sciote illume brightening serum

Our Rating: 2 stars

Reviewed by SarahW on February 6, 2015


My first review for TIA was Moana Night Repair Serum, which was such a runaway success for me that I ordered another bottle before the sample ran out. And when this new bottle is finished, I will order another one. It’s that good.

So it was with huge anticipation that I opened the next TIA package to find a sophisticated looking container of Sciote Advanced Illume Brightening Serum ($95 in the shop) — my next trial.  First question: What is a “brightening serum?” I’ve never used one before, so I looked it up and found this answer: “A natural skin brightener that works to reduce hyperpigmentation, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles while promoting cell turnover.” Well, that sounded good — I’m 57 and have lots of THE ABOVE all over my face.

I know it will have a great anti-aging pedigree because the TIA team just don’t consider mutt products containing chemicals, fillers and other nasty stuff. Sure enough, this one has 5% kojic acid (known as the “Medicine of Eternal Life”), 3% glycolic acid (to reduce age spots, fine lines and wrinkles) and 1% salicylic acid which helps in cell turnover, treats acne and neutralizes bacteria. I’m not spotty, but I do have fine lines and wrinkles, and an even tone isn’t to be sneered at.

So each morning, I apply a couple of spurts to my face and neck after a good cleansing. It’s a clear serum without much fragrance (that’s good), and it sinks into the skin nicely without any claggy feeling. So far, so good. I put a moisturizer over the top, just as directed. Then, a month goes by, and I don’t notice any difference. Not a sausage. My husband doesn’t comment either — which is not unusual, as he wouldn’t notice if I had purple hair and a nose ring.  But I would notice, because I’m really looking and I’m really wanting it to make a difference. I’m willing it to work. But nothing. So I start putting it on the back of my right hand, which has quite a few muddy age spots (my face is actually quite clear — that’s London rain for you), and I keep going with that until it runs out. Again, nothing.

So what’s going on? I re-read the instructions and see that it has to be used for two to three months and then you have to take a month off. Well, I reckon it’s been about six weeks of solid use on my face and a couple of weeks on my hands, so maybe the bottle ran out too early, and it would have worked if the bottle had been bigger and I’d kept up with it. So maybe that’s the answer.

I have to say I am disappointed not to be jumping out of my chair, pumping my fist in the air like I did after a few days of trying the Osmotics Micro Peel Resurfacing System. Or after a week of Medik8 Firewall. Or even a few days of MitoQ, Lipofill or E'shee Gene Therapy Eye Cream (which, by the way, would be my luxury item on Desert Island Discs). But I’m not. Sorry. This is not a keeper for me, but I did notice that a couple of other reviewers really loved it and felt it made a difference to their skin. So try it. It might work for you where it didn’t for me.