Apologies for the hiatus, y’all. This post had been sitting pretty as a draft for ages – and here it finally is. Hope it was worth the wait!
I first encountered Aesop products as a student in Melbourne. They are an Australian-grown skin, hair body care products company, and all their products are incredibly gentle, all-natural, inspired by simplicity – and all of them smell amazing. By amazing I mean like a field of lavender in spring, or like freshly picked ylang ylang flowers – and I am in no way exaggerating, they do smell that good.
My mother is an ardent fan of Aesop products and has been using them for several years now. She has slightly dry, very environmentally sensitive skin that is prone to pigmentation and dark spots, but her skin is ultra soft and smooth with zero blemishes (I always wish I was as lucky). She religiously uses the Aesop Oil Free Hydrating Facial Serum twice a day, and her skin is in great shape for a woman in her 50s – so I asked if I could test the product out for a week, and she happily consented.
Read on to find out what I thought!
The Aesop website says this serum is a:
Daily anti-oxidant moisturiser for oily, combination or sensitive skins.
Pure Aloe Vera Juice provides the base for this revolutionary hydration alternative. For those who find cream hydration just too heavy for their skin type, this is the answer, providing light hydration and also reducing the stickiness of the skin surface. Perfect for use in humid or polluted climates.
According to the label on the bottle, the serum also contains ylang ylang (floral and calming), D-Panthenol (moisturising and nourishing – read more about D-Panthenol here), and Vitamins B (healing) and C (antioxidants) as additional boosters. So far so good, from the sounds of things!
The first thing I noticed about this serum was how good it smelled. It has a delicate floral aroma – very pleasant, soothing, not all all overpowering or suffocating. The serum itself is a soft, clear blonde yellow in colour and does not feel oily or heavy in your hand. It feels very much like a natural oil – light, fluid and clear.
The aloe vera base provides for a nice cool feeling on the skin when the serum is first applied, and it sits lightly on the skin surface before absorbing fully. Unlike a cream, the serum does not leave an oily, slicky, residual look in its wake – however, I did find that my skin was mildly sticky for about 30 minutes immediately post-application. I think the stickiness was more a result of the hot and humid weather than anything, because there is almost no stickiness if the serum is applied in an air-conditioned environment.
After using this product for a week as an alternative to my trusty Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, I found that my skin was reasonably happy. I wouldn’t say it hydrates as intensively as DDML, but then again, it’s meant to provide only light hydration. It did help greatly with oil control – my skin took longer to get greasy in the mornings after washing. In terms of smoothness, I don’t think the serum does a great deal to change skin texture – my skin surface appeared much the same, but then again a week isn’t a long enough testing period for most serums (case in point, Estee Lauder and Clinique serums famously take a month or two to start showing signs of change, but when the changes occur, they are monumental). Major plus point to note though; the serum did not cause any flaking or blotching on this sensitive-skinned girl.
Pour conclure, at about RM 250 for a 100ml bottle (or so – not completely sure of the Malaysian pricing but will update once I find out) with a convenient and very hygienic dropper cap, it’s very reasonable as far as serums go. Just for comparison’s sake though, it retails for AUD63 in the Land Down Under. Although the label recommends that you use five to ten drops on your face per application, I found that four drops was more than enough. My mum has been using four drops of this serum on her face nightly, and she’s just finishing her bottle after a year – so that gives this serum serious value-for-money props.
I think it would work great for a busy, on-the-go, oily-skinned woman who wants something light and non-greasy on her face during the day. It is actually a wonderful wake-me-up serum thanks to its gorgeous, all-natural scent – and women who are into organic products will love this serum, which utilises the best elements of nature to its greatest potential. If you’re intrigued, there is no harm checking it out – and even if you don’t end up liking it as a facial serum, you can always massage it into your neck and shoulders for a lovely aromatherapeutic-cum-moisturising experience. After all, a little pampering never hurt a girl, did it?
PS: Aesop is also incredibly generous when it comes to giving out samples – so if you’re interested, head down to your closest Aesop counter and ask for a few!