The second dainty ampoule, nestled next to the Vitalizing Vitamin C in the E’shee box Marta sent me, was the Intensive Brightening Serum. When I read the word "brightening" I immediately thought lightening...and the vision of a geisha-white version of myself had me turning my attention to the ampoule of Vitalizing Vitamin C first.

When I decided to give the Brightening Serum the attention it deserved, I was surprised to see that it contains 15% L-ascorbic acid. So in actuality, the box didn’t just contain one ampoule of vitamin c, it contained two. I wanted to use each of these serums separately so I could review each one on it’s own merits. But now in hindsight, I wish I had used them together for longer than just the week I did. I still wonder if using them together for a double dose of C would have enhanced their singular performances, or not.

The only thing I can say about using the two together now is that I enjoyed their complementary and contrasting textures. The Vitalizing Vitamin C Serum is silky while the Intensive Brightening Serum is oily. Layering them both was a lovely combination that fully absorbed and left my skin feeling hydrated, soft and smooth. Used at night, no other products were needed.

E’shee’s instruction pamphlet states that by using just 2-4 drops of the Brightening Serum every second day, a brighter complexion can be expected, with dark spots from aging, sun damage and acne eliminated. The serum is supposed to reduce melanin generation and within 21 days, a pearly skin tone and clarity with a radiant complexion can be achieved. I was skeptical, but E’shee’s wording made this transformation sound positively possible.

So, I’ve been using the Intensive Brightening Serum now for far longer than 21 days and I can tell you that pearly…I’m not. Some days I think that a few of those little brown spots on my face do look a tiny bit lighter, but then again, my eyes still aren’t 20/20 yet. In fairness to E’shee, I am certain that I was not the most suitable candidate for reviewing this dainty ampoule. Given the condition and coloring of my skin, surely acid peels would be necessary prior to any serum if pearly were the goal. E’shee’s serum might work brightening wonders for someone whose skin is fairly even toned or fair in color, to begin with.

In looking at this serum’s ingredients, I’ll be choosing to get my double dose of C in another way. The first two primary ingredients are Propylene Glycol and Ethoxydiglycol, which are irritants and have links to cancer and toxicity. The fifth ingredient is m-Tranexamic Acid (or Cyklokapron), which is a synthetic derivative of the amino acid lysine. It is commonly prescribed for excessive bleeding. Forgive me readers for not being able to dig up much information regarding this ingredient's use in other topical products.

The Cosmetics Database rates it as a low hazard while stating that it has not been assessed for safety in cosmetics by industry panel. I only managed to find a comment from Dr. Pickert on his skinbiology site, in answer to a reader who asked if m-Tranexamic Acid could be used in conjunction with Copper Peptides. Dr. Pickert replied that it may be OK unless it also binds the copper ion in the CPs. Unfortunately, he didn’t elaborate to say what would happen if this did bind to the copper ions. Additionally he wrote that Tranexamic Acid topically is used to lower level of melanin and reduce skin pigmentation. Lastly he wrote, “There has been a report on retinal damage in dogs following long-term oral administration of tranexamic acid.”

Due to my recent eye problems, mere mention of retinal damage, topical or oral, in humans or animals just freaks me right out. So in closing, perhaps Marta or one of you intelligent readers can lower the red flag that I’ve now raised on m-Tranexamic Acid. Share the LOVE and keep posting your comments!


Propylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Diglycerin, Ascorbic Acid, m-Tranexamic Acid, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil, D-Limonene, Citral, Linalool.