Skinceuticals Reviews - The Dermatology Review

Skinceuticals Reviews

Skin Care Reviews


There are certain brands that are always associated with one hit product. Estée Lauder has its Advanced Night Repair, and Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is a cult favorite along with CeraVe’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion along with that other drugstore staple, Aquaphor. For SkinCeuticals, their most well-known product is the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum, which was launched in 2005. The company is known for its high potency skincare products which are often found in medi-spas and doctor’s offices. Here’s a look at the history of SkinCeuticals, what it sells and are its products right for you?

What is SkinCeuticals?

SkinCeuticals debuted in 1997 and the company’s philosophy is based on the research by its founding scientist and former chief medical advisor, Dr. Sheldon Pinnell. The Yale-educated Dr. Pinnell was a member of the Duke University Medical School faculty for almost 40 years, and served as the Chief of Dermatology at Duke University Medical Center for 15 years. His areas of research included skin cancer and skin aging, and he has published articles looking at collagen synthesis, UV protection and topical vitamin C. According to the company, Dr. Pinnell’s work with antioxidants has been a driving force for SkinCeuticals.

The company is one of the pioneers of “cosmeceuticals,” which are cosmetic products made with “biologically active ingredients claiming to enhance skincare efficacy.” SkinCeuticals’s philosophy is to create and maintain an effective skincare regimen based on these three concepts: Prevention, Protection and Correction.

Today SkinCeuticals is owned by cosmetics giant L’Oréal and sells a wide variety of skincare products including serums, masks, cleansers, moisturizers and lip treatments, as well as targeted products for acne, redness and sensitive skin. There are also SkinCeuticals-affiliated spas offering in-office procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion.

What Products Does SkinCeuticals Sell?

SkinCeuticals products are divided into three categories designed to Correct, Prevent and Protect. Custom blended products called D.O.S.E. are also available at select locations. Here’s a breakdown of SkinCeuticals products.

SkinCeuticals Serums
SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Serum – This serum contains 2% of the antioxidant phloretin along with 10% pure vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid), and 0.5% ferulic acid to help protect the skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays.
Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Defense – Designed for aging skin that is also prone to blemishes, this oil free serum is powered by 2% dioic acid which helps reduce sebum. It also contains AHAs and BHAs to help improve skin texture.

SkinCeuticals Sunscreen
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 – 100% mineral filters are the key ingredients in this sunscreen fluid which won’t leave skin with a chalky finish.

SkinCeuticals Light Moisture UV Defense SPF 50 – This sheer, weightless formula can be used on the face and the body.

SkinCeuticals Moisturizer
SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture – Algae extracts are some of the key ingredients in this facial moisturizer that helps keep skin hydrated while minimizing the appearance of pores.

SkinCeuticals Emolliance – Grape seed, rose hip and macadamia nut oil are some of the hydrating ingredients in this rich moisturizer.

SkinCeuticals Eye Cream
SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex – Apply this eye cream once or twice daily to help improve the appearance of crow’s feet, dark circles and puffiness.

SkinCeuticals Eye Balm – Designed for dry, aging skin, this eye cream is packed with vitamin E and the antioxidant silymarin which is derived from milk thistle seeds.

What Are The Best SkinCeuticals Products?

Determining the “best” skincare products from SkinCeuticals is very subjective and personal, as one person’s miracle product could do absolutely nothing for someone else. That said, some of the best-selling SkinCeuticals items include CE Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic acid, Discoloration Defense serum, Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Intensifier, SkinCeuticals Retinol creams, Triple Lipid Restore and Hydrating B5 gel.

What Ingredients Are in SkinCeuticals Products?

SkinCeuticals products contain a mix of botanical extracts as well as commonly used skincare ingredients such as retinol, the gold standard for tackling fine lines and wrinkles, and hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Glycolic acid, which is derived from sugar cane, works to gently dissolve dead skin cells to reveal fresher, smoother looking skin and is the key ingredient in the Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight. The Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 cream contains moisturizing ceramides as well as a blend of lavender, rosemary, and peppermint oil for a cooling feeling. The Antioxidant Lip Repair is designed to be a daily moisturizing treatment and its hydrating ingredients include hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and plant-based allantoin.

Is SkinCeuticals Cruelty Free?

SkinCeuticals is owned by L’Oréal, and according to the company, L’Oréal “does not test any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals and has been at the forefront of alternative methods for over 30 years.”

How Much Do SkinCeuticals Products Cost?

SkinCeuticals Products are priced at a mid to high level. The Eye Balm is $82, and the Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 retails for $128. The Antioxidant Lip Repair is $38, and the Retinol 1.0 is $88. The serums are among the priciest in the product line. The popular C E Ferulic With L-Ascorbic Acid sells for $166, and the Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier is $100.

Where Can I Buy SkinCeuticals Products?

SkinCeuticals products are sold on the company’s website and through a network of authorized retailers that includes Blue Mercury and, as well as various medi-spas.

Do SkinCeuticals Products Work?

When trying to decide if a product works, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s skin may react differently to the same product, so a little trial and error and some research is always a good idea. SkinCeuticals has scooped up plenty of editorial recognition and its vocal celebrity fans include Martha Stewart and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld. Allure has granted Best of Beauty Awards to the Triple Lipid Restore and Physical Fusion UV Defense 50. Women’s Health gave the LHA Cleansing Gel a Healthy Skin Award in 2018.

The cult favorite C E Ferulic serum has won Allure’s Best of Beauty for three years. On, nearly 1400 reviewers give it a five star rating. Fans say “This product really seems to help with my hyperpigmented acne scars. I put it on before I moisturize in the morning. Will continue to use in the future” and “I was recommended this product a few years ago after my first chemical peel. It helps balance my skin tone and makes my skin so supple without causing breakouts! It’s super expensive but I can’t live without it!” Those who gave it a low rating commented on its smell (some online reviews liken the smell to “hot dog water” or bacon) or said that it did nothing for them. “I’ve been using this product since September; about 5 months. There is no difference in my skin at all. My skin tone is still uneven with fine lines. My complexion is neither brighter nor glowing. No difference at all!”

The Hyaluronic Intensifier also gets a 5 star rating on from around 227 reviews. Positive feedback includes “I just love the way this product makes my skin look. It seems to fill in the fine lines around my eyes and mouth almost instantly. I sometimes forget to wear foundation because my skin looks so good. I use it every morning and most evenings. Highly recommend.” Customers who didn’t rate it highly complained that it was irritating to their skin or didn’t see any improvements. “I have combo oily acne prone skin. I love SkinCeuticals but this did not work well with my skin. It was a little too rich for me.” Others complained that the product pilled on their skin.

Nearly 300 reviewers declared the Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 to be a 5 star product on Although some reviewers commented on the high price tag, others called it their “favorite moisturizer.” “Love this product. Been using it on the advice from my plastic surgeon. Feels great. My skin looks much better” and “I received a sample and fell in love. I love the way my face plumps and glows after application. I quickly ordered.” Those who weren’t impressed said that it was too rich and heavy. “Not sure if it was this but not only did I not really notice any difference, my skin was slightly irritated. I love the smell of lavender, but I really thought given the price and research I would notice a difference.” Others didn’t like the smell of the product or found the scent to be too strong.

What Are Some Alternatives to SkinCeuticals?

SkinCeuticals products may not be for everyone, given the high price tag or they may not react well with your skin.. If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, consider Formulyst and Advanced Dermatology.

Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare. The brand wants to help its customers achieve their best looking skin, rather than covering it up with makeup. The comprehensive line of products targets everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin- as well as the delicate eye area.

Formulyst Active Serum is packed with good for you ingredients, such as nourishing vitamins B and E, and skin brightening vitamin C. Rounding out the all-star list are ferulic acid and niacinamide. The antioxidant ferulic acid fights free radical damage and helps stabilize vitamins C and E, and boosts their potency. Niacinamide also plays a key role- this antioxidant is anti-inflammatory and helps reduce redness. This powerful ingredient is a version of vitamin B3, which works to smooth of fine lines, improve elasticity and brighten the skin.

The star ingredient in Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Night Cream is the gold-standard of wrinkle fighters – retinol. This vitamin A derivative helps tackle fine lines, crow’s feet as well as dark spots. What makes this formula different is that it contains a high dose of retinol as well as ultra-soothing and hydrating safflower seed oil and jojoba, which lock moisture in and help minimize any potential irritation.

Fans of skincare kits, which take all the guesswork out of creating your own regimen, should try Advanced Dermatology. This no nonsense brand offers a pared down approach to skincare. The packaging is simple and streamlined, and the products bring skincare back to the basics. The kit contains just six essential items including a daily cleanser; serum; anti-wrinkle firming treatment; night cream; day cream and an eye cream. In other words, everything you need to achieve your best possible looking skin.





The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare, rather than covering up any imperfections. The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and scents, Formulyst focuses on ingredients that help create results, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Many of the Formulyst’s products harness the power of plant and citrus extracts as well as gold-standard workhorses such as retinol.

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Advanced Dermatology

The Advanced Dermatology skin care regimen addresses the most pressing aging concerns. It can be used by men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. This award-winning system can help diminish wrinkle appearance, reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation, fade away redness, even out skin tone and improve the appearance of eye bags and dark circles. Some of the standout products in this line include the Super Youth Serum, Complete Age Defense and Anti-Wrinkle Firming Night Treatment.

