My skin goes through an obvious transition that comes from turning 30. Oiliness is no longer a nuisance. Dryness and Irritation have become so pesky to deal with. I start to notice the manifestations of premature aging like dark spots, fine lines, loss of elasticity and dullness. Yikes! That is certainly unavoidable since we age.
Then, I switch up my approach to skincare for anti-aging formulations. First off, how about adding vitamin C to my streamlined routine? There are numerous over-the-counter vitamin C serums we can opt for. They allegedly bring about a boost of antioxidants to tackle oxidative stress to the skin and its accelerated aging from environmental aggressors.
In this post, I’m about to share my review on a product I have been using lately, SmartrSkin – Vitamin C Serum. Let’s gear up for the tea I’m about to spill. P/S: To observe the real results of the product, I will not change any skincare products that I use with my former serum.
1. Infused with Botanicals and Vitamin C Derivative for Rejuvenation, Hydration and Sun Protection
First and foremost, all skincare products at SmartrSkin are vegan, cruelty-free and made in the USA. The SmartrSkin Advanced Vitamin C serum is designed to counteract free radicals, ward off signs of aging and diminish inflammation. It claims to reverse sun damage, increase the skin’s vibrancy and reinforce the permeability barrier for a clear, youthful-looking complexion. Plus, merged with plenty of plant extracts to improve the skin’s moisture retention and stimulate skin repair.
Extraordinarily infused with 20% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP), also known as a water-soluble derivative of vitamin C and a salt of ascorbic acid. SAP does not easily oxidize. It’s more stable and bioavailable in cosmetic formulations than other forms of vitamin C like magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and ascorbyl palmitate.
Through the topical application, SAP tends to be cleaved and converted to ascorbic acid (active vitamin C) in the epidermis. It’s able to impart the same skincare benefits as pure vitamin C that, by contrast, is prone to degradation in the presence of air and/or light. More importantly, SAP does not require acidic environments, whereas ascorbic acid must be formulated at a pH of less than 3.5 to penetrate the skin. This pH level can end up aggravating the skin.
For those reasons, SAP is a preferred choice in cosmetics. It’s easily absorbed and makes a constant delivery of vitamin C into the skin without causing discomfort associated with ascorbic acid. The ingredient is an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals and reactive oxygen species, promoting collagen synthesis and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Simultaneously, it possesses photoprotection to inhibit the cutaneous after-effects of the sun’s detrimental rays and double the potency of sunscreens.
SAP prevents sun exposure from developing the production of melanin and breaking down the building blocks of the skin. It, in turn, minimizes the formation of hyperpigmentation and other premature aging signs like inflammation, dry flakes and itchiness. SAP has skin-lightening abilities to correct dark spots and discoloured patches. As such, it’s considered a safe and effective method of thwarting UV-induced skin pigmentation and inflammation.
Also, many studies indicate the use of vitamin C derivatives in acne treatments. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate at 5% concentration leads to strong antimicrobial activities against acne-triggering bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes). (Source: Sodium ascorbyl phosphate shows in vitro and in vivo efficacy in the prevention and treatment of acne vulgaris, International Journal of Cosmetic Science)
Speaking of the concentration of vitamin C in cosmetic formulations, it may go from below 1% all the way up to 20%, depending on your skin type. The heavier dose is inclined to give better results more quickly. Phew, I guess we have amply gone through Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. Let’s leave it at that.
Next, the serum contains d-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), which is an essential, oil-soluble antioxidant. Topically, vitamin E helps fortify the skin’s moisture barrier, fight off free radicals and mitigate UV damage. Vitamin C is commonly incorporated with other antioxidants in skincare products. But, little do you know, it works best when paired with vitamin E to potentiate its anti-inflammatory, anti-photoaging and collagen-boosting properties.
Vitamin C and vitamin E synergistically reinvigorate the generation of protein fibers, and hence cellular turnover to restore firmness and elasticity of the skin. Plus, strengthen the protective barrier that hinders further damage caused by environmental perils like UV rays, low humidity and oxidizing air pollution. Incidentally, the conjunction of vitamin C and vitamin E tends to improve the dermal absorption of other ingredients.
