12.5% Vitamin C Super Strength Formula Radiance Strength Serum
12.5% Vitamin C Super Strength Formula Radiance Strength Serum from Revolution Skincare pairs pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) with nourishing grape seed oil. Unfortunately, it also contains fragrant ingredients that pose a strong risk of irritating skin.
This thin lotion is packaged in a translucent brown glass bottle topped with a pump. The opaque label covers most of the glass, which is good because the translucency exposes the delicate vitamin C to light, causing it to break down sooner. Alternately, you could keep this stored in its box or in a cabinet.
Grape seed oil is very lightweight, so this serum doesn’t feel greasy or slick; in fact, it sets quickly and leaves a satin-like finish which layers well with other products.
We’re concerned that the inclusion of fragrant orange oil and fragrance ingredients like citral and linalool will trigger irritation--each is known to be sensitizing. See More Info for details.
Another concern is that in a water-based formula, ascorbic acid works best at a lower pH (between 2 and 3, with pH 3 being preferred since going much lower than that really irritates skin). This vitamin C serum has a pH of 3.8, not bad but it also doesn’t make it quite as effective as today’s best vitamin C treatments.
In the end, this is one to pass on due to the deal-breaker of fragrance and, as a final comment, the lack of soothing ingredients to buffer the amount of 12.5% vitamin C, which on its own can be sensitizing for some people.
- Contains a potent amount of pure vitamin C.
- Lightweight, easily layered lotion texture.
- Translucent brown bottle could expose the vitamin C to light.
- Contains fragrance ingredients known to irritate skin.
- The pH isn’t within the optimal range for ascorbic acid efficacy and stability.
- Beyond grape seed, this lacks ingredients to buffer the high amount of vitamin C.
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Toxicology In Vitro, February 2018, pages 237-245
Toxicological Sciences, January 2018, pages 139-148
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
Made for Vitamin C fans, this high strength super serums contains 12.5% of Vitamin C. Famed for its skincare benefits, Vitamin C is an antioxidant that’s known to help skin regeneration and help improve skin radiance. This radiance super serum will boost your glow and encourage a smooth skin texture.
United Kingdom-based Revolution Skincare is the skin care branch of Revolution Beauty (who also has a color cosmetic subbrand, Makeup Revolution). Launched in 2018, the brand’s founder, Adam Minto, says the line’s ethos is the same as its parent brand; providing inexpensive, fast-to-market options designed for a wide range of people.
This skin care collection isn’t exactly a “revolutionary” concept, per se – the brand has a lot in common with other up-and-comers such as The Ordinary and Good Molecules. All of these products have a focus on stripped-down formulas featuring key ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid, for example) that can be mixed, layered, and alternated in to a complete skin care routine based on personal preference and occasional needs.
Revolution’s skin care products are something of a mixed bag. There are some true winners in the bunch (among them a couple of interesting retinol alternatives), but there are also quite a few missteps. Some of the products contain the skin-drying type of alcohol and irritating citrus extracts. Then there’s the concern that most of the products are housed in frosted bottles that need to be stored away from daylight, since the packaging puts their delicate ingredients at risk of light exposure that can cause those ingredients to lose their effectiveness. Side note: We reached out to the brand several times to inquire about whether their glass bottles have a UV light coating, but we have not received a response so far.
Overall, we appreciate the approach of potent skin care at bargain prices – we just wish the execution were a bit better! You can find our more about Revolution Skincare at https://www.revolutionbeauty.com/en/Skincare/c-58.aspx.
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The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.