Ao Skincare PM Serum Shot & Treatment Review

Ao Skincare is different. They’re a clean skincare brand from New Zealand that uses raw, locally sourced ingredients where everything is cold-pressed. Additionally, there is a science-forward approach to their formulas, for instance, their trademark LoMo method for moisturizing that uses ingredients to help the skin make more of its own moisture rather than slathering moisture on the surface of the skin. We couldn’t help but draw comparison to the adage give a man a fish versus teaching a man to fish, and their big picture approach made us very excited in trying out their line.

Ao Skincare currently has 5 products:
– Glacial Melting Cleanser
– 2 Products for AM: Serum-Shot & Treatment
– 2 Products for PM: Serum-Shot & Treatment

Think of the serum shot as the standard serum step and the treatment taking the place of the moisturizer step. We put the PM products, Reverse Longitude PM Serum-Shot and Raw Nurture PM Treatment through their paces for over week.

Reverse Longitude PM Serum-Shot is described as an antioxidant-infused nighttime facial treatment that targets fine lines, hyperpigmentation and loss of elasticity. The ingredients are quite compelling, with a patent-pending R-ABC technology of Retinaldehyde (Retinal), the gold standard for anti-aging cell renewal; Astaxanthin, an antioxidant that that stabilizes the retinal and protects it from oxidation; Bakuchiol, known as the botanical retinol.

It’s refreshing to see true retinol blended with class leading plant-derived retinol alternative in a stabilized formula. The texture of this serum is an opaque orangey milk that absorbs without any stickiness. What was surprising is that for a line that uses raw, local sourced ingredients, you won’t find any fruity or flowery fragrances. The formulas are unscented, and if anything, it all has a very scientific feel which is good because this is serious skincare.

Raw Nurture PM Treatment is a “LoMo” night time serum treatment that would take the place of moisturizer, designed to be used after the aforementioned Serum-Shot. LoMo means it’s focused on a low moisturizer approach which might sound strange at first but there is a growing school of thought from many brands including Dr. Hauschka, and Intelligent Nutrients, that traditional moisturizers that work by piling on the surface provides short term relief and makes the skin weaker in the long term by not being able to sustain its own moisture levels.

Raw Nurture PM Treatment is a similar orange-colored treatment, though a more gel-cream like texture that is a bit more substantial on the skin. Its approach of low moisture is substantiated by high actives that restore and strengthen the skin, with the goal of helping your skin attain its own moisture.

The formula of this treatment does contain great smaller molecule humectants, or moisture-retaining agents, like aloe vera juice, manuka honey (local to New Zealand), and hyaluronic acid that absorb into skin rather than sit on the surface.

The presence of lactic acid is also welcomed. Lactic Acid is a gentle Alpha-Hydroxy-Acid, and one of our favorite acid exfoliators because not only is it milder than many acids, it also plumps the skin.

There are also great actives including another heaping of Bakuchiol, the plant based retinol alternative, Vitamin C, and a slew of plant oils and extracts that enhance moisture retention.

Raw Nurture PM Treatment has a serum like texture so layering over the Serum-Shot doesn’t feel sticky, or heavy at all, and you’ll likely feel the products absorb and disappear quickly. Raw Nurture PM Treatment is also unscented and the ingredients don’t really carry any notable scents, it’s very much a performance skincare rather than trying to make you smell like a rich lady or transport you to a vacation — and we applaud this approach.

When first using this combo, it felt strange to not use a moisturizer cream afterward but the skin never felt dehydrated or lacking, even by the morning. The results are promising as they’re supposed to strengthen the skin to be even more resilient at moisture preserving on its own over time. And the fact that many of the actives like Retinol and Vitamin C come from the pure chemicals, alongside plant alternatives, means that you’re getting the best of the science and botanical worlds.

Overall verdict: very well engineered formulas (raw, local ingredients + scientific actives), clear product purpose and efficacy to match.


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