skin actives vitamin c serum 15 review

Looking for a dupe for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic?

There are many around. They cost 1/3 or a 1/2 of the price, but even that will set you back $50 or higher. What are you supposed to do if you’re on a strict budget? Get resigned to get wrinkles?!

Fret not, my smart friend. I won’t let that happen to you. Let me introduce you to the cheapest dupe for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic – one that’ll set you back less than $25.00. And yes, it’s just as effective too.

Meet Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum 15%:

What’s In Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum 15%?


L-Ascorbic Acid is the pure form of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that:

Awesome, right? There are side effects:

  • Unstable: It goes bad quickly when exposed to light and air. Skin Actives gives it a 8 months’ shelf life. Buy it only when you’re ready to use it daily. If the serum has turned brown, it’s too late. It’s useless. Throw it away!
  • Irritation: High concentrations of L-Ascorbic Acid – especially at the low pH (below 3) it needs to work its magic – can irritate skin, especially if it’s sensitive.

When you buy a bottle, use it quickly!

Related: The Complete Guide To Vitamin C In Skincare: What It Is, What It Does & How To Use It


Did you know Vitamin C works even better when paired with fellow antioxidants Vitamin E and Ferulic acid?

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights free radicals and hydrates skin. While most Vitamin C serums barely give you a drop, Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum 15% gives you three forms of Vitamin E (Alpha-D-Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, and Tocopherols).

Ferulic acid itself is an antioxidant on steroids. While most antioxidants only destroy one type of free radicals (that’s why I always say, the more the merrier), ferulic acid fights THREE different types on its own! How cool is that?

But it’s when paired with Vitamin C that Ferulic acid (and Vitamin E) really shines. Here’s what they do together:

  1. They boost one another’s effectiveness (they don’t become ineffective as quickly as they would on their own)
  2. They enhance your sunscreen’s protection, helping you fight sun damage and premature wrinkles

Related: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Ferulic Acid

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Lightweight. Fast-absorbing. No greasy or tacky residue left behind.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

In the morning, underneath sunscreen (it boosts its sun protection).

Performance & Personal Opinion

Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum 15% has a lightweight consistency that sinks quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy or sticky residue behind.

I have resistant skin that’s pretty used to 15% L-Ascorbic Acid by now, but the first time I used it, I still I felt a slightly tingling and warming sensation on my skin.

FYI, it never happened again. But it can happen. For most skin types, this isn’t a concern. But if yours is sensitive, don’t risk it. Use a serum with a lower concentration of L-Ascorbic Acid or one of its derivatives.

In case you’re wondering, in this case the tingling means it’s working (unless it turns into stinging – that’s just irritation). Within a few days, I can already see my skin become brighter and smoother.

These are just the short-term results. The long term ones are trickier to see. Here’s the deal: antioxidants like Vitamin C prevent rather than treat premature aging.

And you can’t tell if prevention works until years down the line. So how do you know it works?! You have to trust the science here.

Plenty of studies (I linked a few above) show that Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and ferulic acid can boost collagen, fight free radicals, and keep your skin healthy. Here, they’re formulated to work at the best of their abilities.

That’s enough for me to give them the Beautiful With Brains’ seal of approval.

Related: Can You Use A Vitamin C Serum If You Have Sensitive Skin?

skin actives vitamin c serum 15

Who Is This For?

  • Anyone interested in preventing the signs of aging
  • Dull skin that wants some glow
  • Dark spots that are just starting to appear on your skin

Who Is This Not For?

  • Sensitive skin that can’t tolerate 15% Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid)


Grey and orange bottle. It looks a bit cheap, but keeps the antioxidants inside stable and effective for long.

Does Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum 15% Live Up To Its Claims?

Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum exfoliates, provides antioxidant support, and helps reduce dark spots for an even skin tone. It doesn’t technically exfoliates, but it helps the skin’s natural exfoliating process. The rest is true.
Promotes elasticity and collagen synthesis, reduces free radicals formed by the sun and helps reduce the formation of dark spots. Again, true. But it does this over years, so be consistent.

Price & Availability

$22.99 at Skin Actives

Do You Need It?

If you’re looking for a cheaper dupe for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic or just want to prevent premature aging, this is definitely worth a try.


Dupes & Alternatives


Water, Propanediol, Ascorbic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Alpha-D-Tocopherol, Ferulic Acid, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Tocotrienols, Tocopherols, Astaxanthin, Lycopene, Xanthophyll, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, Beta-Carotene, Arginine, Phytic Acid, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol.