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Review: Dermalogica BioLumin-C Serum

I LOVE vitamin C serums. I use them in the morning before applying my daily moisturiser, mainly for protection against pigmentation and free radical damage caused by pollution and UV rays, but also to even out my skin tone and keep it looking healthy.  I have been using vitamin C serums for this purpose (in the mornings ☀️) for at least 10 years now… Vitamin C is one of the most well researched and effective skin ingredients. Want to prevent pigmentation, brighten and even up your skin tone (boo to sun spots) plus boost collagen production? Then vitamin C is for YOU! 😉🍊🍊🍊 When Dermalogica released a new vitamin C serum, I was of course intrigued…. plus, it was also popping up EVERYWHERE online. What intrigued me even more was the the fact that they use a form of vitamin C that I didn’t know a lot about. L-ascorbic acid is the most popular form of vitamin C found in skincare products. It is very effective but also quite unstable (especially when it is exposed to light and air). The BioLumin-C serum on the other hand heroes ascorbyl methylsilanol pectinate. To find out more about this ingredient and the how the serum worked for me, keep on reading!

Revive skin’s youthfulness with the Biolumin C Serum from Dermalogica; a high-performance Vitamin C-infused serum that work’s with skin’s own defenses to brighten and firm the complexion.

Powered by advanced bio-technology that deeply delivers the combined benefits of ultra-stable Vitamin C and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 into the skin’s layers, the lightweight serum helps to dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Harnessing the powers of Lactic Acid, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract and Salvia Hispanica (Chia Seed) Oil, the deeply moisturising serum works to accelerate cell turnover, neutralise skin after oxidation and defend against harmful aggressors.Suitable for all skin types.Cruelty-free. Vegan.Free from parabens, gluten and artificial fragrances and colours.Benefits
  1. Exfoliates and reduces unbalanced pigmentation.

  2. Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  3. Prevents and corrects free radical damage.How to useDispense a full dropper and smooth over cleansed face and neck morning and night, after toning and before moisturizing.Quick tipUse morning and night to brighten, firm and reduce the appearance of fine lines and help skin defend itself from oxidative stress.IngredientsWater/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Lactic Acid, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Extract, Sodium PCA, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract, Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Trehalose, Polyacrylate-13, Propanediol, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polyisobutene, Methylpropanediol, Carrageenan, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Limonene, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol

Passionfruit from my garden! 😛 Also full of vitamin C 😉✌️🍊


When I saw that the Biolumin-C Serum was housed in a glass bottle with a dropper, I was concerned because L-ascorbic acid is so unstable, I figured this could be a problem with this vitamin C based serum. It turns out I was wrong! Ascorbyl methylsilanol pectinate turns out to be very stable, therefore the dropper dispenser isn’t an issue. The packaging doesn’t let light in, but it’s still a good idea to keep your skincare in a cool and dark place. My biggest concern re the packaging is that I wouldn’t travel with it. Glass, droppers and travel don’t mix. But I digress! Back to the Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate (let’s call it AMP from here on in) 😊 What makes it different from L-ascorbic Acid? Ascorbyl methylsilanol pectinate is another derivative of L-ascorbic acid. Specifically, it is a polymer that combines L-ascorbic acid with pectin and methylsilanol (an alcohol). The pectin acts as a thickening agent (just like in jam! 😋).

Most forms of vitamin C absorb into the skin and convert into L-ascorbic acid, so it can work its magic. Unfortunately however, there are no studies to confirm that AMP absorbs into the deeper layers of the epidermis/skin, turning into L-ascorbic acid (the AMP particles may be too big)…. Nicki from Futurederm thinks that by it laying on top of the skin, it can still provide some degree of antioxidant protection, as well as provide some UVA protection. Because it doesn’t convert to L-ascorbic acid, it doesn’t irritate the skin like some vitamin C serums do. For this reason serums can contain up to 25% AMP and it won’t be seriously irritating to the skin because it’s just not as ‘active’ as L-ascorbic acid is. Dermalogica doesn’t tell you how much vitamin C of this type is in it’s serum (I hate it when companies do that…) but it’s 10th in the ingredient list so it would certainly be moderately high (10-15% maybe?). This doesn’t all mean it won’t be a good serum and won’t provide your skin with any benefits, your perspective just need to be altered a little 😉 It should certainly be a good serum of choice for sensitive skin or if you are starting your vitamin C ‘journey’.

