Most people like to do things. Millennials like to do things…differently.
Take the Glossier Super Serums, for instance. They’re not pricey like normal skin care serums. They’re not in over-the-top fancy packaging like normal skin care serums. They’re not named ten word-long, ultra keyword-infused phrases like normal skin care serums. They’re not even sized like normal skin care serums (0.5 oz versus the usual 1.0 oz or larger).
But here they are, in all of their hipster, Millennial, “we do things differently” glory. Amen, you might be thinking.
The idea behind these clever little serums seems to be that you are delivering high-doses of 1-2 ingredients to the skin when you need it. Glossier Super Bounce, for instance, is designed for springing ultra dry skin back to life, whereas Glossier Super Pure is about soothing acne or rosacea-ridden skin. And Glossier Super Glow is for gals like me — skin care fanatics who already have a hold on their natural skin type and conditions, but who want to take their skin the extra mile, thank you very much.
So here’s my full unadulterated review, as a Millennial myself, but a skin care fanatic as well:
Glossier Super Bounce: Best for Dry Skin
The key here is dry skin. Glossier goes on the record for saying Glossier Super Bounce is great for “skin depleted from hangovers, long layovers, blasting a/c, or high high heat,” but I would take that a step further and say it is also great for skin that is entering its 30s or 40s and encountering its first signs of aging.
Hyaluronic acid plumps up the skin like a little ant: Hyaluronic acid is able to “lift” moisture in up to 1,000 times its own weight when topically applied to the skin (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2004). Hyaluronic acid also helps for the skin to heal after injury (American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2005; Biologicals
Panthenol, or vitamin B5, adds a further big punch of anti-aging goodness. Like hyaluronic acid, panthenol is hydrating. Specifically, panthenol coats skin as a humectant moisturizer — which means that it draws in moisture from the environment (International Journal of Cosmetic Science). But it also may hold promise in fighting signs of aging. Several studies done on mice show that panthenolic acid increases the production of cell fibroblasts (Drug & Cosmetic Industry). In a study on 30-60 year old women, a combination of panthenol and niacinamide improved signs of aging, such as hyperpigmentation and redness (Indian Journal of Dermatology).
Glossier Super Bounce Serum is therefore a little bottle that packs a big dose of two ingredients that might hydrate your skin extremely well: Hyaluronic acid and panthenol. I’m a fan of using a few drops of this on my own normal/dry skin when the weather starts to turn right about now as a primer that does something other than lay atop my skin. Bravo.
Ingredients in Glossier Bounce Serum: Water/Aqua/Eau, Biosaccharide Gum-2, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Caprylyl Glycol, Peg-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Polysorbate 80, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Octyldodecanol, Isohexadecane, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate
Glossier Super Pure: Best for Redness and Acne
When skin care fanatics generally think acne, they think salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, and AHAs or retinol. And when skin care fanatics generally think redness, they think green tea, white tea, chamomile, oatmeal extract, and the like.
But Glossier does the Millennial thing here with Super Pure and infuses two ingredients good for both acne and rosacea, but which few products incorporate: niacinamide and zinc.
Further, according to a 2005 study by Draelos et. al., niacinamide may help alleviate some of the symptoms of rosacea by increasing hydration and barrier function of the stratum corneum (uppermost layer of the skin), and may have some anti-tumor characteristics as well. And finally, in a 1995 study by Takozaki et. al., it was reported that a 4% topical niacinamide treatment applied twice daily may help to treat acne by reducing inflammation with similar efficacy to 1% clindamycin gel. Hence, both redness and acne. Bravo, Glossier, bravo!
Use Glossier Super Pure Serum with a clean diet, and you could be doing a world of good for your skin. Better yet, use it as an extra step in your existing skin care regimen for acne and/or rosacea, and you could be experiencing some really awesome effects in days to come!
Ingredients in Glossier Pure Serum: Water/Aqua/Eau, Niacinamide, Glycereth-26, Propanediol, Zinc PCA, Citric Acid, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Extract, Peg-12 Dimethicone, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose
Glossier Super Glow Serum — Best for a, Well, “Glow”
So, I like Glossier Super Glow Serum. But I don’t love it.
First, what I like — it’s one of the first serums to incorporate a newfangled version of vitamin C, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate. Initial studies suggest this stabilized form of L-ascorbic acid may increase collagen production (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2009). Though the studies are limited, these stable forms of L-ascorbic acid do tend to produce the lightening, tightening, and brightening results of pure L-ascorbic acid.
And I also appreciate that this serum contains a big heaping dose of magnesium.
When it comes to magnesium, most of us think it is solely a mineral of some sort. Some common nutrient in food. But it turns out topical application has benefits as well: One, topically applying magnesium supplements your serum levels, since the mineral is able to traverse and be absorbed by the skin. Participants in one study instructed to perform a 20 minute foot-soak with magnesium chloride flakes and to apply a magnesium-rich oil showed a statistically significant increase in serum magnesium levels without any change their diet. In a second study, it was shown a 1% solution of magnesium sulfate can increase serum magnesium levels.
The second reason magnesium is beneficial in skin care? Magnesium as magnesium chloride has been found to improve skin hydration when used as a part of a magnesium Dead Sea salt solution (International Journal of Dermatology, 2005).
Now, the reason I’m in “like” but not in “love” with Glossier Super Glow Serum is simply that it doesn’t contain vitamin E, which has been shown to increase the effects of vitamin C in peer-reviewed studies, and because it’s not in an airtight, darkened container. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great product, but I definitely like the other two serums better. (And no, I’m not saying this because I have my own vitamin CE serum — I recommend others, like Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, all the time!)
Ingredients in Glossier Glow Serum: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycereth-26, Propanediol, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium PCA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol
While I wouldn’t depend on Glossier Super Serums as my sole source of skin care, they do make nice enhancements to existing skin care regimens. For instance, not many acne or rosacea lines incorporate niacinamide and zinc, so Super Pure is a super great addition to those regimens. And it’s hard to find panthenol and hyaluronic acid in the same product, so if you’ve tried everything else for skin dryness, Super Bounce is a solid go-to.
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