In beauty (and life in general), I live for a discovery that makes me realize I need to raise my standards. When it comes to hyaluronic acid serums, I’ve been operating under the assumption that they don’t do more than moisturize and set the bar there. Although these formulas are great for packing potent concentrations of hydration, I rarely encounter one that goes above that ask.
This is definitely wrong of me because my recent encounter with Kate Somerville’s Kateceuticals Firming Serum proves that a hyaluronic acid serum (when combined with a few other superstar actives like peptides) can give me a contoured, dewy effect that’s mind-blowingly good.
Kate Somerville’s new Kateceuticals collection is designed to add texture, elasticity, and bounce to skin that’s running low on moisture and collagen. The formulas revolve around the idea of fading fine lines and wrinkles while plumping sagging skin, but the benefits work across all skin types and ages, as I’ll happily demonstrate to you on my own face. The active ingredient powering the trio: peptides, which help strengthen your skin barrier and create a plumping, firming effect. You’ll see those results with the Kateceuticals Total Repair Cream and Lifting Eye Cream, but it’s the Kateceuticals Firming Serum that delivers my favorite effect.
Along with the collagen-boosting Tri-Peptide Complex, Kateceuticals Firming Serum contains a dose of hyaluronic acid to deeply moisturize and smooth the look of your skin, plus nasturtium flower to brighten and further boost your skin barrier. The formula’s finishing touch is vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps improve water retention and protects against free radical damage from UV rays (still remember to wear your SPF, though).
I normally test new skin care for at least a couple weeks to get the full effect, but I knew from the first drop that this bottle was going to worthy of a repurchase. It comes in easy-to-use pump packaging that dispenses the nourishing formula with ease. I’d suggest using only a little at time—partly because it’s a definite splurge at $98 and partly because you only need a scant single pump to see results. While most of my serums have a watery, fluid texture, I noticed right away that this one feels thicker, with a texture that reminds me of a lightweight gel moisturizer. It adds to the experience: When I smooth it over my face, it leaves a velvety, cushion-like texture behind. The formula sinks in almost immediately, but does a great job soothing and softening dry patches. Morning and night, I usually seal it in with an additional layer of moisturizer and face oil to lock in those effects.
True to its name, Kateceuticals Firming Serum noticeably firms and tones your skin as you apply it. I mostly credit my increasingly defined cheekbones and jawline to my daily Foreo Bear microcurrent massages, but I love that this formula makes my face look (and feel!) even more lifted. There’s a limit to what your topicals can do, of course, but paired with microcurrent or facial massage, this gives that extra little boost that emphasizes those cumulative results. It also delivers the level of glow that makes people believe I sleep 12 hours a night instead of my usual four to five. If my face looked how I felt at the moment, I’d be showing you a selfie with a heavy gray tinge to my skin. Instead, thanks to this peptide- and hyaluronic acid-powered routine, I’ve never been more radiant.
Sarah Y. Wu is a beauty writer in Berlin. Follow her on Instagram @say.wu.