3 Uncommon Yet Amazing Reasons To Use Aloe Vera Besides Sunburns
Discover How Aloe Vera Can Help Hydrate Your Skin Against Wrinkles And Acne
Our Skincare Experts Tested & Compared the Best of the Best to Find:
These pricey serums claim to smooth wrinkles, fade dark spots, and give your skin that gorgeous glow. But which one is worth it?
Personally, as a new mom, last year was stressful to say the least and it showed on my face.
As you may already know, stress affects our health, and our health shows on our skin (the largest organ of our body).
I was looking older than my actual age and didn't know which skin concern to tackle first.
During pregnancy and even after, I struggled with unquenchable dryness, fine wrinkles, and overall loss of firmness and elasticity.
Although I was feeling desperate, I didn’t want to risk any skin damage or skin thinning with a chemical/laser resurfacing peel, over-the-counter retinol products, or any intensive facials.
I started looking to revamp my skin care routine.
After all, it's about the quality of how I care for my skin on a day to day basis that will get it looking its best.
Chemical peels can make your skin become sensitive, thin, and more vulnerable to more age spots and wrinkles in the future.
During my pregnancy I was a skin care minimalist, avoiding any potentially irritating ingredients.
I was using just a sensitive-skin approved face cleanser and moisturizer—formulated for children.
One can never be too safe, right?
As gentle as these products were, they weren't hydrating enough for my mature skin and didn't do much while my skin still dealt with stress, natural aging, and a poor skin care routine.
I wanted my youthful skin back and I was frustrated with trying to deal with multiple skin issues all at once.
As I further examined my skin and did more research, I learned the root causes of why my skin was looking years younger: skin dehydration and low collagen levels.
Skin dehydration and depleting collagen levels are the most common causes behind premature deep wrinkles and loss of firmness that can make anyone look years older than their actual age.
By using only a creamy moisturizer, my skin was getting the oil-based moisturization but not the water-based hydration that it also needs in balance to ward off wrinkles.
No matter how much moisturizer I applied or how frequently, my skin would still feel dry after a few hours.
Also, the moisturizer did not have any collagen-boosting ingredients that nourish beyond the skin surface to help visibly smooth wrinkles and restore firmness and elasticity.
I realized that I needed to find the best hydrating and collagen boosting serum out there, and it needs to fit my standards of ingredient safety.
See the 2 common potentially skin irritating ingredients I always avoid.
A face serum is a lightweight yet concentrated elixir of active skin-beautifying ingredients.
If moisturizers are like lemonade (mostly water + a little lemon juice), serums are like pure lemon juice.
Although last year was a challenging year to say the least, today we're at the leading edge of skincare science and technology.
Skin care has never been so powerful and gentle as it is today. With the right serum, anyone can look years younger than their actual age.
I contacted my fellow skin care experts and we tested and selected this year's top 3 most worth it serums that are both powerful and natural.
All 3 anti-aging super serums that I’m about to recommend really are the best out there; they are all under $250 and do a much better job than some of the over $500 serums we've tested.
However, our #1 choice for this year’s most worth it facial serum, surprisingly, is the lowest priced serum of the and comes in the biggest bottle I’ve ever seen a serum packaged in!
It has been our favorite serum and helped us see less wrinkles and feel more of that youthful baby's bottom bounciness in our cheeks!
If you’ve already been investing in face serums and feeling disappointed with lackluster results, those serums might be missing these 3 types of natural yet powerful hydrating and collagen-boosting ingredients.
These 3 types of gentle yet transformative ingredients are safe to use twice daily on all skin types—even sensitive skin, pregnant, and nursing women.
To make hydration last all day so that it can work to rejuvenate our skin, we need powerful humectants. Hyaluronic Acid and Sodium Hyaluronate are the most powerful humectants suitable for all skin types. Sodium hyaluronate is the smaller and more deeply absorbed form of hyaluronic acid. Its smaller size makes it more effective for tackling deeper wrinkles.
These are the building blocks of proteins like collagen, which keep our skin lifted, smooth, and bouncy. From our 20s, our bodies start slowing down collagen growth. Various peptides boost collagen growth and repair but some also provide dark spot brightening benefits. However, not all peptides are created equally and you can tell by the overall effectiveness of the formula.
Just as milk becomes more nutritious and the nutrients become easier to absorb when processed into yogurt, the same goes for natural extracts in skin care. Unlike AHAs and retinols, fermented extracts help strengthen the skin barrier instead of exfoliating it while effectively brighten dark spots. Strengthening the skin barrier is key to warding off future dryness and wrinkles.
Most luxury anti-aging serums feature these 2 popular ingredients: glycolic acid and retinols.
These powerful exfoliating ingredients reveal brighter skin by sloughing off the top layer of your skin.
If you’re in your 20s and have rougher textured skin and clogged pores, this exfoliating is beneficial and immediately refreshes your skin to boost radiance.
