Cosmetic Skin Solutions C+E Ferulic Serum

After Marta’s end-of-February post on “What’s New in the Truth in Aging Store” I put in a plea for more Nutra-Lift in the shop; and after Marta added the Maximum C-Ultra Serum she replied to my comment about this product and CSS by asking for feedback on the Cosmetic Skin Solutions offering.  I told her then I’d do my best to comment on my experiences, given that TIA has brought forth an embarrassment of riches and introduced me to several serums that work well and provide great value.

I had discovered the Nutra-Lift Maximum C-Ultra when I first became aware of the line here on TIA a couple of years ago.  To me, this is a multitasking and very useful product and at $37 for an ounce (which goes a long way) a remarkably good value. It boasts vitamin C in several forms as well as DMAE (which I understand is somewhat controversial), hyaluronic acid, and vitamins D and E, minerals, etc. It has more body than the typical serum — almost somewhere between a serum and a lotion — and I find it very moisturizing.  In fact, I used it all summer without a moisturizer under sunscreen; and when I remember, I put a bit on my hands after finishing my face.   Like other Nutra-Lift products, it comes in a low-tech pump (so of course at the end I unscrew the nozzle to eke out the last globs), which delivers the product easily.  I will certainly keep Maximum C around; right now I’m typically using it mornings, under moisturizer, and suspect I’ll lean on it more heavily when (and if) summer ever comes.

But then Marta’s clever “product twins” theme caught my attention (especially the video!) and I was curious about the Cosmetic Skin Solutions C+E Ferulic Serum, which she also anointed (as it were) in late January as one of the TIA Five Best vitamin C serums. And when I decided to try it, CSS (on Amazon) was offering the C+E in combination with their Hydrating B5 Gel for a total of $59.95 (for an ounce of both) — so of course I bit. (It looks like the special is still on, by the way.)  I’ve been experimenting with this duo for about five or six weeks, and again have to say that they are a great pair for the price.  You’ve already seen the TIA writeup on the C+E serum; the Hydrating B5 Gel offers B5 (pantothenic acid) with, again, sodium hyaluronate.

These products really go on smooth and silky, as the CSS website claims; both are clear liquid serums. And they’ve been helpful — my skin feels nourished and smooth, more hydrated, in better overall shape — I do particularly notice a difference when I wake up.  My only caveat about these products is that they come in nice, simple glass bottles with eyedroppers. This fits their no-nonsense and vaguely scientific branding, but has a couple of drawbacks. I hadn’t thought about until I read several comments by TIA readers, but this kind of packaging — versus the airless pumps other companies use — exposes the product to air and thus, oxidation.  And it makes them quite a bit harder to apply.  (I’ve concluded I have to put a few drops in my palm and then put on to the face; otherwise they just run all over.)  Having said that, I like the pair and their performance so far, and will continue with them (the bottles are about half full at this point).  I’m using them at night, after cleansing, and before moisturizer and eye cream.

It seems that the C+E Ferulic Serum is a winner, but the Hydrating B Gel, given the use of phenoxyethanol — maybe not so much.

I couldn’t complete this comparison without mention of Your Best Face, which has again delivered with their (fairly new) Hydrate B Concentrate ($45 in the TIA shop) and Antioxidants Concentrate ($55 in the TA shop).  They’ve been extensively reviewed here on TIA, and they’re great.  They aren’t, obviously, C serums but they should be mentioned here, since we’re talking about many of the same goodies in different combinations.  Hydrate B includes sodium hyaluronate, B5 (panthenol), niacin (B3), and DMAE; antioxidants, ferulic acid and vitamin E, in addition to YBF’s signature ingredients.  They both come in the far better engineered airless pump that YBF always uses, which is preferable both for precision and potency—as well as cleanliness!  Following Marta’s suggestion I’m currently using Antioxidants Concentrate when running the Sirius Aurora, but I will certainly keep both on hand for use alone or with Restore, YBF’s “C and more” serum.  I went with Restore exclusively for a month in January when I stuck with an YBF regime, and though it’s expensive ($120 in the TIA store), it’s a wonderful C product.

I guess the moral is that there are many good delivery vehicles to get these ingredients to your skin.  There are differences in packaging and ease of use.  But I’d love to hear from TIA what the most effective ways to combine these actives are, and what constitutes the recommended or optimal use of C, E, and B vitamins for aging skin.  In the meantime, these are all, in my experience, worthwhile and effective choices. Thanks!

Ingredients in Nutra-Lift Maximum C:

Deionized water, ascorbyl palmitate, ascorbyl glucosamine, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, L-ascorbic acid, tetrahexydecyl ascorbate, lecithin (phosphatidylcholine), DMAE, A-lipoic acid, hyaluronic acid (pure), super-oxide dismutase (SOD), mushroom beta glucan, CoQ10, natural tocoperols (vitamin E) L-carnitine, ionic calcium, magnesium, vitamin D (ergocalciferol), boron, xanthum gum, orange rind extract, copper sulfate, zinc.

Ingredients in CSS CE Ferulic:

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

Ingredients in CSS Hydrating B Gel

Aqua (water), Sodium Hyaluronate, Pantothenic Acid, Phenoxyethanol

Ingredients in YBF Hydrate B:

Reverse osmosis water, vitamin B5, sodium hyaluronate, niacin B3, dimethylamioethanol (DMAE), paraben DU

Ingredients in Your Best Face Restore:

Reverse osmosis water, ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (vitamin C), alpha arbutin, ppg5 ceteth-20, vitamin B5, dimethyl isosorbide,niacin, spin trap (phenyl butyl nitrone), vitamin e, c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, sodium hyaluronate, polysorbate-20, Lipochroman-6 (dimethylmethoxy chromanol), triethanolamine, paraben du