If you've tried one vitamin C serum, you've tried them all, right? Wrong. Even though it's my job to test out products, I'll admit that I've basically lost count of the vitamin C serums that are bright orange in color and artificially citrusy in scent. After a while, they were sort of all the same to me.
That's not to say that I don't believe in vitamin C as an ingredient. Quality formulations very much exist — I just think that it's tricky to do it right since vitamin C is a notoriously difficult ingredient to bottle; it can oxidize quickly and lose its effectiveness. Well, Susanne Kaufmann has done just that with her latest innovation, the Vitamin C Complex. There are no frills, no fussy packaging, just good stuff inside: Namely, a lightweight yet potent serum that claims to brighten, hydrate, and renew skin over time.
The luxurious brand hails from the Austrian Alpine region of the Bregenzerwald, where Susanne Kaufmann (the person) and her family have lived for generations. Inspired by the local approach to wellness and a reverence for the wealth of botanicals in the area, Susanne Kaufmann (the brand) was born in 2003. Now among the most luxurious beauty brands around, she's made a name for herself with a full range of products that are equal parts indulgent and effective. (The Body Butter is a favorite of mine, especially during the cold-weather season.)
But back to the Vitamin C Complex. For starters, it's clear and lightweight – not oily or greasy at all. It also had no noticeable scent, which is perfect for sensitive skin that gets irritated by strong fragrance. Plus, in addition to vitamin C (in the form of 3-o-ethyl ascorbic acid), Susanne Kaufmann's serum is powered by a trifecta of mushrooms – which, turns out, are quite the powerhouse beauty ingredient. There's the calming Albatrellus Confluens mushroom, antioxidant-rich reishi (which you may have seen as a buzzy wellness ingredient), and hydrating snow mushroom extract. The result is a gentle yet potent serum that brightens and hydrates.
Reversing hyperpigmentation of any kind — acne scars, melasma, sun spots, etc. — takes time (as in, years), but in the month that I've been testing this serum out, I've already noticed a difference (albeit subtle) in my skin's radiance and texture. I have oily skin, and this serum has really helped my skin feel balanced, hydrated, and healthy. At $150, it's a splurge, but I always recommend investing in serums and moisturizers (over cleansers) since those tend to be richer in actives and linger on skin for a longer amount of time. Plus, it's truly unlike any vitamin C serum I've tried in that it's impressively lightweight and readily absorbed. We love to C it.
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