Meet the $20 Oil-Serum That Banished Our Dry Winter Skin

I'm just going to come out and say it: Oil has gotten a bad edit in the world of skincare. It's taken years for the industry to come back around after the oil-free marketing craze that swept the '90s left us all desperately sucking sebum out of our skin and expelling all sorts of oils from our routines altogether. We know now that this blanket categorization of oil as an evil, breakout-inducing substance that only serves to clog our pores and ruin our lives wasn't just unfair. It was grossly uninformed, too. 

Of course, not all oils are ideal for all skin types, but the same can be said for just about any other skincare ingredient out there. As beauty editors, we've had a front-row seat for oil's redemption tour and are well-informed on all the potential benefits of incorporating it at various stages in our routines. Not only this, but oils are evolving every day. This is why we were so excited when our clean, sustainable sister skincare line Versed announced that it would be introducing an oil (of sorts) of its own earlier this winter. The innovative oil-serum that followed is unlike any other product out there. Below, find out everything you need to know about Versed's Sunday Morning Antioxidant Oil-Serum ($20) along with honest reviews from our editors. Keep scrolling for all the tea.

Why You'll Love It

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Courtesy of Versed

As I mentioned above, this isn't your average skincare oil… or your average serum, for that matter. This fact becomes pretty clear upon an initial examination of the visible separation of liquids inside the bottle. If you're familiar with old-school makeup remover, then this isn't a totally new visual, but it's still not every day that you see a skincare product with oil separated and dropped to the bottom of the bottle. 

But the magic of this dew booster isn't in what it looks like—it's in the versatility of use. A simple shake mixes all the delicious ingredients together to be deployed into the skin all at once for a bi-phase punch of moisture and brightening. The oil phase calls in antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, and omegas to promote bouncy, clear, and calm skin. The water then swoops in to impart anti-inflammatory plant extracts and hydrators like sodium hyaluronate to heal cell damage, smooth out uneven texture, and condition the skin.

The best part is that folks of all skin types—from dry and flaky to oily and acne prone—can benefit. It can be pressed into bare skin, layered on top of other serums, or even added underneath or on top of moisturizer to offer skin-strengthening support at any step of the routine. Due to its antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a great choice for those with acne-prone skin who might otherwise skip out on oils or thick moisturizers as well as those with sensitive skin looking for an added layer of skin conditioning.

Key Ingredients

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Courtesy of Versed

Camellia oil: This antioxidant and vitamin-packed oil is one of the most rapidly absorbed plant oils, making it nongreasy but still totally effective at preventing moisture loss.

Sea buckthorn berry extract: You've likely seen this buzzy extract on ingredients lists before, and that's because of its ability to boost elasticity and protect against cellular damage. It's also got anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and redness, so it's great for treating skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.

Chamomile flower extract: This medicinal herb isn't just for steeping into a tea to soothe the body before bed. It's also great for topical use to condition, calm, and moisturize even the most sensitive skin types.

Jojoba oil: Got oily, acne-prone skin? Here's an oil you should know about. Since it closely resembles our skin’s natural sebum, it's perfect for regulating the skin's oil levels. It's lightweight, vitamin rich, and anti-inflammatory, too.

Sodium hyaluronate: Hyaluronic acid has become, perhaps, the most popular of the hydrating skin ingredients, but that doesn't mean it's the only one that can attract and hold incredible amounts of moisture in the skin. Sodium hyaluronate is another one. While it is a form of hyaluronic acid, it's even smaller in molecule size, making it more effective at hydrating deeper levels in the skin.

How to Use It

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Courtesy of Versed

First things first, you'll want to give the bottle a good shake to mix up the two phases. And sure, take a moment to marvel as the shimmery ingredients bubble and dance as they start mingling together. Then, it's a "choose your own adventure" type of situation. You can press a few drops into a clean, dry face and neck or layer it on top of your favorite serums. If you prefer a weightless finish, you can even skip moisturizer altogether, but don't be afraid to sandwich it on top of or underneath moisturizer if you need more support. It provides the prettiest, dewiest glow when applied to the high points of the face on top of cream and is suitable for use in the morning and evening.

