The almighty Tetraforce needs his well deserved spot on the blog. Most of my fellow bloggers had already written about this popular serum, so I’m definitely late to the party. Considering that I’m constantly talking about it, it is really time to write down my side of the story!
C20 Tetraforce Activator serum
Why is Tetraforce so special? Why I keep telling that it is so much more than just a Vitamin C serum? It is actually mostly known for the latter, but the fact is, it contains also other powerful antioxidants. These are somehow always overlooked, but very important. Because all together work in a perfect synergy, to deliver the most powerful effects with a wide range of benefits.
Antioxidants? Why is vitamin C important in skincare?
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent oxidative stress and thus the formation of free radicals. We don’t like these “wild” molecules, because they damage our cells. They cause aging of all organic tissues as well as diseases. The most common example of oxidative stress which results in the presence of too many free radicals on skin is sun damage. Sun damage tends to show up over the years through poorer skin tone (due to collagen breakdown), wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
In skincare, antioxidants are used to prevent aging. We like to label vitamin C as the king of antioxidants, because it has the most scientifically proven positive effects on the skin. It is well known for its role in preventing photo-aging (sun damage). Due to its positive effect on collagen synthesis and additional protection against UV radiation it has general antiaging effects. It also addresses hyperpigmentations, uneven skin tone and promotes restoration and faster skin healing.
Tetraforce: a multipurpose cocktail of antioxidants
Besides the »royal« vitamin C, Tetraforce contains also some »noble courtiers«. It is a wonderful cocktail of antioxidants in one product:
Tetraforce – a coctail of antioxidants
If you’re interested in an expert breakdown of the ingredients, please check the post written by my fellow blogger Tajka: Add Actives C20 Tetraforce Activator for Beauty Smarts.
Nevertheless, at least the King deserves a little bit more than just a sentence:
»Tetra« vitamin C
“Tetra” is an acronym for the Vitamin C derivative, that goes by a full name Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate. The forms of Vitamin C commonly found in cosmetic products (forms of ascorbic acid) are water-soluble and act on the surface of the skin. Because they are acidic, they can cause unpleasant burning and tingling sensations on the skin if their concentration is high. Ascorbic acid forms are also very unstable and can quickly lose their effectiveness. In the Tetra form, ascorbic acid is coated with oil, so it becomes more stable and doesn’t just linger on the skin surface like its “naked” version. Namely, the oil coating allows it to penetrate the skin barrier and perform its work where we actually need it – in the deeper layers of the skin. This makes it more effective and doesn’t irritate the skin on the surface. Scientific findings that confirm the better effectiveness of this form can be found in Tajka’s post. Tetraforce contains as much as 20% of this form of Vitamin C, which is a very high and strong concentration, from which many positive effects can be expected:
Effects and use
What can we expect from this blend of antioxidants?
- in general – aging prevention (less wrinkles, better skin tone and complexion, less hyperpigmentations and other signs of skin aging)
- fading of different kinds of existing hyperpigmentations, including UV damage
- even complexion
- faster skin healing and restoration (fresh scars and stretchmarks)
- bouncy, glowing skin with smoother texture
Some users noticed also:
- anti-inflammatory effects when treating acne and faster skin healing
- sooothing and restoring effects after using other powerful active ingredients (mostly vitamin A – retinoids)
Due to its high antioxidant content Tetraforce is a CONCENTRATE. Its role is to enrich our serums and creams – like an addition, an “Activator”. Of course it can be used solely, but keep in mind that it is very powerful. Therefore, when overused, can cause hypersensitivity reactions, just like any powerful and effective active. Recall that in the Tetra form, ascorbic acid is coated with oil, so that it can be “smuggled” into deeper layers of the skin. Once absorbed, it cannot be rinsed and when it is in the skin, it can stay there for up to 72 hours. While this is a major advantage of this form, it also requires precaution.
Some skins are sensitive to Vitamin C, and since this form absorbs deeper and stays there longer, hypersensitivity reactions can occur when it is overused. Therefore, we shall always carefully adapt the frequency and the amount of applications to our skin specifically. Don’t bathe your face in it! The hypersensitivity reaction can show up after several days. Usually when so much Vitamin C is accumulated deep in the skin, that it makes it »cranky«.
You can read more about this in the post: Using Tetraforce
Tetraforce is a concentrate. Its primary role is to enrich other neutral skincare products.
