As the title of this article would suggest, my beautiful mum is indeed 45 years older than me. Not surprisingly, we have completely different needs when it comes to our skin. From our product routines to formula preferences, we're almost polar opposites. If I even say the word pimple, my face immediately sprouts five in response, and because of that, I've leaned into an über-sleek and slimmed-down skincare routine both morning and night. Oil-free and anti-acne formulas are the name of my game—a far cry from the rich creams, face oils and age-pegged serums my mum favours. She's all about hydration, plumping, anything that will fade age spots or lift and zap fine lines and wrinkles.
"I pretty much exclusively look for effective products specifically geared for older skin," she tells me. "So firming and moisturising products are particularly important to me. I also feel it's important to have very specific information about what’s in the product, when to use it, how to use it, whether it's effective for all skin types or just particular skin types and whether it can be layered with other products."
Unlike my zippy morning and evening skin prep, my mum's is more extensive. She loves to double-cleanse and also creates cocktails of her favourite serums and moisturisers to make sure she's covering all her bases. She looks for products that are clean, affordable, user-friendly and highly efficacious, so I knew she'd love Who What Wear's sister skincare line, Versed, but I needed to put my hypothesis to the test. A couple of weeks ago, I brought home a checked bag full of Versed formulas for her to try and review. Not surprisingly, my mum was just as (if not more) obsessed with the products than I thought, and even though we each have different formulas we favour, her general consensus speaks volumes of the brand's quality and lovability for all ages, not just younger generations:
"What really impressed me about these products was the ease of use. I thought it was truly brilliant to have concise, clear, and easy-to-read information on each product about what it's made for (e.g. problem skin, aging skin, etc.), how to use it, how much to use, where to use it, and when to use it," she explains. "You'd think this would be standard information on most skincare products, but this doesn't seem to be the case. And this information is not buried in small print along with a mile-long list of ingredients. The label literally has the words how, where, when and made for (and the answers, of course) in easy-to-read type on each product. For me, it seemed like a stroke of genius since so many skincare products leave you guessing about how much to apply and when to apply them.
"In addition, the price point really impressed me since it will make the products more generally accessible. I also greatly appreciate the focus on natural ingredients and the emphasis on non-toxic ingredients."
Curious to see which products my mum and I loved most and our honest reviews? Keep scrolling! We're diving in below.
My 71-Year-Old Mum's Favorites
"If I've worn makeup during the day, I'll use the Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm as the first part of my double-cleanse routine. I also tried and like the brand's Wash It Out Cleanser (£13), but between the two, this cleanser was definitely my favourite. I feel like it's better suited to my skin, which craves lots of rich hydration.
"I don't love terribly strong scents when it comes to skincare products, and I appreciate the fact that Versed's offerings smell beautiful but in a really delicate (read: non-overpowering) way. I'm all over anything with even a faint smell of eucalyptus, and this cleansing balm doesn't disappoint. It's an extremely light fragrance, which is lovely. The formula is also effective. It melts away makeup and is a wonderful first cleanse for all of us who double-cleanse on days we've worn makeup. It's a must first cleansing step for me."
"A daily dose of vitamin C is essential for me, and I've been using this serum every morning after cleansing in addition to the brand's On the Rise Firming Serum (which I'll be reviewing below), Hydration Station Booster With Hyaluronic Acid (£20), and a few shakes of the Found the Light Powder With Vitamin C (£20). All are great (I'm especially obsessed with the handy design concept of Hydration Station), but this serum is a standout.
"I've used a variety of high- and low-end vitamin C serums in terms of price, and if I didn't know better, I would have guessed this formula was right up there with mega-prestige brands like SkinCeuticals. I appreciate that this product contains a mix of strategic brightening ingredients like vitamin C, licorice root extract, niacinamide, among other ingredients. In order to be effective, vitamin C needs to be in a stable formula that won’t oxidise, and even though I don't know if this is the case with this product, I plan to keep testing it to see if I do indeed notice a long-term brightening effect. That said, my skin has been looking more glowy after I apply it each morning, and it applies and absorbs really nicely, unlike a lot of serums I've tried which can feel overly sticky or sink in the second they touch your complexion."
"As I mentioned above, I use this serum every morning as part of a four-part product cocktail before I moisturise. Made for ageing skin, this product is definitely in my wheelhouse! It's designed to boost collagen production to smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Peptides, vitamins and other antioxidants are also part of the magic.
"Anti-ageing serums like this always take significant time of testing before you'll see a noticeable difference, but I already appreciate the quality variety of ingredients and its overall feel and consistency. It is super lightweight, and I do enjoy the feel of it on my skin. Since I've only been using it for a week, the jury's still out on the effectiveness of this serum, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one since the price is amazing, and the skin on the lower part of my face is crying out for some help!"
"I laughed out loud when I saw the name of this product (actually, the whole line is so, so clever!) because my under-eyes are pretty much always in a state of emergency. I have some sleeping issues, and that coupled with the natural ageing process has plagued my under-eyes with bags, fine lines, wrinkles and sometimes circles. However, I've been rotating this with the Zero-G Smoothing Eye Cream (£18) in the mornings and have noticed some significant relief. I choose which product depending on the amount of puffiness and darkness in my under-eye area. This one, as the name suggests, is for those true emergencies.
"I like the fact that this product has caffeine and cucumber juice in it, which are known to de-puff, calm and tighten up the under-eye area. The first time I used it, I was a little disappointed that it felt somewhat sticky when applied, even after I wiped off the excess with a tissue as the packaging instructs. But the results were great, and I plan to keep trying it a few more times (despite my discomfort with the feel of it) because both Erin and my husband said my eyes looked way brighter. I really need help in this area and want to determine if this product really does the job. More testing needed!"
