[Review] SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, Phloretin CF & bestsellers, is it worth it?

My favorite American dermatologist, Dr. Shereen Idriss, keeps recommending SkinCeuticals products. Her routine is very simple and only has 5-6 products. I took advantage of my trip to Canada and the United States to get my hands on these products and I am amazed at the results.

Today, I’m going to review SkinCeuticals products that I have tested and the products tested by my friend Linh, a fan of the brand, so you will have a pretty complete list of SkinCeuticals products

  1. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
  2. SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF
  3. SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense
  4. SkinCeuticals – Hydrating B5
  5. SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense
  6. SkinCeuticals – Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
  7. SkinCeuticals H.A Intensify
  8. SkinCeuticals – Triple Lipid Restore
  9. SkinCeuticals – Discoloration Defense Serum

Linh and I both have combination, acne-prone skin.
While I was able to control and completely eradicate my acne with a combination of Japanese, Korean and American products, Linh wanted to invest 100% in SkinCeuticals products and maintain pimple free skin with SkinCeuticals.

Note: This article is NOT sponsored.

SkinCeuticals, what is it?

It is an American cosmetics brand. The products are distributed only in spas, beauty institutes, some pharmacies and by dermatologists. It is very well known for its well formulated products, with a high concentration of active ingredients and a positioning of medical cosmetics. The brand has been acquired by L’Oréal.

The products are classified in 3 categories:

  • PREVENT: prevent – products to be used in prevention, for example anti-aging serums, preventing the appearance of wrinkles or fine lines
  • CORRECT: to correct – to treat skin problems such as acne, redness, spots.
  • PROTECT: to protect – mainly sun products

The price is rather high so many use it when nothing works anymore – but then they are conquered by the efficiency of the products.
If the price is a hindrance, you can first test the products with a facial at home, then ask for samples before buying full size

If you are in Paris, they have a spa in the Marais, very well equipped and you can ask for a free (which takes 5 minutes) or paid (20€ or free if you buy a product) customized skin diagnosis to find the right routine.

Reviews: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

Ingredients: aqua / water / water, ethoxydiglycol, ascorbic acid, glycerin, propylene glycol, laureth-23, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, triethanolamine, ferulic acid, panthenol, sodium hyaluronate

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic the bestseller of the brand. It is an anti-aging serum containing 15% Vitamin C (in the form of L-ascorbic acid), 1% Vitamin E (in the form of alpha tocopherol) and 0.5% ferulic acid. It is very difficult to stabilize Vitamin C and even more difficult to get it absorbed by the skin. There is information that the vitamin C molecule would be too big anyway to be absorbed through the skin. However, SkinCeuticals puts all the chances on their side: the formulation includes pure L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) at an acid pH between 2.0 and 3.5 and a concentration between 10 and 20%, which guarantees the proper diffusion of vitamin C to the skin. SkinCeuticals is the only brand to formulate antioxidants that meet these criteria.

Even if ferulic acid isn’t the most dosed ingredient, it contributes greatly to the success of this serum: since it neutralizes free radicals and increases the antioxidant properties of vitamins C and E. Note also that the combination of these 3 ingredients allows to stabilize vitamin C.

There is this absolutely incredible video of the brand showing how an apple oxidizes in 20 minutes. If it is protected by the antioxidants in this serum, it will not oxidize. And even the oxidized part can turn white again in 10 minutes thanks to the serum. I’ll let you watch the video (others have tried the experience at home and the results are exactly the same as what is shown in this advertising video)

Linh’s opinion: this serum delivers its promises, the skin is more radiant, fine lines around the eyes disappear. It requires very few products (3 drops for the whole face) so despite its price 148€ (for 30ml), the bottle lasts a long time. Linh tells me that unfortunately she can’t comment on wrinkles because she doesn’t have any. On spots, it is one of the best products on the market. The only criticism that can be made of this serum is that, as the vitamin C is highly dosed here, there is an unavoidable sticky effect in combination skin and sensitive skin feels a little stinging. Dry or normal skin will appreciate this serum more, especially since it can be used during the day under a sunscreen. On the packaging side: the bottle is made of dark glass and comes with a dropper, classy and effective.

Buy SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic on Skinceuticals, Lookfantastic or FeelUnique

Reviews: SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF

Ingredients: aqua / water / water, dipropylene glycol, alcohol denat., ascorbic acid, butylene glycol, triethyl citrate, phloretin, ferulic acid

Less known than CE Ferulic, SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF serum is the version reserved for combination or oily skins, or those who do not like serums with too much vitamin C. Indeed, when the skin is prone to pimples or isn’t strong enough, using Vitamin C can make it bud, so it is better to opt for a serum with a lower Vitamin C concentration like this one.

It is an anti-aging serum containing 10% Vitamin C (in the form of L-ascorbic acid), 2% pure Phloretin and 0.5% ferulic acid, with the same manufacturing process as the C E Ferulic serum, to ensure the proper diffusion of vitamin C to the skin. Even if ferulic acid isn’t the most dosed ingredient, it contributes greatly to the success of this serum: since it neutralizes free radicals and increases the antioxidant properties of vitamin C.

Here, Vitamin E has been replaced by Phloretin, an antioxidant for cell renewal. It seems that someone did the same experiment with apple, and having less vitamin C, this serum only restores the oxidized apple after 20 minutes (vs. 10 minutes for SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic).

My own opinion : Linh told me that C E Ferulic was rather reserved for normal skin so having a sensitive combination skin, I immediately bought the Phloretin CF version without using the C E Ferulic version (my wallet doesn’t allow me to buy both). I am really amazed by the results. It doesn’t stick at all, 3-4 drops are enough for the whole face (so the bottle lasts me an eternity one year to be precise) and I really appreciate that it is formulated especially to be used during the day (always under a sunscreen of course, vitamin C boosts the sunscreen). With the vitamin C of Drunk Elephant(Amazon link), with very similar ingredients, it’s one of the rare serums well dosed in Vitamin C that doesn’t make me purge. I definitely prefer SkinCeuticals to Drunk Elephant because the version of Drunk Elephant leaves an oily film on the skin, while SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF is instantly absorbed and you can spread the cream on your skin right afterwards.

The effect is visible in a few days: fine lines disappear, a radiant complexion and above all no burning sensation despite the pounding sun, a small but pleasant “lifting” effect. Spots fade very quickly, it is bluffing. On the packaging side: the bottle is made of dark glass and comes with a dropper, classy and effective. It took me a year to finish it, I’m very happy with the quality/price ratio.

Buy SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF on SkinCeuticals, Lookfantastic or FeelUnique

Reviews: SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense

Ingredients: alcohol denat., water, methylpropanediol, glycolic acid, diisopropyl adipate, octadecenedioic acid, hydroxyethylpiperazine ethane sulfonic acid, citric acid, capryloyl salicylic acid, sodium hydroxide, polyquaternium-10

Linh’s opinion: SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense, this anti-blemish serum relies on dioic acid to calm inflammation. However, with alcohol denat as 1st ingredient, glycolic acid and salicylic acid, one must be careful: first put 2-3 drops on the hand, so that the alcohol evaporates. Then apply the product only to the problem areas. Otherwise the salicylic acid will bring all the potential pimples to the surface (especially if the skin is full of microcysts) and you will have the impression of having even more pimples than before. If you apply the serum directly to the skin (or too much at once), there will inevitably be a small burning sensation. If your skin is sensitive, start with 2 drops first

Linh’s opinion: This is the product my friend Linh chose to get rid of her pimples. The results are visible from the 1st week. Moreover, the dioic acid also treats the spots, the buttons treated by this serum do not leave brown spots. Now that her skin is clean, she still applies it 2 to 3 times a week, as a preventive measure on areas at risk of having pimples.

If the price demotivates you (91€ anyway), know that I don’t use this serum like Linh but a lot of other cheaper products. However, this serum does not tighten pores. For that, you have cheaper solutions such as the serum Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% from The Ordinary at 5.6€ (Sephora link, The Ordinary link)

Reviews: SkinCeuticals – Hydrating B5

Ingredients: aqua / water / water, phenoxyethanol, calcium pantothenate, sodium hyaluronate

Linh’s opinion: After treating pimples, the skin remains sensitive and damaged. B5 serums are the best for repairing the skin barrier. My girlfriend Linh used it and appreciated it very much. However, repairing the skin barrier is something that takes time. Let’s just say that she applied it religiously every day to her face and one day she thought your complexion was even and her skin looked great. Moreover, the serum is absorbed very quickly by the skin so it seems to work (by the way, it absorbs so quickly that it’s better to put some directly with the pipette rather than on her hand).

The quality/price ratio is a bit scandalous according to her because there are other products based on B5 much cheaper like at The Ordinary which has almost the same composition for 10 times cheaper: 6.8€ (hyaluronic acid + B5, Sephora link, The Ordinary Link) or The Ordinary Amino Acids + B5 for 6.8€ (The Ordinary Link, Sephora link) if you only want B5.

