I recently had the chance to blind test 8 (yes 8!) different serums. Serums are the skincare product that is most concentrated, and can make the most difference to your skin, but is usually also the most expensive item to buy. So when I got the chance to test a lot of them as part of the ELLE Canada Beauty Grand Prix, I was super excited.
The testing was pretty rigorous, but had a great system. All the products came wrapped in shiny tape so none of the labels were visible. I tried each product twice a day for a week, and then submitted my comments. At the end of the testing phase, after I submitted my comments, I ripped off the labels and saw what I had tried. Thenspent hours trying to get tape residue off, ugh.
What I tested was a wide variety of brands, with a wide variety of price points. Each serum was primarily for hydration, which isn’t something I usually worry about with my combo/oily skin, but there were some options that made a surprising amount of difference to my skin.
Overall, there were 2 serums I really loved, 3 that were okay, and 3 that I really disliked. You’ll be surprised at how some of the brands stacked up for me.
My top 2 serums were the Marcelle New-Age 8-in-1 Power Serum and the Reversa Antioxidant Booster Serum. Both serums absorbed quickly, and made an immediate difference to my face. Both left my skin super soft and silky, and actually made my pores appear smaller. I can’t stress this last item enough. If you ever take a close look at photos of my face, you’ll see the pores on and around my nose are quite large, and to actually find not just one product, but two that make a difference is crazy amazing. The effect didn’t last indefinitely, but when used over the full week, there was a tiny accumulative effect.
The price of the Marcelle ($34) and Reversa ($45) serums are nothing to sneeze at for a single product, but they are both relatively affordable for serums, and something that I will seriously consider rebuying, once these 2 items are finished.
On the okay list was the Avene Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum, the Nivea Q10 plus Anti-Wrinkle Serum Pearls, and the Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Treatment. All 3 serums absorbed completely, with some skin softness and hydration noticeable, but nothing that really stood out.
On the dislike list were 3 serums that left me greasy instead of hydrated. I actually stopped using all 3 before the full week was out because they made me start to break out, even when I tried applying them only in the evening. That list includes the Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil, the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum, and the Bioderma Hydrabio Sérum. I think that ultimately, all 3 of these products were aimed at drier skin, and mine just couldn’t handle them.
Overall, I loved the experience of blind testing, and loved that I found two amazing products during the experience. I think that if I had drier skin I might have enjoyed more of the products, but a 25% success rate is nothing to be sad about.
Do you use serums in your skincare regime? Do you have any experience at blind testing products? Have you tried and formed an opinion about any of these serums specifically?