"Omg. I have to confess I wasn’t expecting to see the kind of results I saw when I tried this mask for the first time. When I applied the mask, it felt cooling, refreshing, and produced a very slight tingle—all in all, a very pleasant sensation. But I was pretty darn amazed by the results. My skin definitely felt far softer, more hydrated, and had a glow to it that was totally unexpected. I absolutely adore this product and will keep using it a couple of times a week in the evening. I assumed it was a one-and-done packaged mask, but holy moly—each packet has over 12 applications. I’m gushing. Plus, I feel like this packaging concept likely breeds fewer bacteria? I know that's something I'm always worried about with my normal jars of masking formulas."
"I've been using this product morning and night as the final step in my routine. It feels really fabulous on the skin and has the extra moisturising quality that my skin absolutely craves—without feeling the least bit greasy or like it's clogging my pores. Yes, even though I'm 71 years old, I still get the occasional pimple, and this rich face cream still has managed to keep my face completely clear! I will definitely be using it on a daily basis and love that it is significantly more affordable than other rich face creams on the skincare scene right now. I mean, £18?! You'd think it would be too good to be true, but from what I've seen thus far, so not the case!"
One parting note: "Versed has a wonderful quiz on its website which helps narrow down the list of products that would be best for your skin based on your answers to the questions. One thing I wish they would do with that list is to break it down into the products you should use in your morning routine (in the order they should be used in) and the products you should use in your evening routine (in the order they should be used in). This kind of quick reference guide would be very helpful."
My Favourites as a 26-Year-Old
Since my skin is so, so finicky, lip products are something I can really go ham with. But I've learned my lesson the hard way that I still have to be super diligent as to their formulas. Tons of lip products have highly comedogenic oils like coconut in them, which cause issues for most people who, you know, have pores, but especially for those people like me who breakout by just looking at the stuff.
I love this lip oil because it goes on like an oil or gloss but gradually sinks into your pout to deliver a great dose of hydration and plumpness. The effect lasts all day (you don't have to reapply even though you'll probably want to thanks to the cute packaging), and it's one of the few products I make sure to have in my bag at all times. It's also great for those inevitable nights out when after lots of sipping, talking, dancing, what have you, your lips start to feel parched and crusty. This helps!
While my mum has more issues with things like puff, bags, and wrinkles, dark, stubbornly annoying circles of blue and purple are the bane of my under-eye existence. I've tried all of Versed's eye products and honestly like all of them, but this smoothing and brightening formula has to be my favorite.
The consistency is great. It doesn't feel too slick or too sticky, and it has mica, which creates a much-needed brightening effect. I also love that it's geared toward anti-ageing which is important for me. (I'm not going to have 26-year-old skin forever!) Plus, considering my favourite eye cream from another brand is almost £300 (I know, I know), this has become my new, budget-friendly go-to.
Sorry to double up on product love, but I too am completely obsessed with this mask. Obsessed. I pretty much only ever use masks geared toward acne, but interestingly, I actually love this hydrating and plumping pick the most. My mum wasn't playing—this easy-to-travel with pouch is borderline life-changing.
The first time I used it, I had received a pretty gnarly session of extractions a few days prior. My skin was angry, red, inflamed, and riddled with some lingering pimples. My skin was definitely in a purging phase, and I was so self-conscious I didn't want to leave the house. But my mum had experienced such great results that I thought, ugh, why not?
In my Midwestern-born mum's exact words, holy moly. The fact that you get more than 12 uses out of one pouch and it's just £10 is applause-worthy in and of itself, but one lone application completely changed the way my irritated skin looked. After I rinsed with cool water, my previously red face was completely not red. It was smooth, even, glowy, and looked so healthy and radiant I pretty much forgot about those other lingering blemishes I mentioned. It also smells divine and feels so cool and refreshing once applied. It's like a rose-aloe-lavender back rub for your face. So rejuvenating, and from now on, I'll never travel without it.
Hyaluronic is a no-brainer for anyone looking to keep their skin hydrated and glowing. That said, getting your hands on a high-quality yet affordable formula can be tricky. I love Versed for allowing you to have the best of both worlds! It's SO easy to use. Not only do you get the perfect amount of product for each pump of the cap, but you can also add it to literally any type of skin formula you want—from serums to creams to foundation. I have a pretty stripped-down skincare routine right now due to my acne, but I'm addicted to adding a few drops of this to my favorite moisturisers for an extra hit of hydration. Plus, I'm no packaging snob, but I can't get over how cute and easy to pack this one is.
This moisturiser isn't completely oil-free, which is usually a necessity for me, but it's so lightweight and pore-friendly that it doesn't even matter. I've been using this formula for a while now, and it hasn't aggravated my breakout-prone skin, and I truly look forward to applying it each day. A little goes a long way, which makes the £15 price point all the more impressive, and it delivers the perfect surge of lasting and calming moisture my skin craves. Ingredients like redness-reducing green tea, soothing aloe and hydrating hyaluronic acid are the ultimate power players—a true triple threat.
To be honest, I'm not a huge oil person—face, body or otherwise—so I wasn't expecting to like this product. Yet here we are. It's the one lone body product from Versed, and true to the brand's form, it's fabulous. It's one of the few body elixirs I own that truly keep me, um, hydrated. It spreads and absorbs effortlessly, and it also smells really, really nice. It doesn't leave me feeling sticky and disgusting if I apply post-shower, pre-bedtime and it doesn't result in the all-day greasiness (as I've experienced with other body oils) if I apply in the morning before I get dressed. It's kind of perfect.