Do you know what I love about a good serum? Everything. My ideal formula is juicy but not too runny, hydrating, and smoothing. It has me looking rested immediately after application and really delivers that ‘did he actually get a full night’s sleep?’ glow. It’s also non-sticky, quick absorbing, and layers well with my moisturizer or sunscreen. Me? Picky? Nah. But hey, if you share my list of prerequisites, I’m guessing you’ll find the newly launched Votary Brightening Hyaluronic Serum dreamy.
What is it?
This new launch is actually a re-launch. When Votary first appeared on the scene, their original hydrating range featured a Lemon & Neroli Toning Serum. The serum was my second favorite, right behind the Neroli & Myrrh face oil. The newly upgraded and very much powered up formula embraces more of the citrus family and packs a gentle punch of radiance-revealing fruit extracts. The emphasis is on gentle; though indeed a daily exfoliating serum, it has been created for everyone, including those with sensitive skin.
What’s in it?
Let’s chat ingredients. When a product claims to hydrate and brighten, I want to see some receipts. Before diving into any acids, let’s appreciate the first ingredient on the list: Bitter Orange Flower Water. In short, Neroli. This crisp and refreshing note gives the new Votary serum a decadent light aroma. There’s no need to panic though. It elevates the user experience, but the scent does not linger after application.
Sodium Hyaluronate is the hydrating superhero, which provides hours of skin-plumping smoothness. Daffodil Flower Extract is another nod-worthy addition, which is known for its regenerating, brightening, and firming properties. For resurfacing, Votary’s latest AHA blend consists of Glycolic Acid as well as Bilberry, Orange, and Maple Sugar Extracts, all of which are rich in alpha-hydroxies. Cumulatively, the concentration adds up to just under 5%, a perfect happy medium that delivers daily exfoliation and avoids being pegged for night-time use exclusively. If you add the Brightening Hyaluronic Serum to your morning routine, apply broad spectrum sunscreen as your last step.
How do I use it?
If constantly trying new serums weren’t my actual job, I’d slather on a dropper full of this one both morning and night. I’m testing a number of overnight solutions at the moment, so I’ve decided to make the new Votary serum my daytime staple. It sinks into my skin almost immediately and does great under sunscreen — read: no pilling, ever. The instant hydration energizes the complexion as microexfoliation unveils smoother, more even tone over time. For PM use, I’ve been mixing it with a few drops of a face oil with great results since, before bed, I tend to do better cocktailing vs. layering.
Why I love it
Votary’s Brightening Hyaluronic Serum is a brilliant multitasker. As someone who doesn’t want to cut corners but has limited time and patience for skincare, I greatly appreciate this formula. And if you haven’t caught the acid toner bug yet, this daily treatment is a safe gateway into everyday exfoliation. Currently working on a petition for Arabella to expand this ancillary into a body formula and fragrance.
$118 (50ml) at votary.co.uk, libertylondon.com, and net-a-porter.com