I have a confession to make. I don't always love testing new skincare products. In fact, there are times when I dread testing new skincare products. I know that's somewhat sacrilegious to say, seeing as I'm a beauty writer and all, but it's the truth. The reason is that I have sensitive skin with a mild case of rosacea, so anytime I add a new product into my routine, especially one with active ingredients, I'm risking possible bumps, irritation, and extra redness. Needless to say, I approach new products warily yet hopefully. (Call me a cautious optimist.)
That's exactly how I approached two new products that recently came across my desk: a serum and a night cream—both from Versed's new Advanced collection. I decided I'd test them, but I wouldn't test them alone. I enlisted the help of three other editors to try out the products alongside me. The idea was that each one of us would offer up an honest, independent review based on our specific skin type and concerns, and (spoiler alert) we loved them. Keep scrolling to read what each of us had to say.
The first product in question is the Versed Auto-Save Advanced Restoring Serum. It promises firmer, brighter, and more even-toned skin, and it uses ingredients such as microalgae, phloretin, ferulic acid, and vitamin C to do just that. Because of its antioxidant-rich formula, which defends against free radicals, the brand recommends wearing it throughout the day versus at night.
The next product in question is the Versed Recovery Mode Advanced Night Cream. Yes, it's a moisturizing night cream, but it's more than that. It promises to simultaneously smooth rough or crepe-like texture and soften lines and wrinkles. It uses antioxidant-rich fermented purple tea extract, energizing green coffee extract, and plumping microalgae to do so.
Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY
My skin type: I would consider my skin type "normal" with occasional bouts of dryness. So for me, hydration is my number one priority. I'm always looking for products that will moisturize my skin and won't leave it irritated.
The serum: I was so surprised that this lightweight serum managed to leave my skin so moisturized. I didn't even feel the need to add another product except for sunscreen after using this in the morning. I definitely think it helped even my skin tone, too. My skin looked brighter and refreshed.
The cream: First, can we talk about the color of this cream? It's a pretty purple shade thanks to the fermented purple tea ingredient. That was a fun surprise when using the product for the first time. But in all seriousness, I thought this night cream was hydrating and made my skin feel smooth. I found I didn't have to use too much of the product to really get the full effect, either, which is great news because you know you're not going to need a refill any time soon. Sometimes after I use a night cream, my skin can still feel a little dry in the morning, but after using this one, I woke up, and my skin was still smooth and moisturized—and a little glowy, too.
Kat Collings, Editor in Chief
My skin type: My skin type is combination, and my biggest skin concerns are hydration and anti-aging. My motto is, "Let's do skincare like we mean it!" I want my regimen to create the highest level of results possible with products only, so I was really excited to try the new Advanced collection.
The serum: When I think about my skincare routine, I often wonder if I'm missing something. Should I be using this type of product? Is my skin missing this ingredient? There's so much out there that it's hard to feel confident I'm taking advantage of the right things. For my a.m. routine, I've been on a (rather expensive) SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($166) kick for years now, and while I know the vitamin C and ferulic acid cocktail works well, I always wondered if I was missing something by not having a daytime serum as well. Well, my queries are answered with Versed's new Auto-Save Advanced Restoring Serum. It's got the key ingredients of C E Ferulic and nourishing microalgae, too. The creamy serum also goes on like a lotion, pretty much leaving my skin hydrated enough to skip moisturizer and head straight to sunscreen. When I heard it's called the daytime equivalent to retinol, I was sold. If you want one a.m. product that does it all, this is it.
The cream: I've been seeing more fermented products come out on the market, so I'm not surprised that Versed is on top of the new wave in skincare. The brand's Recovery Mode Advanced Night Cream is literally the perfect "I mean business" moisturizer. When I use it, I feel like I really gave my skin a very thorough moisture drench that stops short of being overly thick or heavy. I also really like the delivery method with the push-down top.
Courtney Higgs, Beauty Editor
My skin type: I have combination skin with dryness around the mouth, especially during the winter. My biggest skincare concerns are moisture retention, hyperpigmentation, texture refinement, and collagen preservation.
The serum: I've only recently extended my morning routine to include serums other than my favorite vitamin C before I go in with moisturizer and sunscreen. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that an extra hit of hydration in the morning could only help me in my pursuit of the most supple skin, but alas, here we are. Aside from having a really cute name, Auto-Save Advanced Restoring Serum fits right into that agenda of mine. It's packed with firming microalgae, plus an antioxidant complex made up of ferulic acid, phloretin, and vitamin C to protect and hydrate the skin while also staving off hyperpigmentation. I love that this serum is actually more like a lightweight moisturizer, so it can be used alone without risking patches of dry skin by midday.
The cream: I love retinol. Seriously, it's the most life-changing skincare product I've incorporated into my routine in recent years, and I haven't met a single dermatologist who doesn't think it's the best product to use if you want smoother skin. That said, I only use the stuff a few times per week and only at night, as directed by every package and every pro. Even with this conservative use, I sometimes still find that my skin can get a little dry if I don't follow up with an intense moisturizer. I actually love heavy night creams, as my skin can be especially dry during the winter, but I do worry about clogged pores. Versed's new Recovery Mode Advanced Night Cream is the perfect solution for that conundrum. It's a thick cream that leaves my skin feeling quenched and supple, that isn't greasy, and that doesn't feel like it's just sitting on top. It really sinks in and comforts the skin. Plus, its effects can still be felt in the morning, which I love. I was a little shocked by the purple hue of the cream at first, but once I learned that its coloring comes from fermented purple tea that delivers antioxidant protection and counteracts the oxidative effects of visible, UV, blue, and infrared lights (hello, screen time), my mind was put at ease. This is an excellent moisturizer!
Kaitlyn McLintock, Contributing Writer
My skin type: I have sensitive, redness-prone skin (especially around my nose and T-zone), so I'm always looking for products that will calm, soothe, and hydrate my skin… If it causes extra redness, it's out. At the same time, I'm looking for active ingredients that will keep signs of aging at bay because I'm at the age where collagen production naturally decreases (sigh).
The serum: I want to talk about the texture of this serum. Unlike other watery serums that seem to evaporate the moment they hit your skin, this one provides real moisture. Like Sarah, Kat, and Courtney before me, I skipped moisturizer after application, reaching directly for my sunscreen instead. It's all thanks to its creamy, lotion-like formula, which I found to be nice and soothing to my skin. (It didn't cause any extra redness!) Even after I added a layer of sunscreen on top of it, my skin didn't pill or feel greasy or heavy—just calm, plump, and moisturized.
I also want to talk about its antioxidant complex, which is a combination of ferulic acid, phloretin, and stabilized vitamin C. They work together to fend off free radicals throughout the day, which means my skin is protected from accelerated signs of aging.
The cream: Here's the thing about night cream: I like the idea of it, but I rarely like it IRL. That's because so many of them feel heavy and greasy, and even though I almost always wash my face in the a.m., I hate waking up with an oil-slick complexion. That's not a problem with the Recovery Mode Advanced Night Cream. It's not as thick as other night creams, yet it's still super moisturizing. Basically, it feels like it really sinks into my skin versus sitting on top of it. (Can you tell that texture is really important to me?)
As for the key ingredients, I love that it includes green coffee and microalgae, which are energizing and plumping, respectively. However, I'm particularly happy to slather it on knowing it includes fermented purple tea. The more antioxidants I can get on my skin, the better.