Luzern Laboratories Serum Absolut V12 ($115) is the latest product that I’ve been using with vitamin C as its centerpiece. Vitamin C is a thoroughly researched ingredient and a trusty ally when caring for your skin. It is helpful for all signs of aging — from wrinkles to dark spots — as well as defending against environmental damage. This serum uses a 15 percent pure and stable concentrate. I've had good results from C when it comes to smoothing, brightening and lightening hyperpigmentation on my 51-year-old skin.
The product is a thin, colorless and odorless gel. It comes in a translucent cobalt-blue bottle with an eye dropper. The pros of this delivery system are that you have control over how much you use. The cons are that, as you use it, the bottle is open and available for tipping over. I've had this happen, and it's annoying when your stuff spills out on the counter. But it's also a very hygienic and stable method. You never need to touch any of it, other than what you're massaging in.
The gel goes on smoothly and easily. It was never irritating nor did it cause any breakouts. The instructions say to use it twice a day, which I did for the test, but I don't think that's necessary. Another ingredient is retinyl palmitate, and I prefer to use retinoids only at night. Even after using generous dollops on my face, as well as hands and forearms, I still have more than two thirds of the bottle remaining. The one place I would suggest not using it is around the eyes. It was excessively drying to the under eye area.
The formula is very clean. All of the ingredients are easily read and pronounced. It is stamped with a cruelty-free logo and is a vegetarian formula, free from what they call the "Toxic 12," which is defined as the following: parabens, peroxide, DEA, MEA, dioxin, synthetic color, synthetic fragrance, dent. alcohol, phthalates, propylene glycol/butylene, sulfates, sunscreen chemicals and triclosan. I get annoyed with products that are excessively packaged. This comes in a recyclable paper box — not too bad — but does have an annoying paper insert describing all of the product range. Overall, though, it has minimal packaging and all of it can be recycled.
After only 30 days of use, I find this product to be effective. I had been using a terrific C product already, so I was looking to see if this would maintain and build upon those results. It did. An age spot on my temple has lightened to be practically invisible and one on my hand continues to fade. One unique thing I've noticed is that the pores on either side of my nose have become smoother. Some fine lines on my forehead have also disappeared and the deeper lines are softer. I will continue to use my sample, even though the test is over, as it is a very nice product.