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Best Pick: The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone

Best Pick: The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone

Another The Ordinary review for you. This time it’s actually a specific product: the Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone. In case you have been living in the deepest cave, The Ordinary is a Canadian “clinical” skincare brand that has been making waves in the beauty world with its ingredient-led approach and incredibly low price points. If you read my post on The Ordinary range back in April, you’ll have seen that I wasn’t vastly enamoured with them, but they do have some absolute gems. You just need to be very au fait with skincare science (so you can separate facts from their many baseless or simply false claims) and your skin.

The Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone is my favourite product from the range after the Squalane Oil. It is completely mind-blowing, in terms of simplicity — just 4 ingredients: dimethicone, ascorbic acid, polysilicone-11, and PEG-10 dimethicone. This isn’t for those who want to avoid silicones (obviously). If you like Indeed Labs’ Vitamin C24 or Paula’s Choice’s Resist 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment, you’ll do most likely do very well with this significantly cheaper alternative. It has that familiar smooth finish of a silicone primer, but is noticeably drier and less velvety to the touch. It isn’t drying on the skin, but it misses out on that immediate plumpness and glowiness that a lot of traditional vitamin C serums give.

Here’s the thing, though; its formula makes incorporating it into your skincare routine tricky. (Silicones are occlusive and can possibly impede ingredients from subsequent products from absorbing into the skin. For this reason, I personally recommend only using it at night.) It also comes with a warning that a tingling sensation can be expected; I didn’t experience any whatsoever, but my skin is very resilient. But its anhydrous (water-free) formula makes vitamin C significantly more stable and has less potential for irritation than water-based formulas. The lack of water means pH and other “rules” that apply to usual ascorbic acid products don’t apply. And according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, anhydrous vitamin C also increases the production of collagen in human skin!

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone isn’t the most user-friendly — you’ll probably need to do a bit of experimenting to fit it into your daily skincare routine. But at just CDN$6.80(!) for 30ml, you can’t really go far wrong with that price.

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14 Comments on Best Pick: The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone

  1. i’m confused regarding the stability of this product. does this one really not degrade at all? or is the degradation just significantly slower than a water-based formula? what’s the lifespan of the product before it goes bad?

    • Water acts as a catalyst, so a water-free environment greatly reduces the rate of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) degradation during storage and on the skin after application.

  2. How would you compare TO vitamin c suspension in silicone to indeed labs vitamin c24? I know they’re both silicone based, and they feel pretty similar to me. How do these two compare to TO’s vitamin c suspension 23% + ha 2%? On a different note, I was really hoping for a local alternative to melano cc!

    • Yes, this and Indeed Labs’ version is very similar — this does feel noticeably drier in texture though. I really don’t like TO’s Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA 2%. I can’t get past its horrendous thick, gritty, oily texture.

  3. So how do you use it??

    Waterly layers-> vitamin c -> cream??

    Also the ordinary recently came out with antioxidant serums.. euk 124 and resveratol + ferulic acid

    • Yes, although I’d personally keep layering to a minimum.

      The Ordinary’s Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% is definitely not something you’d want to use undiluted. 3% is a lot higher than the recommended usage rate for ferulic acid and over 90% propanediol is alarmingly high.

  4. I tried the squalane after reading your brand overview and love it! I’ll have to try this one too. Do you have any favorite C serums suitable for daytime use?

  5. I’m a bit leery that it doesn’t contain vitamin E or ferulic acid! I know those are usually in water-based formulas because it stabilizes the vitamin C, but don’t they also make the vit. C a more effective antioxidant for the skin?

    • The study finds adding 0.5% ferulic acid stabilises a 15% L-ascorbic acid and 1% α-tocopherol solution (at a pH of 3.5 or lower), and all 3 together work in synergy, increasing photoprotection. It doesn’t apply to anhydrous formulas.

      • Any idea if this product provide close to the same amount of photoprotection as a serum with15-20% L-AA with vitamin E and Ferulic Acid?

        • That’s a good question! I don’t know but I personally would speculate that the 15-20% L-AA with vitamin E & Ferulic Acid would offer more photoprotection.

          Given that Pubmed says “a persistent reservoir of vit C is required for adequate photoprotection, and can be achieved by regular 8-hourly application”, I’d say your vitamin C serum/treatment(s) of choice needs to be applied twice a day every day in order for your skin to actually reap the benefit.

  6. Interesting, I’ve been looking for a vitamin C serum. I have a similar skin type as you (maybe slightly oilier) , do you think I could get away with just using a hydrating toner followed by this?

    • I’d say so. It layers perfectly fine over light, watery formulas. Layering gel (or gel-like) formula under/over it will most likely cause product pilling.

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