Vitamin C is an excellent skincare ingredient, and this booster allows you to easily add an effective and stable form of the vitamin to your skincare routine. If you’re considering using a vitamin C product in your routine, here is our Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster review.
- Contains the most active form of Vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid
- Additional antioxidants are vitamin E and ferulic acid
- Suitable for all skin types
C15 Super Booster
Brightening and Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serum
Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster
The 15% concentration of pure vitamin C in this serum helps brighten the skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
We are constantly exposed to various oxidative stresses, like UV radiation from sun exposure as well as pollution and smoking. Oxidative damage accelerates the skin's natural aging process, increasing fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation.
Antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E help prevent such oxidative damage to the skin.
The Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster is an antioxidant serum packed with the most potent antioxidant of them all: L-ascorbic acid.
The Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster contains a blend of 15% stabilized vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) at a pH of 3.0, complementary antioxidants (including vitamin E and ferulic acid), and peptides.
Together, vitamin C and vitamin E are 4 times as potent as vitamin C alone. And the trio of vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid is 8 times as potent as vitamin C alone.
It comes in an opaque bottle with a dropper. The serum itself is clear and lightweight.
The Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster claims to diminish visible signs of aging for smoother, brighter, and glowing skin.
Vitamin C combined with other antioxidants provides exceptional results, including improving the appearance of uneven skin tone, brightening a dull complexion, and helping skin ward off the impact of environmental assaults.
They also mention that it can either be used alone or mixed with a moisturizer or serum.
1. L-ascorbic Acid (15%)
This is the most active and also the most researched type of vitamin C, with its efficacy backed by numerous studies.
For maximum efficacy, the sweet spot for vitamin C concentration in skincare products is 10-20%.
Ascorbic acid acts in various ways:
- Its antioxidant effect neutralizes the free radicals that are responsible for cellular damage and premature aging.
- It decreases melanin production by inhibiting the enzyme responsible.
- It increases collagen production and also stabilizes existing collagen.
2. Tocopherol, Ferulic Acid, and Peptide
The Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster contains tocopherol and ferulic acid.
- Stabilize the L-ascorbic acid and prevent it from getting degraded
- Act synergistically to enhance the antioxidant effect
It also contains a peptide, Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate, that can reactivate the natural desquamation process of the skin that results in fresh, glowy skin. These are claims by the manufacturer.
However, peptides are known to be signaling molecules that direct the skin's cell turnover and collagen production.
3. Soothing and Moisturizing Ingredients
Panthenol and bisabolol are additional skin-soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Glycerin and sodium hyaluronate (a salt of hyaluronic acid) are moisturizing ingredients.
Together, these combat some of the irritation caused by the low pH (3.0) of the formulation.
How to Use
Incorporating Paula's Choice C15 Super Booster into your routine is easy.
Simply follow these steps:
- After cleansing, take 2-3 drops into the palm of your hand and then apply to your face, starting from the cheeks.
- During the day, finish with a moisturizer with SPF 30 or greater.
- At night, you can layer your moisturizer on top.
Additionally, C15 Super Booster can be applied on the eyelids, but be careful around the eyes. And, it can be applied to the neck and upper chest as well.
When to apply
It is recommended to use this serum once in the morning, as the antioxidants will form a shield for the skin, protecting it from the oxidative stresses it is exposed to during the course of the day (including sunlight, dust, and pollution).
It creates a reservoir of vitamin C in the skin, which lasts for 12-24 hours.
1. Don't skip sunscreen
Sunscreen and vitamin C together are a skincare power couple. Do not ever make the mistake of wearing vitamin C without sunscreen!
Sunscreen protects the skin from only about 50% of oxidative stresses. The rest is up to antioxidants naturally found in your skin, as well as added antioxidants in your routine (like vitamin C).
2. Be careful if you have sensitive and acne-prone skin
Sometimes vitamin C (especially pure L-ascorbic acid) can give rise to acneiform eruptions. With that in mind, it is not recommended to start with 15% of vitamin C if you have acne-prone skin.
Similarly, vitamin C can also cause redness, tingling or tiny red bumps on sensitive skin. This is because of its low pH of 3.0, which is necessary in order to keep the vitamin C stable and thus, active.
3. Store the product correctly
L-ascorbic acid gets easily degraded if exposed to air, hot temperatures and sunlight. To best protect the formula, store the bottle in a cool, dark place.
Watch for change in the color of the serum to dark orange or brown, which would indicate that the vitamin C has oxidized and may be less effective. It may even stain the skin temporarily.
What to Expect
Since it is a light formulation, it can easily be layered or even mixed with your other skincare products, like a moisturizer.
It will take at least 12 weeks of consistent use to show substantial changes in skin tone, texture and quality. It decreases blemishes and spot pigmentation.
The skin looks visibly brighter, smoother and more even-toned. It also helps with dark circles around the eyes.
After cleansing, apply a few drops to the face, neck, and chest. Follow up with a moisturizer, as well as an SPF during the day.
Once opened, the C15 Super Booster expires in 3 months. It’s also important to keep the bottle in a cool, dark place to avoid degrading the vitamin C.
Vitamin C has been shown to lighten hyperpigmentation in order to achieve a more even complexion. It does not lighten the overall skin tone.
The Bottom Line
Compared to all the vitamin C formulations available, the Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster stands out due to the addition of vitamin E and ferulic acid, which complement the 15% L-ascorbic acid.
Beware if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. In such cases, stick to lower concentrations.