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Follain Brightening Serum Review

Follain Brightening Serum Review

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On this bright and shiny “Women’s Wellness Wednesday”, we are going to be discussing vitamin c serums and why you should consider including them in your skincare routine! I was never reallllllly into makeup, but the older I get (turning 30 this year!), the more I get into skincare and treating my skin nicely.

If you are new around here, I’ve had quite the battle with acne for the last year and a half. Some of it was because I got off hormonal birth control. (Stopped January 2019 and acne started flaring about 6 months later.) Another factor was that my gut was off kilter and I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in January 2020. In fall of 2020 I realized my hormones were off balance and I’ve been working to fix that. Add in the stress of the pandemic and the dirt and sweat from masks? It’s a recipe for disaster!

Follain Brightening Serum (c/o) | Anthropologie Cotton Crusher Bucket Hat | Dalina Ford Swim Bikini Jordan Strapless Top and Meena Bottom in Shimmer Gold


I will say that my skin is currently doing better these days, though I do still have some scarring. My skin is very pale, so redness tends to stay a while. I wanted to show you a couple recent photos so you can see how my skin looked before starting the vitamin c serum. See below / dates are above the images. These are from 11/26/20, 11/28/20, 12/01/20.

Benefits of a Vitamin C Serum

Why should you incorporate a vitamin c serum into your skincare routine? Here are some reasons:

  • Reduces Wrinkles

  • Promotes Collagen Production

  • Heals Wounds

  • Protects Against Sun Damage, Pollution, and Free Radicals

  • Evens Hyperpigmentation and Skin Tone

  • Brightens Complexion

I’ve used a couple vitamin c serums in the past, but hadn’t in about a year before trying Follain’s Brightening Serum. During my worst acne season, Corrective Skincare LA had me cut out everything I was putting on my face besides cleansing and moisturizer. It was a good thing too, because I was testing a lot of things for the blog and it got to be too much. I mean skincare is FUN. Why wouldn’t I want to dive right in? Testing a lot of products + constant breakouts is no bueno. Painful inside and outside. Since then, I am very particular of things I try and I’m happy to say Follain’s new serum has made the cut for me.

Keep reading for why!

Why I I like Follain’s Brightening Serum

  • EWG Verified. The cleanest and safest skincare! The Environmental Working Group gave all of Follain’s private label products their highest stamp of approval.

  • Budget Friendly. There are a lot of vitamin c serums out there that cost $50+. Follain worked really hard to make quality product that was under $50. Clean skincare should be available to everyone, not just those who can afford it.

  • Stable Vitamin C. It is made with 5% 3-O Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, a shelf-safe vitamin c that maintains performance throughout its entire shelf life. It also includes 1% of fruit derived Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) / natural sources of vitamin c!

  • Vitamin B too. Not only does it have vitamin c, but vitamin b-3 in the form of Niacinamide. Niacinamide is a powerhouse ingredient that not only builds and protects cells, but also helps with inflammatory acne. Thats a big win for me!

  • Other ingredients. It contains Yuzu and Tangerine extracts to aid with pigmentation issues, in addition to prebiotics which promote balance in the skin microbiome.

  • Fragrance-Free. No lie - it pretty much smells like nothing! Along with no synthetic fragrances, it is also cruelty-free, gluten-free, and non-gmo.

  • Airless Pump. Once air hits vitamin c, it begins to be less potent. Follain’s airless pump keeps your vitamin c as potent as the day you got it / within shelf life. My bottle’s expiration date is 12/23, so that’s about a 2 year lifespan, which is pretty long for a skincare product!

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My Results and Thoughts re: Follain’s Brightening Serum

I started using Follain’s Brightening Serum on January 28th, 2021. (They sent it to me early to try! Though this is not a sponsored / paid post.) As of tomorrow, I have been using it for 4 weeks! I’m going to continue using it and giving you my updates, but wanted to go ahead and share, as I have a discount code that lasts until the end of February.

