C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment
1 fl. oz. for $162
Category:Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:06.23.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment comes complete with all manner of anti-aging claims, but the ones you can bank on with this product (based on a significant amount of research) are its abilities to reduce free radicals and to defend skin against oxidative stress, as well as improving multiple signs of aging. It reportedly contains 15% ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C considered an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent (Experimental Dermatology, 2003 and Bioelectrochemistry & Bioenergetics, 1999).

Packaged in a dropper, this lightweight liquid formula is fragrance free and suitable for all skin types (including the acne prone). Those with rosacea or very sensitive skin may wish to proceed with caution, as such potent concentrations of ascorbic acid can be potentially sensitizing—a patch test for a few days will determine how your skin will respond to this formula.

15% ascorbic acid, when used on a regular basis and in conjunction with daily usage of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, can make a significant improvement in the appearance of sun damage, uneven skin tone and strengthen the skin's barrier. Vitamin C can also help boost the free-radical protection ability of your sunscreen when worn underneath (Skin Research & Technology, 2008 and The Journal of Pathology, 2007).

This product's pH of 3 is good news for you, as ascorbic acid is stable only in low-pH formulations (Dermatologic Surgery, 2001). In addition, present in this water-based antioxidant serum are vitamin E and ferulic acid. Vitamin E, appearing here as alpha tocopherol, also has a well-established reputation as an effective antioxidant.

Ferulic acid is relatively new to the skin-care scene, but earlier research suggests that it provides antioxidant and sun-protective benefits to skin while enhancing the stability of topical applications of vitamin E (International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2000 and Anticancer Research, 1999).

As research into this and similar compounds (such as caffeic and ellagic acid) continues, we suspect we will see more antioxidant-based products enhanced with them, which is great news for keeping skin healthy and protecting it from further damage.

C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment earns our highest rating for the fact that it is a potent, well-formulated treatment that doesn't include needless problematic ingredients. It is on the pricey side, but you'll find this is a treatment that will likely deliver on your expectations. We should note that the dropper isn't the ideal form for this product—see our note below for more on this.

Note: This serum is dispensed via a dropper applicator. Although not the ideal method to dispense a serum that contains light- and air-sensitive ingredients, sometimes this type of packaging is necessary due to formulary requirements. When that's the case, the goal is to keep the bottle opening as small as possible, the bottle should be opaque or specially coated to protect the contents from light, and you should use the serum up within three months of opening.

  • Light-as-water texture suitable for all skin types.
  • Helps repair skin's barrier and reduce inflammation.
  • Can lighten post-breakout red marks.
  • Can dramatically improve the appearance of dark spots from sun damage.
  • On the pricey side.

C E Ferulic is a revolutionary antioxidant combination that delivers advanced environmental protection against photoaging by neutralizing free radicals that can accelerate the appearance of aging.


Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Laureth 23, Alpha Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate

Brand Overview

SkinCeuticals At-A-Glance

Strengths: Great line to shop if you're looking for well-formulated vitamin C and retinol products; some outstanding sunscreens (including for sensitive skin), and every one provides sufficient UVA protection; one effective AHA product; good self-tanner; several fragrance-free products.

Weaknesses: Mostly problematic cleansers and toners; fruit and sugar extracts trying to substitute for AHA products when the real deal is much better; ineffective BHA products; jar packaging.

With a strong presence in the professional (meaning spa and aesthetics) skin-care market, SkinCeuticals has a mostly well-deserved reputation for producing serious-minded, research-driven products, several of which are centered on L-ascorbic acid. Company founder Dr. Sheldon Pinnell began the line after a falling out with the folks behind Cellex-C, a company for which Dr. Pinnell once served as spokesperson. The falling out had to do with both Cellex-C and Dr. Pinnell holding patents on L-ascorbic acid; Cellex-C held the patent on a formula with L-ascorbic acid (the original Cellex-C serum) while Dr. Pinnell's patent (now conspicuously absent from SkinCeuticals products) was only for the ingredient. The drama continued as, years later, the doctor who joined Pinnell to work on SkinCeuticals' vitamin C products began his own company, also selling products with vitamin C. Who needs Desperate Housewives when we have desperate doctors racing to be the authoritative word on the anti-aging properties of vitamin C?

The good news is that copious research has demonstrated that L-ascorbic acid (despite its stability issues, which, formula-wise, SkinCeuticals products do address) is a good, potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It has also been shown to provide photoprotective benefits when skin is exposed to UV light and is capable of stimulating collagen production - though don't take that to mean it is a cure for wrinkles (Sources: International Journal of Toxicology, 2005, supplement, pages 51–111; Experimental Dermatology, June 2003, pages 237–244; Dermatologic Surgery, March 2002, pages 231–236; Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, May 1999, pages 453–461; and International Journal of Radiation Biology, June 1999, pages 747–755). Of course, other forms of vitamin C have equally impressive research, and some forms, such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, have better stability profiles (Source: Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, March 1997, pages 795–801).