As for me, I preferred to use the Japanese products at Tune Makers based on ceramides and fullerenes which cost about thirty euros.
I recently discovered NIOD CAIS 2 which repairs the skin barrier very well for 45€ with copper peptides.

Buy SkinCeuticals – Hydrating B5 on FeelUnique

Reviews: SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense

Ingredients : titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, dimethicone, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, triethylhexanoin, isohexadecane, talc, hydrogenated jojoba oil, dimethicone crosspolymer, styrene/acrylate copolymer, c30-45 alkyldimethylsilyl polypropylsilsesquioxane, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, aluminum stearate, alumina, polyhydroxystearic acid, iron oxides, phenoxyethanol, silica silylate, peg-8 laurate, triethoxycaprylylsilane, 2-oleamido-1,3-octadecanediol, disodium stearoyl glutamate, paraffin, aluminum hydroxide

My opinion: I am (well, my skin is) extremely difficult. Very few sun creams are suitable for me. I finally found two sun creams that I like, but they sting my eyes too much, so I had to buy SkinCeuticals’ special eye cream. For 10ml, it is very expensive, but it’s only worth the equivalent of a beanstalk for both eye contours. It doesn’t migrate, it doesn’t sting the eyes, the cream is also a little tinted, so it can be used as a 2-in-1 product: sunscreen AND anti-dark circles. I really appreciate that it’s a physical/mineral (not chemical) sunscreen because my skin can’t stand chemical sunscreens anymore. The SPF 50 suits me perfectly. The only catch: Dimethicone is the 3rd ingredient but the eye area supports this ingredient. 38€ for 10ml, but I haven’t found an equivalent. I highly recommend

Buy SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense on Skinceuticals official website

Reviews: SkinCeuticals – Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

Ingredients : titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, water, dimethicone, isododecane, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, undecane, triethylhexanoin, isohexadecane, nylon-12, caprylyl methicone, butyloctyl salicylate, phenethyl benzoate, styrene/acrylate copolymer, silica, tridecane, dicaprylyl carbonate, dicaprylyl ether, talc, dimethicone/peg-10/15 crosspolymer, aluminum stearate, pentylene glycol, peg-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, alumina, polyhydroxystearic acid, phenoxyethanol, magnesium sulfate, caprylyl glycol, iron oxides, peg-8 laurate, disteardimonium hectorite, triethoxycaprylylsilane, tocopherol, propylene carbonate, artemia extract, benzoic acid, c9-15 fluoroalcohol phosphate, peg-9

It is one of the top-sellers of the Brand. I was able to use this product thanks to the samples given when I bought my products. And during facials using SkinCeuticals products. Result: I don’t like it at all. Even though this sun cream is tinted and the color suits me well, my skin reacted violently to the dimethicone present in this cream and pimples appeared. It has a more fluid texture than the eye sunscreen, and it looks darker. Less sensitive skins will surely appreciate this product more: the proof is that it is a best-seller of the brand!

Reviews: SkinCeuticals H.A Intensifier


My friend Linh is in love with it. She received it as a sample and just bought the full size. For thirsty skin, it’s THE miracle product to buy, and it brightens a dull complexion overnight. The skin drinks this serum. This isn’t surprising since this serum contains 10% Proxylane, which increases the synthesis of GAGs, including hyaluronic acid, and helps maintain the integrity of the extra-cellular matrix to improve firmness. It also contains extracts of licorice root for an anti-spotting effect and 1.3% hyaluronic acid (in the form of SODIUM HYALURONATE), which is capable of retaining up to 1000 times its weight in water. Linh doesn’t have wrinkles so she can’t say for sure about the anti-wrinkle effect of this serum, but I’ll just put here the before/after pictures communicated by the brand.

Buy SkinCeuticals H.A Intensifier on SkinCeuticals, Lookfantastic or FeelUnique

Personally, as I have not personally tested this serum, I cannot pronounce on my preference. If only the ingredients are analyzed, at this price, I would have preferred NIOD MMHC 2 which contains 15 types of hyaluronic acids with different molecular weights, is more concentrated in moisturizing ingredients and does not contain denat alcohol, unlike SkinCeuticals.