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  • Jenny 06.13.18 Reply

    Some of the Skinceutical products are good. But, they don’t stand behind their products! I have been a long time user of their serums. I tried a sunscreen and it broke me out. I called the number on the back for the sunscreen and ask if I could exchange this product that didn’t work and receive a credit to use towards another product that I know doesn’t break me out. They said “NO”. They said I could reconcile it directly with the place that sold me the sunscreen (my dermatologist) but that they the company couldn’t do anything about it. What a ridiculous approach to customer service! Not only did they lose the opportunity to make money during that call as I would have bought a more expensive product. But, they have now lost a long-time customer. So disappointing! Their products are expensive so if they won’t stand behind them I would recommend choosing a company that will.

  • Janice 12.30.17 Reply

    I have had reaction to skinceuticals skincare. The sun block feels gritty, burns abit and itches my skin. It also leaves white flakes I try to gently rub off. I put the vitamin C serum on this morning and I immediately broke out in cold sores on my chin area. I still have almost a full bottle of the vitamin C serum. I also have the moisturizer which is okay, but when I think how much this line costs its not worth it to me. It could be I’m just to sensitive to this line.

  • Dawn 05.01.17 Reply

    This line is not over the counter at a drug store like the article makes it sound. It is a professional medical grade skin care line sold ‘over the counter’ at the offices of dermatologists, plastic surgeons and high end spas. For acne the Phlorentin or the C Serum 15 s a good choice as is the Clarifying cleanser which you can apply and leave on as a mask for 10-20 min. I used this line at a 4 star hotel for over 10 years. I really loved this line and still use CE Ferulic and several other products. The C serums give your skin good photo protection giving your skin 8x’s your natural photo protection with out sunscreen, which of course you should use any way. They publish medical studies regarding the affect of the ascorbic acid in the C serums. It is pricey but you can find it on line for less.

  • Catherine 12.30.16 Reply

    I love Skinceutical. That being said, I see a professional dermatologist for my peels and laser. They informed me my skin would be more receptive to creams in general after these treatments and I have found that to be so. The Skinceuticals products maintain my skin, especially the night cream and the Vitamin C.

  • Cassandra 12.21.13 Reply

    How good are these products for acne, breakouts and how quick do you see results. I’m 31 and still breaking out. I’m hoping these help stop it ASAP.

  • Evangeline 12.08.13 Reply

    I remember skinceuticals has different concentrations of Vitamin C but they replaced all of these products with Skinceuticals C E Ferulic. It is a good product but some of the older Vitamin C products were much stronger, and I would even argue better. I use Skinceuticals Phloretin CF, and this is definitely my favorite skinceuticals skin care product. The only complaint I have with the range is that the products are a little overpriced.

  • Macy 10.04.13 Reply

    This is the first time I have noticed results from a skin care products, my skin feels more hydrated and looks smoother. I still have fine lines and wrinkles but my skin just looks a little healthier. I use CE Ferulic, Epidermal Repair and Phyto Correct and A.G.E. Eye Complex Cream.

  • Estephany Maradiaga 09.15.13 Reply

    I use Skinceuticals skin cleansing gel and it works wonders !!! I’m 30 n alway get carded my boyfriend is 24 and he rarely gets carded but I always do thank again to A great product

  • Lea 09.11.13 Reply

    I’ve found Skinceuticals to work great for my skin type. They have fabulous products that prevent aging. They also have a correction range to reverse problems like wrinkles and sun spots. I am constantly get compliments on how good my skin looks and I would say that it was a result of using Skinceuticals products.

  • Andrea 08.28.13 Reply

    My daughter asked for me to use Skinceuticals as a few of her friends have been raving about their products. I found their products to be pretty ordinary but they overly priced and I would use the hydrating b5 gel again. For this price, it is good.

  • Grace 08.14.13 Reply

    My husband found out about Skinceuticals first, then after hearing him rave about it, I bought a few products and I love Skinceuticals. We are using Skinceuticals Floretin CF, Age Interrupter, Hydrating B5 Gel, Retinol 1, Face Cream, Pigment Regulator, Eye Balm and Eppidermal Repair.

  • Mary 08.08.13 Reply

    Skinceuticals makes very good if you can afford it. The Hydrating B5 Gel and CE Ferulic are the top products in the range. There is no other product that comes close. Don’t bother botox or fillers because they only last for 6 months and do not look natural. Spend your money on good skin care instead and Skinceuticals is the best.

  • Bérénice 06.22.13 Reply

    In the past Ive tried many different skin care products but after having a laser treatment my dermatologist recommend I use Skinceuticals. I wish I could afford the entire range because the products are so good. For now, I’m using retexturing activator, CE Ferulic, Phloretin CF, Retinol 1.0, B5 Gel, Phyto, Pigment Regulator and Epidermal Repair in winter. They make the best serums, cleansers and sunscreens out of all the cosmetic companies. I do not use their eye cream as I just put another cream on top from Japan.

  • Pronto 06.12.13 Reply

    My daughter recommend this website for Skinceuticals Reviews. She was totally right. As You can not imagine simply not knowing what is inside those bottles and paying a few hundred dollars makes it difficult to know what to buy. I also found the La Mer review interesting but a bottle of cream would be half a pay check for me so maybe just in my dreams for now.

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