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When I opened my first bottle of the tia’m My Signature C Source Serum, two things made me pause. Firstly: It really smells like lemonade. And second: It also sounds like a soft drink when you twist open the cap, as it fizzes quite a bit. Nothing I have come across in other serums so far, so I admit I was a little worried.
The brand states on their website though that due to temperature changes during transport and the Vitamin C producing gas inside the bottle, that sound was to be expected and that leakage despite unbroken seal could happen as well. Still, it definitely made the serum stand out to me at first glance.
But am I as impressed after using it for several weeks now?
What the TIA’M My signature C Source claims
Infused with 20% pure Vitamin C, this serum fades acne scars, pigmentation, removes dead skin cells and blackheads, brightens dull skin, and improves skin elasticity and resilience in one go. Avoid using products with high levels of AHA, BHA, retinol or ascorbic acid while using the serum.
Facts about the TIA’M My signature C Source
Prize and size
One bottle made from darkened glass contains 30 ml and is available for 15 € on the website here. It is recommended to keep the serum in the fridge, not uncommon for Vitamin C products as the colder temperatures slow down the oxidation process that over time renders Ascorbic Acid useless. If you do that, you won’t experience any more fizzing either – I accidentally left mine outside for two nights and the next time I opened it, it was again that coke sound.
Texture and smell
The color is slightly yellowish, it smells of lemonade and is a little thicker, so not a watery serum, but with a hint of oiliness. Just a hint though, it is still comfortable to wear.
How to use the TIA’M My signature C Source
Against what you might hear on the internet, you can use Vitamin C both morning and night, but as 20% is quite a high concentration I would recommend to avoid pairing it with other potentially irritating ingredients like exfoliating acids or retinoids. (More info: The best way to combine Vitamin C with other ingredients)
I personally use it in the mornings, right after cleansing, let it sit while I brush my teeth and then apply my sunscreen on top. There is quite a bit of tackiness when you wear it on its own, but that goes away with something on top and never caused pilling for me.
If your skin is more on the reactive side, 20% could be too much for you. I certainly experienced some tingling now and again despite being used to a 15% Vitamin C serum.
Ingredients of the TIA’M My signature C Source
Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
The main player surely is the 20% Ascorbic Acid (More info: Everything you need to know about the benefits of Vitamin C in skincare), which is paired with Niacinamide (yes, you can mix them, More info: Everything you need to know about the benefits of Niacinamide in skincare) for additional brightening, Ubiquinone and Green Tea Extract (More info: Everything you need to know about the benefits of Green Tea in skincare) as additional antioxidants and Panthenol and Beta Glucan for soothing (More info: Everything you need to know about the benefits of Panthenol in skincare and Everything you need to know about the benefits of Colloidal Oat Meal in skincare).
As humectants there are Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid (More info: Everything you need to know about the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid in skincare) and the lovely scent probably comes from the Citrus Peel Oil.
Limonene as part of that oil is a common irritant, so watch out if you are sensitive to that. The formula also contains alcohol. (More info: Is fragrance in your skincare dangerous and Is alcohol in your skincare dangerous)
More info: How to read the skincare ingredient list
Does it live up to its claims?
Half of them.
It certainly has the means to improve elasticity, brighten and even out the skin tone, but I still haven’t figured out why it is supposed to remove dead skin cells and blackheads.
How does it compare to…
timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum
Another 20% Vitamin C I tried and liked. It feels pretty similar in texture, but has no Niacinamide and no added plant extracts, especially no Citrus Peel Oil, so it might work better for those with reactive skin.
The Inkey List Vitamin C
Another 20% Vitamin C, but in a completely different texture to the others. The Inkey List put their Ascorbic Acid in a waterless silicone base, which increases stability a lot. The product has a distinct silicone slip, which I usually don’t mind that much, but also a tendency to feel grainy and ball up when you apply a little too much. On top of that I found it much more irritating than the other two and ended up watering it down by mixing in a Hyaluronic Acid Serum.
Geek and Gorgeous C-Glow Serum
This is my favorite Vitamin C Serum, and nothing I have tried in the last two years has been able to dethrone it. The texture is watery and lightweight, the price low and it is made fresh upon order, so it lasts the whole three months without turning yellow. Yes, it has 15 % instead of 20%, but that is plenty when it comes to Vitamin C – more isn’t always more in skincare.
Would I repurchase and which skin types do I recommend it to?
I especially like the scent, but am not the biggest fan of the texture, so despite being a very gentle 20% serum, I don’t think it will replace my favorite. If it works for your skin type depends on your skins reactivity over anything else, as it has some irritation potential.
Shop my favorite Vitamin C serums here
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