la roche posay vitamin c serum review

La Roche-Posay is a French skincare brand known for its premium quality and affordable prices. La Roche-Posay’s Vitamin C10 Serum is no exception. It’s a multi-benefit serum that helps to brighten, smooth, and protect your skin.

Today, I’ll share my honest thoughts and experience with the serum in this La Roche-Posay Vitamin C Serum review. We’ll discuss ingredients, effectiveness, and overall performance.

First, let’s start with the ingredients and benefits of this vitamin C serum:

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The serum contains a 10% concentration of pure vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid or l-ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C is known for three main benefits that make it so popular:

  1. Brightening: Vitamin C brightens skin by reducing dark spots and uneven skin tone. Vitamin C inhibits melanin production, the pigment responsible for skin hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
  2. Anti-Aging/Wrinkle Fighting: Vitamin C helps reduce and even out wrinkles and fine lines since it boosts collagen production, which helps keep skin firm and bouncy.
  3. Antioxidant Protection: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from environmental stressors, keeping your skin looking smooth and healthy.

The serum is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores and cause acne or breakouts.

La Roche Posay notes that this vitamin C serum is suitable for sensitive skin.

Pure Vitamin C Drawbacks

Of course, with the benefits of vitamin C come the drawbacks.

Pure vitamin C at a high concentration, often over 10%, can potentially irritate some skin types and cause dryness and flaky skin.

Pure vitamin C is also notoriously unstable and can quickly degrade and oxidize when exposed to light, heat, and air, which can reduce its effectiveness.

La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum Key Ingredients

10% Pure Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): This hero ingredient and powerful antioxidant helps brighten and even out skin tone, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and stimulates collagen production for firmer, more youthful-looking skin.

Ascorbic acid also protects against damaging free radicals and improves skin texture and radiance.

Salicylic Acid: This beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) exfoliates your skin and unclogs pores to prevent acne, controls excess oil production, and refines the look of pores.

Salicylic acid also reduces the appearance of blackheads and whiteheads and has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe redness and irritation. It’s excellent for acne-prone and oily skin.

Neurosensine: This synthetic dipeptide is known for its calming effect and ability to soothe sensitive skin, reducing skin redness and irritation.

Glycerin (derived from vegetable sources): This humectant attracts and retains moisture in the skin, helping to prevent dryness and dehydration while improving skin elasticity and smoothness.

Glycerin also enhances the skin’s natural barrier function, providing a protective layer that helps shield the skin from environmental stressors.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA): This hydrating active ingredient attracts and retains moisture, providing deep hydration for plump, dewy skin. It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and improves skin texture and radiance.

La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water: This spring water, sourced from the town of La Roche-Posay in France, contains minerals and trace elements, including a high concentration of selenium, a skin-protective antioxidant.

La Roche-Posay Vitamin C Serum Review

La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum is packaged to protect the unstable vitamin C in the serum. The bottle has a screw cap as a lid, and a dropper comes separately in the box to keep air out of the bottle before you open it for the first time.

The first thing I noticed when opening the bottle was the scent. It is a STRONG scent. It smells fresh and clean.

The scent started growing on me after using it a few times, and I am happy to report that the fragrance dissipates after it absorbs into my skin.

It has a thick consistency that doesn’t feel tacky or sticky on my skin. It also works well with other skincare products and under makeup, too.

While they don’t disclose the amount of salicylic acid in the serum, I think it is helping keep my skin clear and minimizing those pesky breakouts.

In fact, I think the inclusion of salicylic acid is one of the stand-out qualities of this serum, as this should appeal to acne-prone skin.

I like the 10% vitamin C concentration, as it is concentrated enough to be effective but not too concentrated to irritate my somewhat sensitive skin.

I haven’t noticed any brightening benefits, but I’ll continue to use this during the day for its antioxidant protection.

If you don’t mind the strong fragrance, this serum could be a great choice for antioxidant protection, brightening, and anti-aging benefits.

It’s also a great choice if you have sensitive or dry skin or are sensitive to strong vitamin C serums with higher ascorbic acid concentrations (over 10%).

How To Use La Roche-Posay Vitamin C Serum

Directions indicate that the serum should be applied in your morning skincare routine.

The serum comes with a dropper applicator. Dispense a few drops to cover your face and neck.

I like using vitamin C products in my morning routine because it helps protect my skin from environmental stressors during the day.

Also, be sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to protect your skin from UV rays during the day.

Directions also note that pure vitamin C can react with contact with the air, causing the serum to turn yellow. They note that the serum is still effective.

From my experience, for best results, it’s best to use pure vitamin C serums within a few months of opening.

As with any new skincare product, it is a good idea to patch test before using this serum for the first time to avoid an adverse initial reaction.

Drugstore Alternatives to La Roche-Posay Vitamin C10 Serum

If you are looking for a different texture, type, or concentration of vitamin C, or if this La Roche-Posay serum doesn’t work for you, there are many affordable drugstore options.

