I recently started going to Tamsyn Wessels for skincare advice – virtually of course. I was recently introduced to her since my go-to dermatologist had retired. With COVID precautions in place it meant that in-person consults and visits for any skin treatments were limited anywhere in the city. I appreciated her honesty and felt comfortable discussing issues that affected my skin. On top of that, she hasn’t been someone who’s been “pushing products”. Instead, her approach is explaining what ingredients would best address my concerns as well as how they work. I really appreciated that. We’ve discussed so many things (by the way, she offers free advice to anyone!) and with summer winding down, I knew that colour correction is something that’s top of mind for many of us.  From experience in previous years, one of the ingredients that I’ve had success with is Vitamin C. So, with that in mind, I asked Tamsyn for her advice as I begin to adjust with the changing seasons.

When I first approached Tamsyn for skincare advice she quickly understood that I preferred a simple regime that I can actually stick with (read: lazy to use umpteen products). There was one serum that was recommended but I had not used before: AlumierMD EverActive C&E + Peptide. I searched it up and discovered that it’s a Women’s Health Beauty and Image Beauty award-winning product. So, I was curious as to what makes this one a stand-out. With all the Vitamin C products out there, what should we know?

“There are a few key elements you should be looking for when purchasing a Vitamin C serum,” said Tamsyn.  “The type of Vitamin C, the percentage, the pH and the packaging. The type of Vitamin C should always be L-ascorbic acid, USP (United States Pharmacopeia; the highest pharmaceutical standard for purity) and it should be medical grade. The reason you should be choosing L-Ascorbic acid is because it is the only bioavailable form of vitamin C for the skin. This means that the body is able to easily use the Vitamin C for cellular benefit.”

The EverActive C&E +Peptide serum not only checks all of the above requirements, she tells me but also provides 15% L-ascorbic acid at a pH of 3.5. A pH of 3.5 or less is essential in maintaining the stability of the Vitamin C while also aiding in the absorption thereof.

Tamsyn mentioned that she often gets asked, “if the higher the % does it mean it’s better?” She explains that this is not always the case, as a higher percentage of vitamin C can often increase the risk of skin irritation.

I didn’t know that! Something definitely worth noting if you’re trying to find the right Vitamin C product for you.

Tamsyn explains, “EverActive C&E +Peptide is truly one of a kind. A potent antioxidant serum that combines vitamin C (15% L-ascorbic acid,) tocopherol acetate (Vitamin E, this boosts the efficacy of Vitamin C) and Matrixyl Synthe 6®️ (a powerful, anti-aging peptide.) AlumierMD has used a unique delivery system that ensures the Vitamin C is always optimally active and available to neutralize free radical damage, stimulate collagen synthesis while also visibly brightening the skin.

Last but definitely not least is the packaging! This particular product from AlumierMD is different from others I’ve tried. There are three bottles in the order that lasts three months or more. Each one is activated when you’re ready to use. it. That’s interesting! “I have yet to encounter a product as well researched and developed as this,” said Tamsyn.  “To prevent the L-ascorbic acid from oxidizing, the vitamin C crystals are kept separate in a sealed cap while the serum is in an amber glass bottle. The idea is that you are “the chemist in your bathroom” and the crystals are only released into the serum when you are ready to use it.”

Why? She explains, that this helps to ensure the serum is fresh and active until the very last drop. The kit contains three 15ml bottles and each bottle lasts you a month long. Once you have depressed the cap that releases the crystals into the serum, you are required to shake the bottle for 60 seconds. The recyclable cap is then removed and replaced with a dropper for ease of application. “This is my “liquid gold,” an absolute staple in my daily skincare routine.”

I’ve been using AlumierMD EverActive C&E + Peptide for almost a month now and love how it’s helped with offering a healthy glow (thank you to my BFF Katya for actually noticing without me mentioning anything!) I’m already noticing a more even skin tone (not so much redness) and better texture.

So, why am I so obsessed with serums? What are the benefits of including them in your skincare regime?

“Serums are usually lightweight and generally formulated with a higher concentration of active ingredients,” explains Tamsyn. “This is also the reason why serums are often at a higher price point. These active ingredients are often placed within a specific delivery system or encapsulated to allow for a slower and gradual release into the skin, minimizing irritation.”

When is the best time to use them? Tamsyn recommends serums should be applied after cleansing and toning, always before your moisturizer. The active ingredients in a serum are aimed at targeting a specific skin condition (ie. hyper-pigmentation.) Thus, the molecules in a serum are also usually smaller allowing the active ingredients to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. “My favourite serums are Vitamin C based for the daytime and a Retinol serum for at night,” says Tamsyn.

Can you use them with other skin treatments? “Depending on your skin type and current skin condition, you should typically use an antioxidant serum that also hydrates your skin during the day,” says Tamsyn. “At night when your skin is clean and able to rejuvenate and breathe, I tend to opt for an exfoliating, anti-aging serum. During the summer months I prefer to use a vitamin C serum paired with a hydrating broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen. I always say that during the day we “Hydrate & Protect” while at night we “Exfoliate & Treat!” Depending on how well you have pre-conditioned your skin and your skin’s tolerance, you should always introduce retinol slowly. Applying retinol once or twice a week at night, is personally one of my favourite ways of treating pretty much everything from hyper-pigmentation and fine lines to enlarged pores and breakouts.”

Having a thorough skin consultation is always advised to assist in deciding what serum is best suited for your current skin conditions.

If you’re interested in a free skin-care consultation and learn what works best to address your skin concerns, reach out to Tamsyn at www.skinbytamsyn.ca 

So, here’s a photo of my skin sans any foundation. I know a lot of people have hyper-pigmentation issues. It’s a real bugger and treating it requires patience. I feel it’s important to show the process. Not sure about you, but the LAST thing I want to see is someone with completely flawless skin talking about skin issues when they appear to not have any! I also prefer to see someone who’s closer to my age – again a bit more relatable. Oh! plus I also have sensitive skin so I’m used to having redness that’s blotchy. Since using this product, along with other recommended AlumierMD products, I’ve noticed the redness has subsided.  I’ll be giving updating on my Instagram stories from time to time if you’re interested in checking @theculturepearl

P.S. Wear sunscreen.

And if you’re currently concerned about breakouts under those pandemic times face masks you’ve been wearing see my last post on skincare tips. Link here

*All scientific information is from AlumierMD, while the basis of this article is from Tamsyn’s personal preference and experience.