Prevention is Better Than Cure with MARY & MAY’s Serums

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

With all the skin care knowledge I’ve gained through trial and error, I’m keen to step up my skin care game from using only a makeup remover to adding more steps like serum! To be honest, I didn’t bother using serums because I thought they were unnecessary at a young age. I now realize that prevention is better than cure: It’s never too early to take good care of your skin!

MARY & MAY is a fairly new Korean skin care brand that offers a wide range of clean beauty products. I appreciate the brand’s core values: Delivering efficient results with simple yet effective ingredients, while protecting the environment with eco-friendly packaging.

At first, I was a bit overwhelmed by MARY & MAY’s collection of serums, but I was sold after reading the careful selection of ingredients. Housed in dropper bottles with simple labels, its serums are typically based on one or two hero ingredients that target different skin care concerns.

Since I’m not dealing with obvious signs of aging yet, I looked for serums that could hydrate, brighten and reduce blemishes and pigmentation on skin. In the end, I chose the Hyaluronics Serum, the Idebenone + Blackberry Complex Serum, the Niacinamide + Chaenomeles Sinensis Serum and the Citrus Unshiu Fruit + Tremella Fuciformis Serum. Read on to see whether these serums helped improve my skin after a two-week trial!

Hyaluronics Serum

What it is: This intensive hydrating serum contains hyaluronic acid in five different molecular sizes that penetrate into different layers of skin to provide moisture and boost skin elasticity.

Key ingredient: Hyaluronic acid

Functions: Hydrating, anti-aging

My take

The Hyaluronics Serum is the most lightweight out of the four serums I tried, and it leaves a refreshing, non-sticky finish. Simple and straight to the point, it delivered deep hydration that I could instantly feel when it touched my skin.  The serum worked overnight, and my skin felt moisturized, supple and smooth the next morning. Since it’s super lightweight, I combined it with the slightly heavier Idebenone + Blackberry Complex Serum for a perfect balance. When I wanted extra hydration, I’d also follow with a sheet mask which helps to retain moisture.

Idebenone + Blackberry Complex Serum

What it is: This serum is packed with potent antioxidants to protect skin cells from environmental damage and improve skin’s overall appearance. Its key ingredient, idebenone, is said to have an antioxidant effect four times higher than Vitamin C. It also contains a rich blend of  acai berry, blueberry and blackberry extracts, which all work together to prevent signs of aging.

Key ingredients: 1,000ppm idebenone + 20% blackberry complex

Functions: Antioxidant, tone up skin, restore skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles

My take

The first thing you’ll notice about the Idebenone + Blackberry Complex Serum is its orange color coming from idebenone. This serum has the thickest consistency out of the four. I didn’t really enjoy the tacky feeling it left on my skin, but I started to get used to it after two weeks of continuous use. As mentioned earlier, I paired it with a lighter serum to balance the texture, and the outcome was better than I anticipated. My skin absorbed it completely in less than five minutes! The serum brightened and toned up my skin, though I can’t tell whether it delivers anti-aging effects.  Hopefully it’ll continue to bring positive effects to my skin in the long run. 

Niacinamide + Chaenomeles Sinensis Serum

What it is: This serum brightens skin and balances sebum levels with ingredients like niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and Vitamin C from chaenomeles, which also smooths skin texture.

Key ingredients: 2% niacinamide + 93% chaenomeles sinensis fruit (Chinese quince) extract

Functions: Brightening, prevent melanin formation, tone up skin, control sebum production

My take

Niacinamide might be next in line on my list of favorite skin care ingredients after hyaluronic acid, so I was really looking forward to this serum. As I get dark very easily under the sun, I feel like my skin needs brightening once in a while. Luckily, this serum does its job!  In terms of texture, the Niacinamide + Chaenomeles Sinensis Serum is in the middle of the spectrum. It’s slightly sticky but refreshing at the same time, perhaps due to the blend of fruit extracts. It dries to a velvety finish after a few minutes, so it’s ideal for daytime use or even before applying makeup. My skin’s become less oily, especially during the day, ever since I added the serum to my routine. I could definitely see myself using it more this summer to brighten skin. 

Citrus Unshiu Fruit + Tremella Fuciformis Serum

What it is: This serum improves skin tone with an energizing blend of Vitamin C from citrus unshiu fruit (Satsuma mandarin), while tremella fuciformis (snow fungus) extract delivers excellent antioxidant effects, boosts skin’s elasticity and provides rich moisture to give skin a brighter glow.

Key ingredients: 83.5% citrus unshiu fruit extract + 9.7 % tremella fuciformis extract

Function: Brightening, antioxidant

My take

My right cheek has been breaking out, and I needed to calm skin and diminish the bothersome dark spots on my face. That’s why I tried combining the Citrus Unshiu Fruit + Tremella Fuciformis Serum with the Niacinamide + Chaemenoles Sinesis Serum to achieve maximum brightening benefits. Although I was initially disappointed when I didn’t see immediate effects, I waited patiently for a few more days, and I was happy to see my blemishes and dark spots gradually fading away. The serum also kept my skin super moisturized and made it less dull!

Final Verdict

MARY & MAY’s four serums didn’t let me down. Whether you’re looking for an anti-aging elixir or simply want to start using serums, MARY & MAY would be a great try! I’ll definitely continue using them.

Everybody has to find what works bests for their skin, but below is how I’d combine the serums:

Hyaluronics Serum with Idebenone + Blackberry Serum -> Hydrating and antioxidant effects 

Citrus Unishu Fruit + Tremella Fuciformis Serum with Niacinamide + Chaenomeles Sinensis Serum -> Brightening and antioxidant effects

Now I understand why some say that serums are like tequila shots compared to other skin care products. They’re amazing for combating specific skin concerns, and the results are quick!

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