Earlier this year, I was introduced to Naturium, a brand looking like it belonged in a department store. With like, marble floors and a spacious counter. Beyond the sleek aesthetic and stylish packaging, the ingredient and percentage driven formulas came across as authoritative without sounding preachy. This scored high on first impressions. If I’ve learned anything during my tenure in the beauty world, and I say this without an ounce of shade, it’s that slapping the “Dr.” prefix on a product doesn’t really mean that much. Color me floored because when I found out the price point is $25 and under, that’s exactly where my jaw landed. Keep reading; you guys are in for a treat.
Having played with the range since January, I am ecstatic to now partner with Naturium on a very special brand overview post. I can’t wait to share what has impressed me the most and it’s twice the fun to offer you an exclusive Gift With Purchase. While we’re all hunkering down and awaiting better days, an incentive to step up our self-care game is not to be ignored. You will find details of the fantastic GWP at the bottom of the post. But right now, let’s chat brand, product, what my skin is loving, and how I am successfully cocktailing my favorite ingredients and avoiding overcomplication.
Naturium is driven by their simple and straightforward beliefs and values: “high-performance skincare should be and can be non-toxic, skin compatible and affordable.” What caught my attention? Their introduction to the concept of biocompatibility. What does it mean, you’re likely wondering? It’s the relationship between living tissue (aka our skin) with a topical formula and its efficacy using synthetic, natural, and naturally-derived ingredients. Naturium doesn’t claim to be an all natural skincare brand. They do firmly adhere to ‘clean’ standards: a commitment to paraben-, fragrance-, and cruelty-free as well as non-toxic and pH balanced formulas. Always. They’re also made in the USA, tested by dermatologists, and are safe to use by anyone with allergies to gluten. The wallet-friendly pricing is seriously the biggest plot twist.
At the risk of having this intro become the sequel to ‘War and Peace,’ I’ll stop here. I highly encourage you to check out the DISCOVER section on the brand’s website. Read over their manifesto and philosophy. You will be impressed.
My attraction to Naturium extends well beyond a purely visual infatuation (like me, they love glass—and they also make everything look really pretty). Their products highlight my all time favorite ingredients: Niacinamide, Retinol, Vitamin C, and Hyaluronic Acid. If I were to hand pick what my complexion required to look its best, I’d only need to add an acid or two. Those may be coming this Spring, I’m told, so do stay tuned.
Naturium excels in making the customization of your personal skincare regimen very approachable. The volume of available formulas makes it easy to tailor an ideal lineup of products to tackle a wide range of complexion-related concerns. As someone who simply can’t wear oils during the day, I am grateful for the choices in serums, oils or creams, which ensure an exceptional user experience and that I achieve my desired results. For those who prefer a minimalist approach: boost your skincare regimen by introducing a single formula into your self-care repertoire. To the advanced crowd of skincare aficionados: you’ll be thrilled at how well Naturium products layer and mix together.
Niacinamide (enlarged pores and uneven skin tone)
I can relate to those on the never ending quest to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. At almost forty, I’m still not sure whether combination skin counts as a blessing or a curse. Niacinamide is among the most effective solutions to tackle this particular conundrum and Naturium offers a serum and a gel-cream with this key ingredient, making it possible for all to achieve glass-like skin. Effortlessly.
For those who prefer a treatment step, the Serum contains 12% Niacinamide and 2% Zinc, which is known for its skin purifying properties. It sinks into the skin immediately and is lightweight enough to easily slot into my morning or evening routine. On nights I am determined to fight the pore-war, I apply two pumps of this serum and follow up with the 2.5% Retinol Cream.
If you gravitate toward multi-tasking formulas, you’ll probably like the 5% Niacinamide Gel Cream, which is infused with firming and soothing Algae Ferment as well as deeply hydrating Sea Water and Sodium Hyaluronate. While both formulas are pretty spectacular, I keep reaching for my jar of Gel Cream since it results in an immediate and subtle glow to my skin. You know the one: it has you looking like you’ve had the recommended amount of sleep. Those who enjoy gel textures know how tricky they can be to master. Naturium has created a completely non-sticky, quick absorbing gem in this formula. Sunscreen layers over it without pilling, which is a major coup. Note to self: when travel is a thing again, pack the Gel Cream to test its jetlag erasing abilities.
Vitamin C (skin brightening)
At first, I thought playing Vitamin C favorites would be super easy. Naturium offers a 22% Vitamin C Serum as well as a Vitamin C Oil. I prefer to use this skin brightening ingredient as part of my AM routine since my skin becomes a greasy mess whenever I wear an oil during the day. In other words, for me, serums always win by default. The truth is I still can’t pick a favorite and kept both in rotation. Here’s why:
The 22% Vitamin C Serum is powered by L-Ascorbic Acid and a bioactive blend of Pineapple, Papaya, Mango, and Caviar Lime Extracts. It’s juicy, thicker than most serums and tackles pre-existing hyperpigmentation. It creates an antioxidant shield, which guards the skin against UV damage. Since I am all about covering the bases without cutting corners, I’m partial to its hydrating properties. As you all know, water-soluble forms of Vitamin C can be prone to oxidizing, so try to use it up before it turns orange (when it does, it’s no longer effective).
