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This post will be reviewing The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres.
After my first encounter with The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% over a year ago, I was ready to reintroduce a Vitamin C serum back into my routine.
I don’t know if you’re aware but Vitamin C is one of the most unstable ingredients to formulate with because of how fast it oxidises. This means that it has a very small window of effectiveness before it changes colour and goes bad. This is why the best Vitamin C serum on the market is the one and only Skinceuticals C E Ferulic which goes for a whooping £140/$166. They’re the only brand that have been able to successfully formulate a stable and effective Vitamin C serum.
But that doesn’t mean that other brands are ineffective. You just have try out a few of them until you find which one works best for your skin type and stick to it.
The Ordinary currently has eight types of Vitamin C formulations that range from light oil to heavy serum with percentages from 8 – 30%.
While it might be tempting to go for a higher percentage, according to experts, the sweet spot for Vitamin C serums is actually 10 – 15%. I wasn’t fully aware of this until I had bought and used The Ordinary Vitamin C suspension which has 23% of Ascorbic Acid. But that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad product.
So let’s dive deeper into it!
First Impressions of The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension
According to Deciem;
The format of this formula is a suspension of very fine L-Ascorbic Acid powder and, as such, provides the most direct exposure of extremely high concentrations of Vitamin C topically. With such a format, there are 2 important things to consider:
1) A very strong tingling but non-irritating sensation is expected during the first 1-2 weeks of use until the skin’s tolerance to such high exposure is elevated. If the sensation is too strong to tolerate, the formula can be mixed on each application with other creams or serums of your preference.
2) The powder exposure to the skin disallows the formula to feel like a serum, lotion or cream and each application requires a few seconds to feel absorbed by the skin. This formula feels gritty for a few seconds after application. If you prefer to avoid this gritty feel, we suggest our Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone.
The first time I came across The Ordinary Vitamin C suspension was at a friend’s house. I saw it on her shelf and was immediately curious about it so I decided to give it a try. Let’s just saw it was love at first sight.
Like Deciem has explained, this product is a heavy serum which also happens to be a suspension of The Ordinary’s L- Ascorbic Powder. In skincare, suspensions are clear products with visible particles suspended throughout.
In simple terms, if you’re not interested in DIYing with the powder, the Vitamin C Suspension your next best bet.
Consistency & Texture
As a result of being a suspension, it has a gritty texture that a lot of people might not like. This means that you feel the Vitamin C particles on application. The best way for this product to be absorbed fast into your skin is by ensuring that it is hydrated first with a toner preferably. This way, it sinks right into your skin and the grittiness is less noticeable.
To be honest, I never really noticed how gritty it was until I tested the product again for this review. I always used the product on hydrated skin.
Like all of The Ordinary products, it is very affordable at £4.90
One of my favourite things about this product is the Squalane which is second on the ingredient list. This is because every time I use this product in my AM routine, my skin is incredibly glowy as a result of the Squalane. For my dry skin, it is a chef’s kiss. I absolutely love products that leave my skin glowy and hydrated. It also has a bit of Hyaluronic Acid which makes it absorb well into your skin.
Review of The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension
We’re directed to;
Apply a small amount to face in the AM or the PM (PM preferred). Avoid contact with the eyes. A tingling sensation can be expected after application. If the sensation is too strong to tolerate, the formula can be mixed on each application with other creams or serums of your preference.
What I do
I used this a lot in my AM Summer Skincare Routine. After spraying my face with toner, I go in with a bit of The Vitamin C Suspension and finish up with my sunscreen. It leaves my skin nice and hydrated for hours until it was fully absorbed.
Some people, especially those with oily skin might find the texture too greasy so I suggest you stay away from it.
How It Worked
After my first application. I felt a tingling sensation like Deciem warned us about but it was nothing too serious compared with the irritation I got from The Ordinary Retinol.
After using about 75% of the product for about a month, I’m not sure I saw any difference in my skin. This doesn’t mean that the product didn’t work, it just means that it probably does but I didn’t use it consistently enough. For Vitamin C products, you need to use it for about a minimum of three months to see a visible difference.
If you’re looking for an affordable high strength Vitamin C serum, then you should probably try it for at least three months. I might probably go back to it but because I currently use quite a number of actives, this doesn’t particularly fit into my layering routine.
If you have dry skin with a hydration routine in place, you will really enjoy this product.
If you have oily skin and still want to give this a try, make sure your skin is hydrated first and finish up with a nice moisturizer to buffer the greasy/gritty effect. Also, don’t forget to use a small quantity all over your face.