(Trial Run)

This Serum Gave Me A Facial Level Glow That’s Transformed My Morning Routine

And it’s filled with active botanicals.

In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, our beauty writer is testing the new Ursa Major Mountain Glow Golden Serum.

Between $200 facials, $440 essences, or $270 serums all proclaiming to deliver dewy and well-hydrated skin, you might anticipate that effective and show-stopping results can only come from high-price treatments and products. Don’t get me wrong, I rather enjoy these lavish treatments and the glowing results they bring, but thanks to Ursa Major, I’m realizing you only need one product in your rotation for facial-worthy glow. Enter: Ursa Major Mountain Glow Golden Serum.

Ursa Major, a B Corp brand committed to sustainability and natural ingredients, was energized by the forest ingredients in Vermont, where the brand is based, when Mountain Glow Golden Serum was welcomed into the collection back in June. The serum was inspired by founder Emily Doyle’s desire to create a holy grail serum that performs just as well as a high-price competitor. “I want my skin to look its best and I kept thinking, do I really need to buy a $400 serum or can we do it the Ursa way?” Doyle asked her formulator. With that in mind, the team set out to create a deeply rejuvenating serum set to reduce wrinkles, boost radiance, and firm sagging skin for less than $100.

Like the founder, I am a big fan of nature and natural ingredients and beamed at the opportunity to test the product. Not to mention, my skin was looking rather lackluster after weeks of on-the-go travel. Keep reading to learn more about my experience with this innovative serum.

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Fast Facts:

  • Price: $84
  • Best For: Dry skin, intense hydration, dewy glow
  • Your Rating: 4.3/5
  • Clean/Cruelty Free: Yes
  • What we like: Effortless, natural glow
  • What we don’t like: Excess product with two pumps

About My Skin

Due to weddings, baby showers, bachelorettes, and a plethora of other summer events, I’ve been traveling non-stop for the last two months with lots of long plane rides to each destination. Knowing how detrimental — meaning dry spots, breakouts, and inflammation — certain climates can be on the skin (not to mention air travel itself), I was determined to find something that would lock in daily moisture and prevent my skin from looking well-traveled (read: run down.)

The Science Behind Mountain Glow Golden Serum

Following Doyle’s “floor to the canopy” approach, natural ingredients found in Vermont forests were used to design this formula, including 44 active ingredients such as fermented black tea, honey locust seed, wild indigo seed, agarikon mushroom, vitamin A, C, and E, and so much more.

The new hero product has both immediate and long-term results for your skin. It’s infused with honey locust seed that lifts and tighten to help smooth file lines in as little as three minutes (according to the brand). Whereas the moss stem cells, the ingredient I credit to my glowing skin amidst all the traveling, protects skin from environmental elements that can damage collagen.

Then you have wild pansy, which improves the water content and the amount of hyaluronic acid in the skin and decreases wrinkle depth. According to the brand’s clinical studies, with the help of the star-tipped lichen ingredient, the deeply rejuvenating serum is able to affix itself to 100% of wrinkle surface and produce 140% more hyaluronic acid — making skin more elastic after eight weeks of twice daily use. “The face and neck lose elasticity over time due to sun exposure and intrinsic aging,” Dr. Karan Lal DO MS FAAD, board certified dermatologist, tells TZR. “But with ingredients that resemble the skin’s natural sebum [think: fatty acids and vitamin C], collagen production can be stimulated to help repair and soothe skin.”

My skin before using the new serumCourtesy of Natasha Marsh

My Results With The Mountain Glow Golden Serum

The plant-based lotion-to-oil serum claims to reduce wrinkles, firm sagging skin, boost radiance and restore lasting moisture, all while evening skin tone. Spoiler alert: it did exactly that. The brand recommends applying one to two pumps in the morning or at night before your favorite moisturizer or anytime you want a “healthy mountain glow.” I started out with two pumps and quickly switched to one, realizing two was too much product for my face. I like to put the serum on in the morning to have a dewy finish all day long.

Upon first touch the serum feels like a rich lotion but when it interacts with the warmth of my skin and some pressure from my fingers, it transforms into an oil that beautifully melts into my complexion. I’ve used it when my skin felt dry, normal, and sensitive and each time I received the same results: a natural, radiant glow — one that I typically only see after a really good facial. Plus, the subtle nectar with honey and wild birch aroma is a nice touch to any skin care routine.

But the biggest thing I’ve noticed in four weeks is how my skin looks when I first wake up, without anything on it. Before I would wake up and have dull looking skin until I washed my face and worked in products. Now, I wake up with brighter and more even-toned skin. After using it for four months, I’ve enjoyed waking up with luminous skin that feels a lot tighter and has the same inner glow I get from hour-long facials, but this time it’s better — it’s long-lasting, whereas facial glows last me the day-of and at most, up to two days later.

After using the serum for four months.Courtesy of Natasha Marsh

Is The Mountain Glow Golden Serum It?

Ursa Major products range from $50 to $60 so this $84 serum is definitely pricey for their standards, but in comparison to competitors, it produces the same glowing benefits at nearly half the price. And because the formula is so enriched with 44 active ingredients, a little bit goes a long way with the 1oz bottle. Plus, for dehydrated and irritated skin, it plumps the skin with hydration and helps to diminish wrinkles on mature skin. It’s a definite must-have product for my stressed skin.

Product Specifications:

  • Product name: Ursa Major Mountain Glow Golden Serum
  • Ingredient Highlights: Honey locust seed, Moss stem cells, and wild pansy
  • Size: 30mL/1 oz.
  • Suitable: All skin types, including sensitive

BDG product reviews and recommendations are written and conducted by writers and editors with expertise in their fields. Testers often have specific experience with the situation or product at hand, and/or their review or recommendation is provided in consultation with experts. You can learn more about our standards here.