Vitamin C is one of the best things you can do for your skin in terms of anti-aging. L-Ascorbic Acid is the form of Vitamin C with the most research behind it, but it’s also quite difficult to keep in a stable form for prolonged periods of time, but there are plenty of other forms out there is this kind does not play well with your skin. The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension contains 23% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder, which is a pretty high concentration (and absolutely enough to be effective). Like all of The Ordinary’s products, the ingredient list is kept to the bare minimum, and really focuses on a powerhouse ingredient (in this case, L-Ascorbic Acid). This formula is water-free, which allows it to stay stable, as well as silicone- and alcohol-free. The spheres of Hyaluronic Acid are said to play together nicely with the Vitamin C, according to the Ordinary’s website, and provide skin-smoothing benefits. The website says that this product is ideally applied at nighttime.
Before I go into the review, I want to quickly address one thing about the timing of use. Some people have concerns about using the product at night, because many people believe that niacinamide and L-ascorbic acid, when combined together, form a 1:1 compound and cancel out each other’s benefits. While there may be some slight concern for some people about producing some surface redness (that will subside pretty quickly), the concern about the 1:1 compound is not really supported by the research. Even if it does form, the reaction is very reversible. Studies have not shown that the efficacy of one is negated by the combination of the two. If you want to read more, Kind of Stephen has a great blog post about this where you can really dig into the chemistry.
Anyway, back to the product. The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension costs $5.80, which is truly a great price. The packaging is simple and sleek looking, and you get 30 ml of product. The price pretty much can’t be beat. The product itself is effective, for sure. The formulation, like all of The Ordinary’s products, is based on good science.
However, there are some tradeoffs for the cheap price. The formula itself leaves a lot to be desired for me. Many can tolerate it (and even love this product) but I struggle to get used to the texture of it. It feels liquidy, but has gritty little powder particles in it that make you feel like you are physically exfoliating your face when you apply it. It just feels kind of harsh to me, and makes me not want to use it. In addition, this product takes forever to sink into the skin. I can touch my face 30 minutes or more application and still feel some grittiness. This is a total drag if I’m trying to put this on in the morning or at night between skincare steps, because I have to like, plan this into my day. It just takes so long to not feel gritty anymore. In addition, it can leave my skin feeling greasy. For reference, I have combo/dry skin and usually appreciate moisture of any kind from water-based gels to straight up oils. This is one of the few products that sits on top of my skin like a layer of grease. I’ve also found that it does not play very well with my makeup. My foundation tends to break up if I don’t set it with powder when I use this product, and that NEVER happens to me because I’ve never been oily enough.
All in all, I think that the price point is great and the product is effective, but I won’ t be buying this again. I’d rather shell out a bit more for a formula that I enjoy and will want to use.