Apart from those two antioxidants, there are (2s)-2-Amino-5-Guanidinopentanoic Acid and Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Both of them are geared towards encouraging the proliferation of collagen and keratin, which considerably make up the supporting structure of the skin. They make your “canvas” hold onto moisture, increase its thickness, smooth out signs of aging and limit scarring. Besides, MSM has anti-inflammatory effects to ease swollen pimples.
Infused with Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid) and Kosher Vegetable Glycerin. These powerful humectants together spark a large dose of hydration that attracts water into the outer layers of the skin, plumps wrinkles and fine lines and speeds up the skin’s repair process. Their water-binding abilities maintain the skin’s suppleness.
Additionally, the product is chock-full of plant extracts. There are Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola Extract), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail plant Extract), Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion Extract) and Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Extract). They provide soothing, healing, moisturizing, antimicrobial and anti-aging agents to help skin regain its vitality.
Among these, jojoba oil and witch hazel are particularly renowned for their treating the inflammation and infection of acne vulgaris, regulating overactive sebaceous glands and refining enlarged pores. All of the plant extracts are considered low hazard ingredients.
Moreover, the formula includes some chemicals to ensure the product’s good performance. Carbomer is a thickener to control the viscosity and flow of the serum as well as keep the liquid and oil parts of a solution from falling apart.
Plus, Phenoxyethanol and EthylHexylGlycerin work as preservatives. In fact, EthylHexylGlycerin can also act as a skin conditioner, a deodorizer and a preservative enhancer. The ingredient has antimicrobial properties to remove odour-causing bacteria and buff up the function of other preservatives.
Last but not least, I nearly forgot to mention deionized Aqua (water) or demineralized water. Well, I’m not going to get bogged down in the details. Briefly, it’s a type of purified water through a chemical filtration system to sweep away trace mineral ions that feed bacteria. Deionized Aqua functions as a solvent and a spreading agent.
2. Strengthen the Skin’s Protective Barrier with Hydrating and Soothing Effects
The SmartrSkin Vitamin C serum is transparent, colourless and watery. It’s pretty much an essence. The product gives off a botanical scent, neither lingering nor obnoxious. Apply the serum subsequent to cleansing and toning. Dispense 4-5 drops of the serum in the palm of your hand.
Then, spread and at the same time, press it evenly all over your face. Before following the next step, you need to let it dry and soak it into the skin for 1-2 minutes. It feels genuinely hydrating and refreshing to make the skin more awake. Though you may find it a little bit stinging.
It tends to be fast-absorbing instead of sitting on top of the skin surface, thanks to its water-based consistency. In general, it delivers a supple, luminous-looking complexion without greasiness. Maybe there is a tacky, damp sensation afterwards. The product gives my complexion a smooth feel to the touch.
Positively, the product does not cause any irritation. It helps put my skin at ease by relieving redness on the cheeks. Its fluid texture goes perfectly under my moisturizing cream that is going to seal in the goodness. After an extra 60 seconds, I’d love to apply my sunscreen. This vitamin C serum has been an ingrained part of my A.M. routine for two months. It literally takes care of my skin problems one by one.
My skin is a type of prone to dry and vulnerable to environmental stressors like overexposure to UV rays, seasonal transitions or air pollution. When they hit, my skin might appear dull and parched but also get reddened and congested. Lack of hydration would accentuate fine lines on my forehead, cheekbones and other under-eye areas.
At this point, compared with my previous hydrating serum, the vitamin C serum seems to provide a strong protective barrier against those nasty factors. I have been convinced by that since I brought it with me during my trip to Vietnam two weeks ago. The weather was so damn hot and sunny.
My skin stayed clear and healthy, despite heading outdoors pretty often. The vitamin C serum helps mitigate the appearance of skin fatigue as well as keep my skin plump with a natural glow throughout the day. In addition, fine lines and creases look less pronounced.
Therefore, I’d recommend the product for combination, dry, sensitive and premature aging skin types. One of the pros is that the serum does not contain any irritants like fragrances, alcohol, or artificial colours. Absolutely, this is the go-to for delicate skin.
However, if your skin is very, very sensitive like easily getting flare-ups, the high concentration of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate may be irritating. You should opt for vitamin C serums with 5% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate that is considered safe and gentle for sensitive skin.
Speaking of how the serum takes action on acne, it works for me quite well. I may have small pinpoint whiteheads and blackheads due to stress, sleep deprivation, a high intake of sugar, or changes in weather. I did have some, while travelling. Normally, they are going to heal in just a few days or sooner.
