No7 Youthful Vitamin C Fresh Radiance Essence
Boots’ No7 Youthful Vitamin C Fresh Radiance Essence is an interesting skin-brightening vitamin C product, but it’s not without issues that keeps it from being ranked among the best of the best in this category.
The packaging is probably the most intriguing aspect of this product: there’s a clear plastic bottle with a skin care solution inside, and a small plastic component with a button on top containing vitamin C. You’re instructed to twist the vitamin C component onto the top of the plastic bottle, press down on the button, and release the powder into the solution. Once that happens, you twist on an included dropper applicator, then shake the combination until it’s mixed completely. Though it might seem like an unnecessary extra step, it helps the vitamin C remain stable by not being released until you’re ready to use it.
What won’t keep it stable, though, is the clear packaging. You’ll have to store this out of direct light to make sure the vitamin C doesn’t lose its antioxidant ability (antioxidants break down in the presence of light). But to its credit, Boots recommends using this within two weeks or, if some remains at that point, up to one month after opening.
As far as the mixture, it’s water-light and absorbs immediately, so it works well either over or under other skin care products. In addition to the advertised 5% vitamin C, there’s also antioxidant gluconlactone, skin-plumping sodium hyaluronate, and a skin-soothing derivative of licorice included.
But ahead of most of those good ingredients is fragrance. This solution has a strong, perfume-like fragrance that lingers, and fragrance puts skin at risk of irritation. Irritation can trigger multiple skin problems, including the kind that this type of product is designed to solve (see More Info for details).
While we love the vitamin C and other beneficial ingredients, there’s no reason to deal with the potential fragrance problems when there are other, non-fragrant options that are even better!
- Contains 5% vitamin C, which will help improve skin’s radiance.
- Water-light formula sinks into skin immediately.
- Contains additional antioxidant, skin-plumping, and skin-soothing ingredients.
- Must be stored out of direct light to preserve the vitamin C’s potency.
- Contains fragrance, which puts skin at risk for irritation.
Youthful Vitamin C Fresh Radiance Essence is a 2-week radiance treatment. It works by providing your skin with 5% pure Vitamin C, an anti-oxidant to support skin's natural renewal. By freshly activating at home, you ensure the Vitamin C remains at its most powerful to provide maximum skincare benefits.
Originating in England, Boots is named after founder John Boot, and it already had a worldwide presence before its 2004 pilot launch in the U.S. retail market through select Target and CVS drugstore. (Note: Boots is no longer available at CVS.) Its success in these stores led to a full-scale launch in spring 2007. Boots has been part of England's cosmetic history since 1839, and now over 1,500 freestanding Boots stores dot the British landscape. Of course, history has its place, but Boots, on the basis of their longevity, believes that it offers consumers the best products full of quality ingredients and also at a value price. Although it's true that Boots' price point is lower than many drugstore lines (at least those whose products make similar claims and have the same target audience), their line consists of some impressive options, but also contains some areas that left us wanting for more.
Boots sunscreens tend to be good, but be aware that some have SPF ratings below the benchmark SPF 30+. Although there are dozens of moisturizers available, youll find that many are indistinguishable from one another in terms of their formulas. While there are many great options for sensitive skin among the Boots line, there are much fewer choices for those seeking impressive anti-aging formulas due to the lack of beneficial ingredients.
Boots does feature antioxidants, peptides, and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A not to be confused with pure retinol) in many of its products, but they tend to be present at less than impressive, or jar packaging compromises their benefits to skin due to light & air exposure.
You'll find some great options for cleansers, scrubs, sunless tanners, and treatments for dry, chapped lips, all at fair prices, and that's good news. (There are also quite a few impressive makeup products at surprisingly inexpensive prices.) Check our reviews for the products that shouldn't be missed (as well as the less-than-impressive options).
For more information about Boots, call (866) 752-6687 or visit www.boots.com.
Note: Boots No7 and Botanics brands (only) are sold in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart stores. In the U.S., most of the lines can be found at Target, Walgreens, and Ulta. As of August 2015, Boots has been acquired by Walgreens.
Strengths: Inexpensive; outstanding options for sensitive skin; good sunscreens; some impressive makeup products.
Weaknesses: Occasional use of jar packaging; some formulas with limited amounts of beneficial ingredients.
About the Experts
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.