I’ve received many questions whether Tetraforce is worth the price. Selling for € 94 (30 ml) and € 49 (10ml), it certainly doesn’t fall in the »impulsive purchase« category. But yes, in my opinion it is worth the penny. Nevertheless I’ve already bought it several times. Valuable ingredients in a sophisticated and effective formulation come with a higher price tag. If you do a little web research, you find out, that Tetraforce definitely doesn’t stand out for its price, but for its formulation. I’ve found some foreign brands with similar formulations that were less sophisticated and with lower active ingredient concentrations, which had a even a 3x higher price tag. At the same time I couldn’t find any cheaper versions (in this quality class). When I saw that, I was just thankful that it is, like it is.
I have a turbulent history with Tetraforce. I’ve bought it for the first time as soon as it was on the market and I was still a rookie regarding strong actives in skincare. At that time I began to notice the first signs of aging and, of course, I panicked. I was regularly using tretinoin and Tetraforce, along with high concentrations of AHA acids several times a week. The result? A disaster of course. At the time I realized that less is more. The damage was quite severe, because I have atopic dermatitis and sensitive skin, so I ditched all the actives for a quite long time. This is how Tetraforce and I departed, because I experienced the hypersensitivity reactions as described above, which manifested in severe redness and itching. The fact is, I exaggerated with everything. With amounts, frequency and by combining actives that don’t belong in the same routines.
For a few years I was afraid of using Tetraforce. I threw it in the “too much fuss” for my sensitive skin” bin and mourned, because all my friends had such great experiences with it. A year ago I gathered my courage and actually read the instructions for use. Now we live in a wonderful symbiosis. I use it every night – just a drop in my moisturizer and it works! No hypersensitivity only the positive effects.
My skincare routine is on point and except for the sensitive part is fairly unproblematic, so the effects are not drastic (anyway, no cosmetic products erases wrinkles and sagging, plastic surgeons do that). However, I trust in its antiaging effects and sun damage prevention. All actives in skincare are a long term committment and the essence is always effective prevention. Nevertheless, I do notice better skin texture, a more uniform complexion, more glow and bounciness. I also notice its anti-inflammatory effects on occasional acne breakouts and much faster healing. I use it also on all wounds and scars as it speeds up the healing of those too. I also like its nourishing “dry oil” texture and natural scent.
Tetraforce is not only a Vitamin C serum, it is a blend of powerful antioxidants.
What can you expect?
If you have a poor or inappropriate skincare routine, you might be looking at a product that will actually make drastic changes. A true “renaissance” of the skin and of course, all of the above mentioned effects. If you have sun or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentations (acne spots), Tetraforce is definitely an excellent choice. If you are lazy regarding skincare, you can cover a wide range of skin concerns and you’ll no longer have to worry about 1001 products and how to combine them.
In the end, Tetraforce is the product I recommend in most situations and I get the most positive feedback for. Of course, no product is perfect for everyone, so I always recommend the 10ml packaging for a less risky start. Originally it is designed for mature and dry skin, but judging by different feedback, it works well on most skin types. So let’s take a look to user experiences!
First, my fellow bloggers:
- Maestra Parokeets: My favourite Vitamin C serum
- Cosmedoc: Add Actives c20 Tetraforce Activator for Beauty Smarts
- Bunnyechoes: C20 Tetraforce Activator – the Serum that Impressed Me
- Cherrycolors: C20 Tetraforce Activator
We also have a celebrity opinion by Lili Žagar:
“I bought Tetraforce on the recommendation of @tixibeauty and wondered why nobody told me about this gem before?! This is, without exaggeration, the best cosmetic product EVER!!! I bought it at the stage when my skin was in a bad shape: grayish, dull, full of pimples. Yes, pimples at almost 40! I’ve was positively shocked immediately – just after the first application: my skin became clearer overnight. I woke up as if I just came from a beauty salon: glowy, bouncy and fresh. I thought it might be a coincidence. Fortunately, it wasn’t! Within a week, I became Lili again, with people asking me what I did with my skin. Tetraforce is not cheap, but it is worth every penny and I would pay even more, if needed! The results were visible on my skin immediately and it is in the best shape of the last 10 years. A true gift! This baby really deserves more attention and recognition!”
Experiences of »mere mortals« –I hope there will be some under my Instagram post about this blog post (Slovene): Tetraforce opinions
And stay tuned! There will be a special surprise tomorrow on my Instagram account!