Is Timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum The Most Powerful Vitamin C Serum Out There?

by Gio
timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Aci Serum review

It happens. Every. Single. Time.

Whenever I review a Vitamin C serum, inevitably someone asks, “how does it compare to Timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum?”

Short answer: it’s great dupe for pricier options like Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and Paula’s Choice C15 Booster. But the super high Vitamin C content makes me think twice before recommending it to everyone.

Long answer: read the review below.

Key Ingredients In Timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum

L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

L-Ascorbic Acid is the pure form of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that:

If you’re serious about antiaging, you need this baby in your skincare routine. But be careful! L-Ascorbic Acid has a couple of side effects you should be aware of:

  • Unstable: It goes bad quickly when exposed to light and air. Timeless guarantees its effectiveness for only 3 months. Buy it only when you’re ready to use it daily. If the serum has turned brown, it’s too late. It’s useless. Throw it away!
  • Irritation: High concentrations of L-Ascorbic Acid – especially at the low pH (below 3) it needs to work its magic – can irritate skin, especially if it’s sensitive.

Irritation is the reason why I don’t recommend Timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum to just anyone. I have clients who can use 15% Vitamin C without problems, but the second they up their dose, their skin turns into a red, flaky mess.

The trick to using Vitamin C is to start small. Begin with a 10% concentration, move on to 15% and then upgrade to 20+% doses. Even then, if your skin is sensitive, it may not like anything above 10-15%.

Both Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and Paula’s Choice C15 Booster use 15% Ascorbic Acid. For most people, that’s more than enough. But if your skin can take the extra load and you’d like to save some $$$, Timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum is a great step forward.

P.S. Timeless has packaged the serum in a blue dark bottle that keeps it safe from light. But air can still get through and spoil the formula whenever you open the bottle (it has a pump dispenser). Unfortunately, it’s rare to find a Vitamin C serum that doesn’t use this type of packaging, so use yours quickly!

Related: My Vitamin C Serum Has Turned Brown! Can I Still Use It?


Vitamin C is an antiaging superstar, but that doesn’t mean it should play alone. Studies show it works even better when paired with fellow antioxidants Vitamin E and Ferulic acid.

Ferulic acid itself is an antioxidant on steroids. While most antioxidants only destroy one type of free radicals (that’s why I always say, the more the merrier), ferulic acid fights THREE different types on its own! How cool is that?

But it’s when paired with Vitamin C that Ferulic acid (and Vitamin E) really shines. Here’s what they do together:

  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

Whatever Vitamin C serum you go for, make sure these two are in it, too.

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

Sodium Hyaluronate

Sodium Hyaluronate is a form of Hyaluronic Acid, a moisture magnet on steroids.

Hyaluronic Acid attracts moisture into the skin and binds it there. It’s so powerful, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water!

All that extra moisture plumps up your skin, makes it softer and gives it a dewy glow.

Related: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic VS Timeless 20% Vitamin C Serum: Which One Is Better?

timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum

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

Timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum has a lightweight liquidy, slightly oily (blame it on the Vitamin E) texture that sinks in almost immediately.

The scent isn’t the best. Timeless didn’t add any fragrance, so what you’re smelling is the ingredients. Let’s just say Ferulic acid doesn’t exactly smell of roses! But if you can get past that, the results are worth it.

Let’s be honest here: even the best antiaging ingredients won’t boost your collagen or fade away your dark spots overnight. That’s why I’ve been using Vitamin C every day in my skincare routine for the past 10 years.

As my skin is used to Vitamin C, Timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum simply maintained the status quo. It keeps my skin firmer and my complexion glowing.

If you’re newer to Vitamin C, you’ll see a bigger improvement – at least in terms of brightness – fairly quickly. Keep using it consistently and it’ll improve the texture of your skin and help you age more slowly.

I can’t imagine doing without my daily fix now.

Available at: $25.95/£21.54 at Yes Style

Have you tried Timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum? Share your experience in the comments below.

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

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Jeff July 23, 2019 - 2:57 pm

doesnt VIT C go bad sitting in a bottle in a formula of water? How do you know how long it sat on the shelf unopened.

Gio August 8, 2019 - 2:46 pm

Jeff, yes it does and there’s no way of knowing. I recommend buying your Vitamin C serum only when you’re ready to use it straight away, preferably from a shop with a good return policy.

Rebecca Connelly July 24, 2019 - 5:24 pm

I was using Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen but it did a number on my skin over the Boston winter. I’ve tried using it again now that summer is here but it still seems too strong. What is a 10% formulation you’d recommend? I’d prefer to use L-ascorbic to a gentler version of Vitamin C.

Gio August 8, 2019 - 6:47 pm Reply
Soph October 4, 2019 - 6:55 am

I’ve used this Timeless Vitamin C for several years and I took a tip from the Hot and Flashy blogger. I pour half of the Vitamin C into a second bottle and store the original bottle in the refrigerator until needed. The bottle in the fridge never turns brown. The bottle that I use on a daily basis usually stays clear. Occasionally, some of the remaining amount turns yellow. But never brown.

Hannah November 4, 2019 - 3:05 pm

Was wondering about potential CEF dupes from Pure Clinica – The 20% Vitamin C Serum or The Triple Strength Vitamin C, E & Ferulic Acid Serum. Any experience or opinions on the formulae? The presence of retinol in the latter gives me pause as surely could undermine any UV defense benefits if worn in the daytime? I love Paula’s Choice CEF but the price is becoming too much of a stretch for me!

Gio November 8, 2019 - 2:20 pm

Hannah, you could use retinol during the day as long as you’re religious with sunscreen. Or you can use the serum at night instead.


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