Today is the first day in a long time that I’ve felt like NYC has solidly escaped winter’s clutches. It’s finally, actually, totally springtime, yay! So it feels appropriate that I’ve been using a product with a very “spring”-like name: Nectar of the C Vitamin C serum. This was one of three products gifted to me by the newly launched skin care brand, Fleur & Bee. I know some people aren’t a fan of cutesy product names, but I don’t mind them so much. (Maybe it’s the former copywriter in me.)
Fleur & Bee Nectar of the C Vitamin C serum ingredients
water, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, organic aloe vera leaf juice, glycerin, organic jojoba seed oil, tocopheryl acetate, hydrolyzed tara gum, tara gum, ferulic acid, matricaria extract, glyceryl caprylate, xanthan gum, sd alcohol 40-b, caprylhydroxamic acid, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, pink grapefruit peel oil, clary sage flower oil
Sodium ascorbyl phosphate
Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is “a stable form of Vitamin C” that is also included in other serums like artnaturals. It was also included in the Crème de la Cream face cream from Fleur & Bee. More studies have been done about L-ascorbic acid, but ascorbic acid is less stable and oxidizes more easily. Therefore, a lot of companies opt for sodium ascorbyl phosphate as a more stable derivative that helps provide the same brightening effects while being less susceptible to oxidation.
Other products that contain sodium ascorbyl phosphate include:
- sunscreens like Banana Boat Sport Cool Zone Sunscreen SPF 50, Mad Hippie Facial SPF 30, and Coppertone Defend & Care UltraHydrate Whipped Sunscreen SPF 50
- hair care products like Kirkland Signature Moisture Conditioner and Shampoo
- other vitamin C serums like this one from artnaturals
Vitamin C + ferulic acid + vitamin E
Like SkinCeuticals and artnaturals, Fleur & Bee Vitamin C serum supplements vitamin C with vitamin E and ferulic acid. These three ingredients form the power trio that has made SkinCeuticals so popular over the years. SkinCeuticals’s specific combo of 15% vitamin C (in the form of l-ascorbic acid), 1% vitamin E, and 0.5% ferulic acid has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of these ingredients. Since SkinCeuticals patented this exact combination of active ingredients, it’s hard to say if similar products that use undisclosed concentrations of vitamin C (and in other forms like sodium ascorbyl phosphate, as in this serum), vitamin E, and ferulic acid will have the same effect observed in the aforementioned research. But a girl can dream, right?
Matricaria (chamomile) extract
Matricaria extract, also known as chamomile extract, is known for its anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. This all sounds great to me, since my skin is often in need of some soothing, whether I’m recovering from a breakout or suffering from a dry patch outside of my oily T-zone.
Matricaria extract is also included in:
- Leaders AC Dressing Face Mask (one of my fave sheet masks!)
- Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
- Karuna exfoliating foot mask
Other miscellaneous ingredients
This vitamin C serum also contains some other ingredients like denatured alcohol and thickeners like tara gum and xanthan gum. A few other essential oils like pink grapefruit peel oil and clary sage flower oil help round out the ingredient list and provide a nice natural scent (instead of having to use synthetic fragrances).
My Dad the Chemist’s view of alcohol in vitamin C serums
Here’s what my dad had to say about the inclusion of alcohol in Fleur & Bee’s vitamin C serum:
Dear Emily, yes, it’s ok to add small amount of alcohol in the formula, I think the purpose is to help solubilize some of the oils in the formula so that make the entire formula more uniform, therefore the efficacy may be enhanced.
Keep in mind that my dad’s not a native English speaker, but he still sometimes knows more English words than I do (and I majored in English in college). I had to look up the word “solubilize” to confirm that it was, indeed, a word.
Anyway, it turns out that the inclusion of a small amount of alcohol helps with make the mixture more uniform, since in this case this serum contains water and oils—and you know that old saying about how they don’t mix? If you’ve ever made salad dressing before, you know that it’s not just a saying—it’s the truth.
Fleur & Bee Vitamin C Serum review
This vitamin C serum is packed in a pretty standard 1-ounce glass dropper bottle with a pink cap (both cheery and functional). The color of the glass is dark—similar to the dark glass bottles you get from The Ordinary products like squalane and rose hip seed oil. Remember, dark glass is a good thing when it comes to Vitamin C, which oxidizes when exposed to light, just like an apple (also rich in vitamin C!) that starts browning after it’s been cut. Keeping your vitamin C serum in a cool, dark place can help prolong the stability of this active ingredient. A slip of paper in the box advised storing it in the fridge for even greater longevity. I think that’s a great idea in the summer—it must feel nice to pat cool on your face when it’s hot out.
I’ve been using three drops of this serum in the mornings and I like it so far. One is that love how this serum smells. It’s technically “fragrance-free” but the pink grapefruit peel oil and clary sage flower oil provide a nice natural scent (instead of having to use synthetic fragrances). It’s a citrusy, licorice-y scent that perks up my senses. I don’t smell any alcohol at all even though it’s listed in the ingredients. The consistency/viscosity is also quite thick—similar to The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% or COSRX Snail Mucin Essence 96, if you’ve ever used either of those before. This is because the formula includes thickeners, in the form of tara gum and xanthan gum. I find that the thicker consistency makes it easy to apply directly to your face (it own’t drip down as quickly as a more watery formula). It absorbs quite nicely into the skin within a few seconds of applying it.
This serum also doesn’t make my face sting at all. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, which definitely made my skin sting/tingle (stingle?) for a few seconds after applying it. However, that one contained 23% ascorbic acid, while this serum includes an undisclosed percentage of a different form of Vitamin C (sodium ascorbyl phosphate). I think this makes this vitamin C serum more accessible for anyone who’s not a fan of the stingling (stinging/tingling) you typically get with more potent forms of vitamin C.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. I received this product as a free sample, but all opinions are my own.