It’s always good to have some products that are targeted for certain areas of concerns as part of your skincare regime. BUT, personally I think having a solid foundation of basic skincare is far more important than any treatment or serum. If you’re reading this for the first time or are just getting into skincare, I highly recommend you check out my earlier posts as it talks about some basic products/routine that you should consider when you’re just getting started. Without the basics, your treatments and serums (which also tend to be pricier) wouldn’t be as effective. Over the years, I’ve tried several different serums and I can say I’ve only really been pleased with a few. Below are a few products I have recently tried and have either loved, hated or felt indifferent – keep reading!
photo from caudalie.com
CAUDALIE Vinoperfect Concentrate Brightening Essence – This product claims to even the skin tone and brighten the overall complexion. It has a nice, lightweight texture that makes it easy to absorb. If there’s one thing I absolutely hate in any serum it’s having a sticky/tacky feeling after application. Not only because it takes much longer to absorb (if at all), but it sometimes affects the skin’s ability to absorb subsequent products. I bought this serum months before my wedding; I wanted to make sure my skin was glowing naturally. I certainly think it helped maintain my skin, but I didn’t see any drastic results in terms of texture and overall complexion. There could have been several different contributing factors as to why that was the case, like lack of sleep and ridiculous amounts of stress, but I just didn’t feel like it was an all-star product for me.
photo from caudalie.com
CAUDALIE Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum – Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of this product as I finished it before deciding to write this post. To add to my earlier point, the months leading up to my wedding I went on an insane beauty haul/hunt looking for the best products to improve my skin. Naturally, I tried several different products including this one. Similar to the Vinoperfect Concentrate Brightening Essence, this product is incredibly lightweight and has almost a milky texture – which I LOVE! I was recommended this product by one of the Sephora associates and I was very pleased. The product claims to help with dehydration and irritation, all of which I can confidently say it succeeded. When I was using this serum, it really did help with my skin’s moisture retention and it almost felt like it had a plumping effect because the skin was so moist. Now, at the time my main goal was not hydration but brightening and evening of the skin tone so I didn’t use this as long or as religiously as I probably should have to reap complete benefits. Having said this, I would most definitely recommend this to family and friends and plan to be repurchasing this product once I finish with my current serums.
Laneige Bright Renew Original Serum – You’ll start to notice a trend in the serums I decide to try and just my general skin concerns. This serum is supposed to help with retexturizing and, yes you guessed it, BRIGHTENING the skin tone *celebratory bells chime in the background*. Honestly, I only decided to try this product as it was recommended by the associate, but also because I am loyal to this brand and have generally been pleased with their products in the past. As much as I love Laneige products, this product was a bit of a disappointment as it didn’t really shine for me. The formula is also fairly lightweight, but if I were to compare the texture of this serum to the Caudalie alternatives, both products from Caudalie absorb much better on my skin. As I mentioned above, there are serums that feel sticky after application and this one happens to be tackier than the other Caudalie serums. Not to say that it is the stickiest serum, but it does lean on the tackier side as compared to more water-based products. SO, the verdict is I will not be repurchasing this product as it just didn’t do very much for me. If anyone else has the chance to try this out, please do share your thoughts and results!