Reviews: SkinCeuticals – Triple Lipid Restore

Ingredients : aqua/water/water, dimethicone, hydrogenated polyisobutene, glycerin, cholesterol, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, ceramide 3, helianthus annuus seed oil unsaponifiables/sunflower seed oil unsaponifiables, bis-peg-18 methyl ether dimethyl silane, sodium polyacrylate, peg-10 dimethicone, nylon-12, lauryl peg-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, dimethicone/peg-10/15 crosspolymer, phenoxyethanol, disteardimonium hectorite, hydroxyethylpiperazine ethane sulfonic acid, ammonium polyacryloyldimethyl taurate, chlorphenesin, caprylyl glycol, peg/ppg-18/18 dimethicone, propylene carbonate, disodium edta, acrylonitrile/methyl methacrylate/vinylidene chloride copolymer, adenosine, dipropylene glycol, lavandula angustifolia oil/lavender oil, rosmarinus officinalis leaf oil/rosemary leaf oil, t-butyl alcohol, mentha piperita oil/peppermint oil, sodium citrate, linalool, isobutane, ceramide eop, bht, tocopherol, limonene, d182888/1

The reason why our faces appear more angular over time is the loss of lipids in the face. By keeping enough lipids, the skin is plumped up and looks younger, with fewer wrinkles too. Thus, this cream aims to restore the skin’s essential lipids: ceramides, natural cholesterol and fatty acids.

Linh’s opinion: Non-greasy touch, the skin is softer and more beautiful. The jar is 48ml but lasts a long time because we use very little for the whole face. Then, Linh isn’t sure that the cream has really brought a lot of lipids to her skin. The “softer skin” side is maybe just a mirage given by the silicone as the 2nd ingredient. Cream rather reserved for winter use. Purchase not essential

Reviews: Discoloration Defense Serum

Ingredients : Aqua/Water, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Propylene Glycol, Tranexamic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Allantoin, Chlorphenesin, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA

I’m sorry, I don’t have a personal opinion for this serum because it’s on my wishlist but I can’t wait to get my hands on this magic bottle. The fact that it is highly recommended by Shereen Idriss, THE New York dermatologist who knows every ingredient by heart and has personally tested it, is encouraging.

The European version contains :

  • 1.8% tranexamic acid: Acts at the source and deactivates inflammatory mediators and decreases the activity of melanocytes in the basal layer. There aren many sera containing this miracle ingredient. I’m too eager to test it. Shereen says it is as effective as hydroquinone, an ingredient I really liked but which cannot be used continuously, let alone on non-Caucasian skin
  • 5% Niacinamide: A water-soluble form of the essential vitamin B3, also known as nicotinamide, this molecule prevents the transfer of excess melanin to the surface of the epidermis. It acts on the stage of melanogenesis. Already known for its soothing and healing action, niacinamide has been shown to inhibit the transfer of melanin from melanocytes to keratinocytes.
  • 5% of hepatitis : Exfoliates the excess of pigmented cells existing on the surface of the skin (keratolytic action).

The American and Canadian version contains kojic acid in addiction, which is very helpful in fighting hyperpigmentation.

Apparently, it would have actions even on old and recalcitrant stains. I leave you a before/after picture communicated by the brand here. I hope Santa Claus will take my wishlist into account 😉 so I can make my own before/after. I’m currently using Re:Pigment by NIOD, which works very well because it contains azelaic acid, but I would like results a little bit faster 😀

Buy SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense Serum on Skinceuticals, Lookfantastic or FeelUnique


I hope this article has made you want to try SkinCeuticals products. Thank you Linh for your feedback <3

I have tried many vitamin C serums and those from SkinCeuticals are really unique, very stable, concentrated, without being aggressive to the skin. They far surpass those of Drunk Elephant, Paula’s Choice and their American / Korean / Japanese dupes:

  1. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic for dry or normal skin
  2. SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF for combination or oily skin

If you are still in doubt because of the high prices, I advise you to opt for a facial at their spa in the Marais in Paris (more info).
Afterwards, you will get some mini samples. After 1 week, if you are still convinced, buy the full size.

For me, the must-have products (which aren so foolproof and worth every penny) are the following:

  1. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic for dry or normal skin
  2. SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF for combination or oily skin
  3. SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense for a tinted sunscreen for the eye area that does not migrate
  4. SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense Serum (according to the enthusiastic opinions of American users)

On the official SkinCeuticals website, for each order, you will always have 1 to 2 samples of 10ml (equivalent to 35€ of products), so buy one product at a time to take advantage of the samples 😀

Anh est toujours très occupée à profiter de jolies choses, et à fabriquer de petites bricoles de ses propres mains. **** Hi, my name is Anh. I am a Vietnamese-French DIY passionate, beauty lover and cosmetic tester.

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