October 3, 2022


For First-Rate Health

Matter of Fact Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening Serum

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  • Matter of Fact skincare, which was founded by Paul Baek, has already raised $10 million in funding.
  • The brand launches today with a vitamin C serum that is 500{5dfd1de9da59c0c38ca6720e3c60aa45adf7724498a16e1572e038fdc81a6ae9} more stable than its competitors.
  • I tried the Ascorbic Acid 20 serum for 30 days, and friends kept complimenting me on my glowy skin.

Matter of Fact Skincare was founded by Paul Baek, a former K-Pop star who suffered from problematic skin for years. “[The music industry] is a brutally image-focused industry,” he says, adding that he was required to see a dermatologist regularly. After his music career (where he released four major hits, two of which cracked the top 50 charts) Baek got his MBA from the Wharton School of Business, during which time he also studied cosmetic formulation and became intrigued by the idea of waterless delivery systems.

This eventually lead to the creation of Matter of Fact’s Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening Serum. “Water is the typical delivery system for vitamin C, but it also degrades ascorbic acid,” Baek explains. But stable, waterless forms of vitamin C tend to be gritty and can pill on the face. (If you’ve ever used a lotion-format vitamin C, you’ve probably experienced this unpleasant texture.)

Matter of Fact Skincare Ascorbic Acid Serum Droplets

Matter of Fact’s Ascorbic Acid 20 serum is waterless, but applies like and feels like a liquid.

Matter of Fact Skincare

Matter of Fact is waterless, but it feels and applies like a liquid. It also contains ferulic acid, Pinus pinaster bark extract, and a heady 20{5dfd1de9da59c0c38ca6720e3c60aa45adf7724498a16e1572e038fdc81a6ae9} concentration of vitamin C. (Most on the market contain between 12{5dfd1de9da59c0c38ca6720e3c60aa45adf7724498a16e1572e038fdc81a6ae9} and 15{5dfd1de9da59c0c38ca6720e3c60aa45adf7724498a16e1572e038fdc81a6ae9}.) The best part, though, is that the strength lasts. While most vitamin C serums’ efficacy drops to about 88{5dfd1de9da59c0c38ca6720e3c60aa45adf7724498a16e1572e038fdc81a6ae9} after four months, Matter of Fact’s efficacy remains around 94{5dfd1de9da59c0c38ca6720e3c60aa45adf7724498a16e1572e038fdc81a6ae9} after 16 months — even at room temperature. 

To date, the brand has raised a staggering $10 million from investors. (Michelle Lee, the former Editor-in-Chief of Allure, is a personal investor in the company.)

Initial thoughts

Maria Del Russo skin before Matter of Fact Skincare

My skin before I started using Matter of Fact’s Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening Serum.

Maria Del Russo/Insider

My skin tone has always been a little dull and uneven, so I’ve relied on vitamin C serums to add a bit of glow. I also use it to help fade dark spots left over by acne — something I’ve been dealing with my entire life

I was actually pretty surprised when I first pumped the Ascorbic Acid 20 serum into my hands. First, I was shocked by how little Baek had told me to use — between a half a pump and a full pump. He also suggests that vitamin C newbies and those with sensitive skin apply the brand’s Minimalist Hydrating Cream, which helps protect the fact from this potent ingredient. As I’m a bit of a vitamin C junkie, I skipped the cream and applied the serum immediately after my cleanser and toner. 

A little does indeed go a long way, and the serum spread seamlessly over my face and neck. It isn’t tacky, and it has zero scent. It might be the more low-profile serum I’ve ever used in my life — it simply disappears into the skin. The serum also left my skin looking instantly glowy, which was a nice little bonus, although it might have been the placebo effect. 

After 30 days

Maria Del Russo Matter of Fact Skincare

My skin after 30 days of using Matter of Fact’s Ascorbic Acid 20 Brightening Serum.

Maria Del Russo/Insider

I started seeing a noticeable difference in my skin after just 10 days. My tone was more even, especially along my cheeks and nose. My acne scars were fading, and my skin had an overall glow that hadn’t been there before. After about three weeks, my friends started to notice, too. One actually stopped me during our weekly walk and asked what I was doing differently. “You’re glowing!” she said. I’ve been using the vitamin C serum for just over 30 days, and I truly don’t think my skin has ever looked better. 

The bottom line

I can’t recommend this serum enough. The $92 price tag may give you pause, but it’s pretty reasonable for a highly potent vitamin C serum — especially one that you use so little of and that will last a while. Plus, you can count on the efficacy to be just as high after a year as it was the first time you applied it, making this a gift that truly keeps on giving.