Vitamin C Serum 101 + Timeless 20% Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum Review

I’m fighting the visible aging process tooth and nail to make up for decades of bad decisions, as you’ll notice if you make it through even a couple of posts here or on my Instagram. So I’m often asked about my recommendations for the best anti-aging skincare products. My first answer will always be sunscreen, but coming in at a close second for people of all ages is an effectively formulated vitamin C serum. I’ve seen a lot of people in skincare enthusiast circles recommend Timeless 20% Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum, so for the past couple of months, I’ve been putting it to the test.

Affiliate links in this post are marked with an asterisk(*).

First things first, though. What makes vitamin C (specifically the L-ascorbic acid form used in the Timeless and many other vitamin C serums) so important for anti-aging? And what makes a vitamin C serum effective or ineffective?

Vitamin C Serum: The Basics

Vitamin C is one of the elite few skincare ingredients with a sizable and more or less credible body of research supporting its claimed effects on skin. There are a number of different vitamin C derivatives used in cosmetics; for the rest of this post, I’m going to be talking specifically about L-ascorbic acid (L-AA), which is one of the most widely studied and used forms. In many cases, when a cosmetic label lists “ascorbic acid,” what’s meant is L-AA.

In some ways, L-AA is awesome. Very few other ingredients are scientifically demonstrated to deliver such heavy-duty benefits. A potent antioxidant, it has been shown to defend skin from free radical damage caused by UV exposure. While it’s no substitute for sunscreen, it can boost sunscreen’s ability to protect your skin from sun damage. L-ascorbic acid’s antioxidant powers can also prevent the oxidation of melanin already present in skin, resulting in clearer and more even skin tone.

Speaking of pigmentation, L-AA inhibits the production of melanin and so is used to reduce and prevent hyperpigmentation. Current research also shows that a properly formulated L-AA product can increase collagen synthesis, which is vitamin C’s key selling point in anti-aging products.

Timeless Vitamin C serum in an anti-aging skincare routine
Collagen synthesis is really where it’s at with my actives regimen.

For brightening, photoprotective, and anti-aging benefits, however, you can’t just take vitamin C supplements or eat lots of delicious oranges. (Though you should do that anyway, for overall health.) Very little orally consumed vitamin C makes it to the skin.

You can’t just break open a vitamin C supplement and smear it on your face, either. Topical vitamin C needs to be formulated to certain specifications to penetrate skin and be effective. A concentration of 20% is optimal, and in an aqueous solution (like most serums), the pH needs to be lower than 4 for stability and lower than 3.5 for the L-AA to penetrate skin and work its slow magic.

(By the way, to answer a very frequently asked question, these requirements instantly disqualify the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop serum, which has 5% L-AA and a pH of 6).

But the right concentration and pH aren’t all that matter. Much like me, L-AA needs the support of a few friends to really come into its own. I need my fellow Snailcast members, and L-AA needs vitamin E and ferulic acid. Vitamin E boosts the serum’s overall antioxidant defense, while ferulic acid stabilizes the solution and significantly increases its photoprotective properties.

So to recap, for optimal anti-aging, skin-brightening, and photoprotective effects, a water-based vitamin C serum that uses L-ascorbic acid should:

  • Contain 20% L-AA
  • Be at a pH lower than 3.5
  • Also contain vitamin E and ferulic acid
Timeless C+E+F serum review Fifty Shades of Snail
Does this? Let’s find out.

Review: Timeless 20% Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum

Timeless is a California-based “natural” skincare company that claims to make simple, effective skincare products with a focus on actives at maximum concentration, with minimal filler. They use “more actives, less chemicals,”sigh and their products are dye-, paraben-, and cruelty-free.

Purpose: Timeless CEF Serum is an anti-aging skincare product that claims to even skin tone and increase collagen in skin. It also “allows skin to feel nourished and loved.” Cheesy writing aside, this product may reduce fine lines and wrinkles with long-term use.

