Mad Hippie Vitamin C serum review: a natural formula with the same benefits as a mainstream serum

Our Mad Hippie Vitamin C serum review reveals whether this serum ACTUALLY improves hyperpigmentation and the overall brightness of your skin

Mad Hippie vitamin C serum with a white drop shadow on a colorful background, to signify the Mad Hippie vitamin C serum review
(Image credit: Future/Mad Hippie)
My Imperfect Life Verdict

The antioxidants (Ferulic acid and vitamins C and E) are the key players in this serum which soaks in like a dream and most importantly doesn't leave skin feeling tacky

Reasons to buy
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    Natural ingredients

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    Suitable for sensitive skin

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    Lightweight texture

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    Water-based so ideal for oily and acne-prone skin

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    Free from parabens, synthetic fragrance, dyes, petrochemicals, SLS, or other additives

Reasons to avoid
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    Grapefruit extract is a potential allergen

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    It uses a less potent form of vitamin C

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    Not as moisturising as an oil-based formula for those with dry skin

Our Mad Hippie Vitamin C serum review reveals whether this natural serum can be a match for its more high-tech counterparts. Whether you're dealing with skin dullness, sagging, or hyperpigmentation, seeking out one of the best vitamin C serums is key for your skincare regime.

But with so many serums on the market, from SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic to La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C10 Serum, all promising the same results, the formula you plump for is a very individual decision. That choice, however, becomes pretty narrow if you prefer to lean on natural skincare products. So we put the Mad Hippie Vitamin C serum to the test to see if its glow and ability to fade pigmentation could stand up to more mainstream products and doctor brands on the market.

The Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum is best known as a fan favorite on Instagram, especially with wellness bloggers who recommend slathering your skin in it while downing a wheatgrass shot. But delving deeper into the product’s back story reveals that it’s less faddy than social media would have you believe. There’s real science behind the Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum, which explains why it’s an award-winning product. And when it comes to the vitamin C derivative, it is powered by sodium ascorbic phosphate rather than the usual suspect, L-ascorbic acid, for good reason. 

Natural extracts of clary sage, grapefruit, hyaluronic acid, konjac root powder, aloe leaf extract, and chamomile flower also make it into the formula, which ticks a lot of boxes for natural skincare fans. As do vitamin E and ferulic acid, which dermatologists recommend you use in tandem with vitamin C for their antioxidant prowess. 

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum review: the need to know

Dull skin and signs of sun damage.

Its natural formula and choice of less sensitizing vitamin C derivative, sodium ascorbic phosphate.

The Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum already comes in an amber-colored bottle to protect it from light but nevertheless it’s worth storing it in a dark, cool space to maintain its potency.

How much does it cost?

The RRP for the Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum is $33.99/£25, which, although not cheap, is the going rate for a mid-range serum these days.

The science behind Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

The Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum uses sodium ascorbic phosphate, a stable form of vitamin C, which means it’s less prone to oxidation (when exposure to sunlight and air can turn a formula brown and rancid smelling).  Dermatologists also say this is a gentler form of vitamin C than the popular L-ascorbic acid so often used in serums. 

The difference lies in their composition: L-ascorbic acid is ‘bioactive’ and a readily available form of vitamin C for the skin to use straight away; sodium ascorbyl phosphate converts into ascorbic acid once it's in the skin. Generally speaking, this conversion process makes sodium ascorbic phosphate less potent than other forms of vitamin C but also more likely to be tolerated by all skin types, including those prone to sensitivity. 

The other key ingredients include antioxidant vitamin E and also ferulic acid, which boosts the power of vitamins C and E in fighting damage from free radicals and ramping up collagen production. From there, hyaluronic acid hydrates and chamomile extract soothes. The added benefit of all of these ingredients being in a serum rather than a cream is that the tiny liquid molecules are able to dive deeper into the skin, past the outer layer.

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serumis one of the best vitamin c serums

(Image credit: Mad Hippie)

How to use

When it comes to how to use vitamin C serum, this ingredient doesn’t make skin more photosensitive like, say, retinol, but it’s worth layering sunscreen over the top. Used together, a vitamin C serum acts as a second shield for the skin against UV rays and helps to neutralize any free radical damage.

Who should buy Mad Hippie Vitamin C serum

Those who prefer natural skincare products that are free from parabens, synthetic fragrance, dyes, petrochemicals, SLS, or other additives are likely add straight to basket. It’s also a beneficial serum for oily skin types and for those who normally find their skin becomes riled after using vitamin C. That said, the sensorial texture of the serum will make anyone’s skin look brighter and more light reflective—which is precisely the instant gratification we desire while our skincare gets to work in the long term.

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum review: the verdict

The jelly-like texture is nothing short of heavenly. It sinks in immediately and doesn’t leave skin feel tacky. The fact that it’s water-based is good news for oily skin types, as it’s less likely to clog pores, and is undeniably a draw in summer, when we’re lightening up our skincare layers. 

The only downside for vitamin C junkies is that sodium ascorbic phosphate is converted into ascorbic acid when in the skin. This makes it a less effective or active form of vitamin C than the gold standard L-ascorbic acid. Still, this is also why the Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum is much less likely to cause irritation to sensitive skin. And it is still effective at inhibiting tyrosinase, the enzyme needed to produce melanin in the skin, the overproduction of which causes hyperpigmentation. 

But ultimately it’s the antioxidants that are the key players in this serum, as the powerful trio of ferulic acid and vitamins C and E help to brighten skin, stimulate collagen production and protect against ageing environmental aggressors. 

Fiona Embleton

Fiona Embleton is a multi-award-winning beauty editor who has tested over 10,000 products in her 10 years +  of writing and shooting beauty stories. For the past four years, she was the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, having previously worked in the role of Beauty Editor at both Stylist and Cosmopolitan. She has recently gone freelance and alongside My Imperfect Life, she has written for titles including ELLE UK, ELLE Canada, Buro 247, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Vogue Scandinavia, and ES Magazine. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first-class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography, and catwalk trends. She loves jumping on the latest internet-breaking beauty news, dissecting the best red carpet looks, and having the crème de la crème of dermatologists, make-up artists, and hairstylists on speed dial so she can tap them for the best advice. She’s a discerning beauty shopper and knows it can be confusing trying to navigate what’s hype and what really works. So if she really likes something, you can trust that she has reached that opinion by vetting it against everything else she’s ever tried. Her career highs? Interviewing Cate Blanchett and winning a Jasmine Award for the deeply personal feature Cancer Stole My Mother’s Scent.