When I hear “serum”, I think runny…slimy…sticky. I think of an oftentimes unpleasant base layer in my beauty regime which typically neither moisturizes nor provides SPF protection. And I think of suffering short-term discomfort for long-term benefits. Perhaps I’ve been hanging with the wrong serum crowd, because I was just introduced to a new product by Wilava that fits none of these descriptions. Wilava’s Vitamin C Serum is somehow airy, agreeable, and satisfying all at the same time. Instead of filling in as an added step, this serum stands on its own while thoroughly moisturizing, protecting, and improving the look and feel of skin.

You shouldn’t need a chemistry degree to decipher the ingredients label on something that coats your skin. With Wilava’s 70% organic formula, there are only a few terms that might raise an eyebrow. The first possibly foreign substance, emulsifying wax NF, combines the binding characteristics of cetyl alcohol with the viscosity-building effect of stearyl alcohol. Next up, mannan refers to minute round granules from the Japanese Konnyaku root that gently exfoliate the skin. There’s nothing much to worry about until the potion reveals its preservatives. The red flags are phenoxyethanol and tetrasodium EDTA, both suspected of skin irritation and organ system toxicity.

But these two hazards can’t overshadow the formula’s abundance of benefits. Instead of water, the under-appreciated succulent aloe vera serves as the serum’s base. Loaded with essential compounds such as lectins, aloe vera may stimulate the immune system and penetrate injured tissue to promote healing. It’s no wonder that the serum feels so richly moisturizing. Glycerin, derived from kosher vegetable sources, is a skin-smoothing humectant that may even help skin cells mature properly. Oil from rosehip seeds, comprised of about 77% fatty acids, is endowed with all sorts of anti-aging powers, from vanishing wrinkles to fading age spots. As the formula unfolds, extracts from organic cranberry, red raspberry, wild blueberry, and black willowbark crop up like a lush mountain forest.

The serum combines a high concentration of vitamin C esters with the water-soluble L-asorbic acid – vitamin C in its purest form. Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate) is credited with preventing free radical formation, treating photo-damaged skin, suppressing pigmentation, and stimulating collagen production. While pure L-ascorbic acid is considered best for collagen synthesis and UV protection, the derivative (vitamin C ester) has the advantage of being fat-soluble and can thus deliver antioxidants faster than other forms. Besides protecting cell structures, vitamin C also has the special property of recycling vitamin E, thus restoring its antioxidant power. This synergistic relationship with vitamin E, present in the form of tocopherol, increases the serum’s overall benefits.

After being coated in Wilava’s fresh-scented serum for several weeks, my complexion never looked so clear or healthy – especially in the dead of winter! The serum spread out evenly and absorbed within minutes to recharge with antioxidants and vitamins. I could practically feel my face soaking up the nutrients. If my effortless radiance over the course of a few weeks is any indication, my skin might be a lifelong fan. This serum seems like the perfect fit for 20- through 40- somethings. It may not disappear deep grooves, but it does lightly plump and give a thoroughly hydrated, all-around glow.

Considering its well-rounded vitamin C (and complementary) content, Wilava deserves a spot on our Five Best Vitamin C serums. It might, however, feel more at home among our round-up of vitamin C creams, since the only “serum”-like quality of this product is its concentrated antioxidant power. Semantics aside, you’d be hard-pressed to find a serum at three times the price of Wilava with such potent and pure ingredients. The consistency is light enough to be used in conjunction with any other product, yet rich enough to be used alone. Smartly packaged in two separate pots to maximize freshness, a single order of the serum ($25) is meant to be used within four months. It took way less time than that for me to reach complexion perfection.


Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Juice, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Rosa mosqueta (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Emulsifying Wax NF, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Vaccinium macrocarpon (Organic Cranberry) Extract, Rubus idaeus (Organic Red Raspberry) Extract, Vanccinum angustifoilium (Organic Wild Blueberry) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Phenoxyethanol, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Mannan, Salix nigra (Black Willowbark) Extract, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Oleoresin, Azadirachta indica (Neem) Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid.