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Only For The Young? — My Thoughts On The Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum With Willowherb

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You’ve ever been on a date with a guy who is good on paper (good-looking, nice family, right job, desired level of education, and so forth), only to discover that, despite meeting all the basic criteria, he simply didn’t light your fire? Well, that’s pretty much how I feel about the Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum with Willowherb ($39 at Origins.com). It’s like that polite date who opens doors and pulls out chairs, listens with interest when you speak, and generally seems like a kind-hearted person; it’s the guy who is a great catch — just not the one you want to reel in.  In other words, it’s a nice product but it doesn’t really transcend the “nice” category.

The serum promises to improve the appearance of skin in five key ways: reducing redness and inflammation via Persian silk tree bark extract, which also protects the skin by helping cells function regularly; smoothing any roughness thanks to chestnut seed extract, which inhibits the production of skin-sabotaging elastase (an enzyme that breaks down elastin) and hyaluronidase (which attacks hyaluronic acid) and which also strengthens capillaries, making sure circulation is improved; willowherb extract, a natural antioxidant that’s commonly used to treat rosacea thanks to its anti-inflammatory benefits and which, thanks to its anti-bacterial properties, can help to prevent acne breakout; algae extract, which helps to make skin look more taut, controls oil production, and hence minimizes the appearance of pores; and  blurs imperfections thanks to an optical effect yielded by light-reflecting pearls.

Sounds fantastic, right? Well, I’ve been using the serum for a month now, and I can honestly say that I see no significant change in the appearance of my complexion. Yes, the serum has an amazingly silky and lightweight consistency, so that it feels weightless under your moisturizer and does not leave any greasy residue behind, plus it feels delightful when massaged onto the visage — in fact, my skin drinks it right up! It also smells delightful: soft and powdery with a subtle herbal kick. But pleasant texture and scent aside, the serum hasn’t managed to transform my skin in any dramatic way. After applying the Origins Original Skin serum, my skin does feel hydrated and comfortable, and there is a slight improvement in terms of softness, but that’s about it. I don’t see a significant change in my complexion’s glow factor nor are wrinkles and fine lines less visible. And, since enlarged pores aren’t a big concern for me, it’s hard to gauge whether the serum has any effect in this realm.

That said, the serum is being marketed as the solution for skin that’s undergoing a “quarter life crisis,” which leads me to assume that the target audience is young women in their early to mid 20s. Given that I’m in the 30s age bracket, it’s perhaps not the ideal match for my needs. After all, acne breakouts, enlarged pores, redness, and oily T-zones are not my main skin-related concerns. Perhaps as an introductory serum for women in the target demographic, it would be a sensible choice (and a wise investment), but I can’t fully recommend it for women who want more dramatic results in terms of anti-aging and skin brightening.

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