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My search for the perfect Vitamin C serum has been well-documented on here, and whenever I told you guys about why my latest acquisition hadn’t quite lived up to my (admittedly high) expectations, there was one that was recommended over and over: The Geek & Gorgeous 101 C-Glow Serum.
So when someone in the comments told me that Geek & Gorgeous is a Hungarian brand and even has a German website, I didn´t wait any longer and immediately placed an order. For the serum and two other products, both of which have already been reviewed on here.
But back to the serum – is it the one I have been looking for?
What the Geek & Gorgeous 101 C-Glow Serum claims
A super-light, water-like 15% Vitamin C + extra antioxidants (Ferulic Acid & smaller amount of Vitamin E) formula to give the skin environmental protection, boost collagen and even the skin tone.
Facts about the Geek & Gorgeous 101 C-Glow Serum
Prize and size
One bottle (darkened glass to protect from UV exposure) contains 30 ml and retails for 10,50 € on the website here.
Texture and smell
What differentiates this serum from most others I have tried is the color. It is absolutely clear, while other Vitamin C products often have a slight yellow tint. As background: Ascorbic Acid is pretty unstable, and when it oxidises, it turns yellow. This is how you can tell that it is losing its efficacy, a product that has turned a deep yellow probably no longer has a lot of Vitamin C still active.
Many brands already give their creation a slight yellow tint to mask the oxidation that inevitably takes place once the product goes on the shelf. (You can read more on Vitamin C here)
As the Geek and Gorgeous C-Glow Serum is made fresh on order, there is minimal oxidation once the product arrives as opposed to a product that has been sitting in store for a little while already.
The texture is very watery and I do not notice a particular scent, although my sister claims her hands smell a little “funky” after application.
How to use the Geek & Gorgeous 101 C-Glow Serum
I prefer to use my Vitamin C serums in the mornings, to get the most out of the antioxidant effects, but using it at night is of course possible as well. Against common belief it can be paired with most other substances (I talk more about that here), so whatever fits your routine best.
As it is very watery, I put around half a pipette in my hands, swipe them and then pat it all over my face.
Geek & Gorgeous 101 C-Glow Serum Ingredients
Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
Other than 15% Ascorbic Acid (which is as far as we know the most effective concentration) it contains Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E. Both are antioxidants on their own, but also serve the purpose of stabilizing the Ascorbic Acid in the formula, so it is quite a common combination.
How does it compare to…
pixi Vitamin C Serum
I have used two bottles of the pixi Vitamin C version, and sadly both did oxidize within six weeks despite me very diligently keeping the bottle in the fridge and in the dark. Compared to other products that is about average, but even with daily use means I have to discard around one third of the bottle every time, which feels wasteful.
pixi doesn´t disclose the percentage of Vitamin C used and uses quite a few extra ingredients like plant extracts, antioxidants, humectants and fermented ingredients. It even has retinol listed, but probably in a very low concentration.
Which one you prefer comes down to what you want: Do you want a one-step serum that does a little bit of everything and plan on using it twice a day? Then pixi might be the better option (bonus: it smells like citrus lemonade). If you want a freshly-made, no-fuss Vitamin C serum with the focus on exactly that, the Vitamin C, Geek & Gorgeous is the one for you.
The Inkey List Vitamin C
The Inkey Lists version is different both in texture – it is a silicone lotion, which keeps it stable – and in concentration, as it uses 20%. As it is often the case in skincare though, more isn´t necessarily better, with 15% apparently being the sweet spot after which the uptake capacity of the skin is reached and the irritation risk increases rather than the effectiveness. My skin, sometimes a little sensitive due to Tretinoin, had no issue with the Geek & Gorgeous version, but the one from The Inkey List was too strong, I had to mix it with a hydrating serum, which is why I never repurchased.
Does it live up to its claims?
As Vitamin C is used to increase collagen production, fight hyperpigmentation and protect against free-radical damage, the serum has the potential to do everything it claims while being light and watery.
Would I repurchase?
In fact, I already have: Two bottles for each of my sisters and one for me. Mine was already confiscated by my mother, claiming that her senior age made her more in need of the best serum around by default, so you can see it is a family staple already.
Whom do I recommend it to?
Ascorbic Acid in this concentration can be irritating no matter how well it is fomulated, so if your skin is very sensitive, it might not be for you. Everyone else though will probably love it as much as I do!