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Today, I’m going to talk about C-Glow from Geek & Gorgeous, a Hungarian brand that I discovered only a few months ago. We will analyze this Vitamin C serum before comparing it with the incomparable Phloretin CF by Skinceuticals.
If The Ordinary, Niod, Paula’s Choice and Skinceuticals had a child (I know, it’s hard to have a child with 4, but let’s assume), it would be Geek & Gorgeous.
Geek & Gorgeous, what is it?
There is little information about this brand, as it is a Hungarian brand. The creator has created a cosmetic review website. She realized that it would be better if she launched her own brand, selling products with a minimalist list of ingredients, while having concentrated active ingredients.
C-Glow is one of their star serums, which contains 15% L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C). L-ascorbic acid is an anti-oxidant, which boosts collagen production and reduces hyperpigmentation
Since it is an unstable ingredient in water, Skinceuticals found a way to stabilize it with Ferulic acid and vitamin E. Unfortunately, this trick has been copied/pasted by quite a few brands, but obviously, the techniques are not the same. SkinCeuticals’ process is patented. Other serums contain ferulic acid and vitamin E, but they may not be the same concentration. C-Glow is therefore considered a dupe (a copy) of SkinCeuticals vitamin C serums, but with a much more affordable price (€10.5 vs. €157 at Skinceuticals).
To combat this instability, C-Glow is produced once a week. All C-Glow that is sent to consumers is fresh. Thus, we have access to the unoxidized serum, which will deliver its full potential.
Water, (L-)Ascorbic Acid, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Butylene Glycol, Peg/Ppg/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin, Ferulic Acid, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide
Packaging : What I find cute about Geek & Gorgeous is the box with icons specific to each product. C-Glow has the sun icon
All serums at Geek & Gorgeous come in the dark bottles, to protect them from light. The dropper, included, is great!
As L-ascorbic acid is unstable, the brand recommends buying small bottles of 10ml, so you can decant 20ml of the fresh product, keep them in the fridge, and take out only one 10ml bottle each time. The small bottle I bought at Geek & Gorgeous costs only 1,5€, but it also has a pipette. I really like this system.
As soon as C-Glow arrived, I immediately decanted 20ml into 2 small bottles, and kept the large 10ml bottle out for my daily use.
When C-Glow arrived, there was no trace of oxidation, the serum is completely transparent and has no smell.
2 months later, the bottle on the outside has oxidized, like in the picture (pipette on the left). The smell of the oxidized vitamin C is typical. It is a smell that one can recognize immediately.
The bottle in the fridge has oxidized a bit too (but less). It’s the pipette on the right. I admit that I did not respect the “cold chain.” As I changed countries and apartments in the meantime, the two unused serums stayed out of the fridge for several days (but not opened)
Like a normal water-based serum, the skin absorbs it immediately. Besides, it’s a bit dangerous because we tend to use too much of it, whereas a few drops are enough for the whole face.
When the serum arrived all clear, the serum was way too strong for me. Not only was L-ascorbic acid at 15% (I usually use 10% max), but it was fresh and therefore even stronger. My skin was strong enough at that point but not strong enough for 15%, apparently. I had a skin reaction (two cystic pimples that took a long time to heal).
I waited for the two pimples to heal before using this serum again a month later (you should never use vitamin C with active acne). In the meantime, it oxidized a bit, so it was much better for me. I also use less product: only 2 drops instead of 4 drops.
I honestly think that my sensitive skin can’t stand overly concentrated Vitamin C, and doesn’t like Vitamin E very much.
When the serum became oxidized, I was much better. No more reactions to report. I use it in the morning with an SPF, as recommended
In terms of effectiveness against hyperpigmentation, this vitamin C alone does not have a huge impact. However, when I use it alternately with retinol (vitamin C every morning and retinol 2-3 times a week in the evening), my skin suddenly has more radiance. The two create a synergy that brings out the best in each other. Of course, I always recommend Drunk Elephant’s A-Passioni retinol (Sephora link)
Geek & Gorgeous vs. Skinceuticals
Since this is a Skinceuticals dupe, I’m going to do the comparison between this product and Skinceuticals vitamin C.
You can see that C-Glow is closer to the formulation of CE Ferulic from Skinceuticals than to Phloretin CF (my serum).
|C-Glow||C E FERULIC||Phloretin CF|
|Water, (L-)Ascorbic Acid, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Butylene Glycol, Peg/Ppg/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin, Ferulic Acid, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide||aqua / water / eau, ethoxydiglycol, ascorbic acid, glycerin, propylene glycol, laureth-23, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, triethanolamine, ferulic acid, panthenol, sodium hyaluronate||aqua / water / eau, dipropylene glycol, alcohol denat, ascorbic acid, butylene glycol, triethyl citrate, phloretin, ferulic acid|
I only bought Phloretin CF, so I’m only comparing it with the serum I have. Already, it is clearly noticeable that Geek & Gorgeous C-Glow is “fresher” than Phloretin. My Phloretin CF serum, upon purchase, is immediately a bit yellow, while the Geek & Gorgeous serum is transparent. By the way, Skinceuticals never said that their serum had to be transparent.
After a year, my Skinceuticals has become very yellow, very oxidized, but it’s not a particular incident (my skin is not more yellow after application).
Since Phloretin CF contains less Vitamin C (10% vs. C-Glow) and does not contain Vitamin E, I have never had a purge or reaction with Phloretin.
Now, with C-Glow, before it oxidized, I had an immediate reaction with this serum.
Even when heavily oxidized, Phloretin CF has more effect on dark spots than fresh C-Glow. C-Glow needs to be combined with regular use of retinol, to give the same result as Phloretin CF alone.
- I think that on sensitive skins, it is necessary to wait for C-Glow oxidation to use it.
- It would be best if you used it when you have no more pimples
- The serum is effective if retinol is integrated into the routine and used regularly
- SkinCeuticals’ Vitamine C is always more effective. They have the best vitamin C on the market. However, if you don’t have the possibility to spend 157€ in one go for Phloretin CF, C-Glow is a good alternative, but it will be slower, that’s all
Where to buy ?
Geek & Gorgeous is currently only sold on their official website. This allows them to deliver the freshest products.
You can buy it here for 10,5€ for 30ml
Delivery is free for all orders over 50€, and costs 5€ for all orders between 25€ and 50€. 15€ for any order under 25€.
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