Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum Review (2020 Update)

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
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Product Name: Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

Product Description: K-Beauty Klairs offers a simple and affordable Vitamin C booster with 5% L-Ascorbic Acid and Centella Asiatica.

Brand: Dear, Klairs

Offer price: 23.00

Currency: USD

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Product Summary

  • Key Ingredients: 5% L-Ascorbic Acid (Pure Vitamin C), Centella Asiatica, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Hyaluronic Acid
  • Number of Ingredients: 46
  • Potential Skin Irritants: Orange Peel Oil, Lavender Oil
  • Product Design: Transparent Dropper Bottle
  • Texture & Smell: Clear Liquid Consistency with Minimal Scent
  • Results (YMMV): Clearer, Brighter, and Tighter Skin, Diminished Dark Spots, Reduced Signs of Hyperpigmentation, and Improved Overall Radiance
  • Price Per Oz: $19.49 ($23 for 1.18 oz)
  • Refund Policy: 60 Days with Wishtrend, 180 days with Ulta Beauty
  • Where To Buy: Amazon, Wishtrend, Ulta Beauty, SokoglamYes Style
  • Best Deals:
  • Overall Opinion: While I really want to like this product, given the rave reviews, there are serious problems with both the formulation and product design. But at under $25, it’s an absolute steal for a Vitamin C booster.
  • Ingredients
  • Product Design
  • Texture & Smell
  • Results
  • Price
Overall
3.9

Pros

  • Uses 5% L-Ascorbic Acid to Brighten Skin and Correct Uneven Tone
  • Keeps Your Skin Hydrated with Centella Asiatica and Hyaluronic Acid
  • Helps Fade Dark Spots, Minimize Acne Scars, and Reduce Redness
  • Very Positive Reviews (4.5+ on 7,500 reviews)
  • Very Affordable ($23 for 1.18 oz)

Cons

  • Relatively Low Concentration of Vitamin C
  • pH < 3.5 is Required for Vitamin C to Penetrate Your Skin (Klairs is 3.81)
  • Transparent Dropper Bottle Does Not Prevent Vitamin C Oxidation
  • High % of 5-Star Ratings Is Suspicious and May Indicate Seller Manipulation

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum Review

Introduction

Dear, Klairs is a Korean beauty brand by Wishtrend that emphasizes simple formulas at affordable prices with no harsh ingredients.

I’d describe the brand as a Korean version of The Ordinary (known for its budget products) with the style and aesthetic of Australia-based Aesop.

Among its collection, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop stands out as the No. 1 bestseller with over 1 million units sold (according to Wishtrend) and over 7,500 reviews.

Does this product, which retails for only $23, live up to the huge hype and rave reviews?

Let’s find out! ⭐

Ingredients: 2.5/5.0

First of all, a good Vitamin C Serum should serve 3 main functions:

  1. Reduces Melanin: by reducing melanin production, Vitamin C brightens dark spots, fades hyperpigmentation like melasma, and corrects uneven skin tone
  2. Promotes Collagen: by promoting collagen production, Vitamin C can help your skin appear smoother and tighter, with fewer wrinkles and fine lines
  3. Prevents Damage: as an antioxidant powerhouse, Vitamin C mops up free radicals to prevent oxidative damage from UV radiation, pollution, stress, and aging

(source: The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health, 2017)

Second of all, there are 2 general types of Vitamin C:

  1. Pure Vitamin C: also called L-Ascorbic Acid (LAA), this is the form of Vitamin C that your body can use directly which allows it to provide the most skin benefits
  2. Vitamin C Derivatives: these are modified versions of LAA, designed to address its shortcomings (low stability, short short life, requires low pH for skin penetration), but must be converted into LAA before providing any skin benefits

(source: Stability, Transdermal Penetration, and Cutaneous Effects of Ascorbic Acid and its Derivatives, 2012)

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop Ad
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In this case, Klairs uses 5% L-Ascorbic Acid at a pH level of 3.81 (source: Sokoglam).

This is considered a low concentration of Vitamin C and can be used as a booster by adding a few drops to your regular moisturizer or serum.

Research by Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, the founding scientist of SkinCeuticals, has demonstrated that L-Ascorbic Acid can only penetrate the skin at a pH level below 3.5 (source: Topical L-Ascorbic Acid: Percutaneous Absorption Studies, 2001).

Based on my understanding, this is due to a concept called Free Acid Value. In short, more free acid forms of L-Ascorbic Acid are available at lower pH levels and this is a good thing because only the free acid form will actually penetrate your skin’s oily barrier.

(for more information, check out LabMuffin’s excellent guide)

At a pH of 3.81 (and with only 5% L-Ascorbic Acid), it’s unlikely that you’re going to get much Vitamin C into your skin, which means you won’t get those amazing skin benefits that we discussed earlier (brightening, tightening, and antioxidant protection).

Dear, Klairs also included a few enhancers:

  • Centella Asiatica: also called Tiger Grass or Indian Pennywort, this Asian plant contains the compounds madecassoside, madecassic acid, asiaticoside, and asiatic acid, which have wound healing properties and help reduce inflammation (source: Centella Asiatica in Cosmetology, 2013)
  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate: this is a commonly used Vitamin C derivative. It’s listed near the bottom of the ingredient list which means it’s a trace amount
  • Sodium Hyaluronate: also known as Hyaluronic Acid, this is a glycosaminoglycan that attracts water molecules and increases hydration levels in your skin

Overall, I give the ingredients a score of 2.5. (the low level of Vitamin C combined with a less-than-optimal pH level means you’re unlikely to get much skin absorption)

Product Design: 2.0/5.0

When it comes to product design, I’m mainly focused on overall functionality and usability, although I do occasionally give bonus points for exceptional aesthetics.

