La Roche-Posay PURE VITAMIN C10 SERUM – Review

This is a new ascorbic acid serum from La Roche-Posay, not their first ascorbic acid product, though the first in a serum form. I’ve been using it for over a month, and I have almost finished the entire bottle. Here are my thoughts.

The serum is meant to help with wrinkles, lack of radiance and uneven texture. It contains 10% ascorbic acid, neurosensine and salicylic acid at the skin-friendly pH of 5 as stated on their website. I am surprised the Ph isn’t lower as L’Oreal owns patents for the famous Skinceuticals’s vitamin C combination at a low pH. On the box, it’s written that the contact with the air causes the serum to turn yellow (mine turned orange over time), but it does not affect the product’s efficacy or tolerance. 

The main ingredient is ascorbic acid, an exceptional anti-oxidant. It does a great job at brightening the skin and improving collagen production. Another component, salicylic acid is excellent for mild exfoliation and enhancing skin’s texture, though there’s not much of it. There’s also a peptide – neurosensine, developed by LRP. It’s a combination of two amino-acids arginine and tyrosyl which has skin soothing properties.
On top of that, there is hyaluronic acid and glycerine to keep the skin moisturised. There’s also isoparaffin, which some people may not appreciate. In recent years, mineral oil and its derivatives have been demonised in the beauty industry. Honestly, mineral oil is not my number one ingredient, but if a product contains it, and I like it, then why not. And there isn’t that much of it here. It didn’t break me out, so I am fine. There is also silicone. I think both silicone and isoparaffin were used as buffers, to minimise possible irritation. I don’t have problems with silicones, but I know some people avoid them, so watch out. And are the buffer ingredients needed in this serum? Well, there’s quite a lot of alcohol in here, it’s the second ingredient after water. Though, there are glycerine, dimethicone, and others to counteract the drying effect. There’s also ascorbic acid, the key component which can irritate, especially first time users. The serum is intended for sensitive skin types, so LRP had to make a good base that would prevent possible irritation. For this reason, I used this serum at nights, as it’s quite viscous and takes time to absorb. There’s also fragrance, but a tiny amount, I can’t smell anything.

I don’t have a problem with the ingredients; my concern is the stability of the product. Ascorbic acid is difficult to stabilise in solutions with water. LRP say the serum will turn yellow, but turned orange. I am not sure if they also meant it would keep its properties after turning orange as the bottle’s colour. It is supposed to be finished within two months (as the opened jar sign indicates), so I assume the serum works about two months after opening.

When it comes to the results, the serum is quite potent. It does deliver on the promises made by LRP, it brightens the complexion and improves texture. Overall, my skin has become more radiant, and hyperpigmentation is less noticeable. My skin’s texture is much better, as the serum has helped to unclog pores and smooth out lines on my forehead. It works like a proper vitamin C serum. You need about a week to see the first results; your skin will develop a healthy look. If you struggle with dullness, hyperpigmentation or want some anti-wrinkle action, this is the way to go. I have also observed that my under-eye area noticeably brightened, and the lines around my eyes are not as prominent. It won’t fix your dark circles, no product will, but it can brighten the area. 

I have also reproduced the apple test, which, I reckon, was SkinCeuticals’s campaign. Perhaps you might have seen another blogger or a journalist do it using their serum. Anyway, it works with this product as well.

For testing the serum, I’ve used two slices of an apple: one coated with the product and the other not.
On the first photograph, you can see the slices after I applied the serum only on the left side of the apple on the slice on the left. I left them for 3 hours, as the right side of the serum-treated slice did not want to oxidise as much as my base-line sample. I reckon that the serum seeped through to the other side as well.
On the second photograph, after three hours, you can see the difference: the right side of the apple is brown, almost the same colour as the baseline sample (I had to adjust the exposure on my camera to catch the difference).
Later, I applied the serum on the right side of the left apple to see if the product can undo the changes. (Third photo) After about an hour almost all of the darkening was reversed. Then, I decided that to apply the serum on the baseline slice to see if it can reverse the browning on it. (Fourth photo) Surprisingly, an hour later, the serum stopped the oxidisation of the baseline slice and reversed some of the changes. There was a colour difference between slices. The side that received the serum first appeared the brightest compared to the right side, which had a slightly different colour. The baseline slice still had the most browning, but its colour turned lighter after applying the serum. Overall, I was impressed with the results on both slices. 

When I did the test, the serum was already yellow, leaning towards orange. I would assume that LRP are right to say that the colour change does not affect the serum.
It’s not a very scientific test. It is merely to show the potentiality of the serum, and it’s pretty impressive to see what it can do.


This serum is lovely; I think everyone can benefit from a well-formulated ascorbic acid serum. If you can tolerate all of the ingredients, then go ahead. A serum with 10% ascorbic acid is a good beginning while using such products; because similarly to retinoids it’s best to introduce ascorbic acid gradually. It improves texture, luminosity, and the overall condition of the skin. It suitable for all skin types, and it shouldn’t cause troubles to anyone.



7 responses to “La Roche-Posay PURE VITAMIN C10 SERUM – Review”

  1. […] The serum has a light, watery texture. It applies very smoothly, leaves no residue, and it gives satisfying results. After using this serum, my complexion brightened, and the overall appearance improved. Despite using the serum religiously, it did not manage to deliver on luminosity. My skin didn’t become radiant and glowing, like with Melano CC Essence or LRP’s serum. […]

  2. I am surprised and disappointed that to doesn’t seem to contain ferulic acid or vitamin C, which the gold standard vitamin C product seem to include. Is this correct?

    • No, this serum doesn’t contain ferulic acid. Is ascorbic acid and FA the gold standard? I don’t know, some people call the duo this way. I think it depends on your needs. For example, salicylic acid in this serum can be helpful with blemishes and decreasing skin irritation. FA will definitely be better when it comes to an an advanced anti-wrinkle regiment. We must also consider that both LRP and Skinceuticals are owned by L’Oréal. If they put together FA with ascorbic acid in a cheaper serum, they could never justify charging consumers more for the Skinceuticals 10% ascorbic acid serum.

  3. Regarding that experiment with apples. That process of browning is caused by Polyphenol Oxidases, which can be prevented by antioxidants, but predominantly by a strong acid. So applying for example vinegar or anything else very acidic would have prevented the browning as well, and your skin has a waxy/oily layer that ascorbic acid has a hard time passing through unlike an apple. So just to say, the apple experiment is more a marketing trick by brands, than really a solid experiment to prove the antioxidant properties of a cosmetic product.

    • I imagine that the experiment works on a similar principle as using lemon juice in a fruit salad to stop the fruit from browning. As for the penetration of the serum, this product contains salicylic acid, which can penetrate through sebum and aid with delivering the active ingredient. It is also good to apply skincare on a freshly cleaned face that shouldn’t have a thick, oily layer on its surface. You could use a salicylic acid wash before applying an ascorbic acid serum to remove excess sebum. The apple experiment, I think, was started by SkinCeuticals a few years ago, and their serum has a lot of research proving its efficacy. L’Oréal own both LRP and Skincetucals, and I believe that they used the technology from SkinCeuticals’ serum to formulate this product. I don’t deny that the apple experiment could be a marketing trick, but at the same time, ascorbic acid serums yield positive results for many people globally. And I wouldn’t apply lemon juice or vinegar on my face; I will stick to ascorbic acid serums.

  4. Definitely. I’m not debating wether this specific product is good or bad btw. I just don’t like the apple experiment. It’s not a good way to proof the antioxidant potential of skincare ingredients, and unfortunately there are still many brands on instragram that show the apple experiment. In the first place, because an ingredient works on an apple doesn’t mean it will work when applied to skin, your skin is of course not comparable to an apple, but more importantly the browning could have been prevented with any acid, so unless there’s a serum with the exact same ingredient and pH but without the vitamin C as a control, an apple is not a solid proof of an antioxidant potential. Like you say we are not going to apply lemon juice or vinegar to our face, while it would have done the same thing to the apple as a vitamin C serum. I appreciate all the studies that have been done on the skinceuticals vitamin c of course.

    • That’s a good point. I agree with you; I think brands should use more scientific-like demonstrations to show their products’ efficacy if they use them in their marketing campaigns. An experiment comparing this product to a simple aqueous solution with the same pH would be more convincing than an apple experiment like mine. I don’t know the product’s pH, and I can’t create serums to make a valid comparison. Of course, human skin isn’t an apple, so the penetration is different. However, I suppose L’Oréal had done some research before they formulated their ascorbic acid products to deliver, at least, some of the active ingredients to the skin. In recent years, they have released many serums with ascorbic acid across various brands. Of course, the serum will work differently on human skin; nonetheless, it’s effective. Marketing is so diverse, and it varies depending on the sector. When it comes to skincare (and other industries), brands try to appeal to consumers’ reason by portraying products as efficacious as they possibly can be. My experiment could have a similar effect, and I replicated SkinCeuticals’ example, but I don’t think LRP have done a similar thing in their marketing campaign.

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