Speed Review, Serums Edition!

It’s been SO long since the last speed review, partly because I was busy and my skin was fickle, and partly because this time I’m testing serums. With cleansers, exfoliators and masks, you can get a pretty good idea of the performance after 3-4 uses. Serums and moisturizers are a little different. Serums are treatment that target a specific problem, brightening, hydration, anti-aging or acne. While some moisturizers also treat those concerns, their main job is to moisturize and form a protective barrier over the skin. Serums usually exclude the heavier moisturizing ingredients, leaving more room for the active ingredients and are able to penetrate deeper into the skin.20160520_164028

Because of the potent active ingredients, you can see effects from hydrating or mattifying/acne-control serums faster and better than moisturizers with the same purpose. However, because the skin takes time to regenerate, brightening and anti-aging serums need 2-4 weeks of regular use before the effect becomes noticeable. I’m not old enough to attest to the anti-aging properties, and the amount in the sample packets didn’t last long enough for me to see results for some. However, I can give you an idea of the consistency and if it’s right for your skin type at least, so let’s get to it!

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum – it’s a peachy gel serum with no scent. It hydrates a little and feels comfortable even on irritated/sensitive skin. It does make the skin feel very smooth and comfortable, great during the day and under makeup, but that’s probably due to the silicone.

Estee Lauder New Dimension Shape+Fill Expert Serum – it’s a liquidy gel serum with a sweet floral scent. It makes the skin feel smooth but does contain a lot of silicone, so apply sparingly or it will flake on peach fuzz. It does moisturize a bit and that’s all I can tell.

Jurlique Purely Bright Radiance Serum – it’s a white lotion-y serum with a powdery floral scent. It hydrates a little, but doesn’t absorb well on me. In terms of brightening, I didn’t see any difference compare to the other vitamin C serums I’ve tried.  It does contain a lot of floral/plant extract so beware if you are allergic to those.

Peter Thomas Roth Laser-Free Resurfacer Face Serum – it is a dark red liquidy serum with a sour/acidic hospital scent. It absorbs easily and does not leave any color behind. It works well with moisturizer and oil on top. Perhaps because it’s suppose to regenerate/resurface the skin, I find myself having to exfoliate a bit more often than usual.

Philosophy Full of Promise Treatment Serum for Uplifting Days – it is a scentless white gel serum that spreads and absorbs easily. Products applied on top absorbs well and it leaves a smooth finish, so it works great with just SPF on top or with makeup. Even if I’m not sure about anti-aging, it still gives an extra boost of hydration and smoothness. It reminds me of Murad Hydrodynamic Quenching Essence, but I think that is a bit more moisturizing and this is a bit more smoothing.

Philosophy Full of Promise Treatment Serum for Volumizing Night – it is a clear yellow gel with a dry silicone feel. It has a bit of plastic chemical-y scent but it’s not as strong and long lasting as Hope in a Jar. It feels like a primer on the skin, makes the skin feel super smooth and does not irritate, which I suspect is due to the silicone. However, unlike most silicone heavy product, this doesn’t ball up or flake when I put too much serum or moisturizer on afterwards. And it doesn’t feel stuffy either.

Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Serum – it’s more of a lightweight cream than serum. It has a soft powdery floral scent and feels moisturizing on the skin. If you have oily skin then you can probably get away with using this as moisturizer.

Soap&Glory Make Yourself Youthful 6-in-1 Super-Serum – it’s more of a lightweight gel moisturizer than serum. It’s best to apply sparingly, otherwise it takes awhile to absorb and it may flake/ball up when you try to rub products on top. It has a mild sweet scent and good ingredients. I would say this is a great moisturizer for combination skin, but as a serum that you layer with other products, not so much.

Su:m37 Losec Therapy Ampoule – it is a clear lightweight gel with gold shimmer and a floral scent. It absorbs well into the skin and works great under any moisturizer or oil.

Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum – it’s a lightweight cream with a sour fruity scent. It is quite rich so apply sparingly. It absorbs well, leaving the skin feeling velvety and moisturized but not stuffy. It probably works as a moisturizer for oily skin, or serum for dry skin.

Reminder: Most serums, especially the brightening and anti-aging ones, MUST be used daily for 2-4 weeks for there to be a noticeable difference. Just because I didn’t see any effect from the 4-8 uses from the sample packets doesn’t mean they are not effective. This review is only meant to provide an initial impression that helps you to choose one that is appropriate for your skin type (lotion or gel, alcohol, silicone, fragrance etc). Most of them are too rich for my combination skin in the summer, but there are a few that works great during the day for a boost of skincare under sunscreen.


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