Morning Antioxidant Serums

This past year I have explored a variety of antioxidant serums. Initially I was naive and believed that only using Vitamin C in the form of L-Ascorbic Acid (L-AA), one of the most researched antioxidants, would give me the protection I wanted from an antioxidant serum, but that simply isn’t true.

I’ve read in countless articles/blogs/Instagram posts that antioxidants work in synergy with sunscreen by creating an additional protective layer.  Antioxidants on the skin are so fantastic because antioxidants help neutralize free radicals in our environment, such as pollution, ultraviolet light, etc, protecting the skin. There are many other functions of antioxidants on the skin as well: smooth out skin texture and brighten skin texture, just to name a few.

In this post I’ll discuss some of the antioxidant serums I’ve tested; which antioxidants are the star ingredients and my experience with them.

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Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

I fell in love hard and fast with this L-AA based serum. I loved the packaging both aesthetically and practically as it not only was clean and easily identified, but also in a pump! A few years after its launch, Drunk Elephant improved the packaging by incorporating a twist pump that is easily opened using only one hand. This formula also contains Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E.

Initially I didn’t notice any “results” with this serum. I finished 3 bottles.  Only when I stopped using it did I realize what it was doing to my complexion. It brightened my skin and increased firmness especially around my eye area.

I decided to transition away from it to explore other antioxidant serums, however I still believe it’s a fabulous product!  Other users have commented that the serum is deceptive since in its freshest state it is light orange color and quite frankly looks like it has oxidized and is no longer effective. The folks at Drunk Elephant are great at answering any questions you may have via social media or email, so don’t hesitate to pick their brains if you ever want to validate the freshness of your C-Firma!

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Kypris Beauty Antioxidant Dew

This milky serum hosts a powerhouse of not only antioxidants but also lush, non-irritation (barring allergies) plant botanicals. This formula contains Vitamin E, Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate), Superoxide Dismutase, Ferulic Acid, sunflower oil, tea oil, algae, and those are just the antioxidants!

As this serum also contains sodium hyaluronate, aloe, rose extract, and glycerine, all delicious humectants that will help keep the skin hydrated. This layers beautifully under any other products I pile over it. While I did not see any brightening or firming effects like I had with C-Firma, Antioxidant Dew gave my skin the extra comfort it seeks during the colder months while also providing my skin with antioxidant protection. This is my favorite product from the Kypris line.

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Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

After finishing Antioxidant Dew, Instagram persuaded me to go back to L-AA based serums.  As my skin was tender from beginning my retinoid journey, so I decided to start with the Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop serum.  This contains 5% L-AA while also containing some green tea extract and a Vitamin C derivative (sodium ascorbyl phosphate).

The texture is slightly oily, similar to squalane, and can take some time to absorb into the skin. It also comes in a cute (but not-so-practical) clear drop bottle that does not protect the product from UV oxidation. I never experienced any issues with this serum oxidizing, but I did make sure to keep it in the original packaging box when not in us.

I will note that while this is targeted for all skin types, including sensitive or reactive skin, the formula contains lavender oil. When I went to apply the serum, I always had a slight tingle with it. I always thought it was my skin adjusting to the L-AA, but in retrospect it was probably a combo of that plus the lavender that irritated my skin.  My sister has no issues with the Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop as it brightens her skin. Sadly I have not had the same luck with it.

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SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX+

This water-based serum contains 10% L-AA and Ferulic Acid. It is the sister to SkinCeuticals infamous CE Ferulic serum and is formulated with sensitive skins in mind. It has a short and sweet ingredient list that include glycerin and sodium hyaluronate (love me some humectants!), sinks quickly into the skin, and is undetectable when wearing it.

Even with the higher concentration of L-AA, my skin took to this serum so much easier than the dear Klairs serum. Very, very little tingle with the initial application with almost no irritation on subsequent uses. This lasted me about 4 months before it turned orange and oxidized. I would recommend this serum to anyone looking to use a water based L-AA serum and even her sister serum, Serum 15 AOX+, is still “more affordable” than CE Ferulic.

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The Ordinary EUK 134 0.1%

Over the past few weeks I moved my L-AA serum to my evening routines and have inserted EUK 134 into my morning routines. This is part of a new generation of antioxidants. Other antioxidants degrade throughout the day, but EUK 134 has the unique ability to replicate itself while still protecting against ultraviolet and environmental aggressions. Très cool! <-read with a French accent sil vous plait.

This serum is brown, almost gloopy, and has a slight oily texture, but sinks into the skin in less time than it takes me to brush my teeth.  DECIEM recommends to use this as the last step before applying moisturizer and to not use any acidic products (Vitamin C, AHAs, BHAs, etc.) with it. EUK is said to act like Superoxide Dismatuse and help reduce redness. While I am still in the early stages of testing this antioxidant out, I will say that it mixes with my hyaluronic acid serum like a dream (NIOD MMHC2 for reference).  My preferred method of application is to take 2-3 drops of a hyaluronic acid serum and mix it with 2-3 drops of EUK 134.  This adds a boost of hydration to this already powerful antioxidant.

What I’ve learned the most this past year from testing a variety of antioxidant serums is to use one that works with your morning lifestyle.  For me that means it will skin fairly quickly into my skin, layer well with my other skincare, won’t cause any irritations or exacerbate redness, and doesn’t hurt my wallet too much.

If you follow me on Instagram (@mrsjassyglows) I’d love to hear what antioxidant serums you are currently enjoying!  Until next month, I’ll be #workingonmyglow.