So 2013 seemed to be the year of serums. Suddenly everyone wanted them and every brand claimed to have the best one. It became a beauty must have seemingly over night. I blame YSL and their Forever Youth Liberator serum (£65-97). The buzz surrounding this product was In. Sane. But was it worth it? What does it do? What does any serum do?
Basically a serum is another step to your beauty regime similar to and replacing your moisturiser. A serum is different to a moisturiser in that it doesn’t just hydrate the skin but it treats it for almost any specific problems. Anti-ageing, dark spots, dry skin – there’s a serum for it. A serum’s particles are smaller than those of a moisturiser meaning it penetrates deeper into the skin. A moisturiser will just sit on the top layer of the skin, which is why people with oily skin can’t use it, but a serum will deposit it’s nutrients, etc, deeper.
So was the cost of the YSL serum worth it? Well according to my mum who bought this product, she didn’t really notice a difference, but then again she says she wasn’t really paying attention to whether it made a difference or not. But to be honest, at £65 for 30ml, you should see a difference whether you’re looking for one or not. So this one might be slightly overrated and overpriced. A good serum should be so effective that even a lay person can tell it’s working.
The next serum my mum tried was Clarins Double Serum (£55) featured on many a best buy list including Glamour, Grazia and Cosmo. This miracle juice claims to get rid of the appearance of pores, wrinkles and return a glow to your skin. Now this one my mum did like and would have bought it again if it wasn’t for the price.
But what about the lesser known brands? Which serums are secretly changing people’s lives but we just haven’t heard of them?
A brand that is renowned by beauty writers, makeup artists and bloggers but I still think is underrated is Alpha-H. Their Liquid Gold Intensive Night Repair serum (£49) is the most affordable so far. It uses all kinds of sciencey ingredients to “reduce age spots and discolouration, soothe redness and rosacea and increase collagen synthesis by up to 119% for firmer, plumper skin”. I don’t tend to go in for serums because they all tend to be for anti-ageing which can be bad for young skin, but this has me tempted.
The only downside for mums to be is that this product cannot be used during pregnancy.
Another favourite brand of mine with an award winning serum is Mario Badescu which has a range of serums that seem to cater to every skin need. Their most popular however is the Vitamin C Serum (£43.50) which is on the Elle Magazine 2013 best buy list. The vitamin C in this product helps encourage collagen production, protect the skin from free radicals, reduce discolouration therefore brightening the skin.
This next “gravity-defying” serum was featured on both Elle and The Independent’s best buy beauty list of 2013. It is Caudalie’s Vinexpert Firming serum (£42.75 for 30ml). This is specifically an Anti-Ageing serum so not for young skin. This baby claims to restructure the skin so that it regains its firmness and elasticity. To cite the product itself: “contours are re-sculpted, wrinkles are reduced, skin is redensified. Instant firming effect.” This product has 5 stars on feelunique.com and very positive customer feedback.
All these products are over £40. It seems to get good results you have to pay. I have always been a believer in you get what you pay for so this makes sense to me. However I can’t leave this post without mentioning a more affordable brand that does seem to get good results. That is No.7. Their 3 main types of serum are Lift and Luminate, Protect and Perfect and Restore and Renew. These are all around the £23 mark. When a patient’s wife asked her husband’s surgeon what product they should use on his post-op scar he replied No.7 Restore and Renew, so we can guess that one is particularly good with scarring and dark spots.
So that is my definitive list of serums, dedicated to my mum who still hasn’t found her perfect serum. I hope this helps, Mummy.