Advanced, stable formula
Available in travel size
Matter Of Fact Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum
We put the Matter Of Fact Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
I’d long considered myself happy without vitamin C. When you test beauty products occupationally, it’s sometimes easier to just maintain biases in order to streamline your process. I associated vitamin C with a rancid smell and borderline immediate expiration dates. That is, until Matter of Fact's Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum. The brand-new formulation promises sixteen months of shelf-stable product infused with powerful antioxidants—sans pilling and packaged sustainability. The results had me wondering what had taken me so long to embrace the ingredient known for its anti-aging and glow-boosting properties. Keep reading for my in-depth review of this innovative vitamin C serum.
Best for: All skin types
Uses: Hydration, improving the appearance of skin discolorations, fine lines, and wrinkles
Star Rating: 4.7
Potential allergens: No
About the brand: Matter of Fact reflects the brilliance of founder Paul Baek—a former K-Pop star turned Wharton student turned skincare expert—in creating first-of-their-kind formulations with real consumers in mind.
About My Skin: Sensitive with Room to Glow
My skin type has been well documented—from my time on Accutane to my interest in sculpting my facial muscles. At the end of the day, my skin is happiest in a routine. My biggest concern is maintaining said happiness, which usually means a "less is more" approach to products. I opt for the titans of the industry, the green, blue, and white bottle derms on TikTok are always recommending. Despite girlfriends who speak of vitamin C with gushing accolades, I never experimented with the ingredient.
The "why" is my fear of activating a breakout, which almost always comes after shifting my routine. But I couldn't help mixing a drop of Matter of Fact's product in with my beloved green-tinted moisturizer and SPF. It's in the ethos of the brand to address the myth of "one-size-fits-all solutions." According to the brand, Matter of Fact is dedicated to "parsing through the scientific literature to give you intelligent, straightforward information so you can make the best, most informed decision for your skin."
The Feel: Silky Smooth Serum
My biggest pet peeve with serums is pilling. Forget mixing it with your already beloved products. There’s nothing worse. Luckily, Matter of Fact's Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum feels smooth straight from the bottle, warmed up in my hands, and applied to the face. Makeup goes on flawlessly over top, light to the touch and shining through. The product was clearly manufactured with layering in mind.
The Ingredients: Clean and Straightforward
Matter of Fact has taken a clear stance on only including ingredients with a specific role to play in the efficacy of their products.
- Propanediol: This ingredient’s main role in the Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum formula is retaining moisture. The ingredient is known for being safe for acne-prone skin and playing well with almost every other ingredient.
- Ascorbic Acid: The star of the formula, ascorbic acid is known for being far less easy to work with than propanediol. It oxidizes quickly, especially when combined with water. Solving this dilemma has been part of what gives vitamin C a bad rep. Matter of Fact's patent-pending technology and waterless solvents can dissolve high concentrations of ascorbic acid for ultimate efficacy.
- Ferulic Acid & Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract: These antioxidants help to stabilize the high maintenance Ascorbic Acid while also delivering support in the face of environmental aggressors. In the words of Matter of Fact founder, Paul Baek, "Ferulic acid has potent antioxidant properties of its own, but there’s research that demonstrates its synergistic effect with ascorbic acid, namely boosting antioxidant support beyond what each ingredient might be able to accomplish on its own." Plus, they're also key players at reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
The Scent: Slight Odor
On my journey to learn more about vitamin C, I discovered a generally displeasing odor has long been associated with the ingredient. It’s different from the rancid stench of a bottle in need of replacement. It’s nothing like the notorious P50, but it does take some getting used to.
The Delivery Method/Packaging: Simple and Clean
Matter of Fact's clean branding earns the Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum a front row spot in my beauty cabinet. Replacements cartridges are in the future for the brand, making the packaging enjoyable to look at, but also sustainable.
The Results: Instantly Hydrated and Balanced Skin
Upon first application, I was thrilled at how the product settled into my skin. Sometimes serums tend to sit on top of the skin (cue the greasiness effect). By midday, I was happy to see my glow had barely faded. Full disclosure, I was so enthused by the results, I absentmindedly applied the product before bed, on top of my toner. A little stinging, some research in my bed, and my fears were confirmed. Pairing vitamin C with other retinol or acids is a no-go. Intrigued, I asked Matter of Fact's founder and former K-Pop star, Paul Baek, why he chose to debut with the ingredient.
"Vitamin C, especially in its biologically active form (ascorbic acid), is a beloved ingredient because it's one of just a handful of ingredients that have a relatively robust scientific track record for improving the appearance of photoaged skin," he says. "But because it's such a fragile ingredient, there was a real need for new technologies to successfully deliver it to skin. That combination of strong existing evidence and a real need and demand for innovation is what led me to tackle it first. It felt like a puzzle that needed to be solved."
Back on track, I applied the serum with my regular moisturizer and SPF every morning for a week. I noticed a brighter skin tone and a slight improvement in my skin's texture. It turns out I'm not alone. In a six-week study conducted with 35 testers, 94% of users reported brighter skin tone and radiance.
Interactions/Sensitivity: A Few Things to Note
As mentioned, this product and all vitamin C products should not be mixed with acids or retinol. A simple method that works for me is sticking to application in the morning when I avoid those ingredients due to sun exposure anyway.
The Value: Great Value for The Long Haul
If you're using the suggested one to one-and-a-half drop of product every day, the bottle has the potential to last for many months. Knowing it's shelf-stable makes sparing usage more realistic, as well. Vitamin C's vary dramatically on the market, as far as price. Still, the innovation of Matter of Fact's technology plus the product's elegance makes for an excellent price per ounce. Veteran users of the ingredient might be pleasantly surprised by what they're missing in this balanced formula.
Similar Products: You Have Options
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic: With a killer ingredient list and a devoted following, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($166) doesn't come cheap. However, this product can expire without timely use—a tough pill to swallow at almost double the cost of the Matter of Fact Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum.
Supergoop! Daily Dose Vitamin C SPF 40 Serum: One added benefit of Supergoop!® Daily Dose Vitamin C SPF 40 Serum ($46) is SPF. This is easily remedied with a little at-home mixing for Matter of Fact's Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum. Supergoop's product is almost half the price but includes about five times the ingredients. This product is ideal for someone tentative about integrating vitamin C with a budget in mind.
Matter of Fact's Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum made me wish I'd taken a chance on vitamin C long ago. The product has everything I'm interested in—including scientific backing and packaging created with sustainability in mind. Whether a first-time user or a seasoned pro with vitamin C, the product's innovation offers the ultimate versatility.
- Product Name Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum
- Product Brand Matter Of Fact
- Price $92
- Weight 1.01 oz.
- Ingredients Propanediol, ascorbic acid, urea, ferulic acid, diglycerin, pinus pinaster bark extract