Our Reviews

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Courtesy of Versed

Kat Collings, Editor in Chief

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@katcollings

Skin type: combination

Major skin concerns: dryness and occasional breakouts

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@katcollings

The review: This little serum-oil hybrid is a delight. Actually, it's not little. It comes in a generously sized bottle. I have a very similar product that is half the size and over twice the price! That makes it easy for me to be liberal with slathering this over my neck, too, an area I've historically been a bit too stingy with. As for the formula itself, I do notice it helps with brightening and keeping my skin looking its most radiant self. For those afraid of the heaviness of a traditional face oil, I think this hybrid is a great way to test the waters, as the serum makes it feel very light. It's also very pretty to look at, as you can see, and there's something  weirdly meditative about turning the bottle slowly upside down a few times to mix the product before applying. (A rushed shake isn't nearly as calming but will do in a pinch!) It honestly makes it feel like I'm doing a self-care ritual, which makes me look forward to putting it on in the morning.

Courtney Higgs, Associate Beauty Editor

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@court_higgs

Skin type: combination with dryness around the mouth, especially during the winter

Major skin concerns: moisture retention and texture refinement

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@court_higgs

The review: Winter is the time when my combination skin goes full tilt toward the dry end of the skin spectrum. It's not uncommon for me to wake up with dry, tight skin, especially around my mouth, even if I packed on the moisturizer the night before. While I can occasionally experience oiliness in my T-zone and enlarged pores on my cheeks after weeks of piling on rich creams to keep my skin supple, I'm not one to cut back in the moisture department. I'd rather blot away excess oil than run the risk of having dry patches erupt on my face over the course of the day.

The first time I ever (and I do mean ever) skipped daytime moisturizer was the first time I tried this oil-serum. I layered it on top of my regular vitamin C serum and an additional vitamin B5 hydrator, and once I capped that concoction with a few drops of the Sunday Morning Oil-Serum, I felt no need to go in with additional moisturizer. I can't explain how abnormal this is. My skin might play nicely with just serum for a few hours, but historically, that aforementioned dryness around my mouth would normally emerge by lunchtime. That hasn't been the case any of the dozen or so times I've now replaced my moisturizer with this bi-phase treatment. I love how it makes my skin feel hydrated and bouncy without ever going greasy. Not to mention, shaking up the bottle to mix the ingredients is an absolute delight. I highly recommend giving this one a try!

Erin Jahns, Beauty Editor

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@erin_jahns

Skin type: combination

Major skin concerns: acne, uneven skin texture, pigmentation, sensitivity

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@erin_jahns

The review: I'm pretty sure my finicky combination skin has secretly been manifesting the launch of this dynamic oil-serum for years. There isn't much that my complexion tolerates. I veer a little dry, a little sensitive/inflammatory, and very acne prone. So that particular combination has left me with about 10 routine products I can consistently use without irritating or stripping my skin. A lot of formulas I try seem to work at first, but eventually, they lead to congestion and other side effects I don't love on my skin.

That said, this epic blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and skin-plumping natural hydrators is hella effective, and thus far, it has only improved my skin, not compromised it. The results are just as magical and glowy as the fizzy, Tang-like interior. I'm not a big serum person or a big face-oil person, so the fact that I'm loving this product is pretty telling. It absorbs quickly, but it still leaves this pretty, misty glow on your face that doesn't feel heavy or filmy. I have yet to try it under makeup, but I love how much it enhances my skin on days when I'm barefaced. I definitely recommend heeding the brand's advice and patting it into your skin (versus rubbing!) to get maximum radiance. I'm hooked. 

Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY

Photo:

@sarahayang

Skin type: normal to dry

Major skin concerns: dryness!

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@sarahayang

The review: I was a face-oil virgin before trying this serum, but now, I'm a convert. In the past, I was afraid to try face oils because I imagined that they would feel greasy and heavy and make my face look super shiny. This product, however, absorbs quickly, so it doesn't leave any greasy residue, which proved my previous thoughts wrong. I didn't know just one product could make my skin feel soft, hydrated, and glowy! After applying it, I don't feel like I need to put on a moisturizer or anything else at all, so it's a nice minimal option to add to my routine. I've been using it a few nights a week when I don't really feel like putting on a lot of product––I just wash my face and apply a few drops, and I'm done. It's so easy!

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