This Vitamin C Treatment Promises Better Skin in 7 Days

Putting Clinique's newest skin booster to the test.

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Already a longtime breakfast booster, vitamin C enjoys superlative heights within the skin-care world for its anti-aging abilities. The antioxidant neutralizes free radicals to fight skin-dulling pollution, and can smooth and brighten skin, even stabilizing tone and minimizing existing sun damage.

'A new generation of make-it-fresh products enable you to activate the superhero vitamin yourself.'

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So, what's not to love? The potency of vitamin C begins to degrade when exposed to oxygen—meaning here on earth, it's at its most powerful and effective immediately after mixing. This erosion of efficacy has prompted the arrival of a new generation of make-it-fresh products that enable you to activate the superhero vitamin yourself, right before slathering it on skin for prime potency.

Promising ultra-potency and incredibly fast results, Clinique's new Fresh Pressed 7 Day System is a weeklong, two-step process of a powdered cleanser (just mix with water to activate) and moisturizer booster (with the press of a button, vitamin C powder is combined into a molasses, mulberry root, salicylic acid emulsion), each individually packaged to ensure that the vitamin C is at its most active immediately prior to application.

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Does it work? Here, three brave souls forgo their standard skin rituals and try Fresh Pressed for a seven days.

Tester No. 1: Dajion

"I love trying new products and experimenting with my skin-care regime, though my mainstay tends to be gentle drugstore products like CeraVe and Aveeno, with the occasional Erno Laszlo sea mud bar. My skin type is normal to dry, and luckily, acne is not a problem. The ideal product for me is moisturizing but not oily—the goal is bright, glowy, and smooth skin. I don't use anti-aging products regularly and I've never used vitamin C."

'The vitamin C booster was refreshing and gave me a refined glow. I definitely noticed a difference after the first few days. No makeup or photo filter needed.'

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"I loved the Fresh Pressed Daily System. Usually I wear either a tinted moisturizer and/or powder for a matte, clear finish, but I took a break while testing out the Clinique system—I wanted to really put it to the test. The powder cleanser left my skin feeling super-clean and refreshed. It was a little drying initially but the vitamin C booster was refreshing and gave me a refined glow. I definitely noticed a difference after the first few days. No makeup or photo filter needed."

Tester No. 2: Chris

"As a 20-something with sensitive and dry skin, gentle, hydrating products are a must—my typical routine includes a daily sunscreen moisturizer and a biweekly facial. When I substituted Clinique's Vitamin C booster and Vitamin C serum for my usual products, I noticed fresher complexion sans the oily residue that some products can leave behind. I haven't used anti-aging before, but the vitamin C was a simple and easy way to dip my toe in—and the application was straightforward with no fuss. After a week of use, I noticed a smoothing of some fine smile lines and a slight reduction in pigmentation, too—major bonus."

Tester No. 3: Kelsey

"With my winter-ravaged skin looking less than ideal—flaky dry spots and the beginnings of a breakout (yuck)—I was more than ready to try Clinique's new Make It Fresh cleanser and serum. In the name of science, I set aside most of my normal routine (Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish and Avène PhysioLift Day Smoothing Cream in the morning, my fave K-beauty brand Laneige's Firming Sleeping Mask nightly, and the occasional Pure Revival Peel from Skin Inc.), keeping only the light, oil-free moisturizer from Mary Kay that I've been using daily since I was in college."

"I immediately loved the feel of the creamy, just-add-water cleanser, and the science of activating the vitamin C just before using the products to keep them at their most effective was very appealing to me. My skin felt—aptly—fresh and soft after just one use. The recommended two drops of serum felt a bit heavy for my combination/troubled skin for day (my skin was greasy by afternoon), so I cut back to just one drop each morning. My takeaway: Overall skin tone looked brighter and more even, but I saw no noticeable change in fine forehead lines. Although I have had those since I was 4—they aren't going anywhere, at least not without needles!"

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