We're positive you've seen SkinCeuticals and iS Clinical on the shelves at your local beauty store (or online!) before. Both brands are renowned for creating luxury products with potent ingredients to treat your skin, but which products are worth spending your hard-earned on?
Today, we will be comparing their best-selling serums (SkinCeuticals vs iS Clinical) side-by-side to help you decide which brand is better for you and your skin. Enjoy!
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SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic vs iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum
Vitamin C is one of the most critical-yet-underrated ingredients in the world of skin care. It is an antioxidant that brightens your skin, reverses sun damage, corrects hyperpigmentation, and stimulates collagen production. It also helps to make your sunscreen more effective! Since vitamin C is such a powerhouse active ingredient, this is certainly an area in skincare where you don’t want to skimp.
When choosing a vitamin C worthy of joining your skincare lineup, the two most important factors to keep in mind are the dosage and the type of vitamin C. Skin experts recommend a dosage between 10%-20% to reap the most benefits without experiencing irritation. The two most common types of vitamin C are l-ascorbic acid and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, with l-ascorbic acid being the strongest.
Both Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Serum and iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum are formulated with the most effective form of vitamin C, l-ascorbic acid. They also both use the recommended dosage, each using a 15% concentration.
Both serums also contain Vitamin E, a highly effective moisturizing agent and antioxidant that helps protect against the visual effects of photodamage (i.e. skin damage as a result of exposure to the sun).
Well, that's just about where the similarities end (barring their fairly similar high-end price tags). Beyond vitamins C and E, iS Clinical adds to the roster with vitamin A (better known as retinol) and olive leaf extract - combined you get a *super*-antioxidant formulation with exceptional healing and protecting properties. SkinCeuticals instead buffs their formula with ferulic acid, another powerful antioxidant.
For us, the inclusion of retinol makes for the biggest difference. Though it means the iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum offers marginally more benefits for blemish-prone and aging skin, it does make it less suitable for those with sensitive skin. If that's a dealbreaker for you, the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Acid serum will be the better option.
As an addendum for those that have never used Vitamin C serums before, we'd highly recommend using vitamin C every other day (or every few days) initially, slowly increasing the frequency over time until your skin gets used it. Using it too often can cause tingling, dry or itchy skin - so definitely look out for that!
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.
Pro Heal Serum by iS Clinical
Our rating: ★★★★★
A healing, super-antioxidant serum.
What makes it special? Featuring iS Clinical's scientifically advanced Vitamin C time-release technology combined with a superior form of olive leaf extract and pure vitamins A & E, this clinically proven formula delivers their highest ever antioxidant protection and exceptional healing properties.
Which skin types? All skin types, especially aging, inflamed, or blemish-prone skin.
is Clinical Active Serum vs SkinCeuticals Blemish Age Defense
Blemish-prone, aging skin is one of the most difficult skin types to find products for, and oftentimes it can feel like you need upwards of six different active treatments at any one time to even have a shot at attaining clear, radiant skin.
Fortunately, there's a couple of holy grail serums from iS Clinical and SkinCeuticals that can come to the rescue. Keep scrolling to learn more!
Though both serums target imperfections whilst improving the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin tone, as well as being primarily for those with oily, blemish-prone, and ageing skin types, the key ingredients differ massively.
Firstly, the iS Clinical Active Serum contains:
- Arbutin & Mushroom Extract: assists in minimizing the appearance of uneven skin tone while brightening the overall complexion.
- White Willow Bark Extract: exfoliates the skin and deep-cleanses pores.
- Bilberry Extract: a natural exfoliant with moisturizing properties.
- Sugar Cane Extract: gently exfoliates the skin for a renewed complexion.
And rather contrastingly, the SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense Serum contains:
- Dioic Acid: helps brighten, balance and support even skin tone.
- Glycolic Acid: a powerful AHA exfoliant with numerous anti-aging and anti-acne benefits.
- Salicylic Acid: a powerful BHA exfoliant that clears clogged pores and reduces inflammation and redness.
And therein lies the biggest difference. iS Clinical has opted for a more botanical approach when compared to SkinCeuticals' far more clinical approach.
With each product boasting similar efficacy results and a plethora of rave reviews between them, it really does just come down to what you feel like you'd be more comfortable putting on your skin. Plant extracts? (iS Clinical Active Serum) Or finely-tuned, lab-born chemicals? (SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense Serum).
Blemish + Age Defense Serum by SkinCeuticals
Our rating: ★★★★★
Award winning anti-aging + anti-blemish serum.
What makes it special? The Blemish + Age Defense Serum is a high potency serum that targets imperfections whilst improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. It achieves this by helping to control the appearance of excess sebum, clearing and refining the look of open pores, and gently resurfacing the skin thanks to a potent combo of AHAs and BHAs.
Which skin types? Suitable for oily, blemish-prone, or ageing skin.
Active Serum by iS Clinical
Our rating: ★★★★★
Anti-aging, anti-acneic, resurfacing serum.
What makes it special? As iS Clinical's most popular product, this fast-acting, results-orientated formula offers a multitude of benefits with long term results. This potent botanical serum generates a cool tingling sensation on application as it penetrates and works brilliantly by itself or as part of their specific regimes.
Which skin types? For acne-prone skin.
This article was originally published on April 22nd 2022, but it has been reviewed and updated with the latest available information on February 1st 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.