Phloretin CF or C E Ferulic: Which SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Serum is Right for Me?

ce ferulic or phloretin cf

The experts from SkinCeuticals are here to help you decide which bestselling antioxidant serum is right for you and what products you should be pairing with it.

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SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Antioxidant Serum has received countless awards and accolades (in addition to garnering a cult following) since its debut in 2005, but we don’t like to play favorites when it comes to the brand’s vitamin C topical antioxidant serums! C E Ferulic’s younger sibling, Phloretin CF Antioxidant Serum, has made a name for itself since its introduction in 2008, and this vitamin C serum offers all the advanced antioxidant protection SkinCeuticals is known for while providing a unique set of benefits.

Should I use Phloretin CF or C E Ferulic?

While C E Ferulic is the ideal topical antioxidant for fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness and skin brightening in normal, dry and sensitive skin types, Phloretin CF may be a better choice for normal, oily and combination skin experiencing discoloration along with visible signs of aging. Both topical antioxidants feature L-ascorbic acid (the purest form of vitamin C) and ferulic acid, but the addition of phloretin is what makes Phloretin CF unique.

Phloretin is a natural antioxidant derived from apples, pears and other plants. In addition to neutralizing free radicals generated by UV rays, infrared radiation (IRA) and ozone pollution, phloretin enhances the action of other antioxidants, improves the appearance of uneven skin tone and helps minimize the look of sun damage.

Phloretin CF and C E Ferulic play key roles in any skin care regimen designed to improve the appearance of discoloration. Consider these daily topical antioxidants the first step in getting your skin back on a healthy-looking, even-toned path. Furthermore, a comprehensive anti-discoloration routine amplifies their results. Here are three additional products to consider that can help you achieve your goals.

Board-certified dermatologist and LovelySkin CEO Dr. Joel Schlessinger frequently recommends both SkinCeuticals antioxidant serums to his patients depending on their skin types. He says, “In general, I recommend Phloretin CF for my more oil-prone patients while CE Ferulic works in normal to dry skin situations. These are the backbone of the SkinCeuticals regimen, so it is important to make sure your skin type is right for it. For nighttime, I also like the Resveratrol B E, which is a wonderful product as well!”

What Products should I Pair with C E Ferulic and Phloretin CF to Address Discoloration?

For morning and evening use: SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

Lightweight and layerable, Discoloration Defense is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of visible discoloration, including hard-to-improve forms such as stubborn brown patches, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and melasma. Paraben-, fragrance-, gluten-, silicone- and hydroquinone-free, Discoloration Defense features 3% tranexamic acid, 1% kojic acid, 5% niacinamide and 5% HEPES (a sulfonic acid that promotes the skin’s natural exfoliation process). This potent cocktail of anti-discoloration ingredients works synergistically to promote even skin tone, help prevent new dark spots from forming, reduce the appearance of discoloration and improve skin brightness. Plus, improvement can be seen in as little as two weeks!


For morning use: SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

A mineral tinted fluid, this daily sunscreen is suitable for all skin types and instantly helps improve the appearance of uneven skin tone while protecting the skin from further discoloration and damage. Featuring micro-fine zinc oxide (Z-Cote®) and titanium dioxide to provide broad spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays, this ultra-sheer, non-irritating formula is infused with artemia salina to enhance the skin’s natural defenses against UV- and heat-induced stress, plus translucent color spheres that help even out skin tone and boost skin’s radiance upon application. With a paraben- and fragrance-free, non-comedogenic formula that’s ideal for all skin types (including sensitive), this lightweight, water-resistant fluid provides a touch of coverage and leaves skin with a soft, radiant finish as well as no white cast.

For evening use: Retinol 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0

Retinol is an integral ingredient when targeting skin discoloration. SkinCeuticals offers three retinol concentrations to address the needs of various skin types, and each concentration features an advanced encapsulation system and a soothing complex of bisabolol and Boswellia serrata extract. The key for maximum retinol results with minimal side effects is starting slow, and those new to this ingredient should begin by applying Retinol 0.3 once or twice a week before increasing frequency of use as the skin builds tolerance.

Experienced retinol users generally tolerate a higher concentration. Once your skin is comfortable with Retinol 0.3, you may step up to Retinol 0.5. This concentration can also be used by first-timers with resistant skin that rarely experiences irritation.

SkinCeuticals’ maximum strength Retinol 1.0 is best for skin that has been preconditioned with Retinol 0.5 or has a higher retinol tolerance, as well as those switching from a prescription-based retinol product.

With the proper skin care routine, getting radiant, even-toned skin is easier than you think. Combining Phloretin CF or C E Ferulic with a targeted treatment such as Discoloration Defense to correct visible pigmentation, a nighttime retinol product and a broad-spectrum daily sunscreen is a sure-fire way to put your best face forward.

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