Our Rating: 4 stars

I think that Your Best Face’s Concentrate series (which includes Antioxidants and Hydrate B) are genius. In an era of ever more complex formulas, I appreciate their simplicity and focus. The latest, CE Concentrate, is an excellent addition. If you’ve been searching for an unadulterated vitamin C serum, then look no further than Your Best Face Advanced CE Concentrate ($50 in the shop).

It has no less than three forms of vitamin C, chosen for their stability and performance: tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate/ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate/MAP and aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate/AAP.

The first of these, tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a vitamin C derivative. It is stable, due to being fat soluble and less irritating than ascorbyl acid. There is a 2006 study that concluded that it can suppress UV-induced skin pigmentation at a 3% dose. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate plays nice with vitamins A and E and UV filters. One study published in Dermatologic Surgery in 2002 showed that a topical formulation combining 10% vitamin C and 7% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate improved hydration and collagen synthesis in the skin and resulted in “clinically visible and statistically significant improvement in wrinkling” after 12 weeks. A 2009 study claims that it can actually prevent UV damage occurring.

Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) is similar to ascorbic acid in that it is water-soluble. However, it also has what AA lacks: a gentle effect on skin, efficacy in lower concentrations, and stability at a neutral pH. And the third, aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate/AAP, is a relatively new derivative of Vitamin C, that is often preferred for having superior stability and effectiveness. It’s particularly lauded for reducing melanin production – the culprit behind age spots, melasma and hyperpigmentation.

The formula is rounded out with vitamin E. And that’s about it! Note there’s nothing nasty and the preservative is natural radish root ferment.

My sensitive skin does not easily tolerate vitamin C serums, but I find Advanced CE Concentrate a joy to use. The lotion is lightweight, easily absorbed and, for me, not at all irritating or drying. This is a very welcome addition to my skincare routine. I especially like using it with green LED light for hyperpigmentation.

Ingredients: reverse osmosis water, olivem (cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate), vitamin C (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate/ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate), meadowfoam seed oil, vitamin C (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate/MAP), vitamin C (aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate/AAP), ethylhexyl palmitate, vitamin e succinate (d-alpha tocopherol succinate), Leucidal (radish root ferment filtrate), alpha bisabolol