Meanwhile, I need to get my out-of-whack lifestyle back on track. The vitamin C serum does moderately alleviate mild, comedonal acne. To be honest, this is one of my favourite acne fighters on the go.
Otherwise, that will become more persistent, when it comes to hormonal acne associated with my cycle. I usually have deep cysts and nodules (inflamed bumps) at that time of the month. It will even take over a week to clear up the mess. Nevertheless, scars still develop from these blemishes.
Ultimately, I believe that vitamin C serum is suited for oily and acne-prone skin. It doesn’t exacerbate breakouts, or rather, it calms down acne inflammation and combats infection while retaining the skin’s hydration.
Regarding those who are plagued by serious acne, it may take a while to observe the results. Anyway, I think you should confirm it with a dermatologist in advance.
As we know, vitamin C is the gold standard for bleaching dark marks and discoloured patches. Is it worth the hype? For the time being, luckily, I haven’t suffered from hyperpigmentation or sun spots yet. So, I’m not sure if the serum is really effective in treating that kind of imperfections or not.
However, it does fade my acne scars somewhat after two weeks. To expedite the process, I also do exfoliate at least once a week to scrape away dull, dead cells and reveal fresh, new skin. Treating acne scars, discolouration and hyperpigmentation will be a sophisticated term and call for the combination of skincare products on a daily basis.
By the way, there are a few things to bear in mind. Vitamin C contributes to defending your skin from damaging UV rays. On the other hand, that’s not quite the case in the absence of sunscreen – it likely provokes skin sensitivity and further photodamage as exposed to sunlight. Layering an SPF-rated product over the vitamin C serum is a must-do in the morning.
Besides, it’s ok to use vitamin C serum twice a day. But, for me, the oil-based serum is what I swear by in my nighttime routine. And next, lock in moisture with a retinol cream, triggering the skin to repair itself more quickly overnight.
Vitamin C and retinol can be a sovereign anti-aging duo. Nonetheless, there are some controversies about using vitamin C and retinol in tandem because the benefits of these two powerful ingredients can be compromised or they can be irritating to the skin.
Thus, for the best of both worlds, I’d go for the vitamin C serum beneath my moisturizer and sunscreen during the day and a retinol cream on top of my oil-based serum at bedtime.
• Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C) 20%
• D-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)
• Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid)
• Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
• Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel)
• (2s)-2-Amino-5-Guanidinopentanoic Acid
• Kosher Vegetable Glycerin
• Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola Extract)
• Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail plant Extract)
• Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion Extract)
• Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Extract)
• Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil)
• Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Vera)
• Deionized Aqua (Water)
3. Weightless, Easy-to-Use Packaging Design
Housed in a small, dark amber glass bottle (1 fl oz/30 ml), retailing for $23.32. The bottle’s semi-transparency blocks sunlight to a certain degree. It’s lightweight and doesn’t take much space. Otherwise, it’s breakable so you have to handle it with care.
I really like the packaging design. It looks clean and adorable with a chubby shape, not to mention its measured marked dropper top, which is convenient to accurately take my proper dosage for every application. You can find the product description, how to use and ingredients on the bottle.
The best rule of thumb is to store the vitamin C serum in a dark, dry and cool place and use it up within six months to a year.
Hope you all find my post informative and useful enough. This is based on my own experience of SmartrSkin Vitamin C Serum. I hope someone out there who is using it would feel the same. If you have any questions and ideas, please let me know. It’s my great pleasure to figure it out. Thank you so much for spending your precious time dropping by my blog! Stay strong and beautiful as always, dreamers!
Ready for My First Order & Get to Know More SmartrSkin Products
I received the product quite long ago for testing. Fascinatingly, it turns out to be one of my faves. I’m enamoured of everything about it. It’s very nourishing and hydrating to offset skin tiredness all day long. And, I literally see improvements. My vitamin C serum is nearly reaching the bottle’s bottom. I think it’s very affordable and worth it so far, based on the results I got. I’m so looking forward to my first order with more SmartrSkin goodies.
- Suitable for all skin types
- Free of fragrance and synthetic ingredients
- Skin protective
- Skin texture enhancing
- Easy to use
- Must be applied under Sunscreen in the morning
- Taking weeks to see improvements
- Vulnerable to sunlight