Roadtest: Dermalogica C-12 Pure Bright Serum

I was recently invited to road-test one of the latest releases to Dermalogica’s PowerBright TRx System, the ‘C-12 Pure Bright Serum.‘ As I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my skin health and tone, I was more than happy to add this to my skincare routine for a couple of months and assess the benefits.

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Due to my “skin ignorance” of younger years (ie always failing to wear sunscreen, savagely squeezing bumps and pimples, general inadequate care) combined with ageing and general wear and tear, I had really begun to notice an an explosion of skin pigmentation on my face.

Most concerning to me were the dark spots/patches around the hairline and temples, constant redness on my nose (thanks allergies), and more than a handful of unwelcome dots and spots everywhere else. Whilst most could be covered with foundation and concealer, I longed to be able to go out of the house with that bare, makeup-free, fresh-face everybody always talks about!


Although there are plenty of dark spot reducer products on the market, none had really worked for me. I had considered Fraxel, but with considerable pain, expense and 10 days downtime that was never a viable option either!

So enter, the Dermalogica C-12 Pure Bright Serum:

According to Dermalogica, the C-12 serum is a lightening and brightening serum specifically designed to reduce hyperpigmentation (brown spots, discolouration and uneven skin tone) and increase skin luminosity. It is a lightweight and potent skin brightening serum with an exclusive blend of Oligopeptides, Rice-derived Phytic Acid, Zinc Glycinate and Algae.

My experience: Importantly, I found the C-12 Pure Bright Serum very easy to slot into my morning and evening skincare routine. It is indeed a lightweight formula that absorbs extremely quickly, with no residue. The best thing about this is you don’t have to stand around waiting to get on with the rest of your skincare which is such a put-off with other products.

The formula is fragrance free, spreads easily, and one pump goes over the whole face. I tend to breakout easily after introducing new products, and thankfully there were no breakouts with this one.

Results: I noticed an improvement to skin tone and brightness after 2-3 applications. My skin instantly looked brighter, whiter and clearer. The effects plateaued after a few days, and I increased my application to morning and night as prescribed. After a month of twice-daily use I can really see a difference again.

Results: On the left is my skin immediately after waking up having used the C-12. It’s not anywhere near perfect, but it is a lot better than it used to be! On the right is how my skin looks on a regular day with ordinary foundation and illuminator coverage.

My skin looks much more even, whiter and a lot clearer first thing in the morning, and I can get away with much less makeup. I still have spots all over the place and redness on my nose, but everything is minimised and the overall effect is vastly improved. (FYI, I actually look forward to applying the product just so I can wake up the next day and assess the results!)

My boyfriend has noticed an improvement in my skin – twice commenting that it is “looking much better / your skin is looking really good” which really says it all as he is not one to pay any attention usually!

It’s hard to say whether I will continue to see improvements at this level with long term use, or if my skin will adjust and go back to normal. I guess I will have to keep using it to find out! But for now I am really very happy with the results. For a topical lotion I am noticing a difference.

Pros: Very fast results, no breakouts, easy to incorporate into skincare regime, does not clash with other lotions or makeup, skin looks brighter and whiter – more even and luminous. Velvety soft feel after application and non-drying.

Cons: The cost ($100+ for 50ml). Has not eradicated spots completely (but hey, this is a topical lotion not a laser in a jar!)

Score: 9/10

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  • Nita
    Reply Nita Friday 1st May, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    I’m a fan of Dermalogica. I also didn’t look after my skin when I was younger and my many days of laying in the sun trying to get a lovely tanned face has resulted in sunspots and pigmentation around my hair line and forehead….some of the spots are quite dark and barely get covered by my foundation. I’d love to give this a go but it is a tad expensive. Wish I had your job!

  • Reply Jane Monday 23rd March, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    I think i need to try this – it sounds exactly what I have been looking for.

  • Reply ragdollbaby Thursday 12th February, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Pricey! Wouldn’t purchase it unless I could try a sample first

  • Reply Whatthe Saturday 7th February, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I can understand it would get a 9/10!

  • Reply Whatthe Thursday 5th February, 2015 at 10:05 am

    I need to use up the serums I have first before I indulge in this great one.

  • Reply Whatthe Wednesday 4th February, 2015 at 9:07 am

    I’ve really loved the Dermalogica products I’ve tried in the past.

  • Vanessa Roberts - Editor
    Reply Vanessa Roberts - Editor Tuesday 3rd February, 2015 at 6:49 am

    It is pricey, but for me it actually works so it is money better spent than something cheaper yet ineffective… I think the 50ml will last at least 4 months at the rate I’m using it 🙂

  • judi1
    Reply judi1 Monday 2nd February, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Sounds good, but expensive.

  • Reply BellaB Monday 2nd February, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Sounds good, but very pricy.

  • Reply Whatthe Monday 2nd February, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    That’s a great product by the looks of things!

  • Reply blueruby Monday 2nd February, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    have always been a fan of dermalogica products. Am delighted to find another one of their products that works!

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