If your skin does better with an oil, the key ingredient in Vitamin C Oil is THD Ascorbate (significantly more effective than Ascorbic Acid). It is oil-soluble, which also makes it more stable. Infused with Squalane and a blend of Desert Date, Meadowfoam, Sunflower Seed Oil, and Rice Bran Extract, it is also nourishing and soothing to the skin. It’s still an oil though so I rely on some creativity in order to reap its benefits during the day. One tried and true trick is to mist my face generously prior to applying any oil. That way, it absorbs more easily and more quickly. I have also found that adding half a dropper to a couple of pumps of the Quadruple Hyaluronic Acid Serum works brilliantly.
Hyaluronic Acid (skin plumping hydration)
How many times have you heard about the magic of Hyaluronic Acid and its ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water? Probably just as many… What does it mean exactly? When used topically, Hyaluronic Acid binds to water in the skin and makes the complexion appear plump and bouncy. That would be me after a late night. Which has been happening a lot lately.
The Quadruple Hyaluronic Acid Serum emerged as the immediate frontrunner when I first incorporated Naturium into my routine. Since my combination skin is often dehydrated, I look for HA in as many skincare products as possible (hence addiction to sheet masks). This particular formula stands out because of its multi-pronged delivery system. Naturium combines four different molecular weights of this key ingredient (very low, low, medium, and high) in its formula. It penetrates the skin in stages and provides hydration and moisture instantly and for hours after the initial application. The almost-gel-like texture of this serum makes for a great ‘carrier’ for oil-based products, so I highly recommend cocktailing it with other formulas.
P.S. Naturium is also launching a Marine Hyaluronic Water Cream this week. Expect a slightly richer consistency than the Niacinamide Gel Cream, with which I am so obsessed.
Retinol (fine lines and overall dullness)
I attribute the positive changes in my skin over the last two decades to being a Retinol loyalist. If I may share an unsolicited piece of advice about this truly effective anti-ager: find the right formula for your skin and stick with it. I still remember the moment I noticed my skin looking more radiant and, dare I say, rested. It took about six weeks. During that time, make sure to always use sunscreen during the day as your skin will be more susceptible to UV damage.
When it comes to Retinol, Naturium ain’t playing. It spotlights the Vitamin A derivative in three separate formulas. Having explored the Retinoid Oil and both versions of the 2.5% Retinol Cream and Serum, I had a real-life Goldilocks moment and found my skin did best with the Cream formula. Both 2.5% concentrations feature a proprietary blend of clinically-tested pure Retinol, microencapsulated Retinyl Palmitate, and Bakuchiol to help improve elasticity, and give sallow, dull looking skin some much needed radiance. While I have no need to layer anything over the cream, those with drier complexions may want to apply a few drops of an oil on top.
Side note: I tread lightly when it comes to facial moisturizers in which Shea Butter ranks at the top of an inci list, I am pleased to say the elegant base feels dreamy on my skin. I have recorded exactly zero clogged pores.
If an unfortunate incident has caused redness or irritation and requires that you maintain a healthy distance from Retinol, not all hope is lost. For a more gentle approach, Naturium has formulated Retinoid Oil, which uses Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (also known as Granactive Retinoid or HPR). This retinoic acid ester doesn’t require the body to absorb it since it binds directly to the retinoid receptors in our skin cells. The latest in ingredient innovation delivers a potent performance with remarkable results and significantly lower chances of irritation.
Tip: to be safe, stick to applying retinoids as part of your nighttime regimen and always apply a broad spectrum sunscreen during the day.
Marula & Squalane (for that extra moisture cushion)
Admittedly, it took some time for me to embrace face oils. As someone who still sports a T-zone, I knew certain oils would help balance the production of sebum. And my God, wouldn’t I want that? Fast forward. They just weren’t very user friendly, especially during the day. After much trial and error, I have learned to incorporate a drop or two into my water-based serum whenever my skin is feeling tight. They’ve become my go-to treat before bed. Regarding oils in general: ‘less is more’ is the rule to live by.
Naturium includes two options for those who seek the moisture cushion only an oil can provide. The 100% Squalane is sugarcane-derived, lightweight, silky, and very moisturizing. Personally, I adore this ingredient in most of my skincare staples. On its own, however, I find it too one dimensional and use it on damp hair as a moisturizing treatment.
Onto Marula Oil, which I’ve been a fan of for quite some time. The Naturium formula is 100% pure, unrefined, and organic. Quite familiar with this exotic fruit tree elixir, I immediately noticed it’s just a touch lighter in consistency than others I’ve tried. It’s actually eerily similar to formulas that come with a much higher price tag. Why do I love it? My strong preference for Marula as a single ingredient face oil can be traced to its rich antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and amino acids content. This impressive multi-tasker harnesses all the moisturizing and anti-aging powers in just a few drops so I use it often. Lately, I’ve been mixing the Naturium Marula Oil with Quadruple Hyaluronic and Niacinamide serums during the day. Overachiever much.
The Exclusive Gift With Purchase
Now for the most exciting part of the post. Beginning today, you will receive a full-size 2.5% Retinol Cream ($20 value) at no charge when you order any two Naturium products. Make sure you first add the Retinol Cream to your shopping cart and use promo code OMGBART at checkout. Need recommendations? This photo captures the perfect Naturium order. And if you’re thinking ‘hmm, he didn’t even mention the face wash’, check out this former post in which it topped the list of my most-reached for cleansers. It’s fantastic. The generous promo runs through May 26th and is valid only on orders placed at naturium.com. For now, the offer is only valid in the U.S. but Naturium is working on expanding their shipping internationally soon!
*This post has been sponsored by the brand. I have been compensated for creating the content but it by no means has influenced my opinion of the product.