Oh, you want to know the least fun part of having sensitive skin? I thought you’d never ask! It’s the inability to combat any skin issue except said sensitivity, of course.
Got dark spots? Deal with it – anything active enough to fight them could cause redness. Looking dull? Best get used to that; brightening exfoliants are rarely friends to a reactive face. Basically, anything potent/powerful/actually useful puts skin like mine on literal red alert. And so I generally must cop my actual skin concerns sweet to avoid angering my all-too delicate (albeit dull) complexion.
So when a serum shouting about its brightening benefits came across my desk, I figured it would be another one to pass me by. And yet my face’s eternal FOMO encouraged me to take a quick scan of the fine print. Imagine my delight when I spied the phrase ‘specifically formulated for sensitive skin types’ (that’s me!) right alongside the words ‘anti-dark spot concentrate’.
A chance to take a swing at my skin goals without setting things off in the sensitivity department?! You best believe I added that bad boy to my ‘to try’ line-up immediately – smugly, too!
What was I so excited about? La Roche-Posay Pure Niacinamide 10 Serum’s dermatologically-tested formula, of course! Okay fine, it was the derm-approved status and the purple packaging. But while the amethyst shade no doubt reeled me in, it was the promises of even, hydrated, and bright skin that had me hooked.
It’s actually quite a fancy formula you see, featuring a multitasking mix of two of my personal favourite ingredients (moisture-restoring hyaluronic acid and soothing, nourishing niacinamide), as well as a clever (and blessedly gentle) exfoliant that goes by ‘HEPES’ (or hydroxyethyl piperazine ethane sulfonic acid if you’re a global spelling bee champion).
Mix those three together and you’ve got a solid chance at topping up moisture, promoting gentle exfoliation and evening out tone (AKA brightening and helping to visibly reduce dark spots) while keeping things calm. Pretty handy considering that was everything I had on my goal round-up! So how did it do? Let’s see…
La Roche-Posay Pure Niacinamide 10 Serum review
Now I don’t like to be an overpraiser (I’ll tell you Titanic was ‘just okay’ if you ask me), but this serum was an actual pleasure to apply. It glides on like a silky-soft dream, only requiring 2-3 drops to cover the whole face and neck – great news considering it’s $71.95 – so you can purchase with full faith that it’ll last a decent length of time. I’m president of the ‘dropper serum fan club’, too; it makes dispensing the perfect amount every time stupidly simple.
It absorbs in a flash, but not in a ‘where did it go and what did it do’ way. Even once the good stuff has sunk below the surface (on its way to work brightening magic no doubt), it still leaves skin with the prettiest pearlescent sheen.
‘Fresh’ is the word that came to mind both immediately after application (thanks to said sheen) and a few days in (multiplied after a few weeks). I look like I’ve slept better (which I certainly haven’t; the Vecna nightmares rage on), my skin feels comforted (AKA noticeably less dry) and on an overconfident day I might even bill it as ‘bright’.
To put it in foundation terms (which I have full faith anyone plagued by pigmentation will understand), I’ve gone from a multi-layer mix of several foundation formulas to a sole pump of one mixed with two pumps of primer. Not only do I have a little less redness to cover (cheers niacinamide), but there’s just less overall ‘evening’ to do. I’m not quite at the stage where I love my bare face (as I have a fair amount of uneven tone to work through), but I’m pretty confident I’ll get there with this stuff.
The only thing I’ll say is that it seems consistency is key – after all, dark spots are pretty damn determined to keep coming back. I recommend keeping up your use long-term to see lasting benefits. After all, if you drop your shield, the bad guys can get through again, and I simply won’t stand for it now that I know the other way.
For the record, it’s not solely for the face in my book, either – I’ve also been patting the excess left on my palms into the backs of my hands. We all know they’re the fastest giveaways of ageing, and now that I have this weapon on my side, mine shan’t be revealing a damn thing!
The final verdict
I’ve long turned to La Roche-Posay for soothing skin care but their selection of comforting creams have always been more my skin’s speed than anything that promises genuine game-changing results.
While I doubt I’ll be straying much further from my sensitivity-friendly stable out of fear of pushing too far, it’s reassuring to know that there is actually an option out there able to show sensitiveomplexions actual differences after use. I was starting to think the skin wizards had forgotten that we had concerns too!
But if you do (and they’re tone-related), I advise you pick up a bottle of the La Roche-Posay Pure Niacinamide 10 Serum ($71.95 at La Roche-Posay) pronto – it’s an essential stop on your way to even skin.
Delaney Loane is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor (and resident winged liner lover). An expert in everything from sensitive skin solutions to superior lip gloss formulas, her words have also appeared across mastheads such as ELLE and marie claire.