Drunk elephant C Firma meets Paula’s Choice

L-Ascorbic acid is the active form of vitamin C. On the market there are a plethora of L-Ascorbic acid serums some are excellent others are so so. In my opinion, the main advantage of L-ascorbic acid is it’s antioxidant capacity as long as it is well formulated aka at a pH under 3.2. 

Drunk Elephant C Firma

Drunk Elephant C Firma uses 15% of L-ascorbic acid and retails for $80. The formula is not bad but I have a big reserve about it. The color! The serum is orange probably from the pumpkin extract. L-ascorbic acid in solution is unstable and gets oxidized rapidly and turns orange. How can you properly tell when vitamin C is oxidized? I remind you that when vitamin C gets oxidized it turns orange and it is time to discard it as it loses its antioxidant properties. So choose a serum that it clears from scratch. It is a shame because the formula is very good. On top of that, I really dislike the Drunk Elephant philosophy. 

Paula’s Choice C15 booster

Instead, I much prefer Paula’s Choice C15 booster. The main actives are the same 15% of L-ascorbic acid, vitamin E and ferulic acid. Paula’s Choice C15 Booster is formulated at a lower pH (pH 3). The formula is cleaner in the sense that it has no fruit ingredients that can create an allergic reaction. You also get less 20ml 0.67 fl.oz for Paula’s Choice and 30ml 1 fl.oz. I prefer to have less as you waste less product in the end. I never finish my L-ascorbic serum as they get oxidized. Paula’s Choice C15 Booster is clear and irritant-free. I haven’t yet purchased it. It will be my next buy. 

My conclusion

L-ascorbic acid is a beautiful active but unstable. You won’t be able to keep those formulas for a long time so always choose a « safer » option where you know that all the parameters are well controlled. Always keep your serum tightly closed and in the fridge to prolong its efficacy. I won’t buy the Drunk Elephant but I will get Paula’s choice for sure. By the way, both are a copy of the Skinceuticals C E ferulic. 

Watch me talk about it. 

Thank you for your time. 


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