Vitamin B serums have become super popular of late and it’s for good reason (not just for their good high-tech looks! 😉 ). They not only moisturise superbly (but without the heaviness of a cream) but they often also contain acids, which ramp up the skins own ability to hydrate itself (by producing more hyaluronic acid and collagen) and refine skin texture. For this reason, they are sooo great for oily skin types. All skins types need moisture if they are to be plump and hydrated. If you’re young, you may think that such moisturising products aren’t needed if you have blemishes or oily skin, but your skin may still be dehydrated. If your skin is dehydrated, it’s not going to be able to protect itself as much from environment aggressors and this will take a toll on your skin eventually (making it age faster and worsening blemishes). This is where a serum like the ASAP Super B Complex Serum comes in 🙂
The star ingredient in ASAP’s Super B Complex is niacinamide (vitamin B3). Vitamin B3 is fabulous for soooooo many reasons (I’m not even exaggerating, although I’ve harped on about it before, many times!). Niacinamide is an antioxidant, but it works differently to say vitamin C or green tea. Niacinamide helps the skin to repair UV-induced DNA damage and helps strengthen the top layer of the skin (stratum corneum) by aiding in the production of ceramides and lipids. This is important, because if the top layer of your skin is damaged or not in-tact, it can lead to transepidermal water loss (this results in dehydrated skin and skin which may become hyper sensitive). For this reason, dehydrated skin will make acne and sensitive skin worse, because the top layer of the skin cannot protect deeper layers, sending skin in a frenzy (aka emergency mode, often call hyper sensitivity).
Niacinamide also helps reduce inflammation, and if you suffer from very sensitive skin or acne, it’s probably that your skin becomes red and inflamed very often. So not only does niacinamide help prevent inflammation, by making sure the stratum corneum is intact and strong, but it also helps to inhibit parts of your skin’s immune system (it inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis, which are responsible for the redness and swelling, see Futurederm for more info) and combats inflammation once it’s happened. Pretty brilliant huh?!
Not only that, niacinamide also helps prevent the skin from yellowing, which happens in mature skins the most. This is a form of glycation, which effects proteins (proteins and sugars cross-link and turn yellow-brown in colour). Mature skin also benefit from niacinamide’s ability to stimulate protein production (and collagen is a protein!). So not only does niacinamide help skin stay hydrated (by preventing transepidermal water loss) but it also helps the skin to stay firm and lessen the look of wrinkles. Niacinamide also prevents melanin production, so it’s great for combating hyper-pigmentation (again, if you suffer from acne, you probably also deal with discolouration caused by long-term spots).
It’s honestly one of those ingredients which benefits everyone – from preventing the signs of ageing (helping your skin protect itself) and helping your skin stay plump, firm and even in tone!
So what other goodies have been included in the serum? Glycerin and sodium hyaluronate are super moisturisers! Sodium hyaluronate moisturisers your skin 50 times more than the regular hyaluronic acid and gycerin is a humectant (drawing moisture into your skin) and an occlusive moisturiser (sealing in moisture at the same time). Lactic acid gently exfoliates the skin and glycolic acid gently refines skin texture. Because all of the moisturising ingredients (including niacinamide) and refining ingredients, oily skin will not feel weighed down or oiler. I should also mention that because it contains moisturising ingredients first and foremost (with niacinamide taking place second place in the ingredient list!) the exfoliation taking place will be gentle.
So what did I think of serum itself? It’s clear and very zesty in fragrance (this would be the grapefruit, lime and bergamot oils in the ingredient list). I quite like the scent, especially for morning use (and morning use is recommended for this serum). Some individuals may be sensitive to citrus oils, so if you have sensitive skin, remember to wear sunscreen on top of this serum. It sinks into the skin almost instantly, however it does leave a sticky residue. I find that this actually helps with makeup application, but it could annoy some. Even with moisturiser placed over the serum, a little bit of the stickiness remains (this did surprise me). It is a little bit strange at first, but makeup application does make the skin feel more comfortable. It definitely does not make my skin feel oilier but it does make it feel hydrated and supple all day. I can’t recommend this product enough for those with oily or problematic skin. Using it daily will help your skin stay protected but also work to improve skin texture and tone over time! The serum is housed in a pump bottle, which is another big plus (all the ingredients will stay potent and active because they aren’t being exposed to air over time).
It’s very reasonably priced, and at RY you can pick it up for $65 (some other online stores sell it for $80 plus, which is crazy!). I can’t say it’s a product I will use religiously in my routine, as I just don’t need it (my skin isn’t as oily as it used to be) and the stickiness does irritate me, as I don’t wear makeup everyday religiously. Oddly, I haven’t read any other reviews which mention the sticky residue left by the product – so it’s a bit of a mystery to me…
Ingredients: Water (aqua), Niacinamide, Betaine, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Glycereth-26, Polysorbate-20, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Sodium Hyaluronate, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Pichia/Resveratrol Ferment Extract, Carrageenan, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Aloe Vera), Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Bacillus/Soybean/Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) Ferment Extract, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Auantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, d-limonene, Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, 1,2-Hexsndiol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
As it contains acids, do not use this product alongside vitamin A (retinols). I place it underneath my daily vitamin C serum (acids need direct contact with the skin to exfoliate well).
Have you tried any products from ASAP before or a vitamin B hydrating serum?
Until next time,
*Product sponsored by RY.com.au