Product Review: Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

One of the most important parts of my anti-aging skincare routine is an antioxidant product that contains Vitamin C. A stable form of Vitamin C in a skincare product can provide a lot of benefits, such as smoothing and brightening, firming, as well as warding off potential damage from the environment.

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

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I recently decided to give a new (to me) product a try: Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum. I had heard good things in general about the Mad Hippie products, and when I checked the ingredients in their Vitamin C serum, I was satisfied that it was worth a try. They get bonus points for no animal testing, being made in the US, plus get this - all of their labels and boxes are printed using soy inks, and their entire facility is run using alternative energy!

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum box

I have been using Paula's Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum, and I like it very much in that it absorbs quickly, doesn't leave any residue on my skin, doesn't clog my pores or cause breakouts. But while I haven't seen my skin look any "worse" in the 5 months I've been using it, I haven't really seen any major improvements either.

The Paula's Choice product uses the tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate form of Vitamin C, and Mad Hippie uses sodium ascorbyl phosphate. Both are stable forms that work as antioxidants, but the tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is fat soluble, and the sodium ascorbyl phosphate is water soluble. Some researchers think that the fat soluble form penetrates the skin better, but I don't know if there is actually any proof of that. The important thing to me is that they are both stable - because there are a lot of Vitamin C products out there that use unstable forms, which will oxidize and become useless when exposed to air and light.

The Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum also contains Vitamin E and ferulic acid. There have been studies that show when ferulic acid is combined with Vitamins C and E, it increases the antioxidant effect of all three. It also contains hyaluronic acid (to plump skin), konjac root power (softens and smooths skin and forms a protective barrier), grapefruit (antioxidant, natural exfoliant), chamomile extract (protects and soothes skin), and clary sage (balances sebum production).

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum ingredient list

Full ingredient list: Water Deionized, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Alkyl Benzoate, Vegetable Glycerin, Water, Glycerin, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea), Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis), Hyaluronic acid, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Vitamin E (Tocotrienol), Ferulic acid, Chamomile Flower Extract (Recutita Matricaria), Sodium Phytate, Xanthum Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum on the back of a hand

This serum comes in a 1.02 oz. amber bottle with a dropper top. It is very runny, almost the consistency of an oil, but it is not oily. The color is clear with perhaps just a tinge of yellow to give it slight straw color. I have not really noticed any odor or fragrance. There is definitely no added fragrance.

I have been applying the serum twice daily. I apply in the morning to a slightly damp face, right after I go over my face with a konjac sponge to remove my nighttime moisturizers. When applying to damp skin, I find one large drop is enough for my entire face, and another large drop will suffice for my neck and decollete. In the evening, I apply BHA, wait 30 minutes, apply Paula's Choice Clear (with salicylic acid), wait 10 minutes, and then I apply the Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum. I find I need to use a little more when applying to dry skin. After it absorbs, which is usually just a couple of minutes, I continue with my other skincare products.

Because I have sensitive, breakout-prone skin, I always worry when I try new products. I was also concerned about whether this would absorb completely or leave my skin feeling a little tacky or greasy. I've been using it for about 3 weeks now, and I haven't had any issues with it at all. I haven't been using it long enough to say whether or not it has improved my skin, but I will definitely post an update after a longer period of time.

bottle of Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

The Mad Hippie website sells this product for $33.99 plus shipping, but I purchased mine on Amazon for just $27 (free shipping with Amazon Prime). I'd also like to try the Mad Hippie Face Cream ($20 on Amazon) - it has some great ingredients.

Note: I realize there is an $11 price difference between the Paula's Choice and Mad Hippie antioxidant products that I mentioned in this post. I'm not doing a comparison in this post - although I may do one once I've used the Mad Hippie product longer. I will just mention briefly that the Paula's Choice product does contain a few more/different ingredients, so these are not identical products.

Update 2/28/17: Believe it or not, I just finished this bottle! I wanted to post an update on how I used it over the past four months and my experience with it. Originally, I was using it twice daily, then I started testing some other products in the evening, so for about two months, I only used it in the morning (which obviously affected how long the product lasted). After that, I went back to using it twice daily.

I also changed the amount I used. I found that using 4-5 drops rubbed gently between my damp palms, and patted on my damp face, neck, and decollete, worked really well. It absorbed quickly and didn't cause any irritation. Any leftover  product, as always, gets rubbed onto the back of my hands.

I did have one small issue. After the first few weeks, I noticed that I was getting red spots on my nose. Not pimples - just red spots - more like clogged pores. They only appeared on my nose. I stopped applying the Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum to my nose, and after about a week, the spots went away. I waited about a month, then I tried to use the product on my nose again. In about 3-4 weeks, the red spots appeared again. So I'm pretty sure they were from the Vitamin C serum. Now what ingredient caused them, I can't say - but as long as I didn't put it on my nose, the rest of my face tolerated it just fine.

Did I see any improvement in my skin after using it for four months? I can't really say that I did, but I also didn't see my skin get any worse either. And I do realize that any changes in the skin are not likely to occur in the span of four months. I did like this product - although I would've liked it a bit more if I could've used it all over my face (ha!) - and I think it is a good product for the price. I'm not sure if I will repurchase, but that is just because of the issue with my nose. I'm going to be trying the Timeless 20% Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Acid Serum next!

Have you tried any Mad Hippie products? What did you think?


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