Is this 12% vitamin C serum for 16 dollars effective?

Im still on my search for affordable vitamin C serums and found the "CSI Vitamin C+12% youth serum". The only ingredients are 12% L-ascorbic acid and butylene glycol (around 16 dollars an ounce). My question is, considering theres no vitamin E, is it still effective as an antioxidant and against brown spots? Given the formula, is vitamin C going to work on its full effect? Thank you!


  • I would ask if during the manufacturing process if it is stable while being bottled, do they take care to make sure it is. Butylene glycol is maybe a penetration enhancer but no other stablizers, preservatives, thickeners, etc... I am still wary how a company can make good anti ageing products and sell them so cheaply
  • I think the trick here is that theres no water, so the formula is more stable and theres not so much need of preservatives. Besides since they dont use other vitamins, plant extracts or oils the final formula is cheaper. Another doubt I have is why butylene glycol is not commonly used in vitamin C serums, maybe its a matter of potential irritation....
  • Look up Tru Skin on Amazon! They use sodium ascorbyl phosphate, a relatively new derivative of vitamin c that's more stable than ascorbic (L-ascorbic) acid. It's a super affordable brand that provides real results.
  • Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is more stable but it's not proven to be as effective as ascorbic acid. Here's a recap from our podcast: Does it penetrate? There is limited ex vivo animal testing which shows it penetrates. Does it convert to Ascorbic Acid? There is no data showing it converts to AA. Protects from UV damage: Yes, human in vivo testing shows is protects but less effective than AA. Increases collagen synthesis: Yes, in vitro testing only and it’s less effective than MAP. Reduces skin pigmentation: Yes, human in vivo testing (but from trade journal only so the data may be less robust.)
  • @RandyS Looking back on my comment I'm almost a little embarrassed at what I said! I was a bit ignorant on the topic and I guess was being persuaded by this company's claims without ACTUALLY looking into it. The products ended up being completely bogus anyway, ha.
  • It's easy to take beauty claims at face value. Hopefully this Forum is helping you be more savvy!
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