Hydrates with first use
Overtime, can alleviate fine-lines and increase radiance
Size of bottle and texture make the serum easy to finish
Sweet Chef Celery and Hyaluronic Acid Serum Shot
Like many, my skin proves to be a good barometer for how much stress I’ve put myself under—and lately, my body’s been a pressure-cooker. On a recent vacation (you know, a period of time one might expect to rest) I went on a road trip that had me sleeping late, abandoning my regular balanced diet, and exposing myself to a ton of sun. It was fun, but the end result was a very tired complexion indicative of a very tired me.
I consider it kismet that Sweet Chef newly whipped up its Celery and Hyaluronic Acid Serum Shot (launching in stores on Oct. 10) around the time I was returning from my trip. Its key ingredient, as the name says, is hyaluronic acid (with different weights), a humectant that dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD compares to a sponge. "It binds to water to plump and hydrate the skin," he says.
The serum was formulated to do so in a non-sticky way, explains Mallory Goldberg, the brand’s Director of Innovation and Product Development. “We saw an opportunity to offer [a hyaluronic acid serum] in a super lightweight, quick-to-absorb format,” she says, adding that it’s meant to compliment any routine à la a core K-Beauty skincare ritual. “As one major Korean-beauty principle is double seruming, or cocktailing your serums based on your skin’s needs of the day, we wanted to make sure Sweet Chef users had access to