Has your serum stopped working? Is your moisturizer feeling meh? Don’t throw away that half-used jar or bottle. Add a booster, the latest category of skin care that is turning bad beauty buys into powerhouse players.
Adding a booster is actually a perfect hack. You can work it into your existing skin care routine, bolstering its effectiveness, and rev up what may have turned out to be a lackluster product that you don’t want to throw away. I’ve been loving the Karuna Melting Boosts, which helped quell some recent breakouts, and essentially turns any sheet mask into an acne-fighter. I add Clarins Booster Repair to my summer moisturizer, instantly amping up its hydration power into one appropriate for the early fall months before I switch to a heavy duty cream. Boosters are also more concentrated products with less add-on ingredients, so you get the purest effects of that ingredient, like in Paula’s Choice Niacinamide Booster. Niacinamde is practically a miracle ingredient that has been scientifically shown to prevent melanin from reaching the surface of skin, increase elasticity, prevent trans epidermal water loss, protect the skin from UV damage, and even fight acne through its anti-inflammatory action. And I can’t live without pre-serums like the ones from Sulwhasoo, Shiseido, and Elizabeth Arden — they just make the rest of my products that much more effective, and I can feel and see the difference.
So here, some skin care boosters that are worth the investment, just in time for your fall skin care change-up.
Too busy for a 10-step skin care routine? Simplify by adding a few drops of super concentrated ingredients — like energizing ginseng, purifying green coffee, and healing Mimosa tenuiflora extracts — to your moisturizer, mask, serum, even foundation. Clarins Booster Detox, Energy, and Repair, $39 each, clarinsusa.com
Got a blemish? An annoying sunspot? Crows’ feet gone awry? Karuna’s got you (literally) covered. Apply a patch on particular areas of concern under your sheet mask. The serum in the sheet mask penetrates and dissolves the concentrated ingredients in the patch for a more intense treatment. Karuna Correct+, Spot+, and Under Eye+ Melting Boosts, $18 per pack, karunaskin.com
Studies have shown that niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, is effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles, enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone. Just add a few drops to your favorite serum or moisturizer, or use it on its own, for a serious skin care pick-me-up. Paula’s Choice Resist 10% Niacinamide Booster, $42, paulaschoice.com
The prestige Korean brand was one of the first to bring pre-serums to the U.S. with this best-selling product. A whole host of traditional herbal extracts balance skin while replenishing moisture and nutrients, boosting the efficacy of subsequent treatments and “directing” ingredients to where it’s needed most. Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX, $84, us.sulwhasoo.com
Following the success of Ultimune, the Japanese brand now applies the same skin immunity research to a pre-treatment for the delicate eye area. By targeting the function of Langerhans cells, this booster, which you apply before your other treatments, helps strengthen cells and prevent damage from aging, stress and environmental toxins. Shiseido Ultimune Eye Power Infusing Eye Concentrate, $65, shiseido.com
This pre-serum focuses on the health of the stratum corneum, skin’s surface layer, enhancing its ability to repair and renew itself, defend against environmental assaults, and absorb subsequent treatments. Glasswort, sea fennel, and flaxseed extracts prevent moisture loss, while a probiotic complex enhances skin’s natural defenses. Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster, $65, elizabetharden.com
Originally published in Composure Magazine. Get your copy here.