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Picky Expert Highlight: PPM

PPM might be a term many aren’t familiar with, but when it comes to your ingredient list it’s a need-to-know concept! Keep reading to see what PPM means for your products. We even include a real world example AND review from one of our Picky Experts!

What Is PPM?

PPM stands for ‘parts per million.’ It’s a unit to measure the concentration level of an ingredient within a product. It represents a part of a total in units of 1/1,000,000 (one millionth) and commonly used in a laboratory setting!


A bit confusing right? Let’s take a look at an example to simplify this scientific term!

Vitamin C Brightening Serum

The Vitamin C Brightening Serum from Skin&Lab contains 15,000ppm of 3-O-Ethyl-Ascorbic acid. So let’s do the math!

15,000ppm = 15,000/1,000,000 = 0.015 = 1.5%

This means the 15,000ppm of 3-O-Ethyl-Ascorbic acid is equivalent to 1.5% of the vitamin C derivative. Easy, right? You can plug in this equation and find out the percentage of an ingredient in your product!

Picky Expert Review

Curious to learn more about the Vitamin C Brightening Serum? See what our Picky Expert Claudia, @funskincare, has to say about it!


  • Light-weight yet super hydrating
  • No scent and great texture
  • Brightens up overall skin tone
  • After 2 weeks of use, shows signs of fading post-inflammatory acne hyperpigmentation
  • Doesn’t sensitize skin (personal experience, could differ for others)


  • 15% label is a bit misleading
  • Only contains 1.5% 3-O-Ethyl-AA (vitamin C). The 15% represents a blend of vitamins inside
  • Not for you if you need:
    • Boost in collagen production
    • To tighten up pores
    • Heavy duty vitamin C

US Picky app users, remember this serum from our Picky Reviewer event with Skin&Lab? Well, don’t forget to sign up while you still can (Sept. 7 – Sept. 14). You could WIN a Vitamin C Brightening Serum for free to review! Head to the Picky app now and sign up.

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