Sciote Vitamin C 20% Super Serum ($85 in the shop) is touted as a "concentrated delivery system for the highest form of active, bio-available vitamin C". After water, the other top ingredients are sodium ascorbyl phosphate (a stable precursor of vitamin C), methylsulfonylmethane or MSM (a sulfur compound that encourages skin repair), and hyaluronic acid (a natural lubricator that promotes collagen formation). The "20%" refers to the percent of total vitamins in the formula, namely vitamin C (18%) and a blend of vitamin E and vitamin A (2%). With such top ingredients figuring prominently among the formula's main ingredients, I had high hopes for this serum. And after a four-week trial, Sciote's 20% Super Serum generally did not disappoint.
The serum is very fluid and spreads easily. The odorless liquid absorbs quickly into the skin and dries down to a matte finish. Despite the presence of hyaluronic acid, the serum was not sufficiently moisturizing by itself. Rather, I loved using it as a base under other treatments.
Sciote claims that this serum will aid in stimulating collagen, reducing fine lines, and improving skin's tone, texture, and elasticity. I don't have too many fine lines to monitor yet, but my skin felt nice and smooth after it absorbed the serum. Further, after daily use for over a month, a patch of hyperpigmentation on my cheek seemed to have slightly lightened. I imagine continued use of the product could possibly yield more obvious results and/or could be part of a long-term strategy to steadily combat aging.
As I am generally a fan of vitamin C products, I would consider repurchasing this serum. Three factors give me slight pause, however. First, the preservative phenoxyethanol figures rather highly on the list of ingredients. Second, at $85, I am not completely sure that there are not similarly efficient formulas at a better price point (or at the very least, perhaps one with preservatives figuring less prominently). Third, for those preferring to steer clear of retinyl palmitate, this formula unfortunately wouldn’t be for you. All in all, I would recommend this product for non-purists looking to try out the benefits of a high dose of vitamin C.
A few last notes: My combo/non-sensitive skin did not find this formula irritating, but note that the Sciote website warns that this product is likely unsuitable for sensitive skin. Confusingly, the Sciote website boasts about the inclusion of retinyl palmitate as an ingredient in this serum, but the ingredient was not listed on the version I tested. I reached out to Sciote and they stated that it was an unfortunate mistake in labeling and that the formula in fact does include retinyl palmitate. Future inventory should have a corrected label.