I wouldn’t be a beauty blogger if I hadn’t heard about Paula’s Choice skincare. I’d come across it for years before I began blogging. But there have been various personal reasons that have prevented me from trying her products. Access is one, and ideologies are another. But hey, for the sake (or love) of Vitamin C serum, I put aside my prejudices and tried the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster.
I first came across this one on Tine’s blog (come back Tine!) and I believe that she has been using Vitamin C serums long before I have. I am about 3/4 of the way through this bottle, and I think I’m finally able to form some sort of opinion about it.
The first thing I should note, is the scent. Oh, what an interesting scent it has! 😛
Despite the rather misleading orange bottle, the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster does not smell of oranges. That pleases me. I absolutely detest that artificial orange/citrus scent that infuses most products that contain Vitamin C.
However, it has a rather strange scent, that brings to mind boiled sausages. LOL! 😀 I didn’t believe it at first, when people told me it smells that way, but it does! To be fair, I don’t find it unpleasant. It has a slight metallic hint to the scent as well. While it used to amuse me each time I use it, I’ve since gotten used to it, and don’t notice the scent anymore.
The product itself comes in a glass bottle, with a screw on cap. You only switch the cap out for the stopper when you want to use it.
I ran up against a second roadblock. The product in my bottle is a transparent light yellow colour, as you see in the picture. It is clear. But while I haven’t been documenting it, I have noticed that the colour of the serum has deepened to a deeper yellow since I started using it.
Now, why I mention it is this – Vitamin C is notoriously rather unstable, and prone to oxidation when exposed to the air. This concern is further exacerbated when I found out that the type of Vitamin C used in the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster is Ascorbic Acid. Ascorbic Acid is one of the hardest forms of Vitamin C to stabilize and is quite notoriously unstable.
The saving grace in this formula is the presence of Ferulic Acid, which acts as a stabilizer. So, I feel that the product does and will oxidise with use, but more slowly. That said however, I can’t seem to find a consensus as to the colour the product should be, fresh from the bottle. Some people have said that it is a clear colourless liquid. Others have shown a dropper that looks a deeper yellow than mine. I can’t ascertain as of now what it should be, except that it should not be too dark, nor cloudy, nor any colour approximating orange.
But the million dollar question is this – is it any good?
It actually took me a while to work this out. I can tell you that in the first month of use (daily, in the day but occasionally also in the evening) I didn’t notice much of anything. The instructions say to use 2-3 drops mixed with a moisturiser of choice, or directly on skin. I always use my Vitamin C directly on skin, as I personally believe that it gives me the best benefits. If your skin feels sensitive to Vitamin C, blending it with your moisturiser is an option, but can, I personally believe, slow down its efficacy, so you see results after a longer period of use.
After the first month, I took stock and thought to myself “Bummer, I don’t see any improvements in skin clarity or tone” What Vitamin C serums do for me, is to help brighten my skin, clarify my complexion and even help control pigmentation from getting darker or more prevalent (coupled with religious sunscreen use everyday, rain or shine) My skin didn’t look any duller (I was coming to this serum from another one that I proclaimed to be the best I’d ever used) but there was no oomph.
But I persisted. After about 2 months, I began noticing a few things.
- My skin tone seemed clearer and more even – it was getting easier to use sheer foundation
- I picked at a spot and had a post-inflammation hyperpigmentation (PIH) mark that wasn’t going away, but was starting to fade
This happens with almost all Vitamin C serums I use, it is how quickly or slowly I see the results. Notable ones with which I saw quick results were the Dr. Brandt Power Dose (now/going to be discontinued BOO!) and Zelens Power C Treatment. I saw slower results with the Hylamide C25 Booster (and none with The Ordinary) but in general, you can expect these results from using Vitamin C serum.
With the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster, I found the results, while slow to manifest, were noticeable. As of now, I do still find that my skin tone is still fairly even, my pigmentation isn’t getting any worse, and my skin looks brighter.
I use about 3-4 drops each time, every morning and occasionally in the evening, depending on my skincare routine of the day. Naturally, if you were using it both day and night, you can expect results more quickly. Also, if you have never used a Vitamin C serum before, then you may even notice results in a much shorter time. Always manage your expectations!
For those of us living in Malaysia, based on the effective Vitamin C serums I’ve tried so far, this Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster will be the easiest to get hold of. We now have an official Paula’s Choice Malaysia website which makes it more accessible. A 15% Vitamin C is also quite high, and as a product, it is effective. I do have to say that it’s made me more receptive to trying other Paula’s Choice products 🙂
IN A NUTSHELL
The Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster is a Vitamin C serum that contains 15% Vitamin C in the form of Ascorbic Acid. The product comes in a glass bottle, with a separate glass dropper that you fix yourself, when you begin using it. While the product contains no fragrance, it does smell rather disconcertingly of boiled sausages LOL! It doesn’t last, and it doesn’t bother me, but do note that it doesn’t have a conventionally pleasant scent. You can mix it with your moisturiser, or use it directly on skin, as you prefer. I only really noticed results from using the serum after about 2 months, but it has been positive thus far. My skin maintains its even tone and clarity, and it even seems to have my pigmentation or sun spots under control. (Please note the outer packaging has since been changed since mine)
PROS: High percentage of Vitamin C in the serum, Light texture absorbs into skin almost immediately without any residue, Can be used on its own or blended into moisturiser, Effective in evening skin tone, brightening skin and perhaps even lightening sun spots
CONS: Rather pricey, Smells a little strange, Can oxidise so it is advisable to be faithful to your vitamin C serums till they’re finished
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who wants an effective Vitamin C serum
PRICE: RM220 | US$49 | £45 for 20ml
For those of you interested, here is the ingredient list for the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster serum.
Have you tried this Paula’s Choice Vitamin C serum? Do you have a favourite Paula’s Choice product to recommend?
At this moment, I am quite keen to try their Retinol based products. I have heard a lot of good things about them, and I finally seem to be able to use retinol (I used to break out before). Hit me with your recommendations!