It has been a very long time since I last wrote about a skincare product review. Recently, I fall in love with a Japanese skincare product – the Obagi C10 Vitamin C serum – and I’m SO excited to share with you. Truth be told, I’ve been using Korean skincare products for many years now. This was the first time in 6 years I added a non-Korean product into my skincare regimen, and it turned out to be a total WINNER! 😀
You may have heard of the brand Obagi. It is a medical skincare product line favoured by aesthetics doctors and dermatologists. In Singapore, you can only get certain Obagi products from professional clinics because they contain prescription-strength formulations. And even so, the products you can purchase here are the “US Version”.
Obagi C10 Vitamin C Serum
Obagi Vitamin C Serum is only available in Japan. Price-wise, it’s moderately expensive but not very expensive (don’t run away yet! LOL). I’ve read good reviews about this serum and decided to find it during my Hokkaido trip last year. Luckily, I found it in one of the drugstores in Sapporo. Actually, it wasn’t that difficult to find. The serum was displayed at the entrance of the store (near the cashier). I bet it’s very popular thus it was placed in a prominent area.
What can Vitamin C serum do for our skin, you may wonder. Age and sun damage cause us to lose collagen, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. Vitamin C boosts our skin’s collagen production to give a firmer skin and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C also help to fight free radicals and damage caused by UV radiation.
In short, if you want a brighter, tighter and an overall better-looking skin, the ingredient for that is Vitamin C.
As I’ve mentioned above, Obagi Vitamin C serum is made for the Japan market and it’s only sold in Japan. But these days, you can literally buy everything online. I did a quick check on Qoo10 and tadaa! I found one priced at S$126.90 vs. ¥7,000 (~S$86.00) for the price I paid in Sapporo. Wow, the mark-up is pretty high.
This serum is sold at pharmacies (drugstores) in Japan. There are 3 different strengths – C5 with 5%, C10 with 10% and C20 with 20%. C5 and C20 come in one size only – 10ml and 15ml respectively. C10, on the other hand, comes in two sizes – 12ml and 26ml. In the pamphlet found in the box, I learnt that the small bottle will last about 40 days while the large bottle will last about 80 days with 3-4 drops each use.
I decided to start with C10 because I figured it’s a perfect point to experiment on my skin. I can increase or decrease the strength next time depending on how my skin reacts to it. If I start at 5%, I may not see visible results so soon. 20% may be too strong for a first-timer, hence 10% is the best to start (IMO).
I use it every night after my toner, 3-4 drops each time on my entire face (avoiding eye areas), followed by night cream. The serum glides on smoothly without any stickiness or stinging sensation. However, it leaves a slightly oily feel at first. Not to worry, the serum absorbs quickly and disappear into your skin. Occasionally, I use it twice a day too.
What I love most about the serum is its packaging, apart from its effectiveness which I’ll elaborate later. Obagi C10 Serum comes in a dropper glass bottle that stands inside a plastic holder. I can’t praise enough on how clever the packaging is – the plastic holder keeps the glass bottle stable, so you don’t risk toppling it all over your dresser. The dropper picks up a consistent amount of serum every time I use it. Nice! 👍
Do note that fresh Vitamin C serum is very lightly colored. If it has turned dark yellow, then it has oxidized and no longer effective. Thus, it’s advisable to keep it in fridge to preserve its freshness! While I have not stored mine in the fridge (too troublesome isn’t it?), I don’t see any change in colour yet after 1.5 month of daily use.
After using the serum for about 3 weeks, I was quite happy with the clarity of my skin. In addition, my skin felt smoother and sufficiently moisturized that I can skip the moisturizer if I’m lazy. Overall, I’m VERY happy with the results. I’m using the 26ml bottle that is supposed to last for 80 days, and I still have about two-third of the bottle left.
Perhaps, the only thing that I dislike about the serum is its smell. If you’re expecting it to smell like citrus, I’m sorry to tell you that it’s NOT. It has a rather weird smell that I don’t even know how to describe. A combination of metallic and floral smell maybe. I hated it at first, but after some time, my nose gets used to it and I’m fine with the smell now.
All in all, I really love the serum. It’s a true winner in skin brightening. I will definitely buy again in my next Japan trip. Obagi Vitamin C serum is manufactured by Rohto, one of the largest manufacturers of cosmetics in Japan that produces brands like Hada Labo, Mentholatum and Melano CC. So, you can be assured of its quality too. 😄
PRICE: Approximately ¥7,000 ~ ¥8,000 for the C10 26ml bottle
WHERE TO BUY: Drugstores in Japan