I’m always excited by waterless products like Lumavera Anti-Aging Serum ($120). With over 40 ingredients, the first is vitamin, mineral and enzyme-rich aloe leaf extract.
The serum has five hydrating humectants including hyaluronic acid. A huge list of antioxidant botanicals includes pomegranate, prickly pear, cucumber, green tea, algae extracts and a collection of citrus extracts. However, the antioxidant Vita veggie Hi Actives blend of broccoli, broccoli sprout, tomato, carrot, spinach, kale and onion powders takes center stage.
African Birch Tree extract supposedly helps the skin produce fibrillin, a protein associated with elastin and collagen production, but I couldn’t find independent research to support this. Other collagen boosters include palmitoyl tripeptide-38 and Hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin (both in Matrixyl synthe’6). Glycosaminoglycans and soluble collagen also help skin elasticity. The heavy hitters continue with argan sprout cell culture extract which are stem cells designed to produce collagen and elastin.
There are several anti-hyperpigmentation botanicals such as cucumber fruit extract (which suppresses melanogenesis leading to skin discoloration) and tyronase inhibiting lemon, tangerine and grapefruit extracts. Personally, I’m cautious about daytime use of citrusy products because they are phytotoxic – they can actually cause pigmentation when exposed to sunlight. One should always use a high SPF, but particularly with these ingredients.
Unfortunately there are several questionable ingredients in the mix, including potential carcinogens sodium benzoate, carrageenan and retinyl palmitate. Potential skin irritants include guarana extract, pentylene glycol and tocopheryl acetate. Comfrey extract has been linked with liver toxicity. That said, I experienced no adverse effects.
The serum itself is extremely thin with a citrus aroma that doesn’t linger. It fairly explodes out of the airless pump bottle, so take care. One pump is enough and it absorbs quickly leaving a matte look and no residue.
I’d expect a serum with these clusters of ingredients to be hydrating, brightening and wrinkle smoothing. How did it fare?
Initially, I found the serum drying and had to use my night cream in the day, but this did improve after a week or two. I’d say it’s gently hydrating, especially good for normal and oilier skins. My 40-year-old rosacea and hyperpigmented skin relies on my serum as well as creams to hydrate and moisturize in the colder months. I didn’t get any breakouts or increased redness from the serum.
After a month of twice daily use, I can’t say I saw any improvement in my barely noticeable forehead and nasolabial lines, but I suspect that collagen boosters take several weeks to work – perhaps it was not long enough. As for hyperpigmentation which is a bear to shift, I didn’t notice any improvement, but my skin was perhaps slightly brighter by the end. My 58-year-old husband joined in halfway through the month but he didn’t notice any real effects either.
While I personally didn’t see much effect from this serum, it might be a good choice for younger skins, those with normal to oily tendencies and layering enthusiasts who want an anti-oxidant hit without the weight of another creamy serum.