Best suited for: Dry or normal skin types with preventative or reparative aging concerns and/or uneven or excessive pigmentation.

Do not use if: You are sensitive to vitamin E or anything else in the ingredients list. Proceed with caution if you have sensitive skin or a compromised lipid barrier, as the very low pH of this product can cause stinging. May not be ideal for oily skin due to the vitamin E content. The website says:

Timeless CEF oily skin warning
Pretty clear, right?

Farther down, however, the website then says:

Timeless CEF claim for all skin types
Self-contradictory SEO writing at its finest.

Having used the product, I’m inclined to agree that oily skin could find the consistency of the product problematic, but not necessarily or terribly so. It’s up to you.

When and how to use: Use immediately after cleansing. Dispense a few drops into palm and spread in a thin layer over skin. Allow to dry and absorb for at least 10 minutes before moving on to the next step of your skincare routine. I use this once daily, in the evening; vitamin C’s half-life in skin is four days, quite a long time, and there’s a limit to how much vitamin C skin can retain, so I don’t see the need to apply twice a day, as much of the product will be wasted. Either morning or evening use are fine.

Timeless CEF Serum ingredients

Timeless 20% Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum ingredients: Water, ethoxydiglycol, l-ascorbic acid (20%), propylene glycol, vitamin E, polysorbate 80, panthenol, ferulic acid, sodium hyaluronate, benzyl alcohol, dehydroacetic acid

CosDNA analysis

pH: Between 2 and 3, according to my pH strips*.

Timeless vitamin C serum pH
Multiple pH strips, squinted at for several minutes, all seemed to place the serum a little closer to 2 than 3.

Notable ingredients: Earlier we covered the basic requirements for an optimally formulated water-based vitamin C serum. Timeless CEF Serum hits all the main points. Its pH is low enough and then some. The concentration is the maximum effective according to current research. And the L-AA here is accompanied by its good friends vitamin E and ferulic acid. Well done, Timeless. I don’t see anything to complain about in the ingredients, either, as long as you personally aren’t reactive to any of them.


Timeless 20% C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum is a thin liquid that should be colorless when you first open it, denoting the freshness of the product. As L-AA oxidizes, serums turn progressively darker, from clear to yellow into brown or red. I normally discontinue use anytime the product becomes darker than the cheap champagne that has given me many a New Year’s Day hangover. Oxidized vitamin C is ineffective at best and possibly damaging at worst.

The stabilizing ingredients in the Timeless CEF Serum appear to do their job just as expected, however. The company guarantees the serum’s freshness for three months. Two months after opening the product, mine is still almost colorless.

Timeless C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum after two months
Actually, it’s about as pale after two months of use as C20 and C21.5 usually start out, in my experience.

I keep my CEF Serum in the refrigerator, where it’s cold and dark almost all the time. That also helps to slow oxidation. I’ve always kept my C20 and C21.5 serums in the fridge as well, though, and both of those have changed color much faster than the Timeless serum did. I’m impressed by the relative longevity of the CEF Serum.

That longevity is even more impressive considering the suboptimal packaging. Dropper bottles just aren’t great, especially for antioxidant-heavy products, since the regular exposure to air accelerates the product’s degradation. The Timeless bottle is dark, at least. And again, the product appears to be lasting just fine–at this rate, I’ll be able to finish the entire bottle without moving into the yellow.

Do I want to finish the entire bottle, though?

Evening skincare routine with Timeless CEF Serum
As a regular part of my beautiful evening skincare routine?

The Timeless CEF Serum doesn’t feel great going on. Thanks to the vitamin E, the serum has an unpleasantly oily feel, but it’s draggy at the same time, not the easiest to spread on bare skin. It also smells faintly of hot dog water due to the ferulic acid. Kind of a Catch-22: both those ingredients make the product work better but smell and feel worse.

When I first started using the product, I worried that its greasy finish would interfere with the rest of my skincare routine. Luckily, that turned out to not be a problem after all. Given 10 minutes or so, the serum does fully sink in to my skin, leaving it looking and feeling bare again. The smell also fades after a little while. So although the CEF Serum is initially a little unpleasant to apply, its consistency and smell are not deal-breakers after all.

As for results, those can be hard to judge with a product like this. The collagen-building effects of vitamin C can take up to a year to become visible, and the spot-brightening results need time to appear, too. Over the couple of months that I used this product, I wasn’t looking so much for dramatic new results as I was looking to confirm a continuation of the results I’ve been getting from long-term use of the popular (but not ideal) OST C20 vitamin C serum.

Essentially, I wanted to see if I would start to lose any of the progress I’d made with C20. If dark spots or other signs of sun damage showed up, or if my skin began to lose the firmness or even tone I’ve clawed back from the grip of Time, I would know that discontinuing C20 use had resulted in me losing something that the Timeless CEF was failing to replace.

Turns out, I lost nothing. The Timeless is at least as effective as C20 at preventing new signs of sun damage and visible collagen loss. Based on its objectively better formulation, I expect it to be a better investment over the long term as well. The fact that it seems to stay good for much longer than the C20 makes it a better pick financially, too.

My main caution to people wanting to try this product is to patch test it (as you should be doing anyway!). The very low pH of the Timeless CEF may cause it to sting or irritate your skin, especially the first few times you use it. If that’s the case, waiting after cleansing until skin is fully dry and less absorptive–as tretinoin users are recommended to do with their prescriptions–can help.

Conclusion: I didn’t see any rapid, dramatic improvements with this product, but then again, I didn’t expect to. This isn’t my first time with a vitamin C product, so my days of amazement at the powers of vitamin C are long behind me. What I hoped to see was equivalent or better effectiveness compared to the other vitamin C serums I’ve used. Timeless 20% Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum met my expectations there and exceeded my expectations for pH and overall formulation. I’m satisfied with the product and won’t have a problem finishing the bottle before moving on to the next candidate.

Rating: 4/5

Rating scale:

1 – This should be taken off the market, or this failed at its one primary job.

2 – Caused me some problems or doesn’t work very well; would not buy again.

3 – Meh. Neither great nor bad.

4 – Pretty good. Worth rebuying.

5 – I’ll never be in the market for a replacement unless this one is discontinued.

Disclaimer: Reviews on this blog are descriptive, not prescriptive. Individual experiences with products may differ. As always, patch test, know your sensitivities, and remember, YMMV!

Where can I buy Timeless 20% Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum?

Want to learn more about whether your routine could use actives like vitamin C? Check out this post!


70 thoughts on “Vitamin C Serum 101 + Timeless 20% Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum Review

  1. I can attest to Timeless’ longevity. My four month-old half bottle (I split the contents of one bottle in two to expose less product to air per use to extend shelf-life) was clearer than the brand new C20 bottle I got to replace it. I thought about continuing with the Timeless, but decided to relegate it to elbow/hand/knee use.

    The stinging is also significantly reduced with Tiimeless vs C20. There’s a slight tingling in certain spots at the worst, whereas with C20, the burn is REAL.

    If it was available where I live, I’d stick with Timeless, no question. But since shipping it from the US takes at least 10 days, I have to grin and bear it with C20 until the next time I find someone to bring Timeless home for me.


    1. Bought my first bottle during their labor day sale and it doesn’t have an intense hot dog smell that my skinceuticals does and it also doesn’t sting. It literally feels and smells like water going on. Anyone else experience this?


  2. Thank you for this review!!
    I’ve tried Timeless and though I know the ingredients are objectively better that OST C20, I’m just so bored by Timeless. Can’t really explain why. But maybe I should give it another chance?


    1. It’s definitely not an aesthetically appealing or fun product, so I just try to remind myself that it’s got great long term benefits and try not to fall asleep while putting it on 😉


    1. Some people find vitamin E to have an unpleasantly oily feeling, and vitamin E can be comedogenic for a fairly significant amount of people, but not everybody certainly!


    2. Vitamin E can cause outbreaks for ppl w/ oily skin. My skin is not even particularly oily, but every time almost I’ve tried products containing vitamin E, including this lovely product, I had breakouts :(. I have to say, though, that my skin is highly comedogenal and I’ve been use prescription retinol A to fight acne bursts (when they happen) for 3 years now. I will say that this product was very effective (which is why I said it was lovely) and I almost immediately felt its firming effects. I would’ve kept using it, if it weren’t causing acne on me, especially because I was looking for something to blur my acne scars, and even though it has a very bad, almost fishy, smell to it that lasts all day on your face and hands.


  3. Thanks for the amazingly detailed review! Could you do a comparison with the Skin Actives vitamin C serum? Skin actives has the same philosofy as Timeless (science backed skin care) but it’s much more affordable to buy and ship to Europe.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Jude, I should let you know that I have tried the Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum and It’s pretty good, not perfect but pretty good. Though unfortunately, the pump bottle that the serum comes in is very boring, and may be problematic to use. Also, the pump could potentially get clogged due to the ascorbic powder crystallizing inside the pump compartments. I’ve also found that if you were to buy an amber glass dropper (30ml) separately, it may be easier to use, but alas, you would end up having to deal with similar issue like you had to with the Timeless one. Ingredients wise the formulation seems very intriguing. It has extra anti-agers like lycopene and old classic, astaxanthin just to name a few. Timeless is more like a straight up dupe to Skinceutacles, while SkinActives looks a little like Chel’s minus the Sea Kelp Bioferment? In regards to stability, I feel it’s on par with Timeless but SkinActives says that their C serum can last up to 6 months. Scent wise, to me, it smelt less like hot dog water and a little more metallic in nature (technically Vitamin C serums are not supposed to smell pleasant but only do one thing: be anti-aging. Still, I wish they could smell nice anyway LOL!). To me it applies very nicely and I have found it to be a little more water-like than the Timeless version (that’s just my opinion anyway). Anyway, I hope that you may be able to try it sometime in the coming months and let me know how it goes? 😉

        Some links:

        Here is a link to a 10% Vitamin C Serum as well:

        Enjoy! 🙂


      2. Nope, that one’s definitely on the list though! I’m just generally a bit hesitant to try the pricier C serums when there are inexpensive options that are well formulated enough–the ingredients and principles aren’t a big secret or hard to source, so it makes me question the price tags a bit ahahaha.


  4. I’ve been using Timeless and it’s been great! (Much more cost-effective than the Paula’s Choice I was using before.) I don’t find it especially irritating, but I use a lot of fairly harsh products (BHA, tretinoin, etc.) so I’m not the best person to ask about that generally. One of my friends did get breakouts from it when she first tried using it daily, however, but they stopped when she scaled it back to once every two days.


  5. Hi Fiddy,
    I was so excited by this post. I have been so … waiting for news on the Vitamin C front. I was so excited in fact, that I accidentally ordered the wrong thing. I was looking on ebay for a good price… the postage for Australia is kind of prohibitive, and I accidentally ordered this………..
    Advanced Skin care
    20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum 1.oz bottle

            Benefits of Vitamin C

    Vitamin C is an antioxidant and can help reduce skin damage caused by free radicals
    Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen
    It moisturizes and softens the skin
    It encourages growth of collagen
    It exfoliates and cleanses
    It helps remove wrinkles / fine lines
    Great for those suffering from acne and pimples

    It is highly recommended that everyone apply Vitamin C onto the face daily since this protects against UV induced cell damage. It is this sun damage that not only causes premature aging but also skin cancers. However Vitamin C has other properties including being one of the few ingredients that has a science base to show that it reverses signs of aging to the skin.
    Vitamin C at least a 10% concentration and low ph has been shown to stimulate collagen, decrease wrinkle depth and have lightening effects on pigmentation.

    For up to eight- fold antioxidant protection, ninety-six percent reduction of sunburn cells, and prevention of the formation of free radicals in sun exposed skin. Fades sun spots and discoloration, refines skin texture and reduces wrinkle formation as well as minimizing existing wrinkles. Suspended in a concentrated base of pure vegan hyaluronic acid to plump skin cells and protect and restore. This serum is a concentrated delivery system for the highest form of active, bio-available Vitamin C for beautiful skin.

    Ingredients: botanical hyaluronic acid, L Ascorbic Acid , Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid, Vegetable glycerin, Benzly

    Do you know anything about this one? The Timeless costs well over $40 Au for us with postage for the 1oz. I was looking for the best price and I hope my purchase will work out ok. It looks like I’ll have to spend more next time.
    Gail J


  6. Thank-you once again for a fantastic review! I’ve learned so much from your blog and am extremely grateful for all your hard work and research. I didn’t realize vitamin E was a player — I’ve been using the NuFountain C with ferulic because it is watery and disappears into my skin (ph 2.5-3), but it doesn’t seem to have E in it, so may try different formulation next. So, question for ya: I’m several years further down the aging road than you are and my big issue is firmness — clarity, texture, wrinkles, are mostly under control, but my face is slowly going south. As far as I can tell, the only actives that address firmness (stimulating collagen) are forms of vitamin A, C, and peptides. Is there anything else topical that you have found effective? (I just bought one of those NuFace ‘facial toner’ gizmos but am afraid to try it after reading the warning booklet it comes with!)
    Any suggestions much appreciated…


    1. From what I’ve researched it’s difficult to tackle loss of firmness topically. But there is some promising research and anectodal evidence suggesting taking MSM (in crystal powder form) and gelatin internally will help firm skin. There is a type of gelatin called collagen hydrolysate with is both cold and hot water soluble (i.e. it won’t form jello if you pour it into cold water) so it is very convenient to use and pretty much tasteless. The MSM however tastes horrendous so you have to take like a shot as quickly as possible. (They sell it in pill form also but the crystals seem to be more effective.) Also dermarolling is supposed to be helpful for firmness but I’ve never tried it and it seems controversial.


      1. Thanks, Claudia, these are great suggestions — I already take MSM, but in pill form, so will look out for the powder. I am slowly getting myself psyched to try microneedling, does seem worth a shot. It just is a freaky concept to me that you intentionally try to cause (micro) damage to your skin in order to ramp up the repair process. Although, come to think of it, I suppose applying acids is also sort of intentionally ‘damaging’ your skin, causing the skin cells to turn over more quickly.


    2. I haven’t found any other topical treatments that have a really reliable, substantial effect on firmness. Closest I can think of is the Sulwhasoo ginseng serum’s effect on elasticity. Have you looked into microneedling/dermarolling? It’s something a lot of people rave about and does seem to have some solid evidence behind it (though I was too much of a wuss to do it myself after 2 tries). Is that what the NuFace thing is?


      1. Have either of you heard anything about dermaplaning? I was told by a non ABer that it is an AB thing but haven’t seen anyone blog about it. I’m too much of a wuss when it comes to micro needling too.


  7. Would decanting this into an airless pump container be a good option? I can easily store in the refrigerator as well. I’m wondering if the opaque bottle or the “airless” would be better.


    1. That’s a good question. I would say that given the longevity of the product as it is, the bottle probably is fine and the product will be good long to use up as long as you’re using it regularly and storing it well.


  8. I don’t bother doing any layering with this product. I just do a cream after this product because for me if I put anything watery on top of it it “reactivates” the ph or something and it just feels uncomfortable. Do you still do sheet masking on top of this ?


  9. I love my CE Ferulic from skinceuticals. This is what got me started on having a better skin care regimen. From there, I found myself diving into the rabbit hole of Asian beauty. Anyways, I’d be totally pumped if you’ll eventually do a side by side comparison of Skinceuticals CE ferulic and Timeless Vit. C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooooh, I’d love to know how Timeless performs vs Skinceuticals. I’ve always wanted to try Skinceuticals, but it’s so pricey. I couldn’t bring myself to justify the purchase when there are cheaper alternatives.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post. I’ve used the Timeless Vitamin C on my oily and acne prone skin with no issue, but I also seem to have hardier skin that most. I would apply it in the morning, wait 20 minutes then splash it off with water so as to not have the film on my face when I applied makeup.

    I have to agree that it lasts for a really long time. I had mine for over 3 months, if not 4, and was really surprised at how long it stayed clear. I was able to use every last drop of it and will probably purchase again.


  11. After reading this post, I contacted Banish, YouTuber Daisy Jing’s company. I had been interested in their products because they came out of Daisy’s own search to get rid of her acne and they generally have great ingredients. But I never purchased because they are grossly overpriced and their website is so low on relevant information, relying instead on customer reviews and before and after photos.

    I asked about the concentration of L-AA and the pH of their “Banish Oil,” which up until a few weeks ago was called the Banish Vitamin C Serum. This was their reply:

    “The percentage of Vitamin C in the Banish Oil is 4 while the pH level is 3 to 4.” 😂😂😂

    But the Customer Service representative then had to go further and explain why:
    “A higher percentage of Vitamin C can actually be too harsh and cause damage by irritating skin too much. The acidic pH is necessary as well for Vitamin C to be absorbed by the skin, but we keep the formula as mild as possible while still being effective.”

    To which I say, sure, but with 4% of L-AA, why even bother to put any in at all??

    No wonder they had to change the name! 😂😂😂

    Thank you so much for this post Fiddy!


  12. Roffle, “hot dog water”. I’ve been trying to figure out what dank nasty thing ferulic acid smells like. You nailed it!


  13. Hi again,
    I found out that the ph in Advanced skincare Vit c is 5-6. I think I’ve wasted my money here. I’ve been searching for Timeless but I find that the shipping is at least as much as the product – if not more than. So annoying! I’ve tried ebay, Amazon and the Timeless website.


  14. That is so strange! I have normal skin atm I don’t feel anything oily at all with this serum. It just feels really watery and it sinks in super fast. Oily is the last thing I would describe this serum on MY skin. I also don’t smell anything. Or maybe I’m just used to the smell. It’s very very faint, I suppose. I absolutely love this serum and with HotAndFlashy’s code from YouTube, it makes it juuuuussst within reach cost-wise ($20 and free shipping) since I’m a broke college student.

    Whenever I stop using it, my skin gets less “plump”, very dull, and of course there seems to be no end in sight for my dark marks to fade. As someone who can’t afford a lot of skincare, I have much less experience in products than you do, so the effects are CRAZY worth it for me.

    Every time I start it again after not being able to afford it for a while, I’m super impressed by how it adds an IMMEDIATE glow to my skin. Always wake up to plump, glowing skin. And over the next several days, I notice how HYDRATED my skin gets from this serum. This is the most expensive “worth it” products in my routine. But sometimes I’m forced to stop using it (along with better food lmao) with funds low, and my skin just goes back to being drier and dull and full of PIH.

    I tried PocketDerm/Curology (lowest tret/niacinamide/clindamycin) but I just couldn’t get through the waiting period because it wrecked my skin, drying it out into a raisin, I broke out in huge cysts (purging), and waiting until those things calmed down was a nightmare and just not worth it to me at the time. But vitamin c is super gentle and effective and I don’t ever wanna let it go!!

    If anyone wants to use this code, check out HotAndFlashy’s YouTube channel as well, especially if you have mature skin. She’s very knowledgeable and helpful.

    I want to achieve perfect skin like you someday, Fiddy.


  15. Thanks for yet another fabulous review. It was nice to hear how Timeless performs compared to OST, and I’m happy it is working out for you.

    I have really sensitive (thanks rosacea) but otherwise normal skin and don’t notice any burning with Timeless, maybe the occasional tingle. And yeah it’s crazy how quickly it sinks into the skin.


