10% pure vitamin c serum

Our La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum review reveals whether sensitive skin can really tolerate a 10% vitamin C serum.

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We decided to put the La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 serum to the test, as with so many topical vitamin C products on the market, it"s hard to know where to start as they all claim to be the next best thing since sliced bread.


There are many reasons people want to add the best vitamin C serum to their skincare arsenal. Vitamin C is a powerhouse skincare staple in more ways than one. It’s a potent antioxidant and protects the skin against UV rays and other environmental aggressors. It can stop the overproduction of pigment and fade dark spots, creating a more even tone. It can rev up collagen production for fewer lines and firmer skin, as well as boosting the overall radiance of your skin—a pretty impressive roll call of the benefits of vitamin C.

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But for those with sensitive skin, certain forms of vitamin C have one major drawback—they can also be incredibly irritating. The form of vitamin C most likely to annoy reactive skin is L-ascorbic acid. Being the most stable form of vitamin C also makes it the most potent and thus the most sensitizing. This largely comes down to the way L-ascorbic acid is formulated in skincare. It"s very low pH can weaken the skin’s barrier function, increasing the likelihood of dryness and peeling. This is one reason skin experts usually recommend those with dry and sensitive skin use a water-soluble form of vitamin C known as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate which, although less stable, is also less irritating.

While my skin isn’t sensitive as such, the tingle that comes with vitamin C serums at a concentration of 10% or more can leave me red-faced. So I confess I was initially quite nervous about trying La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum, which proudly boasts 10% L-ascorbic acid and yet, according to the brand, can even be tolerated by sensitive skin. Such were my concerns that I approached dermatologist Dr. Emma Wedgeworth. She explained: “La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum is formulated at a pH of 5.5, so the ascorbic acid is non-irritating and doesn’t disrupt the skin barrier.” It also contains moisturizing hyaluronic acid, which is a nice pairing with vitamin C to prevent dryness, and salicylic acid as a bonus ingredient to prevent congestion in pores.

La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum review: the need to know

Targets: Hyperpigmentation, dullness, fine lines and can be used by anyone in their 20s upwards.


USP: It’s formulated at a skin-friendly pH of 5.5 to ensure the vitamin C is non-irritating even on sensitive skin. It also contains salicylic acid, which has mild exfoliating properties to enhance skin’s brightness.