We have never been more keenly aware of the need to make sustainable choices than we are today and one Singapore beauty brand is trying to do their part. We recently reviewed two of Kumuya’s clean beauty serums to see if they could match up and were impressed with the results. Read on for the full review.
The clean beauty trend has been going on for some time now as we become more aware of how our consumer choices can affect the environment and our futures. Having gone from niche to mainstream, and with no official definition, it has also attracted a fair amount of controversy but one clean beauty brand from Singapore, Kumuya, is taking steps to do their part.
We were sent a pair of their latest serums, the Illuminate Nutri-serum Concentrate and the Rejuvenate Nutri-serum concentrate, and I immediately jumped at the opportunity to try them out. EWG-certified, these serums are not only truly clean but also vegan and cruelty-free giving you even more reasons to give them a go.
Why Two Serums?
As it turns out, formulating a potent skin treatment like a serum is a lot more complex than we think. It requires putting together a number of active ingredients while ensuring that they work effectively and in harmony to deliver the intended skincare outcomes.
“We had originally wanted to make only one serum but it was difficult to create such a product without losing something in its efficacy and stability - which is important as many serums actually lose their efficacy over time when exposed to the environment.” says Gary Chin and Terry Tong, founders of Kumuya, in an interview we did with them earlier this year.
In order not to compromise on the efficacy of the serums, Kumuya formulated twin serums that target separate concerns but pair together to deliver synergistic results. The Iluminate Nutri-serum Concentrate deals primarily with dull skin, pigmentation and blemishes while the Rejuvenate Nutri-serum Concentrate is an anti-ageing serum that repairs and protects your skin, tackling issues like hydration, elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles.
Proven Clean Beauty Ingredients
The Rejuvenate Nutri-Serum Concentrate boasts 10 active ingredients that support collagen production, 5 antioxidant rich ingredients that help protect the skin, 6 for hydration and 2 micronutrients to nourish and support skin health. Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate, a probiotic that helps support your skin’s biome, is listed as the second most common ingredient in this serum after water.
Other notable ingredients in this serum include Hyaluronic Acid, Magnesium, Blue-Green Algae Extract and Bakuchiol, a natural plant-based retinol alternative. Retinol is a popular and proven anti-ageing ingredient but it can be harsh on the skin. Using Bakuchiol makes this anti-ageing serum ideal for those with sensitive skin.
The brightening Illuminate Nutri-serum Concentrate is formulated with 9 active ingredients that target dark spots and blemishes, 8 that help to brighten and even skin tone, 7 skin soothing ingredients and 3 micronutrients to help your skin glow from within. This serum includes brightening active ingredients like Vitamin C, Niacinamide and Alpha Arbutin and is also rich in reparative Magnesium that supports cell renewal to help you achieve a natural youthful brightness.
Both serums are EWG verified which means they have been tested to the strictest standards of health and safety set by the Environmental Working Group, EWG, a non-profit corporation committed to the removal of harmful chemicals from our everyday products. So, if you are looking for a high quality, clean beauty serum, these 2 serums are definitely products you will want to consider.
Application and Use
I started by trying the serums individually and then one after the other and after using them for over two weeks, my recommendation would be to use them together starting with the Rejuvenate Nutri-serum right after your cleansing and toning step and follow that up with the Illuminate Nutri-serum in a skin layering routine.
You can also start with the Rejuvenate straight after a double cleanse as its light essence-like texture (more on that later) and moisturising actives make it a bit of a serum-essence hybrid. What’s important is to start with the Rejuvenate first as using them in this order allows the hydrating actives in the Rejuvenate serum to help moisturise the skin and this helps optimise the absorption of the other active ingredients in the Illuminate Nutri-serum.
The light, orangey Illuminate Nutri-serum has a texture that is thicker than the Rejuvenate’s which has a light watery texture and a milky white colour. Application of both serums were easy and the serums were absorbed very quickly into the skin within minutes and left zero residue or sticky feeling on the skin. If you like light serums that do not sit heavy on the skin, then these 2 serums are definitely what you’re looking for.
Both serums have natural, fresh botanical scents that are quite refreshing and added to the whole skincare experience. The Illuminate Nutri-serum had a scent that is slightly more herbaceous while I particularly liked the scent of the Rejuvenate Nutri-serum that had strong hints of lavender. Being clean beauty products, they do not have any artificial fragrances added and the scents are totally natural, coming from the active ingredients.
The Results: Improves Skin Health and Appearance
In the hypermarketed world of beauty and skincare, many of us are leery of buying into the claims made by brands and manufacturers. Unsurprisingly, there is a camp of reviewers who tend to be sceptical when it comes to natural, vegan or clean beauty products and question the efficacy of products that do not have lab derived active ingredients.
Well, that isn’t these 2 serums as these 2 serums really had me impressed! These serums just melted into my skin and it isn’t often I would dare to make this claim, but the Illuminate Nutri-serum Concentrate had my skin looking visibly brighter minutes after application.
Using both serums for about a month, my skin felt firmer and blemishes such as pigmentation and scars appeared less visible. Even my early-developing crow feet and smile lines appeared less visible - at least to me. My skin looked and felt healthier and even my hormonal acne, that has bugged me my entire life, became less of an issue.
Verdict: Clean, Vegan Beauty Must-Haves
The ingredient list on both of these serums are impressive and reads like the “who’s who” of the skincare world. This and the fact that they are clean and vegan explains the slightly higher price tag at $119 a bottle. These aren’t your typical K-beauty, mass market serums. They are by no means the priciest serums on the market and if you choose to buy these serums, you are definitely paying a premium but you are also getting a product that just works.
You can’t really put a price tag on a product that works and in the case of the Rejuvenate and Illuminate Nutri-serum Concentrates, you are definitely going to get a product that works. The fact that they are clean, vegan and cruelty-free is an added bonus to me but if vegan products and sustainable choices are a critical decision factor when choosing your skincare products then look no further. These 2 serums are definitely must-haves in your skincare cabinet.
In the article
Rejuvenate Nutri-Serum Concentrate
All Skin Types
Fine Lines + Wrinkles, Skin Elasticity
Illuminate Nutri-Serum Concentrate
All Skin Types
Dullness + Unevenness, Hyperpigmentation, Pore Care
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About the writer
Stacy Liu, an American-born Chinese, is the beauty editor at Asian Beauty X obsessively writing about new beauty launches, the best hair products, and the skincare formulas that really work for every skin type.