  16. You must be the best blogger ever. You’re a great, funny writer and above all, give honest opinions that really help. You’re a staple on my Piniterest AB board 🙂

    I was wondering whether or not to get this; I have the Timeless Squalane (LOVE IT!), and now I know for sure.

    Thanks as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hihihi, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on this, I am now very interested to try! Just wanted to understand, did you apply the serum immediately after cleansing face? Why did you skip the pH balancing toner step? I thought Vitamin C works best at a low pH range. Please help me understand. Thank you!! 🙂


    1. I don’t really do pH balancing toner. I use low pH cleansers usually anyway, and for acids, I find that the pH of the product is the important thing, rather than the presumptive pH of your face.


  18. I like to mix my drops of Vitamin C serum into a light sermon on the back of my hand then apply the mixture to my face. Then I rub the remainder into the backs of my hands. This eliminates the greasy/sticky feel of the Vitamin C and helps fight aging on my hands, which is important to me. Hth!


  19. Have you thought about getting Vit C as one of your 3 ingredients in Curology? It’s one of the more $$ ingredients, so if it’s just as effective in the Curology mix wouldn’t that make good financial sense? Is the Curology Vit C not as effective when blended with tret?


  20. Thanks for this review! I have been using the Timeless serum for over a year, and I wholeheartedly recommend it! It has helped get rid of sun damage and other slight pigmentation from sun damage on my face. I used mine up within 4 months (splitting half of the serum into a second bottle), but I never once saw any signs of oxidation. I even kept a few drops of remaining serum in the bottle to see when oxidation would occur, and it turned only slightly yellow at the end of month 5.

    I’ve really had great results with this serum. I use it in the morning after washing my face, wait at least 10 minutes, and then continue with the rest of my routine (toner, serum, sunscreen). I live in Europe, and shipping was super easy and uncomplicated. I like that this is such an effective, no-frills product that doesn’t break the bank. I’m going to keep buying this!


  21. Hi Fiddy, I recently stumbled on your blog and the skincare guides that you shared are enlightening. I’m interested on trying out the Vitamin C but I’m not sure how to incorporate into my current skincare. I’m in my 40’s looking into anti-aging so my current skincare already has anti-aging serum and facial oil.


    1. Hi! Vitamin C serum is great at any age but especially around our age 😊 Apply once daily, immediately after cleansing, and let it absorb for 10 minutes or so before adding anything else.


  22. I just got this in the mail. I was wondering how to use this with my retin-a rx. I figured I’m supposed to alternate between this and retin a every other night.

    i have been using kose sekkisei lotion, which is a toner, for years. it’s thin so it should be applied first then this active, correct? or is it reverse?

    I’m glad to know i can still use my Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate after this. The lady told me to use this after the toner since it preps my face for the good stuff. So I’ve been using it before retin a (pm) or dapsone (am). and i thought vitamin c goes after this essence until i saw this post.

    my skin is oily and acne prone but been through diff retin a and high aha concentratio for a decade now.


  23. All I want in life is a Vitamin C serum that fits all of these requirements yet doesn’t have that horrible ham pennies smell. I tried so many times to tolerate the Timeless & Drunk Elephant formulas, but they cause migraines 😦


  24. Hi! Came across your blog… such a wealth of information! I’m looking to incorporate a Vitamin C serum into my routine – is there any brands that you’d recommend? Appreciate your help! 🙂


    1. Hey Char, if you’d like a slightly more natural version of Timeless vitamin C serum, I recommend trying out Bombshell Bathtime’s Vitamin C E Ferulic Acid serum. I’ve used it myself on my acne prone skin, and it’s amazing how much clearer my skin looks but it doesn’t dry out my skin either because it contains glycerin and hyaluronic acid. I think it’s the only other vitamin C serum on the market besides SkinCeuticals that has vitamins C E and ferulic acid, while also having a pH of 2.6-2.9. What’s more, when you look at the ingredients list, there’s nothing alarming about it.


