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Why does Skinceuticals CE Ferulic cost $100 more than CSS?

Reviewed by Marta July 29, 2013 51 Comments

Thanks to Marsha, I have discovered a new set of product twins – identical ingredients in differently branded and, often, very differently priced products. If you look at the ingredients of Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and Cosmetic Skin Solutions C + E Ferulic Serum, you’ll be seeing double. They are the exact same formulas.  The only thing that isn’t the same is the price. Skinceuticals costs $142 and Cosmetic Skin Solutions costs $39.95.

How Skinceuticals CE Ferulic (which we reviewed last year) justifies the $100 difference is unclear. Perhaps it is by listing the concentrations of the three actives: vitamin C at 15%, vitamin E at 1% and ferulic acid at 0.5%.  Well no actually, Cosmetic Skin Solutions makes exactly the same claims on its bottle.

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Ferulic acid, by the way, is a great ingredient. It has been found to act synergistically with other antioxidants and, specifically, renders vitamins C and E more powerful. A Duke University study found it particularly good for preventing sun damage, and studies elsewhere have demonstrated that exposure to ultraviolet light actually increases the antioxidant power of ferulic acid.

Good at any price perhaps, but I know which one I’d buy.  And, since I know you are dying to ask, Marsha is very pleased with the results of Cosmetic Skin Solutions.

Ingredients in Skinceuticals CE Ferulic:
Water, Ethoxydiglycol, 15% L-Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Laureth-23, 1% Alpha Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, 0.5% Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate

Ingredients in Cosmetic Skin Solutions C + E Ferulic Serum:
Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Asorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Alpha Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate.

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  • February 23, 2017

    by Alex

    We just released a new alternative to the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum under the QRxLabs brand. Our new Vitamin C+E / Ferulic Acid Serum is very similar to the CE Ferulic product, but it comes in a new innovative packaging featuring a squeezable bottle with a sealed controlled dropper that minimizes air circulation and therefore oxidation. This results in extended life for the product with maximum effectiveness. Check out our website for more details.

  • May 19, 2016

    by Joanne Colodny

    why don't you show the %'so for all the ingredients. that's what matters in this products

  • March 18, 2016

    by Tammy

    Can either CSS & SCCE products be used during pregnancy?

  • October 9, 2015

    by Anne

    I have used Skincueticals products for probably 20 years and decided to try the CSS twin products - specifically C+E serum, Hydra B5 & Phyto Botanical. I see no difference in the quality or effectiveness of the two brands. I compared all of the ingredients and found them to be the same but I am no chemist so I can't speak for those comparisons. At 62 years young, I have been told for years from friends, dermatologists and aestheticians that I have beautiful skin and I see no difference since I have switched to CSS. I love SC and I was leery like everyone else as to how CSS could be so much cheaper and give the same results- but thought I would give it a try. Who doesn't want to save money?? I have been so pleased with the results and money I have saved!! For all the naysayers- you should give it a try!

  • September 23, 2015

    by Brb

    Then where is it, Jtruth? Why won't you spill the beans either? If it's such a legitimate facility, why can't people say where it is? Why won't anyone representing CSS provide a real, complete address for the company headquarters and facility where the product is made? Again, I made multiple phone calls, sent emails and left messages with people who could supposedly answer my questions. Never a response. Anyone who tries contacting CSS will encounter the same lack of transparency. It's fishy and unfortunately the reason I won't buy from them again. If you have a real address that can be verified, please post it.

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