Clean, affordable, results-driven skincare is the beauty-world equivalent of finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow—only it actually exists, and it’s called Versed. Can you blame us for loving products that do damage control, are formulated with good-for-skin ingredients, and have lower-waste packaging? We know, we know: It almost sounds too good to be true.
So here’s what we did… We tasked four Who What Wear staffers with different skin concerns to test five Versed products for a month and share their honest reviews—before-and-after pictures included. So before you assume your skin is doomed for life, read this, because there truly is something for every skin type.
The Background: “I endured embarrassing cystic acne on my nose and chin that I was only able to curtail in the past few years by adding spironolactone to my regimen. Now that my cysts are generally under control, my skin is getting itself together. I still get occasional hormonal breakouts, and since I’m 32, aging is on my mind.”
The Versed Verdict: “The most noteworthy improvements I’ve noticed have been with my skin healing after breakouts. I’ve seen a marked improvement in healing time for inflammation, which is huge for me. I also want to call out my skin’s hydration—even being inside with AC and several plane flights in the past month, my skin hasn’t ever felt dry or tight, and I credit that with the quality of Versed products and the fact that so many of them include hydrating ingredients.”
“This is the perfect simple daily cleanser for morning and night. It lathers, smells amazing (thanks to the mint), and leaves a tingly clean feeling without the cleansed-to-death pinch some soaps leave. It’s definitely become a staple, and it’s keeping my skin clean and cool this summer. I can see myself using it for a long time.”
“After cleansing with the gel in the morning, I’ve been using this serum, which seems to help with minimizing and healing some inflammation on my chin. I like that it has willow bark, which helps with skin regeneration, as well as niacinamide, which is also supposed to be helpful with acne. The great thing about the serum is the texture: It’s lightweight and sinks right in without extra stickiness or scent.”
“I’ve been using Zero-G in the mornings, and it helps keep my under-eyes moisturized and bright thanks to the olive oil and mica—the latter gives a bit of sparkle that I love in the mornings to keep me looking more awake. The other benefits are the creamy texture and the fact that it doesn’t cause irritation; my eyes are pretty sensitive and sometimes itch with certain eye products.”
“One to two times a week, I’ve been using The Shortcut, an overnight facial peel with lactic and glycolic acids. ‘Peel’ sounds scary, but this is really gentle and just seems like an amped-up lotion—the rose hip and vitamin E probably help with that. You just slather it on after cleansing at night and go to bed. It doesn’t have a strong scent, it rubs in nicely, and it’s just super, super simple. For my skin, the mask really helped with resurfacing, but I didn’t see a ton of brightening effects. However, I did notice my skin seemed smoother and more moisturized in the mornings after using it, and any inflammation was generally toned down.”
“I think my kind of acne is stubborn and generally needs a stronger approach. That said, I do use tea tree oil by itself to fight bacteria, and this product combines it with rosemary oil, which is said to reduce inflammation, in one nifty package, so it definitely can’t hurt. The best thing about the spot treatment is that it’s so lightweight and doesn’t dry out the skin like some spot treatments do. I love that you just dab it on with the cute clear nozzle (no touching your hands to your face).”
The Background: “Aside from dullness, one of my main skin concerns is aging, so that combined with tons of sun exposure freaks me out. I want to minimize wrinkles, lines, age spots, and dull skin, and it’s really important to me that the products I use are cruelty-free.”
The Versed Verdict: “I’ve been on the Versed skincare routine for the past four weeks, and honestly I might not come back from it. The results were apparent within the first few days of using everything—my skin is brighter and more even, and my lines have seemed to have softened. I feel less inclined to wear my normal tinted moisturizer because I’m that satisfied.” [Ed. note: Darin was traveling through Asia for two weeks during her month-long Versed trial.]
“You only need a few drops to cover your entire face, and I truly noticed a big increase in my natural glow after using this religiously for the last month.”
[Ed. note: After cleansing follow up by gently pressing this peptide- and antioxidant-rich serum onto your face and neck, letting it soak in before you move onto your next step.]
“It’s not heavy or greasy, which is so important when using it twice a day. I just warm a little bit between my fingers before applying it to my face and neck.”
[Ed. note: After serum comes moisturizer, and this one is made with squalane and red-algae extract, which offers lasting moisture.]
“This type of product was very new to me, but I’m obsessed now. I researched it a little bit and learned that liquid vitamin C degrades easily, which is why powder is a better solution.”
“This is probably the best bang for your buck. A dozen applications for less than $10! But aside from being economically friendly, this mask does exactly what it said it would do: brighten and tighten.”
[Ed. note: Apply an even layer to clean, dry skin; leave on for 15 minutes; and rinse with cool water.]
“As much as I love a multi-step skincare routine, some days are just a little busier than others, and I’m exhausted at the end of the day. But that’s why I love the ease and convenience of this overnight peel. I basically just need to wash my face, massage a small amount onto my skin, and then go to bed—it’s called The Shortcut for a reason.”
The Background: “Maybe it’s that I’m no longer in my 20s, or maybe it’s just that I no longer live a sweet freelancer’s lifestyle at the beach in Sydney where I can do yoga and swim every day? Either way, my skin feels dreary by the end of the day.”
The Versed Verdict: “I knew my skin was feeling much softer, but I really didn’t realize how different it looks until I saw these photos side by side. It just finally feels like my skin is properly hydrated around the clock—I’d gotten used to seeing myself in the mirror toward the end of the day and thinking, Yikes. Mostly it’s just really nice to not feel that same temptation from makeup that promises to be brightening or dewy.”
Natalie always starts her day by spritzing her face with rose water and then follows up with a couple drops of this vitamin C–and–licorice root extract serum, which helps soften the appearance of dark spots and uneven tone.
“I keep it in the fridge because boy, that makes it feel even nicer when it goes on. Everything is light and fresh, and it’s nice to feel extra awake in the morning.”
But for a serious lit-from-within glow, Natalie has started making a little skincare cocktail consisting of this powder (which she dispenses into her palm), sunscreen, and rose-hip oil.
A couple nights a week, before hopping into the shower, Natalie slathers on a thin layer of this turmeric-and–red kaolin mask to gently exfoliate, brighten, and minimize signs of aging. After about 15 minutes, she washes it off with cold water and pats her skin dry.
On particularly busy nights, instead of doing her full routine, Natalie smooths a thin layer of this onto skin and massages it in before going to bed (she washes it off in the morning). The combination of exfoliating acids—lactic and glycolic—and vitamins A and E work overnight to smooth and brighten skin.
The Background: “I love anything hydrating. My skin gets dry easily, so if I skip my routine one night, it’s super noticeable the next day. I think it’s partly due to having olive skin—when it’s not hydrated, it looks really dull and almost grey, which is just not cute. I’m also one of those lucky people who developed acne in their mid-20s and have paid the price for picking my face… I have scars and dark spots for proof.”
The Versed Verdict: “With other products, I can feel when my skin is hydrated, but it only lasts a few hours; then I’ll need to reapply moisturizer or mist to keep hydrated. To actually be able to see a consistent difference in just a few uses isn’t something I typically expect from skincare, but with Versed, I saw my overall skin tone was more even and brighter almost immediately. I no longer see the dull, grey tinge my skin used to have due to dryness. My skin feels plump, dewy, and ultra-hydrated.”
“I love a good double-cleanse, starting with a balm on dry skin. It feels like the oil, makeup, toxins, and dirt from the day are being sucked out of my pores like a vacuum. It just gives such a better clean, and the minty eucalyptus scent is so refreshing. I’ve actually started to rub it into my hands, hold my hands up to my nose, and take a deep breath before massaging it into my skin. It also removes going-out eye makeup really easily.”
“I noticed results literally the first time I used it (probably from the concentrated dose of hyaluronic acid). I’ve never used a ‘booster’ before, but this fast-absorbing one has become a staple for every day and night. It keeps my skin vibrant and in a constant state of hydration.”
“The directions say to use three drops, but I actually got away with using a drop and a half.”
[Ed. note: While this serum is infused with willow-bark extract and a zinc blend that helps clear pores, soothe redness, and rebalance skin that’s been acting up, McKenzie felt that out of all the products, this was the one she didn’t notice results with.]
“Personally, I found this was a bit too thick for me to wear during the day, especially if I’m wearing makeup, but I love it for night because it’s so hydrating. I’ve noticed that my forehead lines and wrinkles that are starting to form around my eyes are less noticeable, and I don’t know if that’s just a result of my skin being super hydrated or anti-aging elements. Whatever it is, I’m into it.”
“Because my skin is already so dry, using an acid to exfoliate can sometimes be even more drying for me, but that’s why I only use this a few nights a week. It really helps combat my dullness and minimizes my dark spots. Also, by exfoliating and getting all the dead skin cells off, my skin is able to absorb the hydrating products more effectively.”