Why Vitamin C Skin Care Products Don't Work For Everyone

Everyone Wants Clearer, Brighter Skin. Here are 3 Gentler, Better Vitamin C Alternatives

do vitamin c skin care products really brighten skin

Vitamin C in skin care products sounds healthy and natural but people with severe acne, sensitive skin, and very dry skin should be wary of its potential side effects.

 Most find out about vitamin C skin care products in search of a quick, proven solution to brighten dark spots and uneven skin tone. Vitamin C in skin care formulas are also touted to help boost collagen growth to fight fine lines and wrinkles. However, trying a vitamin C skin care product and experiencing the potential side effects of irritation, redness, and severely dry skin can feel like taking one step forward only to take two steps back.

Vitamin C is an acid that helps peel or exfoliate dead skin cells on the surface to encourage the growth of healthy, new, flawless skin cells. However, potential side effects of visible skin irritation are due to the particular form and concentration of vitamin C being too harsh on the skin. Happy, healthy skin maintains a pH balance of around 4.7 to 5.7, while l-ascorbic acid, the most common form of vitamin C typically has a pH of around 2.2 to 2.5!1 The disruption of your skin’s pH balance by vitamin C might be tolerable to those with normal skin types. However, people with sensitive, acne-prone, and very dry skin types have a more delicate skin barrier that needs extra care to help the skin repair itself.

Whether your skin is sensitive or not, caring for sensitive skin is the highest standard of caring for skin. Here are 2 skin care tips to show TLC to all, especially sensitive skin types:

 1. Many cleansers tend to be too alkaline while exfoliants and brightening products tend to be too acidic. Stick with products with a pH around 4.7 to 5.7 (skin’s natural pH) to avoid redness and irritation.

2. Avoid direct contact with hot water on your face. Although a hot, steamy shower feels great on the body, the skin on our face is thinner and prone to damage from the heat. Use warm water and/or steam to open up and deep clean pores and cold water to rinse and help shrink the appearance of pores.

At a microscopic level, dark spots and blotchy skin tone are a bunch of skin cells on the surface that have excess melanin. This condition of excess melanin formed as a natural defense to protect skin cells against harmful radiation from the sun.

Most skin care brands encourage brightening dark spots and uneven skin tone by sloughing off these darker surface skin cells with exfoliating acids such as vitamin C and glycolic acid to help reveal the flawless, youthful skin cells beneath. However, this method of exfoliating is harsh on the skin and not for most people as over-exfoliation can cause irritation, redness, and sensitivity.

Instead of harsh exfoliators and peeling treatments, here are 3 natural and gentle ingredients found in skin care serums that are research-proven to help brighten stubborn acne scars, dark spots, and uneven skin tone.

Because these ingredients are not exfoliants, they are gentle enough to be used more frequently, if not daily for faster results on all skin types.

White Peony Root extract: provides paeoniflorin, the unique compound also used in inflammatory and immune medicine, that helps fade existing dark spots2
Nonapeptide-1: a brightening peptide, which helps suspend excess melanin production at a cellular level while fighting wrinkles by boosting healthy collagen growth.3
Arbutin: sourced from the bearberry plant, arbutin helps improve the skin’s resilience against forming future dark spots and uneven skin tone4

The Cell Forté Serum features all 3 natural brightening ingredients and the non-exfoliating formula is generally safe for most skin types. Unlike most luxury serums that have a glycerin base, the Forté Serum is made with a base of reparative silk protein with 38 skin barrier replenishing amino acids and no parabens, mineral oil, or silicones. Read more about how arbutin is one of the best dark spot lightening ingredients available, here.

Liquid error (sections/pf-9e193c6f.liquid line 73): product form must be given a product

Natural, Powerful Ingredients for Youthful-Looking Skin at Any Age

Sodium Hyaluronate

Works better than hyaluronic acid to deliver immediate hydration deep into the skin to help plump fine lines and wrinkles

Brightening Botanicals™

Four natural extracts work in synergy to help gently brighten dark spots and restore radiance without harsh acids or exfoliants


Sourced from silk protein, sericin helps strengthen the skin barrier with 38 amino acids to seal in long-lasting hydration

Sh-oligopeptide-1 (EGF)

Stimulates the skin’s natural renewal process and collagen growth to fight stubborn wrinkles, fade dark spots and acne scars


Sourced from the bearberry plant, arbutin helps brighten uneven skin tone and improve the skin’s resilience against future dark spots and dullness

Nourishing 9 Peptides™

The potent combination of peptides help support collagen growth to help smooth wrinkles while restoring firmness and elasticity

The Forté Cream
The Forté Cream
The Forté Cream
The Forté Cream
The Forté Cream
The Forté Cream
The Forté Cream
Cell Forté Rejuvenation Cream - Cell Forte Skin Care
Cell Forté Rejuvenation Cream - Cell Forte Skin Care
The Forté Cream
The Forté Cream
The Forté Cream

The Forté Cream

Not in love with your current face cream or moisturizer?

Does it smooth fine lines and give you a glow while leaving your face hydrated and not oily all day long? If the answer is “no,” then it’s time to give the Forte Cream a shot.

Users with mature skin who are prone to acne love how the balanced Forte Cream does not cause breakouts and even helps reduce oiliness by maintaining optimal hydration. 

The Forte Cream combats crow’s feet, dark circles, and loss of elasticity around the eyes. Our concentrated, medical-grade formula helps provide 24 hours of hydration with anti-aging benefits for visibly younger skin.

With medical-grade ingredients that work quickly, the Forte Cream erases the need for an eye cream or face oil, meaning less time and money spent getting the results you deserve.

30mL / 1 fl. oz


See Brighter, Smoother Skin

1 Nermin M. Yussif (December 5th 2018). Vitamin C, Vitamin C - an Update on Current Uses and Functions, Jean Guy LeBlanc, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.81783. Available from: https://www.intechopen.com/books/vitamin-c-an-update-on-current-uses-and-functions/vitamin-c

2 Qiu, J., Chen, M., Liu, J., Huang, X., Chen, J., Zhou, L., ... & Jeulin, S. (2016). The skin‐depigmenting potential of Paeonia lactiflora root extract and paeoniflorin: in vitro evaluation using reconstructed pigmented human epidermis. International journal of cosmetic science, 38(5), 444-451.

3 Gorouhi F, Maibach HI. Role of topical peptides in preventing or treating aged skin. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 2009;31(5):327-345. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2494.2009.00490.x

4 Maeda, K., & Fukuda, M. (1996). Arbutin: mechanism of its depigmenting action in human melanocyte culture. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 276(2), 765-769.



(213) 866 - 3430, 10am - 6pm PST

2372 Morse avenue, suite 680,
Irvine, CA 92614


© 2020 Empress Energy, LLC. All Rights Reserved