20,000 People Ordered This Damage-Erasing Serum in a Single Day, so We Tried It
I'll start by saying this: If we were to cover the launch of every single new product to hit the beauty market—or even just the buzzy products—we'd be chained to our laptops 24/7 and would likely perish from starvation, dehydration, and so on and so forth before even making a dent. The skincare industry is an extremely saturated market, and while part of our job description is covering and reviewing every vile, tube, and tincture that's percolating excitement, we reserve our one-off reviews for exciting formulas boasting internet-breaking potential. For instance, U Beauty.
The brainchild of skin-obsessed Tina Craig (who you might also know as Bag Snob), U Beauty is the only brand in the world steeped with Siren Capsule Technology. What is that, you ask? In short, it's glorious, patent-pending molecules strategically designed to draw complexion-wrecking damage away from healthy skin. (Feels a little Back to the Future in the best way possible, no?) Essentially, U Beauty and its hero Resurfacing Compound is impeccably smart skincare, and not surprisingly, the serum did practically break the internet when it became available for pre-sale, receiving more than 20,000 orders in roughly 24 hours.
Clean, vegan, non-GMO, cruelty-free, and formulated sans fillers, U Beauty's Resurfacing Compound is not only a game-changing and exciting serum, but it also has some lofty claims. For instance, beauty lover Chriselle Lim has gone on record stating the serum slashed her normal skincare routine in half, and the brand states that the key ingredients are so multitasking you can actually kick all of your other serums—such as vitamin C and hyaluronic acid—to the curb. In addition to its famed Siren Capsule Technology, the Compound's genetic makeup consists of other complexion heavy-hitters like antioxidants, retinol, and vitamins C and E.
Since it comes with such outstanding claims and easy-peasy application—you apply two to three pumps to just-cleansed skin before a moisturizer both morning and night—my fellow beauty editor Courtney Higgs and I had to try it. Ahead, we're diving into our skin types, our biggest skin concerns, and what exactly U Beauty's ultra-buzzy Resurfacing Compound did to our faces. Plus, we took some bare-faced selfies for photographic evidence. Keep scrolling!
Courtney Higgs, Associate Beauty Editor
Skin type: combination, sensitive
Skin concerns: uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, dullness
When I first caught wind of Tina Craig's skincare line, I was pumped for two reasons. First off, I've followed the OG fashion blogger since college, so this honestly felt like celebrating the accomplishment of an old friend. Second, Craig has impossibly good skin, so I was eager to see what trade secrets she’d be sharing from her access to the best, most cutting-edge skincare pros in the game.
All that said, I’ve spent a long time perfecting my multistep skincare routine, so the lofty claims that U Beauty is meant to replace almost every step was a bit of a shock. It’s EU-compliant, dermatologist-tested, safe for all skin types, clean, vegan, cruelty-free, and as effective as toners, serums, and moisturizers combined. What kind of sorcery is at play here?
While I can’t speak to any mystical goings-on inside this bottle, what I can say is that after a few days of using U Beauty product morning and night, I’m starting to see some shifts, the most notable being how glassy my skin is when I wake up in the morning. The formula is a lightweight gel, spreads easily, and quickly dries down to a taut shield on the skin. While I like the visible tightening effect of using the product on its own, I’ll admit that I have not abandoned my favorite hyaluronic acid serum or my lightweight moisturizer to round out my regimen. But it does seem that adding U Beauty to the mix has definitely contributed to my skin’s current glow. Only time will tell, but I’ve got a couple of dark marks from a small breakout I had recently I’m hoping this formula will combat.
Erin Jahns, Beauty Editor
Skin type: combination, sensitive, acne-prone
Skin concerns: acne/acne scars, dryness, redness, dullness
I'm always the first to admit that when a product sounds too good to be true, I immediately crinkle my forehead in doubt. Made in Italy; safe for every skin type and tone; patent-pending; clean; vegan; cruelty-free; and equipped with wizard-like brightening, resurfacing, renewing, tightening, and equalizing powers? There had to be a catch. Not to mention Craig's Resurfacing Compound can supposedly replace my collection of serums and toners and work said magic in as little as three to six days? Fat chance, I couldn't help muttering to myself. Alas, I stand a bit corrected.
I will say that I have been using the Resurfacing Compound for about four days now, morning and night, and haven't seen any type of miraculous changes in my skin. But I'm pretty sure it has lightened some acne scarring, smoothed my overall skin texture (I had received a very extraction-heavy facial just a couple of days before this photo was taken), and brightened up my skin tone. The formula hasn't clogged my pores or irritated my skin, which is more than I can say for other serums containing vitamin C and retinol I've tried in the past. So that's honestly a huge win right there.
The first time I tried this serum, I'll admit I was a bit taken aback at how lightweight it is. I was expecting it to be lightweight, but it almost felt like air on my skin. Can this actually work? I wondered. The brand recommends applying one to two pumps to the entire face after you cleanse, but I found three to four pumps were required to cover the ground I needed to. That said, it did spread like a dream, and it absorbed almost instantaneously. I have an extremely minimal skincare regimen right now—just cleanser, maybe toner, moisturizer, and eye cream, so this was actually adding a step for me. However, thanks to how lightweight and easy it is to layer, I barely noticed, and my skin didn't feel like it was being suffocated with products.
I need to be honest and say I was hoping the compound would do a little more work in the realm of hydration (I've been drier than normal when I wake up in the morning), but I also know that's par for the course when using any kind of retinol-containing formula. Only time will tell if U Beauty's Resurfacing Compound continues to work all the magic it's alleged to, but so far, so good, and other than that slight bit of dryness, I have zero complaints.
Shop U Beauty's other hero products and a few more resurfacing serums we love:
Post–resurfacing treatment, you'll need a good moisture boost. Follow this serum with U Beauty's rich, creamy companion.
Yep, U Beauty also has a tightening and toning body complex. You're welcome.
Using this moisturizer in tandem with the Resurfacing Compound can dramatically improve its results. That's the beauty of using products from the same line—at least you know they're designed to work together.
This leave-on exfoliating treatment refines pores, smoothes the skin, and lifts away surface congestion for a more radiant complexion.
Hydrating honey and flower acids round out this serum's gentle resurfacing formula.
First Aid Beauty's resurfacing serum also contains its Skin Saver Complex, which helps soothe and support the skin's natural barrier. That means no extra dryness.
For a high-strength option, Drunk Elephant has your back. It contains 10% lactic acid and 11 signal peptides to restore moisture and bounce to the skin.
Users love this serum for its multi-acid blend and other botanicals like tiger grass that help brighten up skin like no other.
SkinCeuticals might be known for its legendary C E Ferulic, but the brand also has an amazing resurfacing activator that exfoliates and replenishes moisture.
Mangosteen (a super fruit that helps protect skin's natural radiance) is the star ingredient in this concentrate. It also contains lactic acid to refine pores and reveal a more youthful glow.
Rose water, willow bark, and a potent blend of plant-based AHAs make up this magical resurfacing formula.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.