In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews.
As someone with a normal-to-dry skin type, I often feel spoilt for choice when it comes to adding new products into my skin care routine. I tend to stick to formulas I know and love and have to be inspired to try out something new. A factor that usually does the trick is product’s claims of glowing skin. While my skin isn’t usually unruly, the weather we’re currently experiencing in England is having a bit of a moment. What should be constant sunny skies and the feel of the beaming hot sun on my skin is actually just a constant downpour of rain, and the unpredictable change has caused my skin to feel a lot drier than usual. That’s why I’ve been on the hunt for a product that not only restores the hydration back into my skin but is something that makes it look equally as glowy and radiant.
So when I heard that Supernal was releasing the Illumine Restorative Oil Serum — which claims to replenish and illuminate the skin — two years after the launch of its much renowned Cosmic Glow Oil, I knew I had to try it. I’ve been using the serum for almost two weeks now and I’m here to give you the lowdown on whether or not it’s worth the $128 price tag.
What Does It Do?
Supernal's Illumine Restorative Oil Serum is a gentle, waterless daily treatment naturally rich in antioxidants and protective fatty acids (more on the ingredients in a bit). Among many things, it's an oil-serum hybrid that promises to help refine, balance, and brighten skin for a renewed and illuminated complexion.
According to the brand literature, it’s suitable for any and all skin types. The product directions couldn’t be easier: simply massage a few drops of the product onto moist, cleansed skin up to two times daily to start seeing results. As an avid lover of oil-serum hybrid products (like Glossier’s Futuredew) this serum really excited me as I know just how dewy and long-lasting it can look on the skin, even hours after first applying the product. With a hybrid formula, you’re essentially getting all of the nourishing and moisturizing properties of an occlusive and emollient oil (which locks in moisture and creates a barrier to prevent water loss) and the active ingredients of a targeted serum.
The serum is vegan and cruelty-free, making it suitable for all skin care consumers. It’s also free of synthetic fragrance and essential oils (which makes it ideal for people with sensitive skin), and it contains a blend of nourishing oils from plum oil, dragon fruit, rosehip oil, among a few others. The range of oils helps to tackle many different skin concerns, whether it’s to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation or, as in my case, to brighten and hydrate my skin.
It’s definitely worth seeing if the serum could be beneficial even if you’ve got oily skin, as skin that produces excess oil is often doing so to compensate for being dehydrated. Rosehip oil especially can boost your skin’s moisture levels and help to fight off inflammation from the environment, stress, your diet, and more.
Alongside the oils, you can find bakuchiol, which is often compared to retinol as they both offer similar benefits, from reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to evening out the skin tone (which is accomplished by increasing cell turnover). However, bakuchiol is often recommended as the better option of the two for people with sensitive skin as it’s gentle and isn’t known to cause irritation, flaking, or redness, nor does it increase your sensitivity to the sun.
And while there is no added fragrance, the natural aroma of the serum is very calming, almost like something you’d expect to smell when visiting a spa.
Testing The Illumine Restorative Oil Serum
Prior to testing out the serum, my skin often experienced dry patches throughout the day on the outer areas of my face from my cheeks to my forehead, despite always finishing up my morning and evening skin care routine with a hydrating moisturizer to seal everything in. So one thing I really took note of when trying out the serum was how my skin reacted hours after application.
Starting off with my morning skin care routine, I applied my cleanser and toner as usual and then I massaged a few drops of the serum into my skin. Each drop massages into the skin effortlessly, absorbing it with no oiliness and a silken-like and soft finish, and I found that using the recommended few drops was more than enough for my entire face and neck. Even after layering my SPF on top, my face still felt super hydrated and the glow lasted for hours, right up until my evening routine.
I was really fond of just how smooth my skin felt and looked after the application of the serum and it meant I could opt out of the foundation step in my makeup routine — instead, I was able to use just bronzer, blush, eyeliner, and mascara.
The results were just as great and just as instant when using the serum during my evening routine, which consists of a double cleanse, toner, an exfoliator, and a face mask a few times a week, along with an essence, serum, and a moisturizer. While that may seem excessive to some, my skin really thrives off hydration, and the products I use help to keep my complexion soothed and supple.
I mixed up my routine slightly by continuing to double cleanse, tone, exfoliate and apply a face mask twice a week and followed these steps up by using the Illumine Restorative Oil Serum, followed by Supernal’s cult classic Cosmic Glow Oil instead of incorporating my usual step of moisturizer (since the combination of both products achieved the glowy and hydrated look and feel I’d usually get from a moisturizer). Though both products can be used alone, Supernal explains that combining the two delivers a potent dose of the antioxidant-rich ingredients that hydrate, refine, and illuminate skin for a bright and balanced complexion.
After almost two weeks of incorporating the Illumine Restorative Oil Serum into my routine, I truly couldn’t be more pleased. It’s made such a noticeable difference, my skin constantly glows, and it feels extremely hydrated during both application and hours later. I’ve even found that by the evening my skin looked and felt just as good as it did hours before. I’ll let the results do the talking!
Is It Worth The Investment?
If it wasn’t obvious from both my glowing skin and review, I hands down think the serum is worth the investment. While I know that $128 is a hefty amount to spend on just one product, this serum is definitely one of those luxuries you’ll always want around.
From the instant glow to the sensitive skin-friendly formulation, Supernal’s new release is truly one of those products that can work for everyone. Plus, because it does a wonderful job at combating skin issues you’d typically tackle during other parts of your skin care routine — like using facial oil as your last step to hydrate and lock in all the moisture — it means you won’t have to reach for as many products as you might be doing now. Take my word for it, use this and your skin will thank you later.
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