After I last shared with you about one of my favourite (and affordable) Vitamin C serums from Japan, we quickly saw it appear in our local pharmacies! I take no credit for it (I’m not THAT influential), but it was fortuitous! LOL!
Now, I’m hoping for another miracle to happen with the Obagi C10 Vitamin C Serum.
As you have correctly guessed, this too is another well-rated and well-performing Vitamin C serum for me. I remembered reading about it for so long that when I headed to Japan earlier this year, I only had one item on my shopping list – the Obagi Vitamin C serum.
Happily (or unhappily), this turned out to be another winner in my books! But not for the wallet as you will soon see.
You may find the name Obagi familiar. It is a range of active and effective skincare favoured by aesthetics doctors and dermatologists. It is also quite an expensive brand. Many years ago, I was prescribed one product that contained hydroquinone, ostensibly to lighten my pigmentation, but it left my skin looking so sallow and horrible (without doing anything for my pigmentation), I threw it out and never went back to the doctor.
I have a healthy distrust of doctors – no disrespect intended to the many doctors I know who are reading :P I hardly even go to the doctor when I’m not feeling well, unless I absolutely have to. With skin, as long as it’s not life-threatening, I’ll just deal with it myself :P
What is the Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum?
With that background, the reason I hunted high and low for the Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum is simply due to how highly rated it was. Those of you who have been reading my blog know that I’m a big fan and proponent of Vitamin C serum for overall skin brightening, clarity and health. Here was my chance to add another serum to my list.
From what I understand, the Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum is made for the Japan market and only sold in Japan. These days, there are ways you can buy it online but at a premium markup.
It is sold at the pharmacies (drugstores) in Japan and it can be hard to find among the mass of foreign looking products on the shelf. If unsure, ask one of the sales assistants. I find it most helpful to just show them a picture.
There are 3 different strengths of the Obagi Vitamin C serum available – C5 with 5%, C10 with 10% and C20 with 20%.
C5 and C20 come in small sized 12ml bottles. C10 is the only one that comes in 2 sizes – a 12ml bottle and a 26ml bottle. In the pamphlet in the box, they helpfully tell you that the small bottle will last you about 40 days, while the large bottle will last you about 80 days – 3-4 drops each use.
So why did I end up with the Obagi C10 instead of the Obagi C20 Vitamin C serum? Simple.
The Obagi C20 serum was going to cost almost RM320 for 12ml. The C10 serum cost me about RM290 for the large 26ml bottle. It was a no-brainer decision.
Packaging and contents of the Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum
The packaging is your usual dropper style packaging. While this is not my favoured packaging for a serum containing Ascorbic Acid that is very reactive, it really is the most common found. The product comes with a light yellow tint. While I have not stored mine in the fridge (It’s too cumbersome to use this way) I have only just started noticing a slight darkening after about 2 months of daily use.
What I like very much is the little plastic stand that comes with the product. The bottle fits nicely in it, and keeps it stable so you don’t risk toppling it from your dresser! How bloody clever is that?! :D
The texture is very liquid, with a slightly oily feel to it. I’m happy with it, because I’m used to using facial oils. But if you aren’t, then do note the slight oily feel. A spritz of facial mist will solve that problem for you.
The other thing to note is the scent. Rather, the pong :P I detest the scent, which is a light chemical floral scent, if that even makes sense? It is like florals with a metallic edge and I abhor it. It isn’t bad, but I don’t like it. I do realise that Vitamin C serums tend to have a metallic smell, which I’m OK with. But the addition of floral fragrance is a no-no. Just take it out and leave it be!
The Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum is a star product!
I tend to only use Vitamin C serums in the day, as I use retinol and AHA-peel type products in the evening. But as I always do, when testing a new Vitamin C serum, I use it day and night for a spell.
And you know what? I was blown away.
I was already quite happy with the clarity of my skin after the Melano CC essence. But within a week of using the Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum, my skin was noticeably clearer. How?! I thought I was already at maximum brightness LOL! :D
I guess it turned out that I could still dial it up a notch.
