SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic: An Honest Review of a Cult-Classic Serum

While I’ve had the same best friend for my entire life (my twin sister!) and never skip a manicure appointment, I am uncharacteristically disloyal when it comes to my skincare products. Try as I might to remain faithful to a moisturizer, I’m easily lured by the promise that the next hot new thing will deliver glowier skin. Ergo, if a skincare product makes it to the medicine cabinet — and stays— for more than a few weeks, it’s safe to say that I really, truly love it.

Such was the case with the SkinCeuticals® C E Ferulic® Serum ($166). The little glass bottle made it to the cabinet after I’d heard countless beauty editors (and the impossibly ageless Maybelline® Global Artist, Grace Lee) rave about the stuff.

Unlike moisturizers, serums are concentrated, targeted formulas — usually with a very specific skin goal. For C E Ferulic, the aim is twofold: First, protect the skin from skin-aging environmental and sun damage. Second, brighten and tone. The formula combines vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid to create the ultimate trio for achieving said antiaging goals. Plus, it’s fragrance-free and touted as suitable for all skin types.

The serum has an almost water-thin consistency. You only need three or four drops to cover your face and neck — too much more and it dries down to something more substantial-feeling; almost sticky. Once it has dried, the serum does not pill, flake, or otherwise mess with the products you layer over top. What it does do, however, is thwart aggressors that lead to free radical damage (plainly put: its antioxidants protect your face from premature skin aging). I like to think of this stuff as my shield against all of the god-knows-what that’s floating around in the NYC air. Plus, it’s loaded with the purest form of vitamin C, 15 percent L-ascorbic acid to brighten drab skin (including sun spots).

Admittedly, C E Ferulic doesn’t smell particularly sexy (Spotlyte’s Senior Beauty Editor says she’s heard others describe it as smelling like a hot dog. My boyfriend agrees.) As a pescetarian who shudders at the scent of bacon, I can assure you that I have never considered tossing this stuff due to any whiffs of meatiness. That said, if you like your serums spiked with pleasant scents, manage your expectations with this one. (Side note: sometimes, pungent products are the best; read our Editorial Director’s review of the notoriously fragrant Biologique Recherche® P50 Lotion here.)  

In addition to brightening skin and protecting it from premature agers, C E Ferulic also promises to fade fine lines — a claim that I tend to approach with skepticism with most products. This one, however, seems to deliver. I am noticing fewer fine lines on my forehead. Anecdotally, I recently spent the weekend with someone I hadn’t seen in a year. Unprompted, she remarked that my skin looked “childlike.�? While I can’t say these comments were entirely thanks to C E Ferulic, it is one of the only anti-aging skincare products I’ve been using without fail every single day. (Coincidence? I think not.)

In fact, C E Ferulic has become such an integrated part of my skincare routine, that I’ve upgraded it to a place on my sparkly, mirrored vanity (which I generally reserve for the likes of snazzier, more aesthetically-pleasing perfumes and palettes). C E Ferulic might not look particularly glamourous from the outside, but I’m fully convinced that my skin wouldn’t shine without it.  

Allergan may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this article.

Products may have been gifted to the author for the purpose of writing this article.