Serums are the newly coveted products that have revolutionised the beauty industry. As a millennial, navigating your way through the plethora of high end serums on the market is slightly intimidating. Priced rather exorbitantly for what appears to be little product, and factoring the rise in cost of avocados which will soon mark our demise, is a serum really necessary for our generation?
These products appear to be make overreaching claims of age reversal, line prevention and pigmentation lightening – skin problems that aren’t exactly prevalent within our age group. But age is just a number. The ageing process and skin damage that we are exposed to from environmental aggravators to internal stress may be taking its toll on the skin more than what you see on the superficial layer. Serums have the power to penetrate beyond the surface layer of the skin to deliver activating ingredients that go beyond simply moisturising the outer skin.
After all skin is the largest organ of the body. By nurturing its cellular processes and increasing the retention of it necessary nutrients, it will give your skin the opportunity to retain its youthful identity beyond its used by date. Take the time to invest in your skins wellbeing. The market is saturated with serums for every skin type. Even the oily skinned girls who hesitate at moisturiser.
While beautiful skin can only be achieved by a combination of lifestyle, diet, genetic factors and beauty habits, we hope this post will inspire some good skin care investments to be made.
Below we share some of the beauty spheres cult status serums that we have tried and truly stand by.
What is it:
Estee Lauder’s best selling product harnesses the innovative science of anti ageing skin care housed in a luxurious brown tinted bottle. The current record holds that a bottle of ANR is sold every 8.5 seconds. It has become a staple skin care product for the modern women since its formulation in the 80s. And since then, the formula has only changed once upgrading to the current “Synchronised Recovery Complex II”, with a dual focus on repair and purification.
With a gel like consistency delivered through a glass pipette, the serum is designed to work its magic while you sleep. It claims to reveal clarified and youthful skin with its exclusive ChronoluxCB™ Technology to reverse signs of fine line and superficial damage. Catabolysis Technology increases the metabolic activity of skin cells to increase cell turnover speed.
The cocktail of antioxidants leaves skin feeling more supple, hydrated and invigorated. Lauder describes the concoction to deliver a “natural night time purification process”, vital to building skins long term resilience and to restore youth.
Why we love it:
While fine lines and wrinkles are, fortunately, not a skin care concern for me, what attracted me to this product was its overnight regeneration and purification process . To reveal clarified skin, we need to use products that promote cellular regeneration.
Suffering a round of severe acne has left my skin marred with acne scars and hyper pigmentation. To combat this, I decided to use the ANR diligently every night to nourish my skin with hydrating ingredients like Hylauronic Acid and plant extracts to revive my skin back to a youthful glow.
My skin the next day is brighter, smoother and glows as if I had cheated a decent ten hour sleep. I love how the formula is oil free and non acnegenic and non comedogenic. Since my skin is acne prone, I steer away from products that might induce further congestion.
It’s a silky formula that my skin drinks up immediately upon application. You don’t have to worry about any tacky residue left coating the skin. It’s a formula that wear comfortable underneath your moisturiser.
If you’re someone suffering from signs of dull, pigmented or even blemished skin I would highly recommend giving ANR a go. While I cannot attest its claims against fine lines and wrinkles, my mother has actually been using this product religiously for five years. Her skin looks better than most people her age. Do bear in mind that Asian skin, with its thicker epidermis layer, tends to age more gracefully. So perhaps its genetics. Or perhaps its a combination of genetics and ANR that have attributed to her skins almost youthful glow.
What is it?
The power infusing concentrate has made its way into the beauty sphere claiming its title as the pre serum of serums. If you’re a little confused, don’t worry, I was too initially.
The concept behind Shiseido’s skin care lines were developed to be used according to the Japanese art of skin care layering. Dewy and fair Asian complexions have been achieved through the refinement of this technique. It simply means the methodic application of products beginning with light watery consistencies and sealed in the end, with a product that is thick and emollient to create a barrier between the skin and its environment.
The light, almost watery consistency of this product falls just on the cusp of being a serum. It is packed with a blend of powerful botanicals such as Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract, Shiso and Thyme to maintain a healthy skin surface and protect against impurities.
Shiseido describes it as a “boosting pre treatment” with ingredients that buffer skin damage and builds immunity against external skin aggravating conditions. Additionally, the serum promises visibly brighter, suppled and radiant skin. It is to be applied before your main serum, or to be used alone, although you won’t get witness its skin care boosting abilities. It promotes the skincare products that follow to work harder beneath the skin. Shiseido claims it’s a skin care concentrate to be used by all skin types of any age.
Why we love it:
Linda: I have quite an oily t zone and have used the ultimune treatment for two years now. I was introduced to the product by a sales assistant and from that point on, it has become a staple in my skin care routine.
Waking up, my skin feels softer than it was back before my skin care comprised of only a cleanser, toner and moisturiser. As an advocate for Shiseido products, I fully embrace the technique of skin care layering. I am very diligent with my skin care regiment. I firmly believe that this is the age we should we incorporating preventative skin care products into our regime. I think it’s important to take the time to pamper our skin after a long day.
