Tarte Cosmetics

Youth or Dare Multi-Acid & C Serum

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 42.00
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Brand Overview

Tarte is mostly known for their makeup, but the brand’s forays into skin care have gotten better recently, as evidenced by Youth or Dare Multi-Acid & C Serum. Now here’s a serum that (mostly) puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to what its ingredients can do.

The first positive about this serum is that it’s packaged in an opaque bottle with a pump dispenser. This protects its delicate ingredients from light and air, especially important in the case of vitamin C. That’s because vitamin C is highly susceptible to losing its potency in the presence of either.

This light-orange fluid has a classic serum texture that absorbs quickly, leaving it noticeably smoother and plumped. It manages to feel both rich and lightweight, making it suitable for all skin types.

When it comes to the star ingredients, vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid is front and center (it’s second on the list). There’s also another form of vitamin C, aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate, a little further down. Vitamin C is one of the most well-researched ingredients for helping discolorations, evening skin’s tone, and adding radiance, so you’re likely to see brighter skin just as Tarte claims.

This also contains the alpha hydroxy acid glycolic acid, and it’s at a pH of 3.75, meaning it’s within the optimal range of between 3 and 4 to exfoliate. Tarte doesn’t reveal the exact percentage and when we emailed them to inquire, they wouldn’t disclose the concentration, but based on where it falls in the ingredient list and recommended usage level of the form of vitamin C (aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate) that precedes it, we strongly suspect it’s 1% or less, too low an amount to exfoliate. (4% or more is ideal for exfoliation, but under 3% you'll still reap its water-binding properties, so it's not a total wash).

A quick note on pH: the pure ascorbic acid (vitamin C) ideally works best for skin around a pH of 3, which is slightly below the pH of this formula (3.75). In all likelihood, the ascorbic acid won’t be as beneficial for "reviving younger-looking skin" (such as softening the look of lines and wrinkles) but remains a very good antioxidant.

As advertised, this also contains the salt form of hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, which is well known for its ability to plump and rehydrate skin, so you’ll get the moisturizing benefits Tarte advertises, too.

All told, this is one of Tarte’s more impressive skin care products – we’re glad to see them heading in such a good direction!

  • Contains a high amount of skin-brightening vitamin C.
  • Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
  • Fragrance free.
  • The amount of glycolic acid is likely too low to exfoliate.
  • The pH is too high for the vitamin C to work as well as it could on signs of aging.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

We C your future & it’s lookin’ bright. This potent double shot of vitamin C plus glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid & apple extract brightens, exfoliates & hydrates for revived younger-looking skin. Take the dare – you won’t regret it.

Water/Aqua/Eau, Ascorbic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate , Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Phytic Acid, Plankton Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol.

Tarte Cosmetics At-A-Glance

Tarte Cosmetics CEO and founder Maureen Kelly started Tarte in 1999, out of a desire to create a cosmetics line that would prove that glamour can be good for you. This comes in the form of products that highlight naturally-derived ingredients in their marketing campaigns, and occasionally taking swipes at the concept of synthetics in makeup.

This is ironic, as Tarte uses more than a few beneficial synthetically derived ingredients in their formulassilicones, synthetic fragrances, preservatives and on and on. However, well forgive them that as whats ultimately important is whether their products meet your needs, and to that we can say the brand excels in many areas at what they do.

However, a few products are a bit on the pricey side and there are a few iffy shades and textures to consider among their foundationsnoted in their respective reviews. A few caveats aside, most of Tarte's foundations, blush options, eye pencils and an ever-expanding range of innovative products demonstrate that color is what they do best.

For more information about Tarte Cosmetics visit www.tartecosmetics.com.

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.

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