However, these ingredients can be too harsh for sensitive and mature skin types.
Moreover, these ingredients are not the safest for pregnant and nursing women, and can cause skin thinning and permanent damage to the skin barrier when used too frequently*.
Skin thinning makes your skin much more vulnerable to future wrinkles and age spots.
These 2 exfoliating ingredients aren’t all bad but should be used sparingly as they give short term results with potential long term consequences.
Let's face the truth: women are the beauty industry's most important customers but we're not getting the VIP treatment we deserve.
Due to the lack of regulation, there are certain chemicals present in many skin care products can interfere with our hormonal health.
Our experts only review products that are safe for use on pregnant and nursing women and mothers.
Healthy is beautiful; and beauty should never cost us our health.
Rebecca always had an eye for aesthetics and glam. She is a licensed master cosmetologist from Atlanta who enjoys teaching others about natural skincare and the power of makeup.
Mrinalini is a skincare enthusiast who loves to try new products to share her honest views. After her battle with hormonal acne, she is an expert on choosing natural products that keep breakouts at bay.
Lover of all things Kbeauty, Michelle believes that beauty is health. With news of her first pregnancy, she began learning about natural skincare and finding new products that fit her standards.
Skin Care Expert Tested for Over a Month on Mature Sensitive Skin and Approved
EGF, 9 Peptides,
Arbutin, Sodium Hyaluronate
Sodium Hyaluronate, Miracle Broth™, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8
Sodium Hyaluronate, Purslane Ferment Extract, Poria Cocos Extract
Overall Rating: (5/5)
Wrinkle Smoothing (5/5)
Senstive, Aging, Dry and Oily Skin Types
EGF, 9 Peptides, Arbutin, Sodium Hyaluronate
"Experience the best of truly Korean skincare. The Forté Serum is made with traditional Korean medicinal herbal extracts and advanced medical-grade skin care ingredients."
+ 9 peptides with medical-grade sodium hyaluronate help plump deep wrinkles
+ High concentration of EGF works like retinols against wrinkles without the dryness
+ Nanoliposomal technology minimizes the need for preservatives and makes the formula deeply absorbable
+ Arbutin and 25 Korean medicinal herbal extracts help brighten dark spots
- Limited stock, made in small batches and imported from South Korea
Originally founded to help rejuvenate the prematurely aged complexion of a cancer survivor, Cell Forté only uses the most effective ingredients and safest formulations.
So much so the brand only makes two products: the serum and serum-infused cream.
That's how well it works.
The lightweight, non-sticky formula delivers instant results and absorbs quickly. The deep hydration helps makeup go on smoothly and beautifully.
After two layers of the Forté Serum my skin was so hydrated as if I had just done a sheet mask.
In three days, the fine lines around my eyes had nearly disappeared.
After 2 weeks, stubborn sun spots looked much lighter and deeper forehead wrinkles and smile lines were plumped up.
Safe enough to use twice a day, even for sensitive skin the Forté Serum is free from potentially irritating alcohols, silicones, parabens, and exfoliating acids.
The Cell Forté Serum is enriched with the ultimate collagen boosting ingredient in the skincare industry: vegan sourced medical-grade EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor also known as sh-oligopeptide-1).
Although your body naturally loses collagen in your 20s, EGF revitalizes collagen production to turn that clock back.
By boosting collagen levels: stubborn wrinkles are smoothed, age spots and acne scars fade away, pores look smaller, and your skin gets a natural lift all over.
I wish I could bathe in this fountain of youth!
I was impressed to see that EGF was rather early in the ingredient list, which means that there is a high concentration of EGF in each drop.
Most EGF serums only feature cheaper, filler ingredients alongside EGF and still charge over $300 for a tiny (usually 30mL) bottle.
At $180 for 50mL, the Forté Serum was our most affordable and largest sized option among the 3 super serums.
This bigger and better bottle was our winner and #1 choice for best face serum of 2021 for sensitive, mature skin.
And if you take advantage of their limited time New Customer special, new email subscribers save 20% off your entire cart. That's $144 for almost 2 months—day and night. For best results and to take advantage of their sale, get the serum-infused Forte Cream too.
Overall Rating: (4.3/5)
Wrinkle Smoothing (5/5)
Sensitive, Mature, and Dry Skin Types
Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl-Hexapeptide-8, Miracle Broth™
La Mer is one of the most famous luxury skincare brands in the world. The world “la mer” means the sea in French; and all of La Mer’s serums feature soothing seaweed extract and a combination of 22 natural extracts to nourish parched skin.
