The serum doesn’t sting at all, either — surprising, considering the formula packs 20 percent vitamin C. (According to board-certified dermatologist Jenny Liu, the typical optimal concentration is in the 10 to 15 percent range, so Sight C-er goes above and beyond.) They appear on the product’s ingredient list in the form of ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate and kakadu plum — instead of ascorbic acid, which is the purest form of vitamin C. These keep the product from falling into the classic vitamin C trap of the nasty smell and color while ensuring the formula has a longer shelf life.
Kakadu plum, which is a natural, plant source of vitamin C, is the second ingredient listed after water, so you know the concentration of it is high. “This ingredient can help with antioxidant protection, elasticity, and skin suppleness,” says cosmetic chemist Laura Lam-Phaure.
Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, on the other hand, is “supposedly more stable and has better skin penetrations [than ascorbic acid],” Liu tells Allure. Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate is not as potent as ascorbic acid, though, but Lam-Phaure says that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate can be ideal with those who have sensitive skin or specific skin conditions since it may not be as irritating,” she explains. “People can use this ingredient to help build a tolerance to the use of ascorbic acid.” Overall, this oil-soluble vitamin C derivative brightens skin, stimulates collagen, and reduces the formation of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, Lam-Phaure adds.
Wander Beauty’s products are produced in Korea, where extensive studies have been done about the efficacy of ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (not as many have been done in America just yet) and boosting factors that make it more powerful, Gugnani notes.
Skin barrier-repairing niacinamide and squalane, as well as glycerin and seven different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, spike the glow-inducing serum to do just that. The medley of the latter “can be a penetration enhancer,” Liu says. “Together, with glycerin, [they] are great humectants that can add hydration to skin.” They also reduce skin irritation, Lam-Phaure adds.
Best of all, all of this goodness is poured into an opaque, pump-topped, recyclable plastic bottle. Personally, I’m a fan of this kind of packaging because it’s the most hygienic option and keeps the vitamin C fresher for longer since it won’t be exposed to light until you dispense it. “Pure skin-care formulations that have potent and efficacious ingredients should not be exposed to sunlight. Period, the end,” Gugnani adds.
Starting today, you can shop the Wander Beauty Sight C-er Vitamin C Concentrate for $42 on wanderbeauty.com. If you can wait a bit, we have some good news: Allure Beauty Box subscribers will receive a full-sized bottle of the product in their May boxes.
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