Last updated on June 18, 2018
Have you started using Vitamin C serum? Don’t wait too long as Vitamin C serum is one of the most beneficial skincare products I’ve used to target aging and dull skin. Today, I’ll be sharing a review on Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10 or C10 plus V.E in short.
It’s a pretty decent product that’s only available in Japan. So if you are planning a trip to the land of the rising sun, you will want to check out this review.
Obagi US vs Japan Line
Most of us know of Obagi as a medical line that targets aging, pigmentation and dull skin. In Singapore, you can only get Obagi from professional clinics because Obagi products contain prescription-strength formulations. Even then, the products you can find here are the “US version”.
I’m not sure why Obagi has an exclusive line just for the Japan market.
Some said it’s to comply with Japan’s regulation and that Obagi Japan line works better. That I’m not sure. I can only say that I was really pleased to see it available in drug stores. How often do you get to shop for prescription skincare products off a chemist, taking as long as you like to read and examine the products? I absolutely enjoy such shopping experience, than standing at a clinic’s counter and glancing at the products off a locked glass shelf.
About Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10 (Japan Line)
Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10 plus V.E contains 10% active vitamin C. I was happy to see that it contains ascorbic acid, a more powerful form of active. But what does “plus V.E” mean?
Yes, you’ve guess it right. Obagi C10 also contains Vitamin E, which if you haven’t known, is a great anti-oxidant and skin-conditioning active. No wonder, I thought my skin felt supple and moisturized when I was anticipating some stinging or dryness, typically associated with Vitamin C serum.
Vitamin C Serum and its benefits
Why would someone use a Vitamin C Serum? They want to use it to:
- Brighten their skin
- Reduce pigmentation
- Increase firmness of skin
- Minimize pores
If you like to learn more about Vitamin C and its benefits, check out the link below which also points to my SUPER Holygrail Vitamin C Serum of the moment.
Now that you know a little more about Vitamin C serum, let’s get the review going and see how Obagi C10 fares.
What’s Good about Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10?
1) Quality Packaging
Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10 comes in a dark glass bottle, which is great in ensuring that the unstable Ascorbic acid does not oxidize prematurely. I stored it in the fridge for 18 months, and the serum color didn’t get any darker.
Discard vitamin c serum that has oxidized or turned dark (orange, dark yellow). They are no longer effective, and may even cause harm to your skin.
The dropper picks up a consistent amount of serum every time I use it. What’s more, there was absolutely no drippage.
2) Moisturizing & Easy to Apply
Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10 felt oily to the touch. It was thicker and easier to pick up and apply than the water-based Glo-Therapeutics Cyto-luxe Vitamin C+. My skin felt sufficiently moisturized, and I can even do without a moisturizer if I’m lazy.
3) Safe for Pimple-Prone Skin unless…
Although Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10 plus V.E has an oily finish, it is safe to use for my pimple-prone skin. No breakout whatsoever after using it for so long. Oh wait….I almost forgot about this…
On countable occasions (maybe twice), I’d developed little bumps when I went jogging after applying Obagi C10. If you are not an avid athlete, Obagi 10 should be safe on most occasions (95%).
4) Not Harsh
There was no stinging, nor irritation or dryness. The addition of Vitamin E really helps to condition the skin well.
5) Lovely Fragrance
The fruity fragrance of grapefruit and other natural extracts from Obagi C10 was so refreshing and pronounced, it made it a delight using this every morning.
What’s not so Great about Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10?
1) It’s Not Cheap!
Priced at Y4320 (incl tax), a “regular size” bottle of Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10 contains only 12ml of product. This is less than the 30ml typically associated with a regular size of vitamin c serum.
I’d thought my Glo-therapeutics Cyto-luxe Vitamin C+ at $180 was expensive. Let’s do some maths to see which is more expensive. To do that, I have to compare apple to apple, meaning I have to compare Obagi Vitamin C 20% serum (C20) with Glo-Therapeutics Cyto-luxe.
15ml of Obagi C20 costs JPY8640 while 30ml of Glo-Therapeutics costs $180. Comparing them on a per ml basis:
- Obagi C20 = S$6.60/ml VS
- Glo-Therapeutics = $6.00/ml
Seems like Obagi is slightly more pricey. Also, I have yet to try out Obagi C20 and can only assume right now that it works as well as Glo-therapeutics Cyto-luxe Vitamin C+.
2) No Visible Improvement
Unlike Glo-Therapeutics Cyto-luxe Vitamin C+, I did not wake up with a “Wow, my skin is so radiant. My nasolabial folds are less obvious. My pores are smaller.”
Honestly, I haven’t noticed a significant difference. To be fair to Obagi, I’d switched from a higher potency of 20% Vitamin C serum to Obagi’s 10% serum. Perhaps, my skin has gotten use to 20% potency. Which means that an Obagi C20 could make all the difference?
How to Apply Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10?
Use 3-4 drops in the morning and evening after toner.
I’ve read that Vitamin C serum can last up to 72 hours in the skin. So I was surprised to see Obagi asking us to apply it in the evening too. If that is necessary, it would make Obagi even more expensive than it already is.
As for me, I’ll ignore Obagi’s instruction and stick to using Vitamin C in the morning.
Recommendation: Who can benefit from Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10?
Start off with 10% potency if you are a first-time user of Vitamin C serum, or are relatively young. I only started using 20% in my late 30s. Remember, the higher the percentage, the greater the chance of irritation.
If you are in Japan, I think it’s worthwhile to bring back some “vitamin C” souvenir. Heh Heh….since Obagi C10 is exclusive in Japan, right? But I’ll have to admit that my SUPER Holy Grail Vitamin C Serum had worked better in firming the skin.
I like Obagi Vitamin C Serum 10 for its ease of use, fragrance and how hydrating it felt on my skin (especially now that my skin is drier than ever) and I’ve included Obagi C20 in my Japan Must-Buy list. Rating: 4/5
Till I visit Japan again, I will replenish the tried and tested Glo-therapeutic Cyto-luxe Vitamin C+ from Cutis Medical Laser Clinics. This is 100% safe for my pimple-prone skin, even if I jog while wearing it. I’m likely purchasing it this weekend, when I’m also heading over for my regular botox session.