Happy Friday! Today I’m reviewing a product I thought I had already talked about in the past, but this is the Botanics Radiance Concentrate All Bright Serum, which appeared in my recent April Empties 2018 post. If you’re living in the UK, you’ll recognise this brand as being a Boots exclusive brand, which consists of five major skincare lines. The Radiance Concentrate Serum is from the All Bright line, designed to brighten the skin. The entire line boasts using “natural exfoliators” (quoted from the Boots “which skincare range is right for you” page) to rejuvenate and brighten the skin. The packaging for my bottle is a bit outdated, which you’ll notice from looking at Boot’s website, but the product retails for £8.99 at full price, but is often on sale, so worth looking out for when shopping.
Before I get carried away talking about my personal process of using this serum, I’m going to tackle the back of the bottle, so you have an idea of what the claims, instructions, etc, are. Assuming I had already reviewed this product (I was mistaken, oops), I threw out the box during a recent clear through of my packaging box (I actively keep packaging until I’ve reviewed products, do you do this too?), so I don’t have the box to photograph instead, so I’m going to quote the back of the bottle for you:
“Instructions: Recommended usage 2-3 drops after cleansing, morning and evening, avoiding the sensitive eye area. For best results follow with All Bright Hydrating Day Cream SPF15 or All Bright Hydrating Night Cream.”
So I’ll talk about the instructions first, since I do sway away from this slightly. I used this serum as part of my day time routine, and used personal judgement to apply the right amount of product to each section of my face.
For me, instead of just using 2-3 drops, tap onto my palms and pat onto the skin, I work through each section of my face as I find this applies skincare like serums, more evenly. When patting from the palms all over the face, I find areas of my face like the edges of my cheeks miss out on a lot of product, while the central areas of my face like my nose, chin, forehead, etc get a lot more product, and this makes my skin feel congested. Instead, I using the dispenser to drop a couple of drops onto my fingers, rub my fingers together, then focus on applying to one section of my face and then repeat.
For me, I split my face into my forehead, nose, chin, and individual cheeks, and do this process for each section, dispensing the right amount of product for how much I know each section needs. So I use less for my nose since I get very oily there, and more for my cheeks since they’re the least oily area of my face. This works well for me for any liquidy products like serums, since it gives me more control over the product.
I won’t quote the ‘avoiding contact with eyes’ part, because I trust that we’re all equipped with enough common sense and seen it on enough skincare that it doesn’t need to be talked about. The next section covers the presence of AHA in the product with the following warning:
“The product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Use a sunscreen and limit sun exposure during use of the product and for a week after use of the product has stopped. Discontinue use if irritation occurs and seek medical advise if irritation persists.”
First of all, I’m not super informed about the science behind AHA, BHA and other aspects of cosmetic formulations. I will not pretend to know, and I’d rather be transparent about this, instead of mislead you into thinking I’m more informed than I am. However, from my limited understanding, I do appreciate that AHAs sensitise the skin as the product claims, and I heeded this warning with caution. I work from home, so I don’t go outside often, so for me, avoiding excessive sunlight is something I find very easy to do, as I work from a computer and keep the curtains closed a lot of the time to prevent lens glares on my monitors. When I do go outside though, I use sunscreen regardless as I do have pale skin and skin that is very prone to burning. So in my case, these pre-cautions are part of my normal routine.
So claims and instructions aside, the serum itself was something that took some getting used to. The formula itself was a nightmare to try and photograph, and I eventually gave up because the camera wouldn’t focus at all, so I apologise for this now. The formula is a strange mix between a gel and oil, and was a bit intimidating at first. It’s relatively medium in texture for a serum, but on the lighter end compared to an oil-based formula. I realise that’s a bit of an odd description, but it’s more gel than oil in terms of ratio, and that’s the best way I can think of to describe it. It absorbs into the skin quite quickly, and it’s because of the slightly liquidy nature of the formula that I use the process of applying that I described earlier in this post.
As someone with oily-sensitive skin, one of the things I noticed is that my skin does feel a slight tingly sensation occasionally just after applying, which I assume, and by no means is this fact, but I assume that’s the AHA in the product working on my skin. My skin doesn’t feel more sensitive in the sense that it gets irritated, but it is more sensitive in the sense that if I don’t take the pre-cautions I do in regards to avoiding excessive sun light, my skin would suffer for it. I feel like this is an important distinction to make because I think this is a good product, and can work for some mildly sensitive skin types, but it’s not a product that when you hear ‘sensitising’ you run for the hills at the description.
I find the formula is hydrating for the skin, but works best when worked into a routine that has other hydrating skincare products. Unlike the description, I don’t pair this with skincare products from the Botanics lines, I simply see that as marketing, but I used an emulsion afterwards as a follow-up step and I found this worked well for my skin’s needs.
Overall, I really like this product. I have used this up, so a new serum is in my skincare routine at the moment, which I will be writing a first impression of very soon. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I appreciate that you took time out of your day to read it, and I hope you are happy and healthy.