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Is it just me or is anyone else also eating more oranges since the pandemic? Apart from being uber-refreshing, oranges are a well-known source of Vitamin C, which not only helps to boost immunity when consumed but can also alleviate complexion problems like dullness, acne scars, uneven skin tone and texture when applied externally. For those who are unfamiliar with Vitamin C skin care, I urge you to read this article which will hopefully answer all your questions.
Why am I talking about Vitamin C? Because I’ve just tried out By Wishtrend’s Pure Vitamin C 15% with Ferulic Acid, a serum filled with 15% l-ascorbic acid (the most stabilized form of Vitamin C) and 0.5% ferulic acid for added antibacterial and antioxidant effects.
By Wishtrend is, of course, founded by Wishtrend. In case you haven’t heard of Wishtrend, it’s the mother company of COSRX, I’m from, SKIN&LAB, ÉCLAIR, ROVECTIN and Dear, Klairs. Need I say more?
By Wishtrend is most famous for its Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum, and this Pure Vitamin C 15% with Ferulic Acid is a gentler version of that. Greedy for more, I also tried out the brand’s Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water, Vitamin 75 Maximizing Cream and Sulfur 3% Clean Gel. Read on to see what I have to say!
Main ingredients: 5% mandelic acid, beta-glucan, panthenol, centella asiatica extract, houttuynia cordata (fish mint) extract
Thoughts: The ingredient list looks very promising. Mandelic acid is an AHA derived from bitter almonds that exfoliates skin and facilitates cell turnover, while beta-glucan from mushrooms stimulates collagen production. Balanced by soothing panthenol, sodium hyaluronate, centella and fish mint, it’s obvious why this product is so popular on YesStyle.
Unfortunately, the smell may put you off. Despite the lack of ascorbic acid, it does smell like artificial orange juice, possibly because of the presence of castor oil and natto gum. My bottle became a little sticky after a couple of weeks, though I’m not sure if that’s because the contents were evaporating or because my hands weren’t clean enough. Nonetheless, I was relieved to find that it didn’t cause any prickly sensation. It initially leaves skin with a slightly sticky feel but is runny enough that it can be easily spread and quickly absorbed. To me, it’s moisturizing enough to be used as a toner.
Main ingredients: 43% sea buckthorn (vitamin tree) water, 15% l-ascorbic acid, 1% ethyl ascorbyl ether, 0.5% ferulic acid
Thoughts: First things first, I was glad that it didn’t stain or sting my skin. My first experience with Vitamin C skin care was Dermacept’s Vitamin C20 Serum around 4-5 years ago. There’s no doubt that it was potent in fading acne scars and making skin smoother, but I always had to wash the serum off before going to sleep because it stained my pillow tangerine. It was also too strong for broken skin. Hopefully, the formula has been updated by now.
My experience with this Vitamin C serum from By Wishtrend beats Dermacept’s and two other similar products I’ve tried. I found Elizavecca’s Vitamin C 100% Powder + Vita-multi Whitening Source Serum too troublesome since the powder had to be dissolved into the serum before each use, while the Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop wasn’t strong enough to eradicate my deep-rooted acne scars.
I usually use this serum right after the Prep Water. It has a chemical smell that’s less sweet than the Prep Water, but you can hardly notice it unless you press your nose closely against the opening. Like the Prep Water, the bottle was covered by a thin film of product after a couple of weeks. I also noticed that my bottle can’t be completely sealed off by the screw-cap dropper – it tends to loosen itself after a couple of minutes.
The serum looked slightly orange but didn’t stain. It felt like a denser version of the Prep Water and thankfully didn’t result in flaky skin despite its high Vitamin C concentration. As with all Vitamin C products, I kept it in the fridge, avoided using it in the morning, and always remembered to put on sunscreen when I went out.
Main ingredients: 75% sea buckthorn water; Vitamin E-rich sunflower seed oil, macadamia oil and palm tree oil
Thoughts: This cream serves mainly as a source of Vitamin E to boost the absorption of Vitamin C. It smells the nicest and is the mildest among all four products. With a refined, non-oily texture that readily absorbs into skin, it’s a breeze to put on even in summer. I use this as the last step of my skin care routine.
Main ingredients: 3% sulfur, sodium hyaluronate, tocopherol
Thoughts: Sulfur sounds like a strong ingredient, so I was a bit concerned. But then I remembered how sulfur-rich hot spring water is good for skin.
First of all, yes, it does smell like sulfur. Luckily, the yellowish gel texture makes it look more skin-friendly. After trying the above three-step routine for two weeks, I experienced a mild breakout, so I decided to put this gel to use. Instructions suggest applying it as the last step of skin care, but I usually use it over inflamed areas before putting on face cream. The gel felt as smooth and pleasant as an eye cream, so I had no difficulty applying it. Like calamine, minus the fuss of pink powder drying up on your face, it soothed blemishes overnight.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Vitamin C, and this time was no different. The first two weeks with this routine was the honeymoon stage as I could see obvious results: more refined pores, smoother skin and lighter scars. But on the third week, after a day of sunbathing, zits began to appear where they usually don’t. Only then did I realize that I had put too many acids on my skin. As they’re all rather drying, mandelic acid, Vitamin C and sulfur aren’t supposed to go together. Plus, I have dry skin, which made things worse.
Lesson learned: Always choose products that suit your skin type and never put conflicting products together! The Prep Water is good by itself, particularly for dry skin, but it’s best to choose only one between that and the Vitamin C serum. I’ve now switched to the milder propolis-infused Quad Active Boosting Essence, so I can finally enjoy the best of both worlds – a smoother, more even-toned complexion, as well as plump and non-irritated skin!
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