There were many nights I fell asleep reading the reviews of Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum on Sephora.com. In between “totally stinks like hot dog water” and “reminds me of stale bacon,” the more than 900 mostly-raving reviews awaited me each night as I window-shopped for skincare. I was dealing with discoloration on my chin and jawline after a recent stint of hormonal breakouts and knew I needed a boost of vitamin C to brighten and even the tone. The stinkier, the better. Probably!
It wasn’t until I saw the bottle in beauty editor’s Alessandra Steinherr’s Top Shelf that I finally clicked purchase. She's a product genius, proven by her glowing, filter-level, post-facial clear skin. Finally, I was convinced that THIS WAS IT—if this was THE vitamin C product she uses, I would too.
Then I did what every Sephora shopper does: I told myself I could always return it if I didn’t see my skin improve. But then that first week, I literally glowed. Weeks in, my scars were lightened, texture and lines smoothened, and my usual chin area acne party vanished. Even better, the hefty price tag paid for itself! (I didn’t even bother with makeup for sake of the glow.) Following a deep, double cleanse of my One Love Organics’ Vitamin B and Image’s Vitamin C Cleanser, I massaged the serum-oil into my face and finished off with Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen.
On a recent trip to Denver, after a 2-hour uphill hike in Red Rocks Amphitheatre—which was more about social media content than exercise—my DMs were all about my skin. What was I using that was different!? Surely it could have been that I slept like a baby the night before after some vegan edibles, or that Denver has the greatest lighting, or perhaps the beads of sweat did me some good. But my best guess is the serum—using an Alessanda Steinherr classic is no joke.
Caroline is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer, who has been reading ITG since 2010. She's been vegan for almost the same amount of time, but the two probably aren't related.
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