Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

Once again, I fell victim to cute packaging, and a couple good reviews on Reddit. You can’t just print cute fractal flowers on the box and expect me not to be interested! I mean, it’s not to say that this product was awful: I suspect it might work better on some skin types, but certainly not mine, and I’m not convinced it was worth the $25 price tag.

I mean, come on…. just look at that cute packaging!

This is a no-frills, odorless serum that you apply on your face using the dropper. Unlike a few other serums I’ve tried, this product seems to start off faintly orange colored instead of clear, but I don’t think at that point it’s considered oxidized enough to lose it’s efficacy. Of course, it absorbs clear so there’s no issue with cast. So long as you’ve waited a few minutes to let it dry, this plays very well with anything you layer over it.

It seems like there’s a lot of good things going on in the ingredient listing. Vitamin C at 10% concentration, ferulic and hyaluronic acid, and a few other plant extracts like aloe, grapefruit, and chamomile. No drying alcohols, which is preferential for me personally, unlike the very well-known Timeless Vitamin C, which sports benzyl alcohol in the 2nd line of ingredients.

After a day of use, this serum will usually cause me to break out, and dries out my skin, causing my skin and/or makeup to flake off my face. To some degree, I would expect that, it is an exfoliant after all! But over two months of trial and every other day of use, it never really got better. I continued to break out, and my skin tone never became brighter.

I also felt like this product oxidized REALLY quickly, despite being in an air-tight, dark-colored bottle. The faintly orange cast became true orange in a little over a month, and also started to smell slightly iron-y. There’s a few outside factors that might have happened to cause this — maybe I had picked up a product that had been on the store shelves for a little bit too long — but most serums I’ve tried will stray away from oxidation for 3 to 4 months, at least.

The Mad Hippie Vitamin C serum definitely won’t be a rebuy of mine since it doesn’t play well with my skin. I also don’t think it’s worth the money for the short shelf life of the product. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1.5/5

Longevity: 4/5

How much I actually like this product: 1.5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: No


Supplements and Skin Health, pt. 2

Back again with a rant and review of more supplements I’ve tried, and their effects — real, or perceived — on my skin! Again, I am no doctor, so if you would like to try any of these, do so at your own risk. Everyone is different, so your results may not be the same as mine.

Biotin – Type in “biotin” on Instagram and you’ll see a lot of girls with long hair and clear skin holding up a bottle of some Biotin product or another (there’s at least a 50% chance it’s Sugar Bear Hair…). They swear by biotin as the reason their acne is gone and their hair is so long. But if you do a little more research, you might find that most women taking this actually find that their breakouts DRAMATICALLY increase when they start taking this. Myself included. And they’re bad. There’s some anecdotal advice drinking extra water will mitigate any negative effects of biotin, but I tried that for myself, and didn’t find that to be the case.

Biotin has been one of those vitamins that I’ve tried, off and on, over the course of about a decade, for anywhere between 2 weeks and 6 months at a time before I throw in the towel. I’ve always gotten the same results. Fast growing nails, same-speed growing hair, and TERRIBLE acne, even after the six month period. In my opinion? The long, strong nails are NOT worth the effects it has on your skin.

Vitamin C (in pill form) – Vitamin C in my skincare has been pretty darn great for me in terms of getting rid of damage — why not try to take a 500mg capsule every day? Wouldn’t that also help my skin? My personal findings after 4 months are, most likely, it does not; I didn’t notice any marked improvement while using this. I do think I was a little less sick then my coworkers, though. Also, I found out the hard way, if you take in too much Vitamin C, you will get a stomach ache (not to mention, your body will expel the excess anyway).

Collagen Powder – I hopped on the Collagen Craze hype train this year, despite the controversy about whether or not it really works. After researching the “legitimate” sources of collagen powder (must be from a grass-fed bovine for it to actually work — supposedly), I grabbed a small tub of Vital Protein’s Collagen Powder off of Amazon. I generally buy the flavorless powder, and put one scoop in my coffee in the morning. This stuff can get kind of pricey ($25 for 10oz), so I would recommend a first time user get a small container to try it out for themselves before they commit. I can safely say that it did not cause more acne, but I also don’t feel like my skin magically plumped up while taking this. BUT…. I swear my lips are bigger. I have convinced myself that after week two, they seemed to slightly increase in size. And when I ran out of the powder for two weeks and waited for a new shipment, they… decreased. Placebo effect, perhaps? Whatever it is, it’s working for me. ~A

Timeless Vitamin C 20% + Ferulic Acid

Timeless Vit C 20

My perfect Vitamin C quest has thus far been short lived, which is unfortunate since Vit C is touted to undo sun damage, which I undoubtedly have.

Prior to buying this product by Timeless (which, by the way, is pretty cheap on Amazon for $10-13), I had used some… unknown… concoction of Matrixyl and Vit C 10% that I purchased on Ebay for $5. As in, there was literally no branded name on the label. Probably not safe. Do as I say, not as I do. I didn’t really think that particular 10% product was doing anything, so I thought I’d up the ante to 20%, and use a product that was actually somewhat “heard of”, at least in the Reddit space.

I actually did patch test this one, since I’m a little leery of exfoliants — but nothing notable happened. So I went on with a full face of it at night. I did this every three nights, for about four nights total. It was slightly irritating each time I applied it, but nothing I haven’t experienced more profoundly with other exfoliants, and only for a few seconds. This liquid comes out clear, and very runny (if it’s orange or yellow, that means it’s going bad) — you don’t need very much of it for your full face. It actually smells like a really bitter/sour orange (“this is under-ripe” sour, not “spoiled” sour)

Ultimately, this was bad idea for me. Every morning I woke up with tiny whiteheads, which is usually indicative of me being sensitive to the product. I’m going to guess it was the 20% strength that did me in, not necessarily the product formulation itself — although, I have had issues with other Timeless products in the past, so who knows. It did make the still intact skin feel softer, but other than that, I didn’t notice any visible difference. In fairness, though, I didn’t try it out for very long. The end result of fresh break-outs really put me off of this.

All in all, this is definitely not a product for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. If you want to try out Vitamin C, I would recommend trying out 10% first. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1.8/5

Longevity: n/a

How much I actually like this product: 1/5