I later switched back to just once a day use, and I think it’s preferable for me this way LOL! It’s not that I don’t appreciate brighter skin, I want it to last longer! And I only have the one bottle of Obagi C10! :P
I have about a quarter of the bottle left, and I am savouring its use. I am generous – 3-4 drops each use which is more than enough for me to take down to my neck and chest area. My skin retains its clarity which I like, and I find my skin to be less reactive to the sun and to heat.
I hesitate however to give credit 100% to the Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum for my new makeup base routine, which uses very thin layers of base and just a touch of concealer. The reason is because I am just as diligent with my evening routine that sees the retinols and AHA acids come out to play and those have a role to play in strengthening and clarifying the skin as well.
All said, I am a fan of the Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum, and I do wish it was easier to get hold of it. However, because it is rather pricey, and Vitamin C is so reactive even when stored unopened, I am a little wary about buying it online.
If you’re wondering, I did not buy a back up. It was too expensive to, without first trying it. I might beg a favour from friends or family headed to Japan in time to come, but once I’m done with this, I already have another brand lined up so no, I’m not wanting for Vitamin C serums right now LOL! :D
IN A NUTSHELL
The Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum is a brand made for and found only in the Japan market. There are 3 different percentages available in different sizes. Only C10 comes in 2 sizes – 12ml and 26ml. I bought the 26ml one. It has a dropper delivery system and the product is a clear light yellow when I first bought it. 2 months later, it has not darkened by very much despite daily use. I use the recommended 3-4 drops each time all over. What I noticed was a significant brightening and further clarity of the skin. My skin appears to be less reactive to heat. My pigmentation is still visible, but it just looks clearer, if it makes sense. I don’t like the floral-metallic scent, but I forgive it for the results that you get. Truly stellar product and well deserving of raves.
- Clarifies and brightens skin very effectively
- Skin feels healthier and less reactive to heat
- Lightweight texture sinks into skin without leaving any residue
- Does not sting the skin
- Floral-metallic scent is not very pleasant
- Hard to find outside of Japan
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who appreciates a good oily feel Vitamin C serum
PRICE: Approx ¥8000 (RM294) or thereabouts for the 26ml bottle. Sometimes on sale in Japanese drugstores if you’re lucky
WHERE TO BUY: Drugstores in Japan – show a picture to the sales people and they can help you, Various websites online that I cannot recommend as I am not familiar with them but a search will show you where you may be able to find them at various price points
I found the English ingredient list for the Obagi C10 Vitamin C Serum online so here it is – pardon if there are any errors as there is no one definitive list.
Ethoxydiglycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Aqua, Ascorbic Acid 10%, Tocopherol, Cynara Scolymus Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Betaine, Citrus Grandis Fruit Extract, Butylene Glycol, Parfum
What I found most interesting is that the manufacturer of the Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum is Rohto. Rohto is one of the largest manufacturers of cosmetics in Japan, and makes familiar brands like Hada Labo and…. Melano CC! :D
That got me thinking.
Might this explain why the Melano CC essence is so effective for me? (I know many of you have since tried the Melano CC serum with varying results – thank you for sharing with me whether it’s good or bad!)
Granted, the percentage of Vitamin C in that one is decidedly lower than 10% because the results aren’t as drastic and it is significantly cheaper in price. But it makes for a good and affordable maintenance serum for me in between stronger doses, and it has a similar oily texture.
I love it when transfer technology happens in brands :D
If you want to try this, but have never used a Vitamin C serum before, get the C5 to start with and work your way up. I’ve used varying percentages of Vitamin C in serums so my skin can handle it. I could whack on a 20% Vitamin C and it’d still take it like a champ! And that might just be the next one I break out of my stash – stay tuned ;)
Have you tried the Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum?
If I lived in Japan, I’d just alternate between the Melano CC Essence and this Obagi C10 serum. Maybe I’d do the C20 now and again. Really, there’s no need for any other brand because both of these brands are so effective and so good! Now, I hope magic happens and we see Obagi C Vitamin C serums here LOL! One can hope! :D