Because it’s unclear whether or not AMP absorbs into the deeper level of the epidermis (it probably doesn’t) it won’t work to help with collagen formation. However, Dermalogica have solved that particular problem by including Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 into the formula! Palmitoyl tripeptide 5 has been reported by The International Journal of Cosmetic Science to be a synthetic signal peptide that mimics the thrombospondin I tripeptide sequence to activate TGF-β, thereby promoting collagen formation via TGF-β. In a n nutshell, the ingredient does improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. Great news!

Glycerin, sodium hyaluronate (awesome humectants and antioxidants!) and lactic acid will boost skin hydration and cell turnover, leaving skin looking and feeling ‘fresh’. I love that lactic acid is quite high in it’s concentration in this serum, because as an AHA (derived from sour milk and yogurt) it lightly exfoliates and hydrates the skin. Lactic acid hydrates exceptionally well, as it stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin via a skin healing mechanism. Lactic acid is a natural trigger for hylauronic acid synthesis and deposition in the skin, more so than any other AHA. It is also quite gentle, so again, if you have sensitive skin and are scared of AHAs or BHAs, lactic acid will be the best option for you!

Some other interesting ingredients in this serum include the Sophora Japonica Flower Extract (from the Japanese Pagoda Tree), Chia Seed Extract and Sunflower Seed Oil. Does Chia Seed Extract do anything for the skin? That’s debated, but I can’t find any academic studies to support its use. Sophora Japonica Flower Extract however, has been found to have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities (pigmentation is inflammation). It also causes ‘cell death’ in cells that are damaging or ‘non-beneficial’. It’s a fascinating ingredient because taking it orally, it has great benefits for the cardiovascular system (check out the table below published in the Journal It’s an ingredient used widely in China Korea and Japan, so most of the studies relating to this ingredient are probably not in English.

Sunflower seed oil (the cosmetic grade version, not the type you buy at the supermarket) is an emollient (makes skin softer and increases skin hydration levels) and occlusive agent (preventing trans-epidermal water loss, so it prevents skin from getting dehydrated) that does not clog the pores. It contains ~60% linoleic acid.


The serum is milky in consistency and quite thick. It isn’t sticky however. After patting/pressing it into the skin after cleansing (and a spritz of facial mist and/or facial essence) the serum absorbs quickly and beautifully. Skin feel immediately hydrated, plump and softer. I looooove the scent of the serum. It’s super nostalgic for me because I swear it smells like this one kind of bubblegum we used to get from Poland, called ‘Donaldy’ (Donald Duck bubble gum, which included a little comic in the wrapper 😋). It’s a sweet and fruity scent, but isn’t suffocating as it’s mild and still quite ‘fresh’.  One glass bottle lasted me a month of daily use (in the mornings only). Because you are recommended to use one full dropper worth of product, you do run out of it relatively quickly. You could use less serum and sometimes I did, as applying it to damp skin makes it ‘go further’ and you can get an even spread all over your face. However, note that this isn’t recommended by Dermalogica. Did I see some fading in my sun spots? I’m not sure I can answer that question definitively after only using the serum for a month, however, I didn’t get any new sun spots, which is saying something as I live in Australia where the sun is brutal year round. I can say that I liked using this serum and really feels refreshing and plumping. I also can’t comment on how it made my fine lines and wrinkles look as I don’t have any. I would suspect that they would look better and overtime, should be reduced a little thanks to the peptide in the formula boosting collagen production (and the vitamin C providing some UVA protection – the awful type of UV rays that cause premature ageing and damage to the lower levels of the epidermis).

Would I use and repurchase this serum again? I would! I would alternate it with another vitamin C serum (so say, use the Dermalogica BioLuminC-C Serum for one month, and then a different vitamin C serum for the following month or two) but I wouldn’t put away all other vitamin C serums. You could put it on top of another vitamin C serum (which contains a different type of vitamin C) but you would have to have a lot of spare cash to do that I think lol

For 30ml of product you pay $130 Australian dollars. Pricey. However, RY often does promotional sales on the Dermalogica line and currently it costs $113.10 (20% off!). 

You would have to say that it is a very innovative product, combining a relatively new form of vitamin C, a peptide, super hydrating ingredients and Sophora Japonica Flower Extract. I would highly recommend it for sensitive skin types or if you have had sensitive skin recently.

Does this vitamin C serum intrigue you Beauties? Or maybe you’ve already tried it? Let me know in the comments below!

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

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