Currently I use the product every other night. I do this for two reasons. One, I was easing my skin back into a vitamin c serum. I first test spotted on my neck and under part of my arm for a week or two, then moved to my face on January 28th. I think I’ll continue to use it every other night, as I use a benzoyl peroxide on the off nights. Two, something that makes their serum different is the fact that it includes AHAs. You can 100% use this in the morning, but be sure to put sunscreen on afterwards / before you go out. AHAs make you more susceptible to sunburn. Since I don’t leave the house most days, I’d rather not slather on sunscreen indoors. I may transition to this as the world opens up / if I want to use it daily, but for now using it at night is the best option for me. Side note - most dermatologists say to use vitamin c serums in the morning, as they can actively prevent damage from occurring while you’re out and about / more susceptible to pollution, free radicals, and such.

As far as the product goes I think it is super gentle and works well with my more sensitive skin. I use a pump all over my face and about half a pump or so on my neck, décolletage, and tops of my hands. I already mentioned that it is fragrance-free, but I also wanted to say that it is weightless and isn’t tacky. It absorbs very quickly too!

In this short 4 week period, this serum has reduced some of my scarring and helped other breakouts heal faster / leave less of a mark. I also think my skin looks more supple, even, and bright. I’ll take another weekly image tomorrow, but in the meantime, here’s images from 01/28 (day 0) , 02/04, 02/11, 02/18.

UPDATE as of November 2021, I compared this product to BeautyCounter’s Vitamin C serum. I’ve heard amazing things about it, the only downfall being that it is $82. I liked it (used up the entire bottle), but it didn’t yield any different results from this Follain Brightening Serum. At only $38, I’ll take that as a point for Follain! I have switched back to their product and truly do love it. Also note that I am now using it daily, in the morning, versus every other evening.

As far as negatives go, I don’t have anything super negative to say / nothing that is a deal breaker for me. Here are some things I considered when using it though…

Plastic container? I had always heard that a dark glass container was best for vitamin c, but since the plastic container is opaque, that prevents light from reducing the vitamin c potency. This accomplishes the same thing a dark glass bottle would. I don’t think they could have hit their under $50 price-point with a glass bottle, which I totally get. Their plastic bottle is recyclable, so I plan on doing that. Additionally, most glass bottles are droppers, not pumps and the airless pump is crucial to product potency as well!

Acids?! You might find it negative that you need to put on sunscreen if you wear it during the day, but wearing sunscreen is a major step in skin health in general, so you should consider doing it regardless. PLUS I love the added benefits of AHAs in this product! For this reason, it is kind of ironic that I took pictures by the ocean / out in the sun, but I wanted to play off the fact that it is a “brightening serum” and the sun is bright. I also really like the vitamin sea / vitamin c pun ;) I would not recommend using it at the beach, if you are going to have a full 8+ hour, sunny beach day. I personally would skip that day and apply at night or start back at it the next day. I would feel comfortable wearing it under makeup and such though or under sunscreen for a couple hours at the beach. Hats are my best friend as well. I hope that makes sense! On that note, here are some of my favorite natural sunscreens.

Something I didn’t know… apply vitamin c on a damp face. I had no idea I should have been doing this. It helps with absorption and maximizes your results.

Overall I am really liking this new addition to my skincare routine. I would 10/10 recommend Follain’s Brightening Serum to you. Plus, for $38? You can’t beat that price! Use code ELLE15 for even more of a deal!

I wanted to mention that Follain also launched a firming serum simultaneously with the brightening serum. I haven’t tried it yet, but I have plans to! It plumps skin and stimulates collagen, plus it has phenomenal ingredients like bakuchiol, peptides, nacinamide, and more. I’ve been getting into collagen lately, so this is very appealing to me PLUS you can layer this over their brightening serum! Bonus, you can also use my code ELLE15 for 15% off on this serum too, now through the end of February.

Happy skin caring, friend! Thank you for reading. Loving sharing some of my favorite brands like Follain with you!!


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