As we've mentioned before, vitamin C is but one of many good antioxidants, and it's not the best approach to select any one or two antioxidants and bank on them alone to provide every conceivable skin-rejuvenating benefit. Instead, go for products that offer a cocktail of antioxidants because you'll get a greater range of benefits. Plus, some antioxidants in combination have a synergistic effect that surpasses what occurs when any of the ingredients are used alone. SkinCeuticals clearly knows this, because their vitamin C products also contain the antioxidant ferulic acid, and some add vitamin E to the mix as well. Above all, remember that as multifunctional as antioxidants are, they cannot stop aging, they won't eliminate wrinkles, and they do not replace the need for daily sun protection.

L'Oreal purchased SkinCeuticals in May 2005, and, for the time being, seems to be letting them stay on their course. That's a good thing, because despite L'Oreal’s considerable financial reserves and global R&D team, the skin-care products their brands produce consistently lag behind what current research indicates are state-of-the-art options. As long as they continue to let SkinCeuticals retain its stature, there are many good reasons to shop this line; however, that said, this line is far from perfect in terms of being able to assemble a complete skin-care routine. Focusing on what they do best (which is serums, sunscreens, and specialty products) will be money well spent for visible results. Those who find the SkinCeuticals price tags to be a deal-breaker need to know that despite several notable products, they're hardly the only game in town; you can find equally superior products for less money, though not all of them follow the impressive concentration protocols of SkinCeuticals.

For more information about SkinCeuticals, call 1-800-771-9489 or visit www.skinceuticals.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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This is brilliant. It hydrates my skin, leaves it radiant and gets rid of pigmentation. It provides so much antioxidant protection. My problem is that it is so expensive and I've now find other products cheaper. Serumologie vitamin c has 20% vitamin c, 15% feralic, 1% hyalouric and 1% vitamin e at one quater the price. Great serum just over priced.

Reviewed by

This is one product I can't live without! It is pricey, but worth it in my opinion. My skin is smooth and even toned. The smell could be better, but it's not horrible. I will keep using this for sure.

Reviewed by
sasha s.
Too emollient for my combo skin.

This serum is supposedly everyone else's ideal product, but it clogged my pores so I didn't use it every night & it oxidized & spoiled before I could use it up. Big price for something that only stays good for about 3 months once it's opened. I did not see any benefit for my skin so it was an expensive & unsuccessful experiment. Even though it didn't work for me, people with drier skins than mine who can tolerate lots of glycerin may benefit.

Reviewed by
best serum

I have been using this serum now for 3 years and love it! everyone compliments me and I believe its all to do with the vitamin C I have been using for 13 years consistently on my face every morning. for 10 years I used cellex C , which was good but did some research on the company and skincueticals and the scientists and bumped it up an notch and started using this serum took my c serum and skin to another level... it is pricey but worth every penny.

Reviewed by

Best of the best today's mkt. I have used 5 years. Of note ; I recently had co2 on a facial section. after the 3rd healing day, they added this in protocol as the first thing to put on face in AM after light cleansing---- whether or not going outdoors, the idea being it expedites healing process. I assumed it due to perhaps anti inflammant aspects.

Reviewed by
Best CE Ferulic antioxidant on the Market IMOP!

Around the age of 29yrs old I started to get a mild form of eczema in Las Vegas. I'm an island girl from Hawaii and never had a problem with having dry skin as where the weather there was humid and I had oily skin due to being part Asian. Well having moved to the states my skin started becoming dry at almost the age of 30. I went to Green Valley Ranch spa, which had been voted numerous times as the best Spa in Las Vegas. They used the skinceuticals line and recommended the only thing I'd need would be CE ferulic. Upon that I decided to do my research before spending such a high price. The following month I went to the Hard Rock spa and well what do you know. They used and also said CE ferulic is the one thing that will help my dry and sensitive skin. I decided to go online and purchase the travel sizes of 6 small bottles that wer $35 which last longer since you don't expose all of it to oxygen, also it adds up to 1oz which is $148 for that size in the regular bottle. I've been using this faithfully for the past five years and I literally look 26yrs which is 9 years younger than what I am. I've recently found a product that is claimed to be just as good at only $28 called Mad Hippie. It is not reviewed on this site, but so far I use it though over my CE ferulic. The ingredients are similar to skinceuticals, but I'm still in the trial process of it. It has been seen in magazines and on Doctor OZ recommended by several cosmetic surgeons. I do hope it proves to work, as where it is literally 80% less the cost.

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