• Shelli

SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF with Ferulic Acid

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF with Ferulic Acid ($166, 1 oz) is a daytime antioxidant serum that reduces discoloration and evens skin tone. It is used to address the following skincare concerns: aging skin, sun damage, acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles and whiteheads. It is ideal for those with oily, combination, normal, acne-prone or mature skin.

About the Brand

SkinCeuticals is a high-end skincare line founded by Dr. Sheldon R. Pinnell, a Professor Emeritus of Dermatology and the former Chief of Dermatology at Duke University Medical Center. One of Dr. Pinnell’s research areas was skin aging, specifically, research on topical vitamin C, antioxidants, collagen synthesis and photodamage. Dr. Pinnell’s research led to several patents, but skincare enthusiasts like me will likely agree that his most important patent was the discovery of “a stable solution of L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)”. After securing this initial patent, Dr. Pinnell secured 3 additional supplementary patents, one of which was to protect the formulation used in SkinCeuticals phloretin skincare products.


  • Provides advanced environmental protection by neutralizing damaging free radicals 

  • Improves the appearance of discoloration and overall skin tone 

  • Once absorbed, this vitamin C serum remains effective for a minimum of 72 hours

  • Paraben-, fragrance-, and dye-free

How to Use

In the morning after cleansing and toning, apply 4-5 drops to a dry face, neck, and chest before other skincare products. May be used on the back of the hands. It is normal for vitamin C products to darken after opening due to air and light exposure. The formula will remain effective. Once opened, it is recommended to be used within 3 months of opening.


Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C 10%), Butylene Glycol, Triethyl Citrate, Phloretin (2%), Ferulic Acid (0.5%)

My Take

When I got serious about my skincare regimen, I learnt that a daytime Vitamin C serum was an important step in protecting my skin. After doing some research, I found that SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid is the gold standard in Vitamin C serums, but the problem for me is that it is recommended for those with dry, normal or sensitive skin and my skin is very oily. So, that is why I decided to go with SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF with Ferulic Acid, which is recommended for those with oily or combination skin.

One main difference between these two vitamin C serums is that Phloretin CF has 10% L-Ascorbic Acid while C E Ferulic has a higher potency with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid. L-Ascorbic Acid is a very potent form of pure vitamin C that helps protect the skin against environmental stressors and provides anti-aging benefits. Another key difference between the two vitamin C serums is that C E Ferulic contains 1% alpha tocopherol, which is a pure form of vitamin E that replenishes skin lipids, while Phloretin does not contain this ingredient. In other words, C E Ferulic Acid helps replenish the skin’s natural fats that play a crucial role in helping the skin retain its moisture, which is not a problem that most people with oily skin have.

Phloretin CF comes in a dark glass bottle with a dropper to help dispense the product. It is a clear yellow oil that has a slight citric smell when applied. It does not leave a sticky or oily film on the face, but your skin definitely won’t feel dry after application nor will you forget that you have it on…instead, I would say that it leaves a slightly tacky feeling on the face. I followed the recommended instructions on how to apply Phloretin CF (in the morning after cleansing and toning), with one small modification, most days I apply it after my face essence. I put 4 drops into the palm of my hands, rub my hands together and apply to my face. I try not to rub the serum into my face but instead press it into my face, like the video I linked in the “How to Use” section above. And if I plan to be out and about, I apply sunscreen and makeup afterwards but if I plan to stay at home all day, I only apply a moisturizer afterward applying Phloretin CF.

Phloretin CF is the first vitamin C serum I have ever used, so I don’t have anything else to compare it to. But I can say that my skin feels more hydrated without turning my face into an oil slick by the end of the day. Also, I noticed that it has helped make my skin look brighter and reduce discoloration. I have at least three different shades of brown on my face and Phloretin CF has evened out my skin tone to the extent that I find myself not having to wear makeup when I run errands, something that I have never done before.

I love Phloretin CF and I highly recommend it. It will be very difficult to stop using this product, so that I can review other vitamin C serums but at least I know I can always come back to Phloretin CF.

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About Me

Hi! I'm Shelli, a travel enthusiast, avid reader and prolific reviewer of everything from books to skincare.  Read more...


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