Dr. JART+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Re.Pair Serum – Do you have dry skin, extreme dry patches/redness AND sensitive skin? Then apparently this product may work for you. It is a highly concentrated serum that really does the job when it comes to moisturizing and helping with some of those trouble areas. Lately, I’ve been experiencing random patches of dryness on my body and also a very small part on my face. I’ve used this product on those areas and I can say with utmost confidence that it really improved the dryness, but not so sure about the redness although sometimes redness is a result of dryness. Generally speaking, I don’t have much redness on my face aside from areas of broken capillaries (especially around the nose area; blackheads are so hard to resist!). Now, the reason I may be a little hesitant with recommending this product is because the product is supposed to work for sensitive skin. I don’t think I have sensitive skin, but even I experienced a slight reaction. For a period of time during the winter, I used this product daily and it improved the dryness, but then I started noticing I developed tiny bumps in the areas I applied the serum, like on my forehead. They weren’t pimples or an allergic reaction. I simply ignored it and thought it could be due to my poor eating habits (during the holidays, of course) or just poor skin care. But I later discovered that it was a result of “congestion” on my skin. What does this mean? One of the associates explained to me that certain products have larger molecules/particles that are difficult for the skin to absorb or penetrate, thus causing congestion. The product is very rich so I guess it couldn’t break down or fully absorb into my skin and basically sat on the surface, causing tiny bumps. Anyways, I’m not a dermatologist or a skin expert. but the logic makes sense and once I stopped using the product or alternated between applications the tiny bumps have disappeared. Overall, I think it’s a great product for what it claims, but just pay close attention to how your skin may react if you decide to give this a try.
AMOREPACIFIC FUTURE RESPONSE Age Defense Serum – Okay, so this product is what I would consider a bit of a splurge product in comparison to some of the other serums I have listed above. This serum retails for $176 for 30 mL; which is on the pricier end in my opinion. I was drawn to this serum mainly because it had interesting ingredients, including green tea and Rare Pine Mushroom which have great anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties. It also has an amazing smell that is EXACTLY like matcha powder. When it comes to the higher end products, I am a little hesitant to use them daily only because I know how much it costs and I want to prolong it’s use as long as humanely possible. Having said that, that is probably one of the primary reasons I am not able to reap the full benefits of the product or experience it’s full potential… something I definitely need to overcome. I don’t know if it’s the right product for me at this point in my life considering my current skin’s condition and quite frankly, age. I would recommend this to individuals that have more mature skin, have skin concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles or just have a bigger budget on skincare, but I think I am open to trying other products over this one in particular in the near future.
BIOSSANCE Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil – Face oils are a great addition to your regime especially dry skin types, but combination and oily skin types can also benefit from face oils. What’s great about this face oil in particular is that it contains Vitamin C and rose extract which have brightening and moisturizing benefits. Believe it or not but face oils vary in terms of density – there are some really heavy duty face oils and lightweight oils. In this spectrum, I consider this face oil to be somewhere in the middle. It’s not as heavy or as light as other oils I have tried. The selling point for this is that it has other useful ingredients that are great for the skin in terms of moisture and overall skin’s condition. I like to use this on days that I just need an extra boost in moisture especially during the colder or windier months. When I use this product, it is the last step of my nighttime skincare regime simply because water-based products, which tend to be moisturizers, won’t be able to penetrate through the layer of oil.
Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution – Okay, so this isn’t technically a product currently sold in Sephora but I thought it would be worth mentioning anyways as it is one of the serums I am currently testing. This is an interesting serum as it’s not the typical milky/viscous texture. It’s clear and more fluid as compared to my recent serums. I was drawn to this serum firstly, because I am a fan of some other Kiehl’s products and, secondly, it contains ingredients that are great for brightening. It contains white birch, peony extract and activated C, all of which help with discoloration and clarity. I’ve been quite happy with this product since I started using this over the last few months. When first applied, it can feel a little sticky however if you lightly tap/massage your skin, it can absorb fairly quickly. Will I be repurchasing? Maybe at some point, but I really enjoy changing up my products every so often and trying different brands/formulas.
Overall, I think serums are great for targeted and concentrated treatment but I cannot emphasize how important it is to get comfortable with the basics first. This post ended up being a little longer than I anticipated, but hopefully you were able to draw some key takeaways. We’ve got two more posts left in this series; up next, Eye & Sun Care!
One of six in the Sephora Spring Series, check out my honest thoughts on products ranging from cleansing & toning, moisturizing, exfoliants, treatment & toners, eye and sun care, and face masks! Read the original post HERE and follow me on the rest of this series!