A more stable form of vitamin C

The vitamin C ester we use is more stable than regular L ascorbic acid.

Water soluble L Ascorbic Acid is an amazing antioxidant. Unfortunately it also has some very powerful enemies who work hard to take our superhero vitamin C out of the fight against free radicals in your skin. These super villains are known as Heat, Light and Oxygen. And their mission is to oxidise the heck out of your vitamin C serum right there in the jar or bottle. Failing that, they’ll settle for oxidising Ascorbic Acid vitamin C on the outside of your skin (if vitamin C serum has ever turned your skin fake-tan orange, this is the reason why).

Vitamin C starts to oxidise when exposed to heat, light and oxygen. Oxidised vitamin C is no longer an effective antioxidant when applied to your skin.

That vitamin C serum in the clear plastic bottle – yep, it exposes the vitamin C to light.

Or the one where you take the lid off every time you use it – sorry, it’s letting oxygen in to destroy the vitamin C in your expensive serum. 

We use a lipid/oil soluble vitamin C ester called tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate that is more stable than water soluble ascorbic acid. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is amazing for your skin but a mouthful to pronounce so we prefer to call it THD-C (not to be confused with THC 😊)

THD-C is more stable in the bottle and more stable on your skin.

How to spot oxidised vitamin C serum? Oxidised vitamin C will change the colour of your serum to a dark yellow, amber or brown colour. 

Skin friendly pH (no stinging or burning for sensitive skin)

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), like its name suggests is very acidic. 

pH is the measurement used to describe the acidity of a substance. 1 is very acidic, 7 is neutral and 14 is very alkaline.

More alkaline is not always better or safer – Caustic soda, also known as lye or sodium hydroxide is the active ingredient in oven cleaner and is extremely alkaline with a pH of 13 and causes burns and irritation if it gets on your skin.  Hydrochloric and stomach acid both have a pH of 1.  Your skin is happiest and healthiest at a pH of around 5.5, slightly acidic. 

The pH of vitamin C is generally around 1-2.5, it’s pretty acidic - this is why vitamin C causes reflux or heartburn in some people when they take pure vitamin C as a supplement.  Putting pure vitamin C on your skin would be highly irritating for many people and a complete disaster for anyone with sensitive skin or rosacea.

The higher the amount of pure ascorbic acid there is in a serum, the more acidic it’s going to be. This is why most people with sensitive skin shudder at the thought of using a 20% vitamin C serum.  It literally feels like putting lemon juice on irritated skin.

A well formulated vitamin C serum using ascorbic acid will have a pH of 3.5 or less in order to keep it stable.  To put that into perspective, wine has a pH of 3.5 and lemon juice is between 2 and 3.

This is also why many vitamin C serums can cause temporary stinging, burning and irritation for some people – it’s the high acidity.

This is another reason we’ve chosen to use the THD version of vitamin C. It means that all of our vitamin C serums are formulated with a pH of between 5 and 6 making them suitable for sensitive skin.

THD-C is converted into ascorbic acid once it’s absorbed and enters cells deeper within your skin where you won’t feel any irritation.

Preservative, fragrance & chemical free

If your skincare contains water- or water-soluble ingredients, it simply must contain preservatives. Even the most beautifully formulated and carefully crafted skincare will quickly become a fungal and bacterial soup if it contains water and no preservatives/antimicrobials.

Antimicrobials, along with fragrances are the most allergenic and skin irritating ingredient found in skincare products. The number of people developing allergies to preservatives is increasing every year.

Vitamin C serums formulated with water soluble ascorbic acid generally contain at least one preservative.  The most commonly used are Benzyl alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin and Phenoxyethanol. While far safer than paraben-based preservatives, they are known sensitisers and can be problematic for sensitive skin, causing rashes, dermatitis and irritation.

Our vitamin C serums are formulated without water, which means that they do not require preservatives.

Created by a naturopath (with over 20 years’ experience working with real people), our vitamin C serums are also free from other commonly used skincare chemicals that are problematic for anyone with sensitive skin or wanting to reduce exposure to red flag chemicals like phthalates and parabens.

A red, itchy rash is the most well-known type of reaction to skincare ingredients including preservatives and fragrances. Other signs of skin irritation from these ingredients can include:

  • Dryness
  • Flakiness
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Pimple like bumps

Sure, you may be fine now, but allergies and reactions to skincare ingredients like preservatives and fragrances can develop at any age, even to ingredients you’ve been safely using twice a day, every day for 20 years! And unfortunately, once that allergy reaction is triggered, there’s no going back. So it’s good to know that there’s a vitamin C serum that is safe to use for anyone with allergies to preservatives and fragrances.

Our regular Vitamin C Serum contains pure steam distilled lemon oil as a gentle exfoliant, to help release oil that can become trapped in pores and around hair follicles – we also have a version without the distilled lemon oil for those who are extra sensitive.

THREE products in 1 serum

A humble over achiever, this light and luscious serum triples up as vitamin C skin quencher + moisturiser + eye treatment. Its silky smooth texture also makes the perfect base for makeup.

Because there are no irritating preservatives and other chemicals, our vitamin C serums are also safe to use around your delicate eye area.

The skin around your eyes is thinner and more vulnerable to the premature aging and damaging effects of free radicals so using vitamin C around your eyes, especially in Australia makes a lot of sense. Vitamin C can also help to brighten the under-eye area as well as supporting healthy collagen and skin elasticity.

Our vitamin C serums are based on a lipid called squalane (from plants, NOT shark livers). Its name doesn’t do it justice, it’s a serious skincare eager beaver with a weird name.

Squalane, described as a “face lift in a bottle” is a wonderful moisturiser and hydrator.  It plumps up your skin to give a younger looking, ‘juicier’ appearance. Regular use diminishes the appearance of fine lines and eliminates rough, dry skin. It hydrates skin at the cellular level, acting as a barrier, to keep moisture locked in. Translation – your skin looks soft and radiant.

Squalane helps to combat fine lines, wrinkles and dryness.  It’s suitable for all skin types: sensitive, oily, acne prone, dry, normal, mature and sun damaged.

Squalane is essentially identical to a lipid produced in your own skin called squalene. Read more about squalane vs squalene.  Squalane is also one of the most stable oils available for use in skincare. It is extremely resistant to oxidation, helping to further protect the vitamin C. Many oils used in skincare, especially those rich in essential fatty acids oxidise extremely easily.

Levels of squalene start to naturally reduce in skin towards the end of your 20’s and 30’s – when you’ll really notice that your skin starts to become drier and the skincare products that worked in your early 20’s just don’t seem to cut it anymore.

Other benefits of squalane include:

  • Reducing appearance of fine lines
  • Luxurious skin moisturiser
  • Perfect moisturiser and skin hydrator for the hot & humid months as well as the cooler & dryer months. 
  • Softens skin texture and appearance (gives you a dewy glow)
  • Soothing action which relieves and helps to prevent skin irritation
  • Does not block pores (non comedogenic)
  • Controls oil production
  • Helps to fade the look of dark spots and acne scars
  • Reduces the appearance of redness for inflamed or irritated skin
  • Lightweight and non-greasy

Benefits of applying vitamin C to your skin

  • May assist with protecting against sun damage
  • Assists with fading dark patches of skin (hyperpigmentation).
  • Smooths fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Boosts production and stabilises collagen within skin.
  • Helps to fade scars.
  • Promotes skin healing.

Our vitamin C serums are simplicity personified. We pride ourselves on our minimalistic formulations and we love the fact that our vitamin C serums are a triple act.

Packaging that protects Vitamin C

Heat, light and oxygen are the enemy’s vitamin C (and skincare in general).  They all speed up the production of free radicals which oxidise vitamin C, rendering it useless as an antioxidant.

Healthy Skin[care] vitamin C serums are packaged in black glass bottles to protect the vitamin C from light. A serum pump rather than a dropper ensures that you’re not letting in oxygen every time you use your vitamin C serum.

We have also chosen not to package our serums in boxes. Yes we know they look pretty and studies have even shown that skincare in boxes sells better. But we cannot justify the environmental impact of packaging that is thrown straight in the bin. Even if recycled cardboard is used, it still takes resources to recycle and then there is a layer of plastic over most boxes + the inks used to print them – all wasted and 100% unnecessary resources. So our packaging is better for a stronger, longer lasting vitamin C serum AND the environment.

Nutritionist/Naturopath formulated

All of our Healthy Skin[care] products have been created by nutritionist & naturopath Sarah Luck.  Sarah has over 20 years’ experience working with clients around Australia and the world. She is passionate about both the skin and gut microbiomes and their role in achieving resilient, balanced and healthy skin. What we leave out of our Healthy Skin[care] is as important as what we put in.  

At Nubeean Noosa, we see your skin and its microbiome as a garden, rather than bricks and mortar. We like to think of ourselves as regenerative skin farmers!

Sarah believes that vitamin C serums should be part of daily skin care for every Australian.

Australian made vitamin C serums

Our vitamin C serums are formulated for Australian skin that lives, works and plays under the Australia sun. We think vitamin C serums are so important for Australian skin that we use it on our kids each day too.

We’re not just another natural skincare brand and our vitamin C serums are not just another vitamin C serum.  They are chemical free antioxidant angels for your skin.

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Vitamin C Serums 10% | 20% | 30%


Learn More

Vitamin C Serum FAQ

How to choose a vitamin C serum: Which strength is right for me

Squalane: The best moisturiser you've never heard of