THIS HAS been a long post in the making.
It's not easy (I know, smallest violin in the world...) trialing all these serums. Each takes several weeks, it's near impossible to control for all the other variables in life and sometimes it's hard to tell whether any change in your complexion is down to the jam-packed active ingredients in your products or, say, a monthly shift in hormones, lack of sleep, new exercise routine, drinking too much... whatever. It, just like your products, all affects the skin.
Since October, we've been trialing all of the products below. There are a few amazing products we'll use forever, some that didn't quite make the cut (or visible difference) on the lightly lined, still acneic, sometimes oily but perennially dry skin of a 30 year-old prone to rosacea during the winter. (Meaning, they might work for you but if you fit that narrow description, they probably won't).
Some are nice-to-have but not need-to-have and we know there are thousands of other serums out there that many of you swear by, have forever sworn off or are entirely indifferent towards.
We might get to those someday but for now, here's what we have to say about...
I've seen with my own eyes the raw ingredients that go into this mixture.
More natural than, say, Megan Fox... by a looooong shot (99.86% natural).
In fact, its ingredient list is downright hippie-tastic (Water, glycerin, alcohol denat., royal jelly, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, glucose, xanthan gum, phenoxyethanol, sodium chloride, glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase, caramel).
The big dose of coveted Royal Jelly delivers vitamins, minerals and amino acids, Licorice is great for those who flush easily or have skin redness problems (read: ROSACEA). Glycerin attracts water to the skin. Phenoxyethanol is used as the stabilizing agent (or one of them), which some fervent organic types eschew, but, when needs must. It's that or parabens, ladies.
It's marketed as anti-ageing.
Super watery so very unlike the highly viscous nature of most serums. The dosage and application instructions are respectively a few drops and patted onto the face.
But who can rub just a few drops of water all over his/her face!? I added the drops to my night cream and massage it in or added it to a cocktail of other serums and smeared it around.
The short-term effect?
A bit of instant luminosity to the skin although it feels slightly tacky once on the skin but the skin also does feel much more moisturised than it does pre-application.
The long-term effect?
Calmer, less ruddy skin, slight evening out of overall skin tone. I didn't notice a different in fine lines or acne.
Must-have or nice-to-have?
I would say really nice-to-have. It would make a great addition to a skincare routine added to your daily moisturiser or nightly treatment. Plus, it's one of the few products that will have Royal Jelly in such a concentrated amount and, having seen the Royal Jelly in the Burt's Bees lab, I can tell you it's the real deal.
One of Roald Dahl's brilliantly dark stories in Tales of the Unexpected is titled Royal Jelly. A must-read for any diehard Dahl or, indeed, Royal Jelly fans out there.
Do you have a favourite serum? Something you can't live without? Do share!
Stay tuned for the upcoming super serum reviews: