Hello, friends. It’s been a while but this holiday season has been decidedly more manic and hurried. If you’re anything like me, you leave your skincare products to the last minute to pack. There are those you’re using up until the last minute, those that travel with your person, the full sizes you can’t leave without that go into the checked back, and everything in between. While I won’t break down everything I’ve packed on my holiday vacation, I thought I’d use this as an opportunity to cover some of the serums that I decided to bring to cover any and all treatments.
A very potent Vitamin C serum for those who want something powerful and active above all else. You won’t find a flowery fragrance or anything superfluous for that matter. The formula offers a 10% concentration of 3 very powerful and advanced forms of Vitamin C that absorbs into the skin 3x faster than other Vitamin C serums.
– Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate: the class leading form of Vitamin C that is making it’s way into many advanced formulas due to it’s stability, potency and penetrative abilities, as well as relative friendliness with sensitive skin. This is a broad-spectrum Vitamin C wonderful for brightening skin and battling signs of aging.
– Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: the water-soluble form most notable as being the active in Glossier’s Super Glow that helps with skin texture, dark spots, and that all around glow.
– Methylsilanol Ascorbate: a lesser known Vitamin C that BeautyRX founder, Dr. Schultz recognizes as being incredibly potent.
I love this because I can feel it working it’s magic almost right after I put it on and sure enough by the next morning, my skin looks glowing with more even pigmentation. I don’t apply this daily because it is so powerful, but if I really want massive results, I’ll apply it 3x a week and beyond just brightening my skin, it also firms and tightens. Excellent for winter dullness, or those moments where you swear your skin feels like it’s losing elasticity from all the collagen-breaking sugar consumption.
You really have to be purposeful with many of the serums from The Ordinary, because there are absolutely gems. The resveratrol + ferulic acid serum caught my eye right away because resveratrol is that class leading antioxidant found in wine grapes (a.k.a. the active antioxidant that is the center of nearly every Caudalie product) and ferulic acid is 1/3rd of the power trio behind Skinceuticals legendary CE+Ferulic Acid serum, where the ferulic acid played a key role as an antioxidant that was especially powerful at environmental protection.
At 3% concentration each, this water AND oil free formula only uses three ingredients, meaning the Resveratrol and Ferulic Acid are housed in a base of Propanediol, a glycol that both enhances absorption of actives and moisturizes the skin.
This serum is absolute gold layered under sunscreen, especially when traveling — think of the resveratrol and ferulic acid as particularly aggressive UV and pollution scavengers that protect your skin. If I’ve been out all day and my skin feels a little worse for the wear, I won’t hesitate to douse my skin in this at night either to start the repair process. At $7.50, it’s perfect, never be without it.
When I was in college, I had this idea of the jet setting guy, a banker or producer who lived in Tom Ford, stayed in the most beautiful hotels, and procured priceless modern art. His skincare was a curation of everything niche and luxury, and this serum encompasses everything I think that man would want. It’s clean and minimal in design, yet beautifully created. The moment you withdraw the dropper and apply the silken gel serum to your skin, it’s just makes you feel like a first-class traveler to whom jet lag is an excuse, not a reality. The smell is the signature scent of the line which is a decidedly crisp, clean, and unisex take on the green fern extract that powers the entire line.
This refreshing serum is packed full of antioxidants that protect against aging and environmental stress. With a concentrated 1% Royal Fern Complex that boosts cellular defense, while also serving as an anti-inflammatory and moisture regulator. The fern extract in particular is shown to prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin, reduce hyperpigmentation, and strengthen skin resilience against pollution and UV radiation.
The effects are instantaneous — any fatigue and tiredness seems to disappear immediately. Excellent for overseas trips, and any time skin just needs that refresh.
This serum just continues to impress. I feel that we talk about this one a lot and yet we’re still not adequately doing it justice. Even the folks at Ayla, who write brilliant product descriptions can’t put their finger on using the right words to capture the magic that is this serum (they do say this product is like witchcraft).
The ingredients are cutting-edge yet entirely green, and the formula is both incredibly purposeful and comprehensive. In one pump your skin is getting 18 hyaluronic acid variants (no more debate on long chain vs short chain, high molecular density, etc. this HA complex leaves no stone unturned), vegetal placenta extract (ready for baby skin?), antioxidants — not the antioxidants that we may get from some plant extracts but motherlode pharmaceutical-grade antioxidants including a polypeptide that rebuilds weakened and damaged skin and a marine-derived antioxidant that boosts cell longevity, epidermal growth factor that specifically programs the synthesis of healthy collagen (not the type that forms in scar tissue).
It all comes together as a “Swiss army knife” per YULI’s description, a true super-serum that ticks off all the boxes on the checklist: anti-aging, antioxidant, repair, hydration, anti-inflammation, anti-pollution, environmental protection, strengthening, etc.. It’s powerful enough to be the centerpiece but is also designed to function well as a team player with face mists and oils seeing boosted performance when all tied together. This is my standard go-to for morning and evening, unless I’m running low in which case, each use is pre-planned so that I don’t run out before the next bottle arrives – it is THAT important.
If you understood how much I’ve loved every Susanne Kaufmann product that has come our way, you’ll know it is no small feat when I say this is hands down my favorite product in their entire line.
The red dropper serum, as I initially referred to it, caught my interest right off the bat. The Nutrient Concentrate is one of those serums that is just made to please with a winning combination of wonderful ingredients, comprehensive performance, and pure luxury in delivery.
This is also a gel-like serum, water-based yet rich in plant extracts — hence the cloudy texture. Marigold Flower extract infused with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera all help to soothe and hydrate the skin. Then you have a base line retinol (retinal palmitate) and vitamin c (ascorbyl palmitate) — two active ingredients that show this serum is more than a pretty bottle. Though if we’re talking about pretty, the fragrance is absolutely spa-like, harkening to the founder’s spa in her family-owned 4 star resort in the Austrian Alps. Mix a dropper of this with 5 drops of Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, the scent combination alone will make it the most luxurious skincare emulsion you’ve ever experienced.
I consider this a good serum to use for any occasion but especially if I’m not looking to layer too many products but still want all the benefits.
I’ll share a post on my streamlined routine shortly, any questions? Leave a comment.