It’s funny how with all the fads in skincare, the three products that never seem to change and form the basis of any good routine are; cleanser, serum and moisturiser 🌟 I’ve been using serums for years and years (too many to you how many haha!) because they are packed full of ‘actives’ at high concentrations. Actives are products that have a direct ‘correcting’ impact on the skin (it directly impacts how your skin functions – maybe that’s a better way to say it). If you follow my blog regularly, you would know that a vitamin C serum is a must for me in the mornings. I have reviewed so many on the blog, yet new forms of vitamin C pop up every now and again, as well as new ingredient combos. The Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum stood out to me because not only does it contain 2 types of vitamin C at a concentration of 20% but it also contains 10% AHAs. Cool I thought! I love vitamin C and AHAs! 😂🥳🥳 So did it perform well for me and do the ingredients work well together? To find out more, keep on reading! 🤗
VIOLET-C BRIGHTENING SERUM
20% Vitamin C + 10% AHAs
A 20% Vitamin C + 10% AHAs serum with pure ingredients and gentle strength that helps soften, smooth and brighten for more radiant, even-toned skin. Oil-free. Fragrance-free. Ideal for all skin types.
Why It Works
This clean, kind-to-skin formula with two types of vitamin C and stabilized by antioxidant-rich Japanese beautyberry helps reveal a translucent, youthful glow. Mild fruit AHAs resurface dull, uneven skin, while Japanese angelica root helps to reduce the look of dark spots, discoloration, and post-acne scarring.
20% Vitamin C + Japanese Beautyberry
A fast-acting vitamin C derivative absorbs quickly into skin to fight premature aging from daily free radical assault, helping support surface cell turnover and improving moisture levels. The formula also contains a long-lasting vitamin C derivative to help to protect skin from UV-induced oxidative damage. Rich in polyphenols and antioxidant activity, Japanese beautyberry helps stabilize vitamin C, maximizing its effectiveness.
10% mild fruit AHAs
Gentle yet effective acids remove debris and the buildup of dead skin cells for smooth, radiant skin. Derived from seven fruits: apple, grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, hawthorn, and jujube.
Japanese Angelica Root
An edible plant prized for centuries in herbal medicine for its recovery benefits, it helps reduce the appearance of dark spots, discoloration, and post-acne scarring from the source. It helps to diffuse accumulated excess melanin, a cause of hyperpigmentation, resulting in a visibly more even skin tone.
HOW TO USE
- Use in the evening.
- Ideally apply Tatcha’s Essence first on clean skin to amplify the results of the Violet C Brightening Serum.
- Dispense 1-2 pumps and gently massage onto skin.
- Use SPF daily to maintain results and to help protect skin from future damage.
Very fluid texture that absorbs quickly and easily.
Firstly, lets look at the acids (AHAs) contained within this serum! One of the main acids used is lactic acid. I love lactic acid! Lactic acid hydrates the skin 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’s also believed to help thicken the skin’s surface (making it look more plump!). It’s particles also aren’t as small as say, glycolic acid, so it won’t reach the deeper levels of the epidermis, but there’s still a bonus in this – it’s a gentler form of exfoliation. It will still get rid of surface level dead skin cells, making the skin look brighter and more even. I think this is why Tatcha say that the serum is ‘non-sensitising’ and ‘non-irritating’.
The other acids in the serum are fruit acids and primarily citric acids from what I can tell (apple, grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, hawthorn, and jujube). AHAs derived from citrus fruits also exfoliate the skin well by breaking down a protein that bonds living cells to dead cells, allowing the dead cells to fall a part. They work to eliminate fine lines (caused by dehydration and flaky skin), refine skin texture, treat skin discolouration (pigmentation which is caused by inflammation) and scars.
And what about the vitamin C contained within the serum (the real reason I reached for this serum!)? The Violet-C Brightening Serum contains two types of vitamin C, Bis-glyceryl ascorbate and ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate. Bis-glyceryl ascorbate is a form of vitamin C where it has been binned together with glycerin. It is a water soluble form of vitamin C, that quickly absorbs in to the skin for an immediate hit of radiance. This ingredient is also in the number two spot on the ingredient list, so I would say that it is the main form of vitamin C in this serum. Not far behind it however, is tetraisopalmitate. This second form of vitamin C is oil-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients are able to stay in the skin for longer, working their magic over a longer period of time (and thus are also less irritating – you don’t get one big hit of vitamin C which is an active, all at once 💥). Studies have shown that this form of vitamin C provides high antioxidant protection and can increase UVA/UVB photoprotection – something we ALL need help with! The majority of skin pigmentation is caused by UV rays and skin damage, so this is a huge reason why I used vitamin C serums in my morning skincare routine. Tatcha does recommend using this serum at night – but more on that in a little bit.
Going back to antioxidants, this serum like 90% of Tatcha products contains their powerful Hadasei-3 Complex, which is made up of three powerful antioxidants (at very high concentrations – meaning they haven’t just added a little bit as a ‘token’ marketing ploy!). The complex is made up of rice bran ferment, red algae and green tea. What is interesting though, is that the complex now also contains Saccharomyces. Basically it’s a type of solvent, that can break down substances and allows ingredients to be absorbed by the skin better, and it’s also a ferment of all three ingredients which releases enzymes that break down other ingredients. Saccharomyces work together with other natural extracts to magnify their effects on the skin (Futurederm). I don’t know if every skincare product going forward will contain it but it’s certainly in this serum. The benefits of the ingredient go on actually, because they fermentation process itself
Saccharomyces has several skincare benefits that are worth knowing. Saccharomyces are a type of fungi called ‘sugar fungus’ and contains many different species of yeasts (and is often found in food) 🥖🍞🥯. The fermented ingredients’ bacteria releases enzymes, which then break down the other natural ingredients (helping them to absorb more effectively!). This helps Saccharomyces work together with other natural extracts to magnify their effects on the skin. The fermentation process also produces skin-exfoliating acids, skin-firming peptides and skin-building amino acids. As a result, this ingredient has been shown in peer-reviewed research to effectively help restore nutrients into our skin and create anti-aging benefits. Nicki from Futurederm doesn’t believe that this process will give you the same effects as vitamin C or retinol for example (two powerful and well documented/studied actives) but they sure don’t hurt, especially in combination with actives.
