Three Product Roundup-Vitamin C Serums

Happy Friday, lovely people!

For the second Three Product Roundup, we’re going to talk about Vitamin C serums!

Now, I love Vitamin C serums. They are great for two distinct reasons: (1) They work wonderfully in conjunction with your sunscreen to provide you with antioxidant protection from the sunlight and environment during the day, and (2) They work really well at percentages over 20% during the nighttime to help brighten dull skin. If you are someone who chooses to ignore warnings about the sun and go out during the hottest times of the day especially, you need a Vitamin C Serum. Period.

However, here’s the catch: there are a LOT of products on the market, and as with most skincare trends, we are now seeing an explosion of products coming out at lower price points with the intention of making such ingredients a line-item in someone’s skincare budget. So, with that in mind, we’re going to discuss three well-known Vitamin C serums today which are well-known and figure out….which one is the best!

The products in this week’s roundup are:

(1) The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA spheres 2% ($5.80) Available at Deciem, Sephora, Ricky’s and Cult Beauty.

The Ordinary Beautylish

Photo Credit: Beautylish

(2) Ole Henriksen’s C The Truth Vitamin C Collagen Booster ($48-129 Depending on size)

Ole Henriksen

Photo Credit: Ole Henriksen

(3) Dermadoctor Kakadu C Vitamin C+E with Ferulic Acid 20% ($95) 

Dermadoctor ULTA

Photo Credit: ULTA

 I. Amount in packaging:

The Ordinary: 30mL (1. Fl oz) This product comes in an opaque silver tube.

Ole Henriksen: (Four options: 15mL (0.5 mL), 30mL, 50mL (1.7mL) 100mL (3.4mL)) This product comes in UV-protective glass.

Dermadoctor: 30mL This product comes in violet Miron glass, which is the most opaque glass on the market and prevents ANY light from penetrating the bottle.


II. Marketing Jargon (Taken directly from company websites whenever possible)

The Ordinary: 

Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant and its pure form of L-Ascorbic Acid has been shown to reverse multiple signs of skin ageing while brightening the skin when applied topically. This water-free, silicone-free formula provides 23% pure L-Ascorbic Acid which remains completely stable due to the absence of water. The system is supported with addition of dehydrated spheres of Hyaluronic Acid to offer visible surface smoothing alongside the benefits of Vitamin C. This treatment is ideally applied at bedtime.

Ole Henriksen: 

Brightens, firms, fights visible signs of aging and delivers all-day hydration

Truth Serum is like a daily multivitamin for the skin and Ole Henriksen’s #1 age-defying serum. Ole was an early adopter of vitamin C in skincare, believing that its antioxidant properties and role in promoting collagen make it a crucial ingredient. Supercharged with True-C Complex™ and collagen, this potent age-defying serum helps brighten and firm the skin as it delivers all-day hydration.

Enriched with orange and green tea extracts, this fast-absorbing, oil-free formula revives the complexion. Indulge in this serum’s sweet, energizing citrus aroma and silky texture as it glides beautifully on the skin for a healthier, more youthful-looking Ole Glow™.

Fights visible signs of aging
All-day hydration


Vitamin C helps protect against pollutants, oxidative stress and free radical damage, and may help improve skin elasticity, firmness and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

This daily rejuvenating essential assists in brightening and evening skin tone while leaving skin feeling firmer, smoother, tighter and complexion looking more radiant.


III. Ingredients: (Active ingredients underlined and in bold)

The OrdinaryAscorbic Acid, Squalane, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Coconut Alkanes, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glucomannan, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Trihydroxystearin, BHT. 

Ole Henriksen: Water (Aqua), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Ascorbate, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Euphrasia Officinalis Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Oleth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Hyaluronate, Thioctic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Fragrance (Parfum), Yellow 6.

Dermadoctor: Aqua (Water), 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Glycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu) Fruit Extract, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Tocopherol, Alcohol, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Hexylene Glycol, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate


V. Vegan and/or Cruelty Free:

The Ordinary: This product is vegan and cruelty free.

Ole Henriksen: This product is cruelty-free, but not vegan. (Source:

Dermadoctor: This product is cruelty-free, but not vegan. (Source:


VI. Directions for Usage (According to company directions)

The Ordinary: Apply a small amount to face in the AM or the PM. A slight tingling sensation can be expected after application.

Ole Henriksen: –Apply evenly to face and neck daily, taking time to enjoy the uplifting citrus scent and silky texture.
-After fully absorbed, follow with the Ole Henriksen moisturizer of your choice

Dermadoctor: Apply five drops to clean, dry face each morning.  Gently smooth over skin until absorbed.


VII. Texture and Scent:

The Ordinary: This is white, creamy…and gritty. The grittiness comes from the ascorbic acid powder itself. The product also feels oily, which makes sense, since it is a waterless product. It is fragrance-free, for those who don’t like fragrance in their skincare.

Ole HenriksenThis product feels pleasant. Watery, but a bit oily at the same time due to the silicone. It smells like oranges. I love the scent, but I don’t like my serums to have fragrance. It also has an orange color.

Dermadoctor: This feels thinner than regular water. It is copper-colored, and it smells like a copper penny. Or a hot dog.


VIII. How Did I Use It?:

The Ordinary: I used this both in the morning and night. I had to mix it with a moisturizing emulsion at first because it stung a great deal. However, after a few weeks, I was able to use it straight-up. I mixed this with The Ordinary’s Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% for a higher antioxidant content.

Ole Henriksen: I used this right after my essence step in the mornings. One pump was all I needed.

Dermadoctor: I used this right after my essence step. I used five-10 drops.


IX. My Thoughts on Each Product: 

The Ordinary: This product is GREAT for the price. It does what it says, and again…it’s REALLY cheap.. The grittiness takes a little getting used to, but the results are worth it. When I used it at night during the summer, I woke up to much brighter skin. My boyfriend even asked me if I used anything to remove my summer tan. If you can’t take the grittiness at first, mix it with a watery lotion and then apply it to your skin. I wish it didn’t have BHT, but it’s at the bottom of the INCI list, so I’ll hedge my bets. The only thing that I don’t like about it is the fact that you have to mix it with other products to get the efficacy of more expensive products, which can be annoying in the long run because it can end up costing you more money over time.

Ole Henriksen: This product is okay. I didn’t really see a difference, but it felt plump and supple. It’s an industry favorite, but I don’t see why.

Dermadoctor: I really like this as a daytime serum. I saw a huge difference in the efficacy of my sunscreen, and for what it does, I actually don’t mind the price. However I would NEVER keep this in my bathroom as the heat from your shower can eventually evaporate the product. I would keep this in the refrigerator if possible. It lasted me over six months.

X. Final Verdict

The Ordinary: I’ve already repurchased two back-ups.

Ole Henriksen: I wouldn’t repurchase this.

Dermadoctor: I will repurchase this once I have finished saving up for it.

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