• Stella Lee

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic or Silymarin CF?

A short and sweet comparison of my CE Ferulic VS Silymarin CF experience.

See a full review on Silymarin CF here.

Now that I have used a similar amount of both CE Ferulic and Silymarin CF, here's a quick and simple comparison between these two vitamin C serums.

Skinceuticals Silymarin CF VS CE Ferulic

CE Ferulic

Silymarin CF


$228 for 30mL

$228 for 30mL

Main ingredients

  • Ascorbic acid 15%

  • Ferulic acid 0.5%

  • Vitamin E (tocopherol) 1%

  • contains panthenol & sodium hyaluronate

  • Ascorbic acid 15%

  • Ferulic acid 0.5%

  • Silybum marianum fruit extract 0.5%

  • Salicylic acid 0.5%

  • contains ethanol



Runny and sticky


Slight hot dog water smell

Double smoked hot dog smell


Prescribed: 4-5 drops. From my experience 5-6 drops are required for face and neck

Prescribed: 4-5 drops.

From my experience 7-8 drops are required for face and neck due to its stickiness

Order in skincare regime

After cleansing. Use on clean dry skin before all other products

After cleansing and toning. I apply the serum after an essence/toner to reduce its dehydrating effects

Skin type

Normal & dry skin

Oily skin


  • Increases skin radiance

  • Maintains skin health

  • Dramatically increases skin radiance

  • Significantly refines skin texture

A snapshot of Silymarin CF

Skinceuticals Silymarn CF

Silymarin CF has been designed for oily skin. Despite not having oily skin myself, Silymarin CF has made a bigger impact on my skin. From day 10 onwards I noticed my skin was significantly more radiant and more refined. Towards the end of a 5-week period my skin was very reflective - in a good way. This serum is easily one of the most effective serums I have ever used. I felt that the 0.5% salicylic acid has made a very big difference - even though my skin did not feel or look congested to start off with, the salicylic acid seemed to have refined my skin (in particular, pores looked smaller).

Unfortunately, there was a price to pay (in addition to the $228 retail price). This serum is one of the most unpleasant serums I have used. I found that using this serum directly on cleansed skin caused a slight surface dehydration of my skin within days. Luckily, this was solved by adding an essence prior to serum application. The serum was very effective nevertheless, even not as the first skincare layer. The serum has the hot dog water smell (typical for ascorbic acid) to it, but 10x worse. It is runny (can be tricky to apply); but once it is applied it is sticky (for at least the next 10-15 minutes). Wait time is highly recommended before applying subsequent layers of skincare products.

A snapshot of CE Ferulic

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic

In contrast, CE Ferulic is a lot more pleasant to use, despite also having a hot dog water smell (standard for ascorbic acid) it is much more bearable. CE Ferulic did not cause any dryness or dehydration in my skin. It was okay to use on its own. On some days I would apply just CE Ferulic after cleansing. It is a far more user-friendly product.

I see CE Ferulic as more of a maintenance serum rather than a life-changing serum. It did provide a good luminosity to my skin, however it certainly did not have the same wow factor as compared to Silymarin CF. That said, it could also be that I started with Silymarin CF first, observed a major improvement, and then continuing with CE Ferulic did not result in a further improvement. In any case, both serums are effective.


If skin is intolerant of ethanol and/or salicylic acid, then CE Ferulic is the way to go. If skin gets along with these two ingredients (and also okay with a double smoked barbeque smell), I think Silymarin CF may be a slightly better choice.

For me, something that is pleasant to use is important. I love the results from Silymarin CF but I don't think I want to always have it in my skincare regime. This is something that I would use every now and then in blocks of a few weeks to give my skin a "boost", with CE Ferulic in between.


I received the Silymarin CF trial pack from Influenster in exchange for an honest review on Influenster and one instagram post. I purchased CE Ferulic myself. There is no obligation to publish any further review or write up this blog post. My opinion is honest.


About me

Makeup artist and hair stylist based in Sydney. Founder of the well-known award-winning bridal specialist team Faces Makeup and Hair. Beauty junkie with an obsession for skincare.

#Skinceuticals #SilymarinCF #CEFerulic #Antioxidant #VitaminC #AscorbicAcid #SalicylicAcid #BHA #Serum

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