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

2.3   from 4 ratings

Updated on July 18, 2023


What it is

Serum with 15 ingredients that contains hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

The Ordinary is from Canada. This product is used in 277 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

Vitamin C
Hyaluronic Acid


Redness Reducing
Skin Texture
Dark Spots
Scar Healing


May Worsen Oily Skin
Acne Trigger

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
fungal-acne safe

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Emollient, Solvent
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
2-3 / 0
May worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Hyaluronic Acid Icon
Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 15 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
What it does: Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ascorbic Acid is is pure Vitamin C. This form makes up the largest amount of vitamin C found naturally in our skin.

Not only is vitamin C great for your overall health and immune system, it also has plenty of benefits on your skin.

Vitamin C is best used for brightening skin. It improves dark spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. This is because it blocks the process of skin darkening when exposed to UV.

Remember: Vitamin C should not replace sunscreen!

Your skin uses vitamin C to build collagen. Collagen is one key component in having a strong skin barrier and plump skin. Vitamin C also plays a role in regulating collagen, thus making it effective in improving wrinkles and fine lines.

Ascorbic acid shows potent antioxidant activity. As an antioxidant, it helps fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. These antioxidants also protect skin against UV damage.

The best formulations include Vitamin E and/or ferulic acid. These two ingredients help stabilize and provide a boost in the benefits of ascorbic acid. This is because ascorbic acid becomes unstable when exposed to UV and air. In fact, you can tell your ascorbic acid has oxidized when it turns an orange-yellow color.

Ascorbic acid is generally compatible with other ingredients. However, using ascorbic acid with other active ingredients might cause irritation. Two ingredients: copper ions and benzoyl peroxide, will inactivate ascorbic acid completely.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Foods rich with vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, bell peppers, and more. When consuming Vitamin C, your skin receives a portion of the nutrients.

Learn more about Ascorbic Acid
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

Because squalane boosts hydration in the skin, it also comes with plenty of benefits: it is an antioxidant and can help fight free radicals and skin damage. Squalane is also found to have a detoxifying effect when applied.

Squalane comes from squalene, which occurs naturally within the sebum of our skin. It is one of the oils our skin produces to keep itself hydrated. Squalane is the hydrogenated version of squalene and has a longer shelf life.

Research shows that squalane is non-irritating (even at 100% concentration).

In general, it's a fantastic ingredient. It does a great job at hydrating the skin, and it's suitable for those with sensitive skin.

The source of squalane may impact malassezia / fungal acne. This is because olive oil derived squalane can contain impurities such as fatty acids and plant waxes. Sugarcane derived squalane is recommended for anyone with malassezia concerns.

Is squalane vegan? This depends on the source. Squalane can be derived from both plants and animals. Most squalane used in skincare comes from plants.

Please note: the source of squalane is only known if disclosed by the brand. We recommend reaching out to the brand if you have any questions about their squalane.

Read more about squalene with an "e".

Learn more about Squalane
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Isodecyl Neopentanoate.

What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Isononyl Isononanoate is a synthetic skin-conditioner and texture enhancer. It is created from nonanoic acid, a fatty acid found in cocoa and lavender oil.

As an emollient, Isononyl Isononanoate helps keep your skin soft and smooth. This is because emollients create a barrier on the skin to trap moisture in.

Isononyl Isononanoate helps give products a velvet feel and improves spreadability.

Learn more about Isononyl Isononanoate
What it does: Emollient, Solvent
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Coconut Alkanes is created from the fatty-acids of coconut oil. It is volatile, meaning it evaporates from the skin.

Coconut Alkanes is an emollient and solvent. As an emollient, it helps keep skin soft and hydrated. Solvents help distribute and mix other ingredients. This ensures a more even consistency.

Coconut Alkanes may not be fungal-acne safe.

Learn more about Coconut Alkanes

We don't have a description for Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer.

What it does: Emollient
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Ethylhexyl Palmitate is created from 2-ethylhexyl alcohol and palmitic acid. It is a fatty acid ester.

The fatty acid content of Ethylhexyl Palmitate makes it an emollient. Emollients help soften and hydrate your skin by trapping moisture within.

Ethylhexyl Palmitate is also used to help improve the texture of cosmetics. It helps other ingredient dissolve in products and help disperse ingredients more evenly. In fact, it is commonly used to evenly mix sunscreen ingredients such as avobenzone and ethylhexyl triazone. It can also help stabilize the fragrances in a product as a fragrance fixative.

Ethylhexyl Palmitate can be used to substitute mineral oil.

Learn more about Ethylhexyl Palmitate
What it does: Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Very Disliked

This silica is mainly used to thicken oils and suspend particles in oils. It is not water soluble.

According to the manufacturer, it:

The manufacturer also claims this ingredient to be useful in makeup.

In lipstick formulations, this ingredient improves color payoff, reduces pigment settling, and reduces oil bleeding. This ingredient also improves the grip of powder products such as dry shampoos.

Learn more about Silica Dimethyl Silylate
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

Like hyaluronic acid, it is great at holding water and acts as a humectant. This makes it a great skin hydrating ingredient.

Sodium Hyaluronate is naturally occurring in our bodies and is mostly found in eye fluid and joints.

These are some other common types of Hyaluronic Acid:

Learn more about Sodium Hyaluronate
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting

Glucomannan is a fiber created from the Konjac plant. It is an emulsifier and thickener.

The high polysaccharide content makes it great at adjusting the texture of products. (Kind of like starch).

Polysaccharides also help our skin stay hydrated.

This ingredient is water-soluble.

Learn more about Glucomannan
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate is created from fatty coconut alcohol, caprylic acid, and capric acid.

It is a lightweight emollient. Emollients create a thin barrier on the skin to trap moisture in. This helps keep your skin hydrated and soft.

Once applied, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate is absorbed quickly and leaves a silky feel.

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Coco-Caprylate/Caprate

We don't have a description for Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer.

We don't have a description for Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Crosspolymer.

What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

This ingredient comes from Hydroxystearic Acid, a fatty acid, and glycerin. It is used to thicken oils.

Due to its fatty acid content, it is a natural emollient.

Creating trihydroxystearin involves using a chemical reaction between hydrogen and castor oil.

This ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis safe.

Learn more about Trihydroxystearin
What it does: Antioxidant, Masking
Community Rating: Very Disliked

BHT is a synthetic antioxidant. As an antioxidant, it helps your body fight off free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

BHT also helps stabilize products and prevent them from degrading. Many products are sensitive to air and light. BHT prevents them from breaking down when exposed.

Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 15 ingredients in this product ✨

27% are loved or liked
0% have mixed ratings
40% are disliked or very disliked
33% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% ->
Verified by SkinSort

We're dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date and science-backed ingredient info out there.

The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

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See all 4
2.3 /5
from 4 ratings
Irritating (1)
Yawnkun's avatar


4 months ago Β· Combination Skin

This Vitamin C is not for beginners. I got a chemical burn because of this and had to take a break with some actives to restore my skin barrier....

This Vitamin C is not for beginners. I got a chemical burn because of this and had to take a break with some actives to restore my skin barrier. Turns out that I still had to dilute it with another cream / moisturizer so that my skin doesn't get irritated. I think there are better Vitamin C products out there. I guess a good point of this Vitamin C is that you don't have to refrigerate it and it doesn't oxidize.

sameteamdwight's avatar


3 years ago Β· Dry Skin

The graininess of this feels unpleasant on my face so I'm moving on to a different product.