My Thoughts and Experience Using the Serum 💧
Firstly, the serum itself has an interesting texture and consistency. It’s a clear serum that has some more viscosity to it than water (it’s not a gel and I wouldn’t say it’s ‘thick’ but it has some more weight to it in comparison to water). The directions on the bottle/product itself, state to apply the serum on clean skin. In my interpretation, this means cleansed skin which is dry. This is probably the wrong interpretation as the directions on the website as well as the little leaflet that comes with the product, says that for best results to use the serum after applying the Tatcha Essence to skin. I find that when I press the serum into my face, it almost has this dry-oil texture. If I use it after applying an essence to my skin it sort of feels like the serum ‘sits on top’ of my skin for longer because it’s being repelled by water. I wonder if this is because of the two different types of vitamin C used in the formula but then again, I’m sure the formula is emulsified to the point where the ingredients work together and are bound well. If I apply the serum to clean but dry skin (patted dry with a face towel after cleansing) the serum absorbs more quickly into my skin. I don’t know if anyone else experienced this and hey, maybe applying the serum to more damp/wet skin doesn’t make a difference in the serums effectiveness but psychologically, I tried to not use a mist or essence after cleansing if I was going to use this serum so it could be absorbed more quickly and be ‘more effective’ (in my mind at least).
I also used the serum in the mornings despite Tatcha’s recommendation to use it at night due to the fact that AHAs can make skin more sensitive to UV rays. The reason I do this is because I want that powerful antioxidant protection during the day when my skin is exposed to UV rays and pollutants. I don’t want sun induced pigmentation and damage. I alternate between a retinol/vitamin A product and strong AHA/BHA (chemical exfoliants or ‘acids’ as they are otherwise known as) product in the evenings. My skin isn’t particularly sensitive and my skin is used to using strong acids. Hence I didn’t experience any adverse reaction when using this serum in the mornings. I also always use a sunscreen daily if I am leaving my house and going outside at any point throughout the day. Sunscreen negates some of the sensitivity that could be caused by the AHAs but if you have sensitive skin or haven’t used AHAs before, be careful and maybe get your skin used to the product by using it only at night.
Did the serum leave my skin looking bright and skin tone unified? Yes! 🌟 I have been undergoing some laser treatments to treat pigmentation and sun damage on my skin and I was really worried that this combination of vitamin C and AHAs wouldn’t be strong enough to protect my skin, or that if my skin is more sensitive and ‘weak’ while it heals from the laser treatment, that the AHAs will make my skin more prone to UV sensitivity and pigmentation 😰 But nope! This wasn’t the case for me at all – I didn’t get any new pigmentation spots and my existing pigmentation didn’t darken or get worse. My laser therapist was so worried when I told her I was going to Bali for a week a couple of months ago, even though it was a few weeks after one of my treatments. Why? The sun is so strong in the tropics and she knew that I would be outside a lot – going to the beach, walking around visiting outdoor markets, laying by the pool etc. etc. 🌴🌴🌊☀️ And I was! That all equals = exposure to the angry, angry sun lol! I used the Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum while I was away together with sunscreen in the mornings (religiously – not missing an inch of skin!) and my skin was totally fine and protected! Thank you antioxidants also 💖 This is an amazing result I think!
Another bonus of this serum is it’s exfoliating power thanks to the 10% concentration of AHAs. I know only BHA’s are oil-soluble and can break down oil and gunk (i.e. blackheads) but my dehydrated skin after Winter was smooth (no flaking skin in sight!), hydrated (no dehydration) and brighter. I swear my blackheads were/are smaller, however, I may think this because my skin was overall more refined thanks to the AHAs, so maybe that’s why the blackheads on my nose were less noticeable.
Now on the packaging! The packaging of the serum is plastic, but it doesn’t look or feel cheap. I am so glad that the bottle has a pump and isn’t clear – this keeps the serum away from air and light, thus oxidation. It keeps the serum ‘fresh’ and is very practical for travelling. The gold detailing on the packaging and the dark purple violet colour of the bottle (like the Mask from the same series) makes the product look sophisticated and expensive, because it is lol The 30ml serum will set you back $135 AUD from Mecca Cosmetica. On the Tatcha website, you can pick up the serum for $88 USD. Work out which works out to be the best price for you! I would like to use the serum on a regular basis because it is fantastic, but it is expensive. I can usually get the Aspect Extreme C 20 serum (which retails for $130 AUD) on a promotion from Adore Beauty and thus, cheaper. Mecca on the other hand, never has sales. I sometimes wait until Tatcha are having a store-wide sale (25-30% off) but they only offer free international shipping on orders $250 USD or more. Because their products aren’t cheap as chips, it’s easy to get to that level, I just don’t always have the monies for it (so many considerations to make!!!) 🙉🙉🙉
So that wraps it up Beauties! The Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum is a fabulous serum – the formula is innovative and combines ingredients I haven’t seen combined together before. It utilises lots of verified ingredients to provide a punch of antioxidants and vitamin C to the skin, whilst smoothing it and boosting hydration thanks to the AHAs 🍊🍋 It’s definitely a winner in my books 🌟
I’m sure I will go back to the Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum soon! If you want to compare this serum against others I have reviewed, you might find this list helpful 😊
Catch ya next time!