Wellness, Lifestyle

DECIEM The Ordinary – Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% Review


THE BRAND: This is an analysis of The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% with HA Spheres 2%. I have been searching for a Vitamin C product that is potent enough to positively impact skin and accessible enough that it won’t break the bank. This is where DECIEM comes in! They have high performing, no-nonsense skincare products at affordable prices and these products are gender neutral.

HOW IT WORKS: There is incredible evidence of the efficacy of L-Ascorbic Acid for the skin. L-Ascorbic Acid is the most natural form of Vitamin C and when topically applied, it has great antioxidant properties. It neutralises free radicals in the skin, increases collagen production to help cell turnover, thus keeping skin firm and resilient. Some research has shown that it can reverse signs of ageing, fade dark pigmentation, melasma, and sun damage.

It is great for all skin types. Pigmentation and signs of ageing may not appear until your thirties, but it’s a good idea to start using Vitamin C from eighteen years old. Vitamin C is has a multitude of actions for topical and internal use.

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

WHAT’S INSIDE: As the box states, this is water-free so this reduces the risk of the Ascorbic acid de-stablising and oxidising. It is also Silicone-free and whilst Silicone aids in the ease-of-application of the product, there is some research to show that the molecular structure acts as a net which suspends the Vitamin C particles, thereby not allowing enough exposure to the skin.

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

HOW TO USE: In the evening, use a small pea-sized amount on the back of your hand or in the palm of your hand, then pat it into your skin gently. It feels like a physical exfoliant upon application – very gritty and greasy on the skin. This is due to the L-Ascorbic Acid powder, and the liquid is dehydrated Hyaluronic Acid spheres. The hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps the skin, thus prepping it for effective absorption of the Vitamin C.

I like to apply it and leave it for 5 minutes before applying any other favourite serums or moisturisers. Other nights, I will just leave it on by itself. The trick is not to rub and massage it through your skin like other products. I like to pat it into my skin gently to allow the product to come into maximum contact with my skin, rather than sweeping it around. It does feel as though it sits on the surface of the skin and has a greasy finish. This makes it nearly impossible to use during the day. Perhaps a product with a lower concentration of Vitamin C (10%-15%) is better for the day time and using with SPF and makeup.

Ensure you shake the tube well before opening, and be careful when dispensing the product as it has a low viscosity and may easily pour out.

Gritty/Grainy powder in a milky-white, runny suspension

PRECAUTIONS: Expect some burning sensations and possible red patches of sensitivity. It’s not the most elegant form of application, especially for those like me with sensitive skin. I experienced some itching sensations and some burning on my cheeks and around my nose. It’s not unbearable, but it can be irritating. Personally, I don’t mind the tingling sensation and your skin adapts to it in a matter of weeks. However, I experienced some red spots and itchiness in my cheeks from this product. I assume if the dose of Vitamin C is too high or the product oxidises, this can have an adverse effect.

It’s a great product because it is so affordable, accessible and has such a potent and high percentage of Vitamin C, but it may need to be diluted to become more usable. You could add a Hyaluronic acid serum to this, to help with the application and to make it feel more comfortable on the skin. Don’t be scared, just see how your skin reacts to it and if you can’t deal with the burn, add something on top of it. Add it to your favourite moisturiser or serum. Products containing Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E would mix nicely and provide a lovely antioxidant boost!

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

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

  1. Cruelty-free and Vegan.
  2. Stable formula of L-Ascorbic Acid.
  3. Free from water, oil, silicon, nuts, colours, and fragrance.
  4. Gender neutral and can be used for most age groups.
  5. Non-comedogenic skincare and did not make my skin breakout.
  6. Visible results with regular use.
  7. Brightening, smoothing properties which help to improve skin texture and skin tone.
  8. Super affordable and accessible for most people at £5 per 30 mL tube.


  1. Not suitable for morning use due to high concentration, tingling sensation, and potential pilling. This can make it very difficult to layer makeup and skincare on top of it in the AM.
  2. Takes time for the skin to adapt to the tingling/burning sensation which can occur after application. Some skin types may experience this more than others.
  3. Heavy, greasy texture, grainy/gritty particles. Not the most elegant application of product. It feels like applying a fine, oily sand onto your face.
  4. Does not absorb readily, will take hours to absorb into the skin, making it better as an overnight treatment.
  5. Scent is metallic and not very pleasant

CONCLUSION: Overall, I’m not loving the way the product feels on the skin upon application, or the tingling sensation and occasional red spots and itchiness. Mixing it with other products helps soothe the skin, but inconclusive about how effective the Ascorbic acid is when mixed with other products. The price is right, but looking at the efficacy, I would not repurchase this. Buy this, try this, mix it and see if it works for you. Vitamin C is great for targeting brown spots from sun damage, irregular pigmentation, or redness from breakouts and hormonal changes.

Rating 4/10.

I’d like to try The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% and compare the products to see which is best for brightening and improving skin tone. What are your favourite DECIEM products? The company does not send out samples, so I’d love to know any of your recommendations.
Do you have any fave Vitamin C products? I’m still on the hunt for an affordable Vitamin C serum or moisturiser. Leave a comment and let me know.

E L I S E   ?

Elise Santos

Elise Santos

Hello friends!
I'm Elise and this website is about all things Beauty, Wellness & Lifestyle. I am a nurse & digital creator living in Sydney, Australia.
I'm passionate about creating an intentional home and advocating for holistic wellness.