Right now, i'm on my second bottle of Purito's Pure Vitamin C Serum - even though it smells...odd.
It's no secret I am a Purito fan, with their skincare being completely unoffensive and moreover, effective on my sensitive, temperamental skin. I also love the fact that the brand is cruelty-free, clean and free from both natural and artificial fragrances which can potentially irritate my rosacea.
When summer rolled around and it was time for me to wear a vitamin C serum (I don't wear one year around because I skin cycle, having found that to be the best way to use active ingredients without my sensitive skin absolutely cracking it), I was given the Purito Vitamin C Serum tro try. And, well, I was a little hesistant. I looked up the Amazon reviews, and the serum only atracted 4.2 stars out of 5. Not a terrible score, but relatively low for a Purito product. Plus, 25% of users gave it 3 stars or less. Browsing through the reviews, it seemed like the issue wasn't that it didn't work - it was the smell.
Vitamin C naturally smells a bit sour
For people with sensitive noses, having a teeny bit of added fragrance or essential oils can make a big difference to your sensory experience of vitamin C and won't really have an impact on your skin. But if you're like me and are rosacea prone (and it gets worse during a dry summer), you'll just want to hold your breath for this one. Reviewers have described it as "meaty and metallic", "like old fish oil capsules", "raw potatoes", "turkey cold cuts" or more commonly, "hot dog water". And to be fair, it's not uncommon. In fact, SkinCeutical's C E Ferulic, often considered the gold standard for vitamin C serums (side note - it's also hella expensive and I find cheaper options do the job just as well) has a thick, fake tan/bacony scent. However you choose to describe it, that's generally the natural scent of pure vitamin C. So, if it smells a bit off, don't worry! It hasn't gone bad. You can tell the 'freshness' of a vitamin C serum by its colour rather than its scent, in any case. Look for light, lemony-yellow, champagne to pale orange tones. Anything dark orange or brown has oxidized, and won't deliver any benefits.
A weird smell doesn't bother me - just give results, okurrr?
Having used plenty of hot-doggy vitamin C serums in my time, I know that the smell isn't an impediment to it delivering glowing skin and fighting of hyperpigmentation. So, bring on the meatiness, Purito.
And here's the other thing: while it's attracted mixed reviews and hasn't exactly gone viral on TikTok, it's been a consistent top seller here on Kanvas Beauty...people have been stealthily buying this item all year around, and re-purchasing it. Seems like there's a bit of gatekeeping happening!
Purito Pure Vitamin C Serum ingredients
Purito uses a base of bamboo water in its serum. This handy ingredient is naturally rich in silica (which boosts collagen production). Purito then adds hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and fine-line fighting adenosine. There's also glutathione, for extra brightening benefits. All great anti-ageing ingedients too (huzzah!). As I mentioned before, there are no added fragrances or essential oils in this vegan formula.
The vitamin C concentration in the formula is 5%, which had me wondering whether it was 'strong' enough to produce results on my dark, hyperpigmentation-prone skin. The lightest concentration I've used is 10%, which at least didn't make my sensitive skin feel uncomfortable. Plus, I was coming off theAlpha Arbutin Serum from Acure (love, love, love), which gave me a lovely glow to begin with. So I was sceptical of seeing any visible improvements.
Where it fit in my routine
I apply my vitamin C serums in my morning routine, given vit C is a powerful antioxidant that works in tandem with your SPF to protect your skin from free radicaI damage. After cleansing and toning with a low pH toner (trust me, your skin will sting less if you use a pH correcting Toner before your vit C serum), I use two pumps of the Pure Vitamin C Serum all over my face. Once it's almost dry (i.e. my skin is slightly tacky), I apply my moisturizer and then my current sunscreen. I begin by wearing the serum every second day and giving my skin a rest on weekends before ramping up to daily, just so my skin has time to get used to it. I find that when i first introduce active ingredients to my skin too fast, it can break out in tiny, red, pimple-like bumps - which is a bit of irritation mixed with my skin cell turnover speeding up. Try staggering your usage if you experience the same thing, and see if your skin responds better.
Texture and application
Full marks for the serum coming in an airtight pump and opaque packaging! This will protect the vitamin C from oxidizing too quickly. However, I still store it in the fridge, given Australian summers cannot be trusted and we've already had a spattering of hot days. The texture is viscous but easily spreads, and I find two pumps to be enough for my face. And yep - there is definitely a smell! It's that typical, "hog dog" smell which is the trade-off if you are opting for fragrance-free. It was kind of strong on the first few days, but to be honest, I don't even notice it now. Plus, it dissipates after a few seconds.
Results and final verdict
No complaints here! 5% was clearly enough to do the trick. Within 2 weeks, I could notice my skin glowing wih that luminesence I find only vitamin C can really provide. It's also appeared to prevent the formation of sun spots on my cheekbones, where I routinely get hyperpigmentation every summer. The only issue was that my skin didn't feel particularly hydrated and went a little red on my cheeks when we hit a series of hot, dry days. I maintained the vitamin C application, but was careful to pair it with a barrier-serum, put on some additional layers of toner and slug my cheeks in the evenings with Acure's Hemp Seed Oil to maintain my skin's moisture levels. Even though it has hyaluronic acid in the formula, I didn't find it particularly hydrating in and of itself. But apart from that, it works, and with minimal irritation. In fact, I'm on my second bottle! My skin likes it, so I'm just going to give it what it wants.
If you have skin that's less problematic and can stomach a higher concentration of vitamin C, I'd say go for something stronger like SVR's Vitamin C Ampoule (20% for the win!). But if you are a vitamin C beginner, or have sensitive/rosacea/redness prone skin, then look no further: this is the vitamin C serum for you.
Find the Pure Vitamin C Serum from Purito online in Australia at Kanvas Beauty
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