+ Sodium hyaluronate and acetyl hexapeptide-8 smooths fine lines
+ Fermented extracts of Miracle Broth™ soothe and repair sensitive skin
+ Milky lotion-like texture is very moisturizing on dry skin
- Contains dimethicone, which can clog pores and trigger breakouts
- May not be suitable for oily, acne-prone skin types
In 1991 after La Mer original founder Dr. Huber’s death, Estee Lauder purchased the brand from his daughter and we began to see La Mer in many luxury department stores. The brand’s story is about Dr. Huber’s discovery of a combination of 22 natural skin care ingredients that helped him recover from chemical burns, referred to as Miracle Broth™.
Although I did not try the product on any burns, the serum did feel soothing on my dry eye area. However, the eucalyptus-like fragrance of this product is overwhelming. If you are sensitive to strong fragrances you may want to stick with the Forte Serum or the Sturm Serum.
The texture is oil-based and very rich like a lotion, which is great for dry and mature skin but not ideal for oily and acne-prone skin types.
In fact, we used this La Mer serum with the La Mer Moisturizing Soft Lotion and their textures were nearly identical. And surprisingly, the La Mer lotion was easier to spread throughout the face than this stiff serum. Use a gentle patting to apply the serum evenly.
After 2 weeks of use, my skin tone looked a bit more even overall but I did not really see any improvements in my dark spots or acne scars.
The main moisturizing ingredient in the Revitalizing Hydrating Serum that makes the serum more like a lotion seems to be meadowfoam seed oil.
This oil is similar to our skin’s natural oil, sebum, and provides natural vitamin E to help repair and moisturize dry skin. This La Mer serum also features acetyl hexapeptide-8 and sodium hyaluronate, two ingredients also in the Forté Serum that help the skin hold onto hydration.
At over $200 for a 30ml bottle, which lasted just under a month with daily use, I was left wishing for more miraculous results from Miracle Broth™.
The classic Revitalizing Hydrating Serum fell short in comparison to the Forté Serum as it is not suitable for all skin types (oily, acne-prone) and did not deliver many brightening benefits.
Research into the ingredients list La Mer’s serum shows Dimethicone as the 6th ingredient.
That silky smooth feeling we noticed when applying the serum was not only from meadowfoam seed oil, but probably also dimethicone. Dimethicone is a silicone based, skin protective ingredient that is generally safe for dry skin types and found in most moisturizers.
If you have a delicate skin barrier that has a hard time holding onto moisture throughout the day, a moisturizer with dimethicone can help. However, these silicones make serums less absorbable than serums that don’t have silicones.
Overall Rating: (4.1/5)
Wrinkle Smoothing (4/5)
Mature, Dry, and Oily Skin Types
Sodium Hyaluronate, Purslane Ferment Extract, Poria Cocos Extract
Dr. Barbara Sturm is a German professional esthetician who specializes in advanced non-surgical anti-aging procedures. She is the famed pioneer of the “vampire facial”, where the patient’s own blood is used to source natural growth factors that are applied to the patient’s face to stimulate collagen growth and repair (non-surgical, yes but a bit invasive to say the least).
+ Sodium hyaluronate and beta-glucan attracts hydration to smooth wrinkles
+ Purslane ferment extract strengthens the skin barrier against aging
+ Poria cocos mushroom extract soothes redness and helps clear acne
- May not be suitable for people with very sensitive skin
- Sometimes has a pilling effect
(product rubs off)
Although the Night Serum does not have any growth factors unlike the Forté Serum with vegan sourced EGF, this instantly hydrating serum also features medical-grade sodium hyaluronate. Sodium hyaluronate works faster and better than hyaluronic acid to hydrate all skin types from oily to very dry.
Another ingredient that the Night Serum shares with the Forté Serum is poria cocos mushroom extract. This mushroom is prized in Traditional Korean Medicine as a health food and now research shows its benefits as an anti-acne and anti-wrinkle ingredient for clear, youthful-looking skin.
After the first week of diligent use, I saw fine lines and dry patches smoothed away, which means that my skin’s hydration levels were replenished.
However, even after 2 weeks of daily use, I did not see too big of an improvement in my forehead wrinkles and smile lines, which is a measure of how well a product is boosting collagen levels.
A fellow skincare expert with oily, acne-prone skin put this product to the test.
Overnight, this serum helped soothe and shrink existing breakouts but also left the eye area nicely hydrated. The Night serum can be used morning and night time as it has no harsh exfoliating acids that make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
However, if you apply a bit too much of the serum you may experience a bit of pilling. Pilling is where after applying the product and allowing it to absorb, when you gently rub your skin small eraser dust-like particles rub off.
That’s because the formula may not be absorbing well into your skin. Just a nickel-sized portion is enough for the entire face; don’t forget your neck too!
I love how the lightweight gel texture of the Night Serum does not have any silicones or oils and just melts into the skin. After 2 weeks, our experts with more oily and acne-prone skin types saw the most improvements out of all of us.
On the other hand, those of us with dry skin types did not see much of a difference besides hydration. The 30ml bottle is luxurious but it’s small size and hefty price tag may be it’s most luxurious quality rather than performance.
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