I found these serums on Amazon, as I hastily scrolled about trying to find replacements for my dwindling retinol and vitamin C. I liked that the Mad Hippie products had a fairly short ingredients list, and the pricing was about average for 30ml size bottles of product. Only one of these serums, however, has truly impressed me.
Vitamin C Serum
This one caught my eye because of the addition of ferulic acid in the formula, which can also be found in the massively popular (and mind-bogglingly expensive) Skinceuticals C E Ferulic. Unlike the aforementioned Skinceuticals product, it uses sodium ascorbyl phosphate. According to the Mad Hippie website, the same results can be achieved with this form as with L-ascorbic acid. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP for short) is much more gentle on the skin, and it is far more shelf stable than L-ascorbic acid. It’s never fun to watch your vitamin C serum oxidize and turn yellow/orange before your very eyes, so this is an attractive perk! Here is the full ingredients list:
Water Deionized, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Alkyl Benzoate, Vegetable Glycerin, Water, Glycerin, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea), Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis), Hyaluronic acid, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Vitamin E (Tocotrienol), Ferulic acid, Chamomile Flower Extract (Recutita Matricaria), Sodium Phytate, Xanthum Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose
Ferulic acid is an antioxidant that is made more effective with the presence of vitamin C and vitamin E. Accordingly, there is vitamin E present in this formula as well.
Konjac root was an ingredient that I was not familiar with, and I hadn’t seen it prominently advertised in many other products. According to the Mad Hippie website, it works as a protective barrier for your skin. It also provides your skin with various nutrients such as proteins, fatty acids, copper, zinc, iron, lipids, niacin, folic acid, and vitamins A, B, D, C, and E . It’s quite the addition!
Hyaluronic acid is a welcome addition to any formula, because who doesn’t want skin plumping, honestly?
Chamomile extract is present to calm skin. This ingredient is known to be helpful reducing redness and calming inflammation for people affected by rosacea.
Clary sage has the ability to regulate oil production. Ideally, this helps find a happy balance in the level of oil produced by the skin.
Usage and Results
The scent of this serum is the tiniest bit floral, and it is practically indiscernible once you’ve applied it. It does leave something of sticky layer on the face, which isn’t generally my favorite experience. My personal preference is a watery texture that soaks in almost immediately. Thankfully, the sensation leaves once other products are applied.
I didn’t see almost any difference in my skin after using this serum. It was just kind of….there. Maybe it is because I have used a decent amount of vitamin C in the past already, and I don’t have many spots of pigmentation to fade. I noticed that the healing process after the ending of a pimple seemed to proceed quickly, which I appreciated. I just felt like I wasn’t seeing much brightening, and the vitamin C glow I’ve experienced with other products just wasn’t really there.
One positive point from my experience with this product is that it didn’t oxidize in the bottle. This eliminated the chance of me having to throw any out. If you haven’t used vitamin C before, then this might be a good product to start out with! Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t recommend it.
Vitamin A Serum
I think it should be noted straight away that this is not a pure form of vitamin A (retinol) but rather hydroxypinacolone retinoate (HPR). HPR is a form of retinoic acid, which is more commonly known by the name tretinoin. Tretinoin is more effective than retinol because it does not require the skin to go through a metabolic process to break it down. Retinol has to be broken down into all-trans-retinoic acid before it can interact with our skin cells.
As it follows, since HPR is a retinoic acid, it is able to directly bind to the retinoid receptors in our skin without the added metabolic steps. Another piece of good news about this ingredient is that there is significantly less chance of irritation than there is with tretinoin or retinol!
If you want more info about this ingredient and the studies conducted to test it, I’d recommend this article at INCIDecoder.
Here is a full list of the ingredients:
Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glycerin, Oat Beta-Glucan, Hydrolyzed Soybean Palmitate (Phytoceramide), Acetyl Glucosamine, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil, Citric Acid
Hyaluronic acid’s purpose is a no-brainer at this point, as is the aloe leaf juice.
Dimethyl Isosorbide helps other ingredients penetrate further into the layers of the skin, which is obviously a helpful inclusion for this formula!
Oat Beta Glucan is another ingredient that provides hydration for the skin. According to the Mad Hippie website, it also has the ability to reduce wrinkles.
Usage and Results
Be forewarned, this serum has an extremely orange-y sort of scent. It’s not at all unpleasant, but it’s hard to ignore at first. It will stay on your face and hands for quite a while after you apply it. Personally, I am fairly sensitive to strong scents, so initially I was somewhat put off by how powerful it was. Eventually I became used to it, and I don’t even notice it anymore when I use the product.
This texture is a milky serum, and it spreads easily on the face. The directions suggest that you wait 10 minutes after applying before you put moisturizer on top. Admittedly, I haven’t followed those instructions! I don’t quite have that kind of patience, and my skins starts to feel a little tight if I leave the serum to sit for longer than a couple of minutes. It leaves a sticky layer behind that disappears under subsequent layers and doesn’t make my face greasy. I have had absolutely no irritation, so I feel safe using a whole dropper full of the product.
There has been a discernible change in my skin after using this serum for about a month now! My pores are less visible, and my skin feels firmer overall. I am quite happy with the results! I think this would be a great option for someone who has reservations about diving into retinol use and wants something that will be more gentle on their skin.
That about wraps things up guys! In the end, the Vitamin C Serum was a solid product but somewhat forgettable. The Vitamin A Serum produced real results that I found to be satisfying! I hope that this review was helpful!
Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. This post was not sponsored, nor does it contain any affiliate links.
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What Vit C serum do you use?
I use the COSRX Lightning Triple C Serum!