Ingredients: Distilled water, Hyaluronic Acid (15%), Vitamin C [MAP] 15%, Grape seed Extract, Green Tea Extract, [Bees Wax, HE-Cellulose, Polyglyceryl Oleate], Pure Rice bran Oil, Pure Argan Oil, Vitamin E, Matrixyl 3000, Silk Amino Acids, Honey Extract, EDTA Tetrasodium, Silk Powder, Germall, Potassium, Allantoin, Aloe-vera Leaf Extract
- 15% magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP, stable form of vitamin C):
antioxidant, sun protection booster (plus other more cosmetic attributes)
- green tea extract, grape seed extract, vitamin E:
antioxidants; C serums are supposed to work better when also containing E
- hyaluronic acid, honey:
humectants (the honey extract in a low concentration, though)
- matrixyl 3000:
a.k.a. the peptides Pal-GHK and Pal-GQPR (matrikines)
collagen and elastin production
And useful stuff in the base:
- moisturising components:
rice bran oil, argan oil, and the beeswax-etc. emulsifier mix
- soothing components:
allantoin, aloe vera (YMMV as ever)
Cost: $30.00 / 2 oz = $15.00 / 1 oz
+ shipping to Canada = $9.95
Feel and finish, quick review:
Opaque, white, light lotion in texture. In density, more like a light gel-cream eye-cream. One needs 3 pumps for a light layer all over face, throat, and backs of hands. Applied to damp skin aftre exiting shower, first thing in the morning. Followed by moisturiser and sunscreen. Sinks in fast but leaving skin feeling silk-velvet soft. Not at all drying: indeed, I realised that my previous regular vitamin C serum–the moistest of the Silk Naturals ones (Awesome Sauce) was drying in comparison.
I’ve been using vitamin C serums on my skin for many months now (maybe a year? maybe more?), and it feels and looks pretty decent and smooth and so on. I haven’t done the proper testing that would be required to prove that any decency in skin is attributable to the use of vitamin C serum, or to it alone. I also use sunscreen, and try to use that other great skincare product, sleep, as much as possible (8-10 hours / night).
This serum may well be too moisturising for some people. And might contain clogging ingredients. Depending on you and your skin. On me (drier): great stuff.
If you’ve tried out l-ascorbic acid serums before (they’re probably the commonest kind) and your skin has reacted, suggest trying MAP. In my experience, it’s gentler. See further: vitamin C serums (5) and (6).
- very high percentage MAP serum: most are 3 or 5%. For comparisons, see vitamin C serums (6): MAP
- plus other antioxidants
- plus hyaluronic acid
- plus peptides
- unscented / no fragrance; it does have a little scent to it, from the ingredients
- zero irritation on me
- moist: the moistest vitamin C serum I’ve used
- seems to be working, or at least, not not working
- skin feels lovvvvvely
- feel and finish; the silk powder may be helping out here
- no silicones (especially not the sort that bring my skin out in zits)
- minimal, elegant, functional formula
- does have preservatives (yay!)
- in convenient tinted glass bottle
- price and value for money: one of the cheapest vitamin C serums around, and high percentage of vitamin C providing good bang for your buck
- not proper INCI ingredient listing; uncertain what the potassium is doing there: maybe a typo for potassium sorbate as a preservative?
- ethical and political discomfort about some of the company’s other products (e.g. skin lightening)
- shipping takes rather a long time to Canada; if you’re in the US, though, also available c/o Amazon
- tetrasodium EDTA, depending, depending on concentration (probably low): as possible environmental pollutant. I consider this as a low risk.
- of more immediate and definite environmental concern: grotesque overpackaging. Grateful though I am for the consideration involved, and that my serum arrived safe and sound, the bottle was wrapped in the following layers: a slightly plasticated cardboard sleeve (see image above; different design on it, though), then several layers of plastic (inc. ziplock bag, bubblewrap, plastic air-pillow bags), then polystyrene chips, all inside a cardboard box which could have held at least 20 bottles of the serum
- label and packaging are not the most aesthetically pleasing ever; luckily, the writing is already starting to come off the bottle
I’m just being even-handed here. I have been using this for long enough to make a judgement, and in my opinion the pros outweigh the cons and I would judge the cons to be very minor. I would rebuy this serum (and indeed have already done so).
[UPDATED (2017-07) TO ADD: the cruelty-free status of ASDM BH is uncertain—see comment further down—and they do use animal-sourced ingredients that are by-products of killing animals for meat (emu oil). I haven’t repurchased this serum in a while.]