Vitamin C is one of our favorite skin-care ingredients because of its ability to both brighten existing discoloration and — thanks its antioxidant properties — proactively protect our skin from environmental aggressors like pollution.
But there’s a catch. Many of the most potent forms of vitamin C — as in, those most likely to deliver on said benefits — have lost their efficacy by the time they hit the shelf. Cosmetic chemist Ginger King likens the phenomena to what happens to a slice of apple when it gets exposed to oxygen: it almost immediately turns brown.
That’s where Matter of Fact Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening C Serum comes in. Created using a patent-pending technology that allows high concentrations of vitamin C to be dissolved in a waterless solvent system, the serum is backed by a certificate of analysis from an independent lab verifying that it remains shelf-stable for two years. What’s even more impressive is that that certificate is available on the brand’s site for consumers to view.
Scroll down, and you’ll also see the results of the (double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled) clinical studies, condensed into easy-to-understand data points. “[The studies involved] over 30 people, which is statistically significant,” says King.
It’s not typical for brands to make the results of their clinical testing so accessible. But for Matter of Fact founder and formulator Paul Baek, it was always part of the plan. “Skin-care users have become incredibly savvy and in some cases, incredibly skeptical — because sometimes there’s reason to be,” he says. “And so [it was key] that if we heard a question enough times, that we make the answer easily accessible for anyone interested.”
What was not always part of Baek’s life plan, however, was his foray into skin care in the first place — despite the fact that his mother worked as a chemistry researcher and his father ran a beauty supply store in his hometown of Tallahassee, Florida.
At around age 12, Baek discovered Korean pop music — better known as K-pop — when his older sister returned home from college with a stack of CDs. “Listening to this music was mind-boggling to me,” says Baek. “I don’t think I would’ve been able to verbalize it at the time, but it was so meaningful because it was a reminder that there was a bigger world out there, even if I hadn’t experienced it yet.”