This Vitamin C Serum Helped Even Out My Complexion


Every zit or irritated patch I’ve ever had has left behind a dark spot once it heals; and while there’s nothing wrong with having marks, my goal has always been to maintain a more even, radiant complexion. Enter: Biossance Squalane and Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum, a milky, antioxidant-packed formula that I was excited to test out, as the brand claims it can help alleviate dark spots and increase overall radiance with consistent use.

I added the product to both my morning and evening lineup for three weeks and was shocked at the rapid results. Not only did my skin appear brighter and more even in tone, it felt firmer. To find out how this serum got my face to its glorious, glowy state, I spoke with NYC-based dermatologist Hadley King, MD, and cosmetic chemist and entrepreneur David Petrillo.

I’ve always been wary of serums because they often leave my skin with a slick, shiny residue. This one, however, absorbed quickly as I massaged it in.

Petrillo says this is because the formula uses squalane, the hydrogenated, stable part of squalene (a component of the oil produced by the skin) that has been converted to a saturated oil. He explains that this saturated oil content helps the product penetrate and absorb into the skin more effectively.

As mentioned, the most dramatic difference in my complexion was how even it looked. King attributes this effect to kojic acid, a compound found in the formula’s white shiitake mushroom. “Kojic acid is thought to help inhibit melanin production on the surface of treated skin,” she says. The end result: a “lit-from-within,” more consistent skin tone.

The heapings of vitamin C also helped induce this effect. The anti-inflammatory ingredient is known to help reduce the appearance of dark spots and redness.

The vitamin C made my skin appear plumper and feel firmer after just a week. I admit, I didn’t even realize how flat and dehydrated my skin had become. (I blame it on the harsh weather we’ve been experiencing in NYC.) Consistent use of the serum showed me just how much healthier it could look. Petrillo explains that this effect is due to vitamin C’s reparative properties which is, he says, “important to the synthesis of collagen.”

While I’m only three weeks into my Biossance journey, the brand claims (based on their clinical reports) that skin can continue to improve for up to 28 weeks. “Given the licorice root extract and [mushroom] extract, this product can continue to brighten and lighten dark spots over time,” Dr. King says. She adds that the sodium hyaluronate (a moisture-retainer) and squalane will continue to support my skin barrier.

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