Paula's Choice C15 Super Booster
Skin felt smoother
Contains potent form of vitamin C
Contains a dropper instead of a pump
Given the quality of Paula's Choice products, I say that the Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster lives up to its gold standard. It hydrates and brightens skin.
Paula's Choice C15 Super Booster
We put the Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
At one point, my bathroom was a revolving door of skincare products, especially serums. For some reason, I just couldn't find the right ones for my sensitive, hormonal, and hyperpigmentation-prone skin. Through much trial and error, the one product that has never let me down is vitamin C. My skin just soaks it up.
While my dark spots don't normally fade in record time, the reduction in the texture of my skin lets me know that the brightening product is hard at work. I've used a range of vitamin C products from budget-friendly to luxe. Now that I'm on the hunt for a new one because I've run out of my current go-to, Paula's Choice's C15 Super Booster is on my list of new products to try. I love and trust the brand, so I can't wait to tell you how my three weeks of using the vitamin C booster went.
Keep reading for my honest thoughts.
Best for: Brightening
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
Potential Allergens: None
About the brand: Founded by Paula Begoun in 1995, Paula's Choice is one of the first online skincare brands. It's known for its science-backed, clean skincare products along with its online ingredient dictionary.
About My Skin: Combination with hormonal breakouts and hyperpigmentation
My skin has its good and bad days depending on my stress levels, sleep schedule, menstrual cycle, and if I've been lazy completing my nightly skincare routine. I am always guaranteed to get a hormonal pimple or two on my jawline just before my period is scheduled to make its debut. Even with my skin’s ups and downs, I love it—dark spots, breakouts, and all. The most important thing I've learned about caring for my skin is less is best.
I have given up harsh cleansers trading them in for my beloved Ranavat cream cleanser that keeps my skin clean, moisturized, and balanced. Besides my cleanser, I use a toner on days that I wear makeup, followed by hyaluronic acid, vitamin C (during the day), retinol (at night), a weekly chemical exfoliator, and clay face mask.
Packaging: Minimalistic and easy to use
The packaging is about what you'd expect from a vitamin C serum, excluding its white bottle. The dropper comes separate from the bottle, which I have found to be the case with some, not all, vitamin C serums. I love that all Paula’s Choice products can be recycled through their partnership with TerraCycle.
The Ingredients: Brightening & hydrating
The stabilized vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) sits at a pH of 3.0 and works to brighten the skin, improve firmness, and fade dark spots. Plus, there's vitamin E and ferulic acid in the formula, two super ingredients that are often bottled together in topical vitamin C products. Vitamin E is a barrier-boosting antioxidant that seals in moisture and soothes the skin, while ferulic acid boosts the benefits of vitamin C while protecting skin from environmental damage. Lastly, hyaluronic acid is the skincare superstar that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water within the cells of the skin, helping skin retain hydration.
The Feel: Lightweight & hydrating
What I noticed as I applied the booster to my skin was how hydrating it was. Most vitamin C serums aren't what I would describe as drying, however, they don't insulate the skin with the moisture I felt once this one was applied. I could have applied a moisturizer after application without the addition being too heavy, but my skin didn't need it and held the moisture all day.
The Results: More plump, hydrated skin
If you're waiting to read that my dark spots cleared out in three weeks, this isn't that review. If you've read any of my previous stories, you know that I don't expect overnight miracles from skincare products.
I can report that the physical texture of my skin felt smoother to the touch, which is my indicator that a product is working for me.
There was no irritation or product-induced breakouts on my very reactive skin. If my skin doesn't like something, it will let me know with a face full of bumps that can take weeks to clear, and there were none of those.
The Value: Middle of the road
At $49, this vitamin C sits right in the middle from a pricing perspective. Given my positive track record with Paula's Choice, I think this serum is worth the splurge.
Competition: From budget to luxe
Maelove The Glow Maker ($28): This budget-friendly serum became an instant cult classic. Made with vitamin C (15 percent L-ascorbic acid), vitamin E, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, and a proprietary botanical blend (vitis vinifera, aloe, aurantium dulcis, and magnolia), the hydrating, brightening serum lives up to its hype.
Klur Brilliant Light Multi-Correctional Repair Serum ($88): Formulated with vitamin C and E along with rosehip seed, the antioxidant-rich formula soaks into the skin, protects, and can help correct signs of skin damage.
Avya Skincare Anti-Aging Power Serum ($88): This anti-aging serum is formulated with pure microencapsulated vitamin C and vitamin A that softens, smooths, and brightens the skin.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($166): The award-winning, patented daytime vitamin C serum is clinically proven to reduce combined oxidative damage from free radicals. It also improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness, and adds radiance.
Did this serum fade all of my dark spots? No. But, my skin was hydrated and healthy. Not to mention, I only had to use one serum to tackle all of my skincare concerns, which was great on days when I didn’t feel like layering more than one product.
- Product Name C15 Super Booster
- Product Brand Paula's Choice
- Price $49.00
- Weight 0.67 oz.
- Dosage 2-3 drops over face and neck
- Ingredients Water (Aqua), Ascorbic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Glycerin, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate, Lecithin, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Bisabolol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Propyl Gallate, Sodium Gluconate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin
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Keen MA, Hassan I. Vitamin E in Dermatology. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2016;7(4):311-315. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.185494
Zduńska K, Dana A, Kolodziejczak A, Rotsztejn H. Antioxidant Properties of Ferulic Acid and Its Possible Application. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2018;31(6):332-336. doi:10.1159/000491755
Papakonstantinou E, Roth M, Karakiulakis G. Hyaluronic Acid: A Key Molecule in Skin Aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):253-258. doi:10.4161/derm.21923