Ugh, Protini, my heart and face adores you, my wallet does not. Why must you be so perfect and so pricey? I only treat myself to a jar when tax return time rolls around. Otherwise, my wallet is not interested. My skin? Very interested, and according to science, there's a reason.
"Okay," you're asking, "what's the catch?" Yes, there is a catch. The one thing Acure doesn't share is Protini's lovely emollient texture — you are paying $68 for its cosmetic elegancy. At its price point, the Acure cream is much thicker and takes longer to absorb into the skin. It is definitely intended to be a night cream. Still, it can be used for daytime; to combat the thickness, I mix in couple drops of my favorite vitamin C oil and wait around 10 minutes before applying sunscreen and makeup. The extra steps are worth the $51 in savings.
If you love the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Antioxidant Facial Oil ($40-$72 at Sephora)...
Drunk Elephant introduced us to the benefits of 100% marula oil, and personally, it's now a desert island requirement in my skincare arsenal. The brand uses a "proprietary raw, cold-press extraction and filtration process." Also, according to the brand's Instagram, "Drunk Elephant will only work in partnership with independent, Certified Free Trade producers of pure, cold pressed marula oil … marula can be sourced cheaply, but not without methods that we feel are unacceptable, unethical, and environmentally irresponsible."
In other words, you're paying for the brand's own extraction process and commitment to sustainability and fair agricultural practices.
Again, Acure is coming for Drunk Elephant in a major way. It's the exact same thing as Drunk Elephant's marula oil. I've tried both, and could not discern a difference in texture or concentration between either product.
People love C-Firma. And the benefits behind this product are backed by science. C-Firma contains vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid, which is stabilized and enhanced with ferulic acid and tocopherol (vitamin E). The combination of vitamin C, ferulic acid, and vitamin E (which I like to call CAFE, ha) are proven to boost the effectiveness of SPF, fade hyperpigmentation, and increase collagen production. L-ascorbic acid is also the gold standard in vitamic C formulations.
All three ingredients are great for skin on their own, but are most powerful when used together. From a biochemistry perspective, C-Firma is the bomb dot com.
Mad Hippie, in addition to having an adorable brand name, also makes a serum with the CAFE trio. Full disclosure, the brand sent this to me for review. It's also the first vitamin C serum that did not break me out, and I've tried so many serums on the market.
It is not an exact C-Firma dupe. Mad Hippie uses a vitamin C derivative called sodium ascorbyl phosphate, while C-Firma uses L-AA. Some people (me, hello) may be sensitive to L-AA, and should try such derivates, because everyone deserves the benefits of vitamin C. Other derivatives include magnesium ascorbyl palmitate and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.
These derivatives may not be as quite as effective as L-AA, but they still work well, and long as your vitamin C serum also contains ferulic acid and vitamin E, you're good to go!
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