Famed for their medical-grade skincare products packed with efficacious actives, both Dermalogica and SkinCeuticals are more than worthy of occupying some shelf space in your bathroom.
Come with us as we compare their best-selling Vitamin C serums side-by-side to help you decide which is best for you and your skincare routine. Enjoy!
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Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum vs SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Serum
Vitamin C is by far the most "popular" vitamin in skincare, and rightfully so. Regular use of vitamin C helps your skin produce collagen, heal wounds, reverse sun damage, brighten your complexion, prevent aging, and improve overall skin tone. Experts recommend that even the simplest of skincare routines should include vitamin C because it also makes your SPF more effective.
Worth noting upfront is the fact that both serums not only contain Vitamin C, but also contain another goodie in the form of Vitamin E which helps to protect skin cells from damage and reduces inflammation. That's about as far as the similarities between the two go, though (other than their equally high-end price tags).
The SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum contains the most effective form of Vitamin C at the most effective concentration: 15% L-Ascorbic Acid. The Biolumin-C Serum, on the other hand, contains two vitamin C derivatives: Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate and Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphates. Both are more stable forms of vitamin C, however this also generally implies they are less potent.
The concentration of Vitamin C in the Biolumin-C Serum is 4.7%, however, Dermalogica claims that their combination of derivatives is scientifically proven to deliver three times the amount of Vitamin C as its competitors. This, of course, would technically bring the figure closer to that more desirable 15%.
The ingredients list of the CE Ferulic Serum is about as lean as a serum gets, with only 12 ingredients in the formula. Other than Vitamins C and E, it contains Ferulic Acid (boosts the effects of Vitamin C), Glycerin (improves skin hydration), Tocopherol (powerful antioxidant), and Hyaluronic Acid (improves hydration) - plus a few solvents such as water, and skin conditioners.
Rather contrastingly, the Biolumin-C Serum contains 32 ingredients, nearly triple the length of SkinCeuticals'. Some would argue that this offers additional value for money, especially considering that some of the other ingredients include Lactic Acid (chemical exfoliant), Tocopherol (powerful antioxidant) and Peptides (stimulates collagen synthesis). Others prefer the more minimal approach since you actually get what you wanted (i.e. a Vitamin C serum) without any undesired extras.
It's difficult to say whether the differing types and concentrations of Vitamin C actually make much of a difference when it comes to results. That said, those looking for a dedicated Vitamin C serum will much prefer the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum due to its minimal, highly-focussed ingredients list.
The Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum is one that promises more thanks to its more complex catalogue of actives. In particular, it outperforms the CE Ferulic Serum with regards to tackling dark spots and pigmentation thanks to its additional exfoliating perks. Also, because it doesn't contain L-Ascorbic Acid, it can be safely used with nearly any other product, whereas you would have to be more careful when layering the CE Ferulic Serum with other serums.
Biolumin-C Serum by Dermalogica
Our rating: ★★★★★
Brightening Vitamin C serum.
What makes it special? This high-performance serum enhances skin’s natural defence system to brighten, firm and help dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Advanced bio-technology and an ultra-stable Vitamin C complex work synergystically to enhance bioavailability of Vitamin C to fight oxidative stress and the appearance of skin ageing before it starts. Optimised delivery system combined with a peptide and AHA renews for brighter, firmer, more radiant skin.
Which skin types? All skin types.
CE Ferulic Serum by SkinCeuticals
Our rating: ★★★★★
High potency triple antioxidant treatment.
What makes it special? This patented serum is clinically proven to reduce the damage of environmental free radicals by nearly 50%! With 15% L-ascorbic acid, 1% vitamin E and .5% ferulic acid, this serum reverses signs of aging, firms skin and brightens your complexion.
Which skin types? For all skin types.
This article was originally published on May 12th 2022, but it has been reviewed and updated with the latest available information on February 5th 2024 by Sara Mckay, MA.
Calum Torrington is the founder of FemmeNordic. He has worked as a beauty editor since 2020 and employs his analytical background in mathematics to thoroughly scrutinize complex INCI lists. Now, he helps over 1 million people per year to find the best beauty products.