Welcome to Deep Reviews—your one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. Every month, the Who What Wear staffers you already know and trust will research, test, and review the market's most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which formulas (of the hundreds up for consideration) are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations. To put it simply, stick with us, and buyer's remorse will be a thing of the past.
The majority of our Deep Reviews will feature our editors' honest, ultra-hot takes on entire product categories or multiple products from a particular beauty brand, but every so often, we'll sprinkle in a special single-product format called Honestly, I Love It. As the name suggests, these reviews will hone in on one standout beauty formula our editors quite literally can't shut up about. Up Next? BeautyStat Cosmetics' Universal C Skin Refiner SPF 50 ($85).
I don't think I'm alone when I say that I'm picky about my sunscreen. Even as a beauty editor who has tried at least 50 different sunscreens at this point, I can count on one hand how many I've truly loved and used regularly. But that's not to say that adding new ones to my rotation is out of the question—I just have a very specific checklist of things I like my SPF to have (and not have). You can then imagine my excitement when BeautyStat Cosmetics recently released a version of its cult vitamin C serum (loved by celebs like Hailey Bieber and the whole of beauty TikTok) with SPF 50 sun protection. The formula is the first of its kind and offers a boost of skin-refining ingredients like 20% pure ascorbic acid, squalane, and stable EGCG (a skin-soothing blend of acids that reduces redness).
Obviously, I'm a gal who loves her vitamin C and the brightening benefits it offers, so I knew I had to give this formula a spin—it kills two birds with one stone. I always prefer that my sunscreen applies smoothly, is noncomedogenic, is suitable for sensitive skin, and, most importantly, doesn't leave a white cast. Luckily for me, this formula ticks all the boxes and even provides additional benefits. Below, you'll find more information on the ingredients in this SPF, what makes it unique straight from BeautyStat Cosmetics founder Ron Robinson, and my experience testing out the product.
To be transparent, I'm already a user and lover of vitamin C. I've been using the Matter of Fact Brightening Serum ($92) for a little over a month now, so my skin did already appear a lot brighter than it previously had when I first began using this SPF. Initially, I was a bit skeptical about this formula because it has a pink tint to it and applied a bit chalky the first time. But after you apply it fully (with a good moisturizer underneath) and give it a second to dry, it's totally invisible and doesn't leave any kind of white cast—something I know is a key deciding factor for many when buying an SPF.
Although I use a vitamin C serum, I do still struggle with things like dark spots, occasional skin inflammation, acne, and uneven tone. I used this formula for a couple of weeks daily and noticed that it only enhanced the brightening effect of my serum and helped dark spots fade even quicker. It also isn't too drying since it features super hydrator squalane in its formula.
A few days a week, I applied it under a primer and foundation to see how it works under makeup. I'm happy to report that it works pretty smoothly with both. There was no pilling, flaking, or creasing, which definitely earns it a gold star in my book. Overall, I love this unique serum and SPF hybrid. The great thing about it is that it can act as both your vitamin C serum and SPF in one. Although I'd already been using my serum from Matter of Fact and simply incorporated this one into my regular routine, I'd definitely consider just using this one product for both needs to simplify my routine.
Now, let's dive into the specific makeup of this formula. As I said above, this serum-sunscreen hybrid addresses not only sun protection but also skin firmness, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and fine lines.
Star ingredients: This SPF contains 17.5% sheer zinc oxide, a mineral-only form of sun protection, along with 20% pure vitamin C. EGCG (the most active component in green tea) and tartaric acid also make up the formula to enhance the effects of the vitamin C. For extra hydration that won't clog your pores, olive-derived squalane is included. Lastly, iron oxides in this SPF protect against blue light, which is known to increase the signs of premature aging.
What makes this formula unique: Besides the fact that this is a vitamin C serum and sunscreen in one, the way in which BeautyStat delivers its vitamin C is unique. The company currently has three patents on the ability to encapsulate pure vitamin C so that it doesn't degrade or oxide over time. It's currently the only company with this technology and these exclusive patents. The texture of this product is also quite unique. Many vitamin C serums can be sticky or tacky, but this one offers a smoother, white cast–free finish.
Cosmetic chemist, BeautyStat Cosmetics founder, and CEO Ron Robinson shared a little bit more about the research and findings when it came to testing this particular formula. First off, Robinson says that BeautyStat uses one of the highest levels of pure vitamin C available in over-the-counter cosmetic products. "We also combined our 20% pure vitamin C with EGCG (the most active component in green tea) and tartaric acid. This combination helped us get significant results in an independent clinical study," he adds.
According to the clinical test results provided by Robinson, after four weeks of usage, 100% of subjects showed significant improvement in deep lines and wrinkles. Ninety-one percent showed significant improvement in skin density and collagen production, while 100% noticed an improvement in skin softness. Seventy-two percent also showed an improvement in hyperpigmentation, and 100% of users saw a more even tone and smaller pores. Another consumer test was performed, and 93% of users agreed that the product left skin radiant and smooth. Ninety-two percent of users saw an improvement in skin softness, and 87% agreed their skin tone appeared firmer.
Additionally, Robinson and his team drew some interesting conclusions when combining SPF with vitamin C. "We discovered that sunscreen alone only blocks 55% of free radicals, but 20% pure vitamin C combined with SPF 50 mineral sunscreen provides superior protection to reduce the signs of aging. Hence, they are better together," he says.
In the coming months, I'm sure we're going to start seeing more formulas containing vitamin C and SPF thanks to BeautyStat's innovative approach to skincare and glow-inducing products.
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