Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum
Versed’s Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum is good option for brightening – one that is likely to give you the results it lays out in its claims (always a good thing!).
Packaged in an opaque bottle with a dropper with a plastic dispenser, this fragrance-free serum’s beneficial ingredients are protected from light and air, which in the wrong packaging can diminish their effectiveness. The serum itself is lightweight, easy to apply, and works well both over and under other skin care products.
Getting down to what Versed says this can actually do – there’s a nice mix of ingredients here that can result in a more radiant complexion. The formula contains licorice, vitamin C, niacinamide, Palmaria palmata (red algae) extract, and a small amount of turmeric extract. All of these have research showing they can improve the appearance of a dull complexion and help reduce discolorations, with vitamin C and niacinamide being among the most-studied ingredients in this category.
There aren’t a lot of other ingredients included in the formula aside from these – a more robust complement of antioxidants to support the star ingredients would result in a higher rating. Still, this is one of Versed’s better products, and one worthy of your consideration.
- Serum texture is lightweight and easy to apply.
- Includes brightening licorice, vitamin C, niacinamide, red algae, and turmeric.
- Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
- Fragrance free.
- Cons: Formula would be more impressive with additional beneficial ingredients.
When dullness inevitably creeps in, fend it off with a cocktail of brightening and pigmentation-fighting plant extracts and antioxidants. With vitamin C (one of the most well-researched and proven ingredients in brightening and anti-aging skincare), licorice root, palmaria palmata extracts (skin-lightening agents that inhibit pigmentation), and niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3 that reduces the appearance of discoloration), uneven skin tone can become a thing of the past. This lightweight, never-tacky serum also helps firm, hydrate, and strengthen skin—those brightening ingredients have some solid fringe benefits.
Versed Skincare is the creation of Katherine Power, former West Coast fashion editor of Elle magazine and co-founder of the LA-based fashion company Clique Brands. Versed is positioned as the sister brand of the company’s Who What Wear clothing line sold at Target, and so Versed is sold there as well as other retailers.
Versed’s philosophy is straightforward: offer affordable, effective skin care products that are both vegan and, in the brand’s words, clean. “Clean” is an ambiguous phrase in the beauty industry that lacks a standard, regulated definition (it varies from company to company), but in this instance it means that there are no so-called “toxic” and “questionable” ingredients in Versed’s products.
While some of these ingredients – such as formaldehyde and artificial fragrance – are certainly best avoided, others are labeled as bad based on outdated research, poorly designed or inconclusive studies, or simply anecdotal evidence, and not on the conditions (or concentrations) in which these ingredients are actually used in real-world skin care applications.
That aside, Versed has an attractive aesthetic that goes along with this clean philosophy: pastel-colored packaging with plain type that explains what each product’s purpose is and calls out key ingredients in each. For the most part, Versed products are packaged to protect their light- and air-sensitive ingredients; however, there are a few instances of clear and jar packaging, which compromise the benefits of some ingredients, particularly antioxidants.
The formulas from Versed are a mixed bag. Some contain a host of beneficial ingredients while totally avoiding irritants, others are good but basic, and some others include fragrant plant extracts and oils that pose a risk of sensitizing skin (and we should be clear – fragrance, both synthetic and natural, can irritate skin). It really is a situation where the products are best judged on a case-by-case basis, as the hit-or-miss nature of the line requires more scrutiny than simply choosing based on product claims and skin type.
Despite the extra effort needed, Versed does have some good products to offer, and the convenience of being available both online and in a major retailer like Target, will have a lot of appeal to a good number of people. You can learn more about Versed at https://versedskin.com/.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.