomegranate Seed (Punica granatum) Oil, Tocotrienols, Vitamin E Oil (Alpha-D-Tocopherol), Astaxanthin, Lycopene, Lutein, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Beta Carotene, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Essential Oils, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid.

Powder: Ascorbic Acid (L) (Vitamin C), Lemon (Citrus limon) Extract, Orange (Citrus sinensis) Extract.

Skin Actives Vitamin C serums is loaded with antioxidants that can stimulate collage production, reduce sun damage and hyperpigmentation, prevent wrinkles, and exfoliate skin. As a result, skin looks brighter, smoother, and softer. Its lightweight texture sinks quickly into the skin too. However, the high concentration of vitamin C could irritate sensitive skin.

Rating: 4.5/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

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Laurie September 10, 2014 - 4:57 pm

Thanks, Gio — this is very helpful as I’ll be shopping for a new serum soon. Question: how do you think this one stacks up against the more expensive ones, like Skinceuticals CE Ferulic or the one from FutureDerm? Is it still worth paying a little more (well, alot more in the case of Skinceuticals!)?

Gio September 10, 2014 - 8:16 pm

Laurie, this serum contains the same active ingredients as the Skinceuticals one, so I would say it is an excellent and cheap dupe for it.

While these 2 serums use only L-Ascobic Acid, the Futurederm serum contains both that (but microencapsulated) and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. This means that the Vitamin C in the Futurederm serum is more stable.

However, the Futurederm serum contains less antioxidants than the Skin Actives one. Also, Futurederm uses a silicone base which creates a barrier on the skin that slows down water loss and gives skin a silky soft feeling, while the Skin Actives serum contains humectants like Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid that draw water from the environment into the skin, making it a better option for those with dry skin.

In the end, both Futurederm and Skin Actives are great options. It just comes down to what’s more important for you. Do you prefer a more stable form of Vitamin C or a less stable one with a higher variety of antioxidants? A silicone or humectant base?

Laurie September 11, 2014 - 12:04 am

Honestly, I’d never considered those questions, LOL! I suppose I want the one that will slow down the aging process the most. 😉 But from what I understand, a broad base of antioxidants is the best prevention. The rest I’d need to consider more. Thanks for your reply.

Gio September 12, 2014 - 1:58 pm

Laurie, oh yes, usually the more antioxidants you use the best. 🙂 Futurederm uses a more expensive form of vitamin c, which may be why it contains less antioxidants. It could be a way to keep the price down somewhat. Still, the few it uses are great for anti-aging.

Janessa September 10, 2014 - 5:21 pm

Oo! I want to try this next. I have 1/3 of my PC serum left and was planning on purchasing a third but I’m alway so curious about the other products available out there.

Gio September 10, 2014 - 8:20 pm

Janessa, there are too many options aren’t there? Not that I’m complaining… This is a great serum, but the PC is pretty good too. 🙂

Nisa May 20, 2015 - 12:17 pm

Great review, Gio.

I had bad experience with LAA in the past, but I want to try again. Skin Actives recently dropped the irritating and phototoxic citrus EOs after we exchanged e-mails, so I’m going to get this one. However, my skin is currently quite badly dehydrated after testing a slew of sunscreens, not realizing that my skin is quite allergic to avobenzone. It’s recovered now, but still not as good as it used to be. Do you think this serum feels drying? Or the glycerin, hyaluronic acid and pomegranate oils make quite a difference on retaining moisture?


Gio May 24, 2015 - 2:57 pm

Nisa, thanks. Sorry to hear avobenzone ruined your skin, but it is recovering fine.

This serum isn’t drying, but I wouldn’t call it moisturizing either. The high level of vitamin c can irritate skin, but if you use it every couple of days you shouldn’t experience any serious side effects. Hope this helps.

Coni Lucas February 24, 2016 - 10:04 pm

I have been using Skin Actives for about 3 yrs and love it. I prefer buying the “raw” products and making my own skin care line for my age group (^^). The products are pure and concentrated so they really do not cost as much as you might think. I cannot be without these ever again. My skin just drinks up the serums and leaves it soft and silky. I am just a regular person with no chemical or scientific background. If I can do it, anyone can.

Gio February 26, 2016 - 8:47 pm

Coni, I’m glad this is working so well for you. Skin Actives really is a wonderful brand. Are you using the kits they sell? I believe those have instructions to help you out. But mixing this or that on your own without scientific knowledge is risky. You may mix together two substances that deactivate each other or put too much of an ingredient in and cause an irritation. These products go on your skin, and you need to know what you;re doing to avoid any unwanted side effects.

alfagetti March 2, 2018 - 6:13 pm

What is the PH level of this product? I can’t seem to find it. Thank you!

Gio March 9, 2018 - 7:25 pm

Alfagetti, I’m afraid I don’t have this serum anymore so I can’t test the ph. Try contacting customer service. Hope it’ll help.


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