Like La Roche-Posay’s vitamin C serum, L’Oreal’s Revitalift vitamin C serum contains 10% pure vitamin C.

Unlike La Roche-Posay, this vitamin C serum is fragrance-free.

It’s formulated to improve skin radiance, reduce wrinkles and support a more visibly even skin tone.

The serum also contains hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, a low molecular weight hyaluronic acid that acts like a sponge and draws water to the skin for a more hydrated, plump complexion.

The serum has a lightweight, non-greasy texture that leaves your skin feeling very soft and smooth, thanks to the silicone (dimethicone) in the formula.

The serum is formulated with two well-known skin brighteners: ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C) and alpha arbutin.

This water-free serum uses 8% pure vitamin C combined with a 2% concentration of alpha arbutin, a natural antioxidant and skin-brightening agent.

Found naturally in the bearberry plant, alpha arbutin is a derivative of skin-lightener hydroquinone, which helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and acne scars.

The Ordinary’s formula only contains three ingredients: propanediol, ascorbic acid, and alpha-arbutin.

Propanediol is a solvent and moisturizer that gives the serum a somewhat oily feel upon application. This oily feeling goes away once the serum is absorbed.

Related Post: The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% Review

More Pure Vitamin C Products From The Ordinary

For a personalized dose of pure vitamin C, you can mix The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder with a serum, cream, or moisturizer in your skincare routine. (This one’s super affordable!)

Although it takes a little extra effort and planning to ensure you use it correctly, this vitamin C powder is an excellent option if you like to DIY your skin care products and customize your routine to your skin’s needs.

These water-free formulas have thicker textures and potent vitamin C concentrations, so they may not be the best choice for sensitive skin.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum contains 10% pure vitamin C along with CeraVe’s signature active ingredients: three essential ceramides (Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP) to strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier.

The serum brightens, smooths fine lines, and reduces the look of dark spots and uneven skin tone.

Sodium hyaluronate (the salt form of hyaluronic acid) hydrates and nourishes your skin, while panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) soothes with its anti-inflammatory benefits. Cholesterol is a lipid that moisturizes your skin.

The serum is formulated with CeraVe’s MVE Technology, which offers a slow release of ceramides for continuous hydration.

This vitamin C serum is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It’s fragrance-free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores.

Related Post: CeraVe vs La Roche-Posay

It contains a 20% concentration of pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to boost collagen production, improve skin tone, promote healthy cell turnover, and provide antioxidant protection.

The serum also contains vitamin E (tocopherol) and ferulic acid, a potent antioxidant.

Clinical studies have shown that ferulic acid stabilizes and doubles the photoprotection of vitamins C and E.

In other words, ferulic acid improves the effectiveness of vitamins C and E in protecting the skin from sun damage.

Suitable for all skin types, this Timeless serum is often considered an affordable alternative to best-selling but very pricey SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic vitamin C serum. SkinCeuticals contains a 15% concentration of pure vitamin C, as well as vitamin E and ferulic acid.

NOTE: Timeless also offers a 10% Vitamin C Serum with ferulic acid and vitamin E.

Vitamin C Derivative Alternatives

If pure vitamin C is too strong for your skin, or if you want a more stable serum, consider a vitamin C derivative serum.

There are many vitamin C derivates on the market, including ascorbyl glucoside, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and sodium ascorbyl phosphate, among others.

These derivatives are formulated at a higher pH closer to our skin’s natural pH than pure vitamin C. (Pure vitamin C should be formulated at a pH of under 3.5 for it to be most effective).

Vitamin C derivatives tend to cause less irritation, redness, and dryness than pure vitamin C. Vitamin C derivatives also tend to be more stable than pure vitamin C.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Derivatives

The Ordinary offers four vitamin C derivatives:

  • The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% (water-based with a comfortable serum texture)
  • The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F (in an oil base, great for dry skin)
  • The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution (acts directly like Vitamin C)
  • The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%( currently being reformulated)

Each of these serums has its own benefits. For more details on all The Ordinary vitamin C products, please see my The Ordinary vitamin C guide.

Olay Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Serum

Olay Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Serum is formulated with the derivative 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid (also called ethyl ascorbic acid) to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

The serum also contains Olay’s Amino Peptide, palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, which helps boost collagen production and reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Olay’s favorite ingredient, niacinamide (vitamin B3), is included to brighten skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots.

Lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), is also included in the serum. Lactic acid helps exfoliate the skin and gently sweep away dead skin cells.

Please note there is added fragrance in this serum.

NOTE: If you want a supercharged Olay vitamin C serum, you can try Olay Vitamin C + Peptide 24 MAX Serum, which contains 2X the peptides vs the original Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Serum.

The Bottom Line

La Roche-Posay Vitamin C10 Serum is an excellent option if you want a pure vitamin C serum with a mid-range vitamin C concentration supplemented with acne-busting salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, and other beneficial ingredients.

I think it’s a great choice for acne-prone or oily skin types due to the inclusion of salicylic acid. A true multi-tasker!

Thanks for reading!

Read Next: La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Serum Review

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