The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

I recently got my first The Ordinary Skin Care Haul after hearing about this new line of skincare all over social media. The Ordinary is a skincare line that has no frills products that are reasonably priced. Their products contain actives and ingredients that are proven to work. They lack the luxurious look and feel of pricier brands but the active ingredients are the same.

The item I most wanted to try from The Ordinary was the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. I am 53 years old and post menopausal. I want to include this proven anti-aging ingredient in my routine. I have been using Vitamin C for a while now and am still trying out various brands to see which works best for me. I also want to find a decent price since Vitamin C serums can be pricey.

This was especially attractive because a 30 ml tube is only $5.80! It is also a very high concentration of Vitamin C and more should be better. For reference, my skin is normal with shine in the summer. I use tretinoin and sometimes my chin or nasolabial folds get flaky. I have some fine lines, mild wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

The Ordinary website contains detailed information:

Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant and its pure form of L-Ascorbic Acid has been shown to reverse multiple signs of skin ageing while brightening the skin when applied topically. This water-free, silicone-free formula provides 23% pure L-Ascorbic Acid which remains completely stable due to the absence of water. The system is supported with addition of dehydrated spheres of Hyaluronic Acid to offer visible surface smoothing alongside the benefits of Vitamin C. This treatment is ideally applied at bedtime.

Note: The format of this formula is a suspension of very fine L-Ascorbic Acid powder and, as such, provides the most direct exposure of extremely high concentrations of Vitamin C topically. With such format, there are 2 important things to consider: 

1) A very strong tingling but non-irritating sensation is expected during the first 1-2 weeks of use until the skin’s tolerance to such high exposure is elevated; 

2) The powder exposure to the skin disallows the formula to feel like a serum, lotion or cream and each application requires a few seconds to feel absorbed by the skin. If desired, this formula can be diluted in a cream base per application to allow the skin to build tolerance over time. 

Alternative products on the market offer suspensions of Vitamin C in water-free formulations in a silicone base to avoid the “powdery” feel of the suspension. These formulations do keep the Vitamin C stable but they are almost always offered in heavier silicone bases that interfere with efficient exposure of the entire Vitamin C content to the skin (the silicone entraps the Vitamin C). Our formula avoids the use of silicones and offers complete and direct exposure of the entire powder content to the skin, maximizing topical delivery. 


Apply a small amount to face in the AM or the PM. A slight tingling sensation can be expected after application. 


Ascorbic Acid, Squalane, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Coconut Alkanes, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glucomannan, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Trihydroxystearin, BHT.

A Water-Free, Silicone-Free Stable Suspension

I decided to use this as part of my morning routine. Since I do use the tretinoin at night I was afraid that adding Vitamin C would be too harsh for my skin. Plus the fact that Vitamin C makes sunscreen more effective.

It was totally different than I expected after reading so much online. I thought it would be super gritty and paste-like. Instead, it was very creamy and not at as gritty feeling as I was expecting.  It burned a lot on initial application and left my skin looking oily. It did not absorb quickly and my moisturizer and sunscreen did not go on as well over it as they do with my usual Vitamin C serum.


After researching I saw that I was using about twice as much as I needed. You only need a pea sized amount. That eliminated the burning and stinging. It was less greasy and my other products did go on better. I do notice that it will ball up if I don’t get my serum a minute or two to absorb. If I wait long enough between application I don’t see any balling or pilling of the product.


This is how it looks on my fingers are applying the serum to my face. There are little balls like this on my skin too.


I don’t love this Vitamin C Suspension but I don’t hate it either. I liked the Vitamin C serum I was using before this because it was a liquid serum and just felt better on my skin. It also did not ball or pill.

It never seems to dry down completely. My face never seems to set and if I scratch or rub my face it sometimes causes my makeup to rub off. This is my biggest concern with it. I like my face to set after I have applied my makeup and not come off if I touch it.

This Vitamin C Suspension might work better on my skin in the fall and winter when it is drier. In the summer my skin has a tendency to look shiny and this can’t be helping. Especially the way the suspension just sits on my skin.

As for effectiveness, it is hard to say. Anti-aging benefits occur over time so it is hard to see that happening. I have to assume from the slight stinging I still feel that it is working. And man that $5.80 price is such a strong selling point!

At the time of this post, I cannot repurchase because this product is completely sold out. It is definitely popular. Lots of people are trying it but reviews have been mixed. Most people don’t like the consistency at all.

I will continue to use this until I finish the tube. If it is back in stock when I get need to repurchase a Vitamin C containing product I may get another tube of this. For me, the price is good enough that I can maybe live with the issues I have with it. I can reduce the greasiness by using less and I can almost eliminate the pilling by waiting a few extra minutes between steps in my morning routine.

I feel bad that this review is so wishy washy. Like I said I don’t hate this product and it seems to be effective. It certainly isn’t as easy to use as my old Vitamin C serum. Nor does it feel as good on the skin. I just can’t get over the price. That is what I keep coming back to. For less than $6 a tube it may be a Vitamin C product that I can live with.

Have you tried The Ordinary Vitamin C 23% Suspension + HA Spheres 2%? What are your thoughts on it? Do you use Vitamin C in your skincare routine? What do you use?

If you enjoyed this post please “like” it and follow me to make sure you don’t miss any posts. Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate that you took the time to check out my blog.

6 thoughts on “The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

    1. First thanks so much for the compliment! I work at NOT looking my age! I have really mixed feelings about this Vitamin C due to how it looks on my face.. I love the price but don’t really love the greasy feel. It is worth trying at that price though. There really is nothing to lose. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s