Paula's Choice C15 Booster a dupe for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic must be the most duped skincare product ever. As soon as its patent ended, everyone rushed out to copy it.

Before, you couldn’t afford it without selling a kidney. Now you don’t know which dupe to get.

Me? I’m going with Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster. Three reasons:

  1. It’s from a brand I love and trust (you know I have a slight obsession with Paula’s Choice, right?)
  2. It’s reasonably priced
  3. It’s easily available in most countries

Let’s compare what they do now, shall we?

What Do These Vitamin C Serums Have In The Common?


Both Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster use the same form of Vitamin C, L-Ascorbic Acid. It’s the pure form of Vitamin C. The most effective. And the most unstable.

Most of the studies that confirm the antiaging powers of Vitamin C were done on L-Ascorbic Acid. They found that it:

  • Fights the free radicals that cause premature wrinkles
  • Brightens the complexion
  • Fades dark spots
  • Boosts collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm and elastic

The problem? L-Ascorbic Acid is very fussy. It degrades whenever you expose it to light, heat and air. By “degrades”, I mean it loses a bit of its effectiveness overtime. Until it becomes useless. You’ll know when that happens. Vitamin C turns brown.

This makes it very difficult to create a Vitamin C serum that works. And when the mission’s accomplished, the serum should be used ASAP. This isn’t something you can forget in a drawer for 6 months and still expect it to work.

One more thing: L-Ascorbic Acid can be irritating. If you have sensitive skin, you’re better off with one of its gentler derivatives.

FYI: L-Ascorbic Acid only works in high concentrations. Both serums have a whooping 15%! That’s enough to work its magic.

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

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Vitamin E and ferulic acid are two powerful antioxidants. They both fight free radicals (ferulic acid destroys THREE types of free radicals!) while Vitamin E moisturises skin, too.

They’re powerful on their own but when they mix with vitamin C, they become invincible:

  1. They boost one another’s effectiveness (they don’t become ineffective as quickly as they would on their own)
  2. They enhance your sunscreen’s protection, helping you fight sun damage and premature wrinkles

These days, I don’t even consider a vitamin C serum unless Vitamin E and ferulic acid are in it, too (that’s why I’m NOT a fan of The Ordinary Vitamin C serums…).

Related: What’s Ferulic Acid And Why Should You Use It?


A.k.a. Hyaluronic Acid. A moisture magnet that attracts water from the air and drops it into the skin.

It’s so good at this, it binds up to 1000 times its weight in water. Now skin has all that moisture, it plumps up so your wrinkles look smaller. It gets softer. It glows.

Related: Why You Should Add Hyaluronic Acid To Your Skincare Routine, No Matter Your Skin Type

What Else Is In These Vitamin C Serums?

Paula’s Choice sneaked a peptide and a couple of texture-enhancers in there. But these are just minor details. The bulk of the formula is exactly the same, so they’ll work the same.

They also have the same crappy smell. That’s the “problem” with fragrance-free products. Fragrances are irritating so it’s best to stay away from anything that smells too nice. But without them, there’s nothing to cover the fishy odour of some ingredients…

Still, I’d rather use a smelly effective serum than a beautifully scented irritating one. Just saying…

Related: Why You Should Avoid Skincare Products That Smell Too Nice

What’s The Texture Like?

They’re both lightweight and fast-absorbing.

What’s The Packaging Like?

The both come in bottles with dropper applicators for ease of use.

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic has a dark, UV-tinted bottle to protect its precious contents from UV rays.

Paula’s Choice C15 Booster comes in a white and orange bottle that immediately makes you think of Vitamin C.

How To Use Them

In the morning, after cleansing, to supercharge sun protection.

Some people claim you can’t use Vitamin C during the day because it makes skin more prone to sun damage. That’s true only if you DON’T wear sunscreen.

When you use Vitamin C TOGETHER with sunscreen, studies show you’re boosting its sun protection.

Which Of The Two Should You Go For?

I’d go with Paula’s Choice C15 Booster just because you’re getting the same formula for a fraction of the cost.


Skinceuticals CE Ferulic: $166/£140.00 at Dermstore and Look Fantastic

Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster: $49.00/£46.00 at Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Feel Unique, Paula’s Choice, SpaceNK

Is Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster A Dupe For Skinceuticals CE Ferulic?

Yes! Yes! Yes! It works just as well – and for a fraction of the cost!

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Laureth-23, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate

Paula’s Choice C15 Booster

Water, Ascorbic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, PPG-26 Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopherol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Octapeptide-3, Glycerin, Panthenol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol