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Review: Obagi Vitamin C Serum C10

6 August 2015


I’m a longtime fan of vitamin C because after I started taking it daily years ago, I was cured of my severe sinus problems which have plagued me ever since I was little.

No, seriously.

And when I say severe, I really do mean severe. Free-flowing-like-a-tap mucus, chain-sneezing till I almost can’t catch my breath, using hundreds of sheets of tissue a day, Rudolf-nose and broken skin from tissue abrasion kind of severe. Yeeesh.

I also believe that it is the reason why I rarely ever fall sick! I get a cold maybe once in 2-3 years, if that? That’s considered impressive… right?

Which was why I was struck with a sudden idea earlier this year in January. Why not incorporate vitamin C into my skincare as well?

The next thing I know, I’m shopping at the drugstore.

Obagi caught my eye because not only did the serum come in amber glass bottles (very important for vitamin C!), they had 3 different vitamin C formulations: 5%, 10% and 20%. A quick search online indicated good reviews for Obagi, so I decided to buy it on the spot! I am the kind that needs to act on idea once it takes form in my mind, or else I will keep thinking about it. Yes, just like the movie Inception so wisely said.

I decided on the C10 (10% formulation) because I figured it’s a perfect point for experimentation. I can scale the % up or down depending on how my skin reacts.


I use it every night after my toner and use 4 drops in total for my face. Forehead, nose & chin, and one for each cheek. It glides on smoothly and does not have an oily nor sticky finish. It doesn’t sting my skin either. Nice.

The curious thing is the smell. One would expect it to smell like citrus or similar, but nooo. It has a very unique smell that I can’t describe because I can’t think of anything else that smells like it. Unlike some people who vehemently hate the smell, I don’t like nor dislike it. I’d say it’s just something I eventually got used to.


Fresh vitamin C serum is very lightly colored. If it has turned dark yellow, then it has oxidized and about as useful as junk.

– Keep vitamin C in the refrigerator to preserve its freshness!
– Leave vitamin C serum on for at least 15 minutes before applying the next product


To be completely unbiased, I started using this serum and halfway, deliberately went a week without applying this just to see if it made a difference, and it did.

My skin became wasn’t as smooth or soft when I didn’t apply it. When I restarted application after a week’s break, my skin was all softer and smoother again! Whee! As for brightening and lightening effects, I didn’t observe any difference in my skin though.

Overall, I do like this product!

It hurts the wallet quite a bit though – 12ml for 4,000 yen – so I’m going to see if I can find a more pocket-friendly alternative that is just as effective. If I can’t, I’m tempted to try C20 just to see how much better it will be, heh (although it will cost twice as much… ouch!)

Rating: 4/5



4,000 yen from a drugstore in Japan.

S$69.50 on

Read the disclaimer regarding reviews here.

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