Paula’s Choice Vs Drunk Elephant: Vitamin C Serum Comparison

If you have been following my blog for awhile you know that really love the Paula’s Choice C15 Booster. I bought two bottles on my own, and the company has since gifted me a bottle. So I just want to put that out there.

I hadn’t had the chance to try Drunk Elephant… mainly because I was so happy with Paula’s Choice so I didn’t feel like buying the C-Firma. But I received a full size in a PR box and thought this would be the perfect time to compare the two. The best way for me to compare products is to do a split face comparison. The value of using a split-
face design is that is allows me to act as my own controls when assessing for effectiveness and tolerability.

Other Important Context:

  • When I started this comparison I had already been consistently using L-Ascorbic acid serums for months. So I was really at a maintenance stage in terms of my pigmentation. I was using Paula’s Choice for 3 months prior to this, and then before that I was using Maelove Glow Maker (see review), and before that I was comparing SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic vs. Timeless vs. Paula’s Choice (in their old packaging and formula) (see review here).
  • I have seen great results with consistent (meaning, near daily) use of a Vitamin C serum. The pictures below show my results of JUST using Paula’s Choice. These pictures lead up to my 8-week split face comparison, so I wanted to show that my hyperpigmentation had already improved quite a bit by the time I started this comparison.


  • Vitamin C does more than just fade pigmentation but that is the easiest thing to look for in before and after photos. But there are more effects (like AOX protection and reducing collagen degradation that you can’t see in photos.)
  • Everyone’s skin is different and YMMV!

8-week L-Ascorbic Acid Comparison Results

First let’s talk texture… I have a slight preference for the more watery and thin texture of Paula’s Choice. Since it it so watery, I drop it directly on my face.

Now let’s get into the ingredients…. They have the key things in common in terms of the concentration of Vit C, Vit E, and Ferulic acid and they both include some additional antioxidants and soothing and hydrating ingredients (which is great).

And here is a breakdown of how each product stacks up.
Here are the pics so you can decide for yourself whether one side did better than the other in terms of brightening. 


⚖️My Pros for Paula’s Choice

  • Paula’s Choice has a better price per ounce (this is a major factor for me since I would need to replace it every 3 months), it is available at more retailers that have frequent sales (like at, dermstore, and, it has a texture that I prefer (which is subjective so keep that in mind).

⚖️My Pros for Drunk Elephant

  • I love the Drunk Elephant twist-top airless pump and I like that it has additional brightening ingredients and gentle enzyme exfoliants (however, in the 8 weeks I’ve used it I don’t think I’ve seen any additional brightening compared to the PC side)

Bottom line:

I really like both of these products and I think they both performed equally well! Below are some other thoughts. With DE you get more, but if you use it every day it (like I do) it will last about the same amount of time as Paula’s Choice. If you plan to use it infrequently, it could potentially last you 6 months. So for people that use Vit C infrequently, DE might be the better option (aiming to buy it during Sephora sale when possible).