A Resurfacing Serum For Sensitive Skin, Beauty Editor Approved

Since being introduced to Biossance Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum several months ago, I have collected my fair share of empties. For someone who tests products for a living—albeit, trying to cut down on just how many for the sake of sustainability and practicing the “less is more” attitude of beauty I so often preach—returning to a singular product on multiple occasions is something of note. 

That’s because anytime I stray from the serum and try another exfoliator (be it a peel, scrub, or other leave-on product), I almost always get some sort of rosacea flare up. My skin will sting, get tomato red, and small angry bumps will start appearing around my nose, cheeks, and chin. Depending on the strength of the product, I may even start peeling and flaking. Not great. 

This serum does none of that, even after pretty regular use. (By regular, I mean a few times a week; I still never use an exfoliator daily, even if a product says you can—I need days where I simply go all in on moisture and antioxidants.) But I love it not just for what it doesn’t do, but for what it does: This serum will smooth out texture, fade fine lines, and tend to clogged pores, and does so remarkably fast. In just a week, my complexion was brighter (like glow on the Zoom screen bright) and the slightly hilly texture on my cheeks was noticeably less apparent. On my forehead, where I seem to be developing my first pencil markings of fine lines, my skin was tout and firm. 

This was all due to the lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). AHAs are exfoliators that work by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, thereby sloughing off any excess buildup. (Rather than working to dissolve oil, like BHAs.) When it comes to AHAs, lactic acid has one of the larger molecules in the group, which means it can’t penetrate as deeply as others. This means all of the hard work of the acid happens on the surface of the skin, which decreases the amount of irritation and helps to protect the skin barrier. 

But another benefit from using the serum: my skin was so deliciously hydrated, too. Often when I use an exfoliating product, the best I hope for is “not dry”—never do I expect the outcome to be more moisturized. That’s thanks to the brand’s signature squalane. Squalane is an ingredient that’s actually produced naturally in the skin as part of our skin barrier (like ceramides or hyaluronic acid). When used in skin care, it functions as an emollient, soothing the moisture barrier and helping fill in cracks or damaged spots. Read: Great for people who have weakened barriers inherently. 

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