Rene Rouleau's Vitamin C&E Treatment is The Only Vitamin C Serum that Doesn't Irritate My Hypersensitive Skin

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Like retinol and hyaluronic acid, vitamin C is lauded as one of the top best ingredients to use for optimal skin health. Also known as ascorbic acid, it's famous for its powerful brightening properties and the ability to fade dark spots and fight free radicals, and it happens to be one of the main skin-care ingredients recommended by dermatologists. Unfortunately, I've struggled to find a formula that doesn't wreak havoc on my highly reactive skin. All the ones I've tried — even the super-popular ones you're probably thinking of — would leave my skin red and splotchy with a gnarly stinging sensation. Now though, I'm elated to report I've finally found my vitamin C soulmate in the form of Renée Rouleau's Vitamin C&E Treatment.

It was actually Renée Rouleau herself who convinced me to try her brand's vitamin C serum, and I couldn't be more grateful that she did. I had told her about how my skin typically reacts when using vitamin C products, and without hesitation, she said I should give hers a try because it contains two stable, sting-free forms of the famed ingredient known as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and ascorbyl methylsilanol pectinate. Unlike pure vitamin C, Rouleau says these are "less acidic on the skin," which makes them better-suited for sensitive skin types.

In addition to these two types of vitamin C, it also contains vitamin E for its calming properties, as well as licorice root for added skin soothing. You'll also find hydrating glycerin on the ingredient list, along with shea butter and sunflower seed oil. I believe it's these gentle, skin-coddling ingredients combined with the stable forms of vitamin C that make this unique serum work for me. Every time I've used it so far (twice a day for a week now), I've been shocked at just how lovely and non-irritating it feels. My skin drinks it right up.

As you can see, despite some lingering discoloration, my skin looks pretty lit- from-within.

As for how I've been using it, I simply slather a dime-sized amount on my skin after toning, and then I wait a minute or two before applying another serum or my moisturizer. During the day, I top it off with broad-spectrum SPF 50 (right now I'm loving this one from Supergoop) to make sure my complexion has ample protection from the sun. After all, what's the point of using a vitamin C serum that fades discoloration if you're not going to protect your skin from the source that causes it? Always wear vitamin C and sunscreen together, folks. That's an order.

While I haven't been using the serum for long at all, I've been liking it so much that I felt compelled to write about it — especially since I know I can't be the only one with a sensitivity to most topical forms of vitamin C. After just a few days of consistent use, my skin looked noticeably brighter and clearer, and it felt more hydrated, too. It's wild that before this, I thought I might never be able to use vitamin C, and now, I almost can't imagine my routine without it.

Now read about more products ishonest editors are loving right now:

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Now, see our editor in chief's nighttime skin-care routine:

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