For vitamin C serums, it’s important to protect the contents from light, air, and heat since vitamin C (especially LAA) naturally oxidizes over time and loses its potency.

Unfortunately, Klairs does not pass this test. 🙁

While its product design is indeed very aesthetic, the transparent dropper bottle simply does not effectively block out UV light or stop air (oxygen) from getting in.

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop Ad 2
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This is a big problem as L-Ascorbic Acid is notorious for its stability issues (Klairs claims it uses a “Hybrid Stabilization Technology” but I didn’t find any details about what this is).

You can keep this product in your fridge to help fend off oxidation and preserve potency.

The gold standard is an opaque container with a pump dispenser (ideally an airless one). Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum and Clinique Dark Spot Corrector are prime examples of good product design in action.

Overall, I give the product design a score of 2.0. (does NOT prevent oxidation)

Texture & Smell: 5.0/5.0

Klairs Vitamin C Serum has a clear liquid consistency that is easy to apply and feels kind of like a light oil when you spread it over your face.

Most people said the product was absorbed quickly and didn’t cause any skin irritation.

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop Ad 3
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There’s a bit of a smell and warmness when you apply it but this goes away quickly.

Finally, if you have any allergies or sensitive skin, please note that there’s trace amounts of orange peel oil and lavender oil present.

Overall, I give the texture & smell a score of 5.0. (easy to apply, no lingering smell)

Results: 5.0/5.0

Of course, the most important question is, does Klairs Vitamin C Serum actually work?

Given the problems that we identified earlier with the formulation (5% LAA at pH of 3.81) and product design (transparent dropper bottle), I was very surprised that the overall rating was a high 4.5+ even with over 7,500 reviews across multiple retailers.

The percentage of 5-star reviews is also extremely high (almost suspiciously so 🤔):

  • Amazon: 69% (~2,000 reviews)
  • Wishtrend: 73% (400 reviews)
  • Ulta Beauty: 86% (~400 reviews)
  • Sokoglam: 61% (~850 reviews)
  • Yes Style: 69% (4,000+ reviews)

Now, I know that Amazon has historically had a huge problem with fake reviews and sellers who engaged in rating manipulation. As CNBC explains in the video below, one of the telltale signs is an extremely high 5-star rating percentage:

On the other hand, the reviews were very positive across multiple merchants which would be harder for sellers to game. Most were genuine comments about the product like:

  • It faded acne marks, discoloration, and hyperpigmentation
  • It promoted more even skin tone
  • It kept the skin hydrated and reduced redness
  • One person even said it smoothed out her wrinkles and fine lines

In addition, I take comfort in the fact that Yes Style has over 4,000 reviews and they only allow verified buyers to write reviews (unlike Amazon which allows everyone).

Overall, I give the results a score of 5.0. (very high ratings across multiple merchants)

Price: 5.0/5.0

At under $20 per oz, Klairs Vitamin C Serum is one of the most affordable on the market.

It’s a great way to incorporate a bit of Vitamin C into your regular skincare routine! 🍋

If you’re a bargain hunter (like me), you might want to consider these gift sets that include Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop along with popular Klairs products:

Wishtrend Correcting Post Acne Pigmentation Clearing Kit
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And if you’re still shopping around, here are a few popular alternatives:

  • Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum: $10 per oz (@ Amazon)
  • OZ Naturals Vitamin C Facial Serum: $18 per oz (@ Amazon)
  • Timeless Skin Care 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum: $20 per oz (@ Amazon)
  • Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum: $27 per oz (@ Amazon)
  • Olay Tone Perfection Serum: $30 per oz (@ Amazon)
  • La Roche-Posay 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum: $40 per oz (@ Amazon)

Overall, I give the price a score of 5.0. (it’s super affordable! 🤑)

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum Reviews

Finally, I’ve handpicked two customer reviews that I feel are fair and representative:

“I never used a vitamin c serum before so this is my first time. my skin looks so bright and beautiful just in about 1 or 2 weeks of using this in the morning with sunscreen and in the night (I am also using the I’m from rice toner). Keep this in a cool and dry place to avoid oxidization (I’m keeping this in my fridge). This is so gentle so its amazing if you are a beginner like me. After I finish this I wanted to try a stronger vitamin c serum but many people said that they receive same results from using this daily as to using a higher concentration vitamin c serum. This is going to be one of my holy grail.”

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Wishtrend Reviewer

“Three stars for results: 5% is ideal for those who are new to vitamin C. With consistent nightly use, this product diminished my acne spots noticeably.
Minus 2 stars for packaging: Vitamin C rapidly breaks down in light, and needs to be in an opaque airtight bottle, in a cool place. I wasn’t able to get through half the bottle before it started oxidizing into an off-putting yellow color. The print also began rubbing off, which defeats the purpose of having instructions. Nowadays, there are many vitamin C serums/drops on the market, I recommend choosing a different brand with better packaging.”

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Amazon Reviewer

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