  25. To rival SkinCeuticals and Timeless, Bombshell Bathtime just released a Vitamin C E Ferulic Acid Serum that beats the SkinCeuticals formula in effectiveness, while also being a fraction of the price (under $25 on Amazon with free shipping for Prime members). It contains 17% L-Ascorbic Acid, and has the correct pH level of 2.6-2.9 to aid in penetrating the skin. In addition, the 100% vegan and cruelty free formula contains hyaluronic acid, vitamins B3 and B5, and is as naturally formulated as possible with no added fragrance, parabens or propylene glycol. I’ve used it myself, and I definitely notice the difference in my skin being much brighter and smoother.


  26. Timeless sells a 4oz refill bottle that saves quite a bit in price per oz. Do you think it would last in the fridge if only opened 4 times to do refills? Or would you suggest just getting fresh bottles each time? Thanks for the review! I’m new to AB and have really enjoyed your blog as well as the Snailcast 🙂


  27. Hey everyone!
    Im a newbie! I wanted to purchase a vit c serum, but not sure which one to purchase!
    Which one should I go for??
    Timeless vit c
    Bombshell bathtime vit c
    Skinceuticals vit c
    C20 vit c
    Please help!



    1. Of all those, I would choose the Timeless. It contains all the important components as Skinceuticals (L-AA, vitamin E, ferulic acid) at a good pH, and doesn’t cost a million dollars like the Skinceuticals ahahahaa.


    2. Bombshell Bathtime is way better than Timeless. It has 17% L-Ascorbic Acid, 0.5% Ferulic Acid, and Vitamin E, B5 and B3, with Sodium Hyaluronate. Plus, it doesn’t contain phenoxyethanol (artificial preservative) or alcohol.


  28. What can I say apart from thank you sooooo much for your advice and quick response!!
    I really do appreciate it. 😉

    I will be ordering the timeless vit c serum very soon.

    Im also interested in purchasing the Sulwhasoo snowise foam cleanser, but wanted to know will this cleanser be enough to thoroughly cleanse my skin if I only wear sunscreen and blush?
    Can eye make-up be easily removed too?

    Thank you Jude! X


    1. Oh you’re very welcome!

      Do you do double cleansing? A cleansing oil will break up all sunscreen and eye makeup easily so that the foaming cleanser can get your face sparkling clean!


  29. I don’t double cleanse if I only apply sunscreen, lippy & blush, I do on days where I apply eye make up too.
    Do you suggest I double cleanse daily as the sulwhasoo foam cleanser won’t do a good enough job alone??

    Also, my current sunscreen is P:rem, any suggestions for a better one?🙂

    Im also purchasing the sulwhasoo first care activating serum. (samples though!). At first I was not sure, but then after reading your review I was certain that I needed to add this into my skincare regime.
    Is the Sulwhasoo essential water any good?

    Thanks in advance ! X


  30. Hi, thank you for this! I have a question on one part of the post, where you wrote:

    I use this once daily, in the evening; vitamin C’s half-life in skin is four days, quite a long time, and there’s a limit to how much vitamin C skin can retain, so I don’t see the need to apply twice a day, as much of the product will be wasted. Either morning or evening use are fine.

    I was wondering if you could help clarify what I’ve heard some people say about how morning application of vitamin C is better for the antioxidant photoprotective benefits. However, I don’t understand what difference it would make to apply at night in that case, considering that it would get absorbed into the skin and stay there regardless.


    1. It doesn’t have ferulic acid, which helps to further stabilize the L-AA and contributes more anti aging effects. But C20 is still nice especially for brightening! Just keep it in the fridge, keep an eye on it, and replace it when it oxidizes to a medium yellowish color


    2. It oxidizes very quickly and doesn’t contain ferulic acid, which helps to stabilize the vitamin C somewhat as well as provides additional anti-aging benefits.


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