This Dermatologist-Loved Anti-Aging Serum Actually Makes Your Sunscreen Work Better

It’s a Best Beauty Buy for 2021.

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SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid
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For our 26th annual Best Beauty Buys, the InStyle team worked with leading dermatologists, makeup artists, hairstylists, wellness experts, fragrance connoisseurs, and manicurists to find out which products they can't get enough of. Now, the votes are in — and you'll want to get a hold of these 229 beauty game-changers.

The idea of using antioxidants and vitamin C in anti-aging skincare has been around since the golden age of Hollywood (Marilyn Monroe supposedly rubbed antioxidant-rich strawberries on her face), but rarely does a skincare product become the celebrity itself. But that's the case with SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Acid, a legendary Hollywood- and editor-loved serum.

If you need proof of its fame, just look at how many Reddit pages are dedicated to its dupes. No wonder it so regularly makes "best of" lists, including InStyle's very own Best Beauty Buys for 2021. I've been testing the serum for months, and I firmly understand the hype. In spite of the notoriously pungent scent (don't worry, it dissipates), the C E Ferulic Acid is simply the best vitamin C serum I've ever tried; my dull, pockmarked skin has looked brighter than ever after using the C E Ferulic.

Dr. Shari Marchbein, board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the NYU School of Medicine, and Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital and medical director of her own practice, back me up with their Best Beauty Buys votes for this product. Both doctors stress that what makes the SkinCeuticals serum stand out to them is the high concentration of its namesake ingredients, ferulic acid and vitamins C and E, which protect the skin from free radicals created by UV damage, blue light damage, and air pollution.

Free radicals are basically unstable atoms that cause oxidative damage to your skin cells, which then leads to aging signs like wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Vitamin C can mitigate this aging onslaught by neutralizing free radicals in the skin, while ferulic acid acts as an antioxidant stabilizer to vitamin C. Vitamin E, meanwhile, is a fatty lipid-providing moisturizer to help revert damage to your skin barrier.

Best Beauty Buys 2021

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In fact, Dr. Ingleton said the C E Ferulic Acid has been one of her "go-to products" for herself and her patients "for many years," adding, "I like that this product is a lightweight, highly concentrated and effective antioxidant that protects the skin from environmental damage and the formation of skin aging free radicals."

Dr. Marchbein concurred, calling it "a key morning step in every daily skincare routine." It "plays a critical role in the formation of collagen so works in conjunction with sunscreen and retinoids to maximize a comprehensive skincare routine," she said, and concluded that it can help minimize fine lines.

The ferulic acid in SkinCeuticals' serum actually has sun protection benefits, according to Dr. Ingleton, and Dr. Marchbein said it enhances the efficacy of your sunscreen — and we all know how important sunscreen is, right? So putting on both in the morning (serum first, SPF second) further armors you against the terror of UV damage.

SkinCeuticals' C E Ferulic Acid has more than earned its spot on InStyle's 2021 Best Beauty Buys list, and you can buy the award-winning formula on the brand's website. See more dermatologist- and expert-recommended skincare that you can buy online.

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