Vitamin C serums, beware of oxidation! PTR and Ole Henriksen serum review

Vitamin C serum is great for those who worry about first signs of aging and don’t need anything too intensive yet. If you live in a sunny place or is outside a lot during the summer, use a vitamin C serum under your sunscreen can help your skin to combat sun damage. But lets talk about oxidation first. Foundations can oxidize, but do you know vitamin C can oxidize as well? To prolong the effectiveness of skincare products, they should be stored in a cool dark place and kept sealed/unopened until ready to use. Well, turns out products with active ingredients, like vitamin C, can oxidize before their expiration date sometimes. If a vitamin C serum have oxidized, it loses its effectiveness and can have adverse effect. Here is a good article on the bad effects and sign of oxidation in vitamin C, so make sure the vitamin C in your skincare products is stabilized.


My first encounter with oxidation was when I opened up a little bottle of Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu serum from a set I brought early last year. When I pumped out the serum, it has an intense dead fish smell. That is NOT how this serum is supposed to smell! And I’m pretty sure it was a much lighter color as well. I went to Sephora and the SA told me that yeah, they actually had a few bottle that oxidized and made me a sample to try. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum has been a stable of mine for awhile when it comes to vitamin C serum, so I figure I might as well do a comparison/reviews of Ole Henriksen Truth Serum and Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Vitamin C x30 serum.

Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power Cx30 Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Description: The Camu Camu berry is a potent superfruit from the Amazon that provides 30 times more vitamin C per ounce than an average orange. This highly concentrated vitamin C has superior absorption properties due to its low molecular weight allowing it to better penetrate the skin, help boost collagen production, brighten, smooth, firm, and improve the appearance of uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles. Powerful antioxidant Camu Camu with vitamins A, D & E also helps revitalize the look of skin while helping to fight free radical attack.


My take: The serum have a fruity and kind of chemical scent. The spoiled serum have a stronger fishy stink and is more of a brown color than golden orange. The serum is very very liquidy, almost like a heavier toner. It sinks well into the skin but leaves it feeling a bit sticky for a while before sinking in. I only used it for a week, not long enough to have any long-term effect and I can’t speak to the anti-aging aspect. It made my skin feel a little dry, probably due to the alcohol. I have combination skin and my nose was starting to get oily so this helped with the oil, but my cheeks are dry and I have to make sure to moisturize extra well in those areas when I apply moisturizer afterward. Otherwise it did keep my skin smooth and comfortable.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

DescriptionAn antioxidant-rich brightening and nourishing serum enriched with vitamin C. Formulated with a proprietary five-source vitamin C complex to support natural collagen production, brighten, and minimize fine lines, this must-have serum defends from environmental aggressors and free radical damage, leaving skin healthy and protected. It is enriched with green tea extract and sodium hyaluronate to nurture and nourish. This lightweight and oil-free formula quickly absorbs into skin while the iconic uplifting citrus scent pampers your skin and your senses.

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Acerbate, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Euphrasis Offinalis Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Oleth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Hyaluronate, Thioctic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Fragrance, Yellow 6 (CI 15985).

My take: This is my stable and I’ve used it on and off for at least a year. It have a mild orange scent like the rest of the Vitamin C/Truth line from Ole Henriksen. While I find the cream a bit heavy for my combination skin, this serum is liquidy and sinks in well. In the summer when my skin is feeling oily and stuffy and I don’t want to put anything on, I smooth this on generously to help fight sun damage and it is hydrating enough that I can get away with applying just a tiny bit of moisturizer on the cheeks/forehead and call it a day. I can’t really tell if it’s brightening, but I think it did help combat sun/environment. When I’m traveling or staying in a big city, the sun/pollution makes my skin feel all bumpy and oily and dry at the same time, but using this helped normalized my skin a bit.

Conclusion: Both serum made very similar claims. Camu camu have a stronger scent and is more liquidy than truth serum, altho both sinks into the skin easily leaving no residue. Neither irritated and is lightweight enough for all skin types. However, Camu camu is a bit drying due to alcohol so you might want to try Truth Serum instead if you have dry skin. I still prefer Truth Serum more since I’m not that oily and prefer lightweight hydration. While it could be a fluke that the one bottle of Camu Camu that I had oxidized, Truth Serum uses a stable form of vitamin C and none of the 3 small size serum I have had oxidized yet (some of which I’ve had for 1+ year). There are a ton of vitamin C serums out there, but make sure to choose one with stabilized vitamin C. For now, I will be stocking up on Truth Serum during Sephora sales.


3 thoughts on “Vitamin C serums, beware of oxidation! PTR and Ole Henriksen serum review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s