It’s gorgeously fragranced with Bulgarian Rose Water. I love how the scent linger subtly on the skin upon application. It really brings a level of luxury into my skin care application and my skin feels instantly more supple and soft.
I highly recommend it to any skin types looking to boost their current skin care or to pamper themselves with a product that feels luxurious yet powerful in its make up.
What is it?
A silky smooth Ceramide infused serum housed in single golden capsules. Elizabeth Arden has been a game changer in women’s beauty since the early 20th century.
Each capsule contains youth enhancing ingredients to repair the skins barrier, increase moisture retention and smooth signs of ageing.
Elizabeth Arden were the pioneers of harnessing Ceramide in their skin care products. Our skin is comprised of proteins, and Ceramides are the fatty lipids that bind these together to form the most superficial layer of our epidermis. It’s purpose is to retain moisture and protect vulnerable skin underneath. As we age, our Ceramide production depreciates, leading to symptoms of dryness and dullness that age the skin unflatteringly.
The Ceramide technology found in each individual capsule aims to revitalise the skin’s texture and brightness, supports the production of natural collagen for firmness, enhances hydration to the skin and reduces signs of fine lines and wrinkles.
Why we love it:
During my horrible round of severe acne followed by another round of intensive Accutane, an oral prescription of retinoid to prevent sebaceous secretion from the glands, my skin was left battered, abused and scarcely ‘alive’. I wish I were exaggerating but the condition of my skin was rough, inflamed and marred with an accumulation of deeps and shallow acne scars . Trying out the Ceramide capsules happened on a whim, I was purchasing the 8 hour cream when the sales assistant slipped a generous sample of the capsules into my bag for me to try.
At that point my skin was extremely sensitive and it burned even upon application of gentle and unscented creams such as the Khiel’s Ultra Facial Cream.
All it took was one capsule and I was hooked. The next day I woke up with skin that was smoother than a baby’s bottom and for the first time in month my skin glowed. From that point on my skin’s texture and appearance continued to change as I persisted with the capsules. After 4 months of the serum, I can truly attest it’s numerous claims. My acne scar have lightened drastically and only after a week, my skin was less inflamed and began to respond well to other gentle products. Sign of dry flaking skin were almost alleviated overnight, and every day I woke up with skin that looked plumper and healthier.
The capsules themselves are biodegradable, fragrance free and preservative free. I love how every application of the treatment is freshly preserved by the capsules. It’s happens too often that a serum would get spoilt due to oxidation, sun exposure and bacterial growth.
This serum is suitable for anyone with dry, sensitive or mature skin. Oilier skin types may find it a little heavy. Upon application make sure to squeeze out every drop of goodness from the capsules and smooth in upwards strokes on your face, neck and any remainder on your decolletage.
What is it:
Surprise! Your hair needs just as much nourishment as your face does. This advanced scalp and hair concentrate was inspired by the power of skin care serum to transform weakened hair and revitalise hair to its optimal condition. It contains a powerful blend of essential molecules that penetrates easily into the hair fibre to build resilience and reinforce hair structure. The ingredient list is also complimented with activating ingredients such as Ceramides to reduce hair breakage, Conditioning Agent to moisture, and Green Tea Extract with antioxidant protection.
It’s a leave in treatment housed in a slippery gold glass bottle and applied with a pipette. Use after hair wash as a leave in treatment for the scalp. Apply 2-4 pipettes, depending on the thickness of your hair, and massage the product into your scalp to activate its ingredients. It promises hair to be healthier and plumped with body and movement.
Why we love it:
Bleaching my hair has become a common ritual since the age of eighteen. Numerous bleach sessions that compromised the health of my hair eventually lead to hair that fell limp, brittle and lacklustre. I was after a product that would revitalise my hair and inject a little life into my blonde. Having worked at a shampoo store, I often preached the mantra that healthy hair comes from a healthy scalp. This time, I would apply it to my own hair. Even the name, Initilaliste evokes a sense of renewed beginning – this was something my weak strands were in dire need of.
Upon application I fell in love with the the refreshing scent which I wish lingered a little longer. The consistency is true to a serums, and it did leave my scalp with any uncomfortable residue. I find blowdrying to be much easier when using this product. Bear in mind it contains no heat protection so please apply a heat protectant before blowdrying.
Results took time, it required diligent and consistent use but I did see eventually see a difference. I recommend doing a strand test by snapping a strand of hair and testing its elasticity before and after. Just from using this product, I am seeing less split and brittle ends. My hair feels healthier to the touch with more bounce and character in its form.
It’s a beautiful hair concentrate suitable for anyone with damaged or weakened hair that requires a little reviving.
Let us know below what are some of your favourite beauty serums!
Photography by Ashley Yuan and Linda Li
Photography edited by Linda Li
Written by Ashley Yuan (certain parts assisted by Linda Li)