If you, like me, struggle with acne scars, age spots or any other type of hyperpigmentation, you’ve probably tried a vitamin C product that promises to out, out those damned spots! (Shout-out Shakespeare.) With so many options crowding the aisles of every Sephora and Ulta, it can be tricky sifting through all of the options to find the ones that yield the most impactful spot-fading, skin-protecting results without causing irritation or maxing out your credit card.
Enter this $40 option from a no-frills brand aptly named No B.S. It’s easily one of the best vitamin C serums I’ve ever tried — and I’ve tried so, so many. The viscous, slightly gel-like serum smooths over skin easily, and the included medicine dropper applicator allows for clean, easy dispensing — I hover it over my face and allow three generous drops to fall directly onto my skin (one on my forehead, and one on each cheek). It does have a bit of the tackiness associated with most vitamin C serums, but that dissipates as you allow the product to soak in for a few minutes.
The formula also includes vitamin E which, in addition to itself being an antioxidant that protects skin against pollution (like vitamin C), also acts as a natural preservative; that’s why it’s so often paired with the notoriously un-shelf-stable ingredient. Also present in the serum are hyaluronic acid (for a dose of hydration), pomegranate extract (for even more free-radical-fighting antioxidant power) and green tea extract (for its inflammation-calming properties).
Because you might be wondering: Yes, like all of my favorite vitamin C products, this serum smells like hotdog water. For the uninitiated, vitamin C itself has a strangely lunch meat-esque aroma, and therefore, if your vitamin C serum doesn’t smell like hot dog water, it’s because it either doesn’t contain potent levels of the ingredient or is being masked with heavy added fragrances, which can create the potential for irritation. I’ll take hotdog face over inflamed, unnecessarily perfumed skin any day. Besides, once I wait the suggested five to 10 minutes after applying this serum and then follow it up with a moisturizer, the scent is completely gone.
I’ve been slathering this on in the morning (after my favorite pore-tightening niacinamide serum but before my go-to moisturizer and sunscreen) for about a month with noticeable results: My acne scars have faded significantly, my overall tone is brighter and the texture has improved, too. I haven’t found a single other product at this price point that has accomplished so much.
No B.S. Vitamin C+E Serum, $40, available here.
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