Jan Marini C-Esta Serum Review

Jan Marini's C-Esta Serum is a "remarkable anti-aging and skin rejuvenation breakthrough. This patented combination of Vitamin C and DMAE boosts collagen, lifts and tightens the appearance of facial contours & protects the skin against free-radical damage. With use, lines will appear far less pronounced, facial contours more defined and skin tone will visibly improve for noticeably younger, healthier looking skin". This aesthetician producecd Vitamin C serum contains a standard 30ml (1 fl oz) and retails for $105USD ($136AUD). A much larger 235ml (8 fl oz) size is available for professional use only. Jan Marini products are cruelty free, made in America, and available for purchase online through the brand's website, and at dermatologist and aesthetician offices around the world.

The C-Esta Serum is housed in a sleek, opaque, silver plastic tube with a pump. Simple and slightly clinical in appearance, this packaging very well designed! The pump delivers a small amount of product per depression (I use two pumps, usually), and the opacity of the bottle helps protect the potency of this serum's star ingredients, ascorbyl palmitate. To put the icing on the cake, the packaging is entirely recyclable.

C-Esta is a bright yellow serum that's so thin it's almost watery, but it bears Vitamin C's distinctive grittiness - a texture that can be strangely off putting, at least for me. This serum sinks in quickly, leaving a slightly tacky, tight feel to the skin. As a Vitamin C novice, I experienced a hint of a tingle the first few times I used this serum, but I quickly gained a tolerance. Jan Marini's C-Esta Serum has been shuffled in and out of my routine for a few months, and I have yet to develop a conclusive opinion on it. There have been times where I suspected that this product is breaking me out, and others where I've seen good but not astounding results. Even with weeks of consecutive use, at best I see slightly more luminous skin. Though the brand promises reduced fine lines, a more even skin tone and texture, and a firming effect, I can't say I see ANY of that. At first I wondered if maybe my 25 year old skin is too young to benefit from a product like C-Esta, but that's silly, Who can't benefit from a healthy dose of Vitamin C? Me, apparently. While I'm fairly certain that C-Esta hasn't been the source of my occasional breakouts, I'm also convinced this serum just isn't effective on my skin.

Frustrated is the only word I can find for describing how I feel about this product's ingredient lists. Lists. With an S. I've found three vastly different ingredient lists from three different sources - Jan Marini's American and Australian websites, and Dermstore. I reached out to the brand via email and twitter, and eventually was told the list that's shown on the American site is 'correct', but I'm taking it with a grain of salt and showing two of them below, but I'll be focusing on the 'real' version.

C-Esta is a water based serum with a high, but undisclosed, concentration of ascorbyl palmitate - the most stable, least acidic form of Vitamin C. This form of Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that helps to shield the skin from the effects of pollution and ~free radicals~, as well as stimulate collagen production. All around a great anti-aging ingredient, though I believe it to have a less potent "brightening" effect than other versions of Vitamin C (based on my own experience). The following ingredient is urea, to aid in product absorption. A couple texture enhancers come next, followed by an amino acid complex, and DMEA, a slightly controversial ingredient that supposedly increases firmness in the skin. Fragrance makes an appearance way too high on the ingredient list, overshadowing good stuff like Vitamins E and B6, hyaluronic acid, and a handful of antioxidants. The remainder of the ingredient list troubles me - among the preservatives you'll find lots of irritating and unnecessary fragrant essential oils. I'm sensing a "mixed bag" theme with this product - the results are so-so, as is the ingredient list - there's a lot of good ingredients, and a lot that drag the product down as well.

Compared to the Vitamin C rich products I've used in the past, Jan Marini's C-Esta Serum has fallen kinda flat. While this serum has managed to brighten up my skin a little, it's hardly worked the miracles that it promises. Lack of results, coupled with a hard to swallow $100+ price point, make this serum pretty undesirable in my eyes. If you're looking to explore the world of Vitamin C, you're better of starting out with one of The Ordinary's or Clinque's offerings instead.

Water/Aqua/Eau, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Urea, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Dimethicone, Acetyl Tyrosine, Dimethyl MEA, Fragrance (Parfum), Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ergothioneine, Pyridoxine HCl, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Sulfite, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Farnesol, Linalool, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Cinnamal, Limonene, Eugenol, Gerianol, Hydroxycitronellal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol

Water (Aqua), Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Urea, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Dimethicone, Acetyl Tyrosine, Dimethyl MEA, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pantethine, Zinc Sulfate, Ergothioneine, Pyridoxine HCl, Sodium Metabisulfite, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Farnesol, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben

This product was sent to me for review via Brand Backer. My thoughts were not influenced by Jan Marini, Brand Backer, or any other third parties.