Here we are again, another post…about The Ordinary! Would you believe me if I told you I have 32 products from The Ordinary? Well, it’s true. I really enjoy mixing and matching depending on what my skin needs for the day. Out of all those products I only have two Vitamin C products. Neither of which really impress me. Partly because I did not care for the texture of either and partly because I have never had a great experience with an l-Ascorbic Acid serum (pure form of Vitamin C.) So my bar wasn’t set very high when I decided to give The Ordinary’s new Vitamin C on the block a try when it launched at Sephora.
I have been using The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone for about 7 weeks now pretty consistently. Actually my bottle is almost gone. Most of the time when you use a product so quickly it is because you love applying it, can’t get enough. Let me be blunt, there is nothing I like about applying or wearing this suspension. Deciem calls it a suspension, I call it a silicone gel. I have tried applying this gel every way possible. With other serums underneath, before serums, with no serums. It’s always the same piling results. So you may be thinking to yourself “then wth does she keep using it?” I am addicted to the glow! My skin looks bright, radiant, glowing, renewed, fresh, pretty much any adjective you can think of to describe glowing skin. I can’t stop using it because I love the results!
Let’s discuss the texture first and then I will talk more about Vitamin C next. I wasn’t surprised by the finish because it says ‘In Silicone’ on the tube, I just wasn’t expecting it to be so unfriendly to other products. Basically if you use any other serum, gel, liquid, or cream with the Suspension, it will cause little white balls of product to roll on your skin. (Piling) Forget about even trying to use it with an oil, that’s a no-go. Like I said above I have tried with a ton of product combinations and the best I can achieve is minimal piling.
Vitamin C Supension 30% in Silicone is a white colored cream that applies like a gel, but not a traditional gel like Buffet. More like a makeup primer (think Benefit PoreFessional, but a bit thicker.) It feels powdery when rubbed in and leaves a matte finish just like a makeup primer does. The original Vitamin C Suspension 23% felt grainy, like there were tiny exfoliating grains in the formula. This Suspension did not feel grainy to me at all, it felt really smooth and silky.
Finding the right combination of products to use with this Suspension is key to minimal piling, and also how it is applied. Since it is heavier than serums you would want to apply after any water based serums or creams if you wish to use them in the same routine. I found by taking a small amount of the Suspension, rubbing into my fingertips and patting into sections of skin instead of spreading, it layered better over other products. The only product that I have found that didn’t cause major piling is a thin layer of the new Marine Hyaluronics serum. (I love this new serum btw, I will write a post about it soon!) I wait until the serum is completely dry and then pat the Vitamin C Suspension into my skin.
There are a few other things about application I feel like I should share. When I initially started using the Suspension I felt a burning sensation for a couple of minutes after application. After I started using more regularly the burning sensation was gone unless I applied too closely to my eyes. It didn’t feel like my face was on fire or anything, and the sensation didn’t linger. Just something to be aware of!
Another thing, the smell. Oh my! Anyone who has used a serum with a high concentration of l-Ascorbic Acid knows exactly what I’m talking about. In case you haven’t had this pleasure, I have heard it described as similar to “hot dog water,” which is pretty accurate. It almost smells metallic to me. To be fair, the Suspension doesn’t have a strong, noticeable scent straight out of the tube. It is only after it has been applied to the skin and had time to penetrate does it start radiating the pungent odor. Because of the heavy texture anyway, I would suggest using at night only so it isn’t that big of a deal. I just have to wash my face first thing in the morning after wearing it to bed at night! As crazy as this may sound, the scent actually reassures me that the product is working because it smells similar to other much more expensive Vitamin C Serums, worse actually!
A concentration of 30% pure l-Ascorbic Acid is a very potent formula, and the results I notice reflect that potency. After the very first use I woke up with noticeably brighter skin. As I used it more frequently my dull skin looked revived, less tired and I felt good about my bare face. I often don’t wear foundation, but always wear concealer. No amount of skincare products can change dark circles from lack of sleep since 2009! Only wearing concealer most days I feel confident in how my skin looks bare faced in public because I work hard for it to stay smooth and blemish free. However, after using the Vitamin C Suspension for about three weeks, I had a new pep in my step, a strut. My skin looked fabulous, why not show it off!?
After those initial three weeks, using around 3-4 nights a week, I decided I wanted to move the Suspension to a maintenance product. Use it just enough where I can get the results I have enjoyed those three weeks or when I want a ‘Boost.’ And to be honest, I wanted to test other products at night, which as discussed above is a pain with the Suspension! So I started using once, maybe twice a week instead. My skin still looks great and I have discovered that on the nights I use the 30% Suspension I also like to use a clarifying mask or a rinse-off acid mask. Like the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask (completely obsessed with this, find travel size here) or The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. By using a mask I can still get an extra treatment product, rinse it off, and it doesn’t interfere with the application of the 30% Suspension.
Vitamin C, or l-Ascorbic Acid, is a well researched ingredient used for brightening uneven skin tone, tackling hyperpigmentation, and offering antioxidant protection. Even boosting collagen at higher concentrations. Any LAA product that exceeds 15% is considered a high concentration with powerful benefits. I have spent an embarrassing amount of money on LAA serums in the past that look fantastic on paper. You know the ones I’m talking about! To my great disappointment they quickly oxidized and became unusable. I just never have had any luck with these serums, which is discouraging considering I see people raving about them all the time. I had given up on LAA until on a whim I decided to try The Ordinary’s new version. It is low risk, not a big investment, and I didn’t get my hopes up. I am glad I decided to try something new. I just wish Deciem could reformulate the 30% Suspension somehow to improve the texture while maintaining efficacy.
Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone is a very simple formula, the inci list is short and sweet with only four ingredients. Three silicones and finely milled ascorbic acid powder.
I have read comments on Instagram of those who have had similar experiences that I have had with piling. With good intentions, some have even recommended other products to try that have a more refined, elegant texture and formulation. Expensive serums. I’m sure they’re lovely. I just am not willing to take that risk and spend close to $100 on such an unstable ingredient. Especially when I have a bad track record with LAA. I find it very stressful to have to use a product everyday while also worrying if it is going bad. I just don’t want to deal with it! I would rather spend my money on other innovative serums. If I want a more elegant formula that tackles hyperpigmentation and brightening that is more expensive, I would choose NIOD re:Pigment any day of the week.
When LAA is combined in a water-based serum that is when there are issues with oxidation. Most water based Vitamin C serums have a shelf life of 3-6 months, but usually start the oxidation process before then. The great thing about The Ordinary’s Suspension is that it is water free. So no need to worry about oxidation! Exposure to UV light and air are also speeds up the oxidative process, so packaging of a LAA product is key! Some people even keep their high priced Vitamin C serum in the refrigerator, which helps slow down oxidation, but not prevent it. Since The Ordinary’s Suspension is housed in an opaque, flip top tube that can be quickly closed, this is not an issue to worry about. Signs of LAA oxidation are a noticeable change in color. The serum may start off clear, then turn yellow, light orange and eventually a dark orange color. A product that has oxidized can be very harmful to your skin!
Where to Find
You can find the Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone at the following retailers.
For a list of worldwide authorized retailers click here.
Through all the piling, the metallic aroma, and being unable to use my other beloved skincare products with the Vitamin C Suspension, I will still repurchase! I just love the glow. At this point I am unwilling to spend that kind of money on a notoriously unstable product when I can get similar results for $5! I can deal with the inelegant texture for the outcome I have enjoyed so far.
So this may not be the most ‘glowing’ review, but I have laid out all the facts and now the decision is up to you! I will say this. IF you are interested in trying a high concentration Vitamin C just to see what results you can achieve, and you have the means to buy it…go for it! It is very low risk and will at least show how your skin will respond to LAA. Deciem has a chart available here that contrasts each Vitamin C product they produce if you would like to see which option may work best for you. Since I have not tested all of their options I cannot comment on how effective each product is, but this post contains some very helpful information about the products and Vitamin C in general.
I hope you have found this post somewhat helpful to your skincare journey. I love testing products and writing about it. I feel like I am conducting one big experiment! Thank you for reading and please let me know in the comments how your experience goes if you decide to try the 30% Suspension! You can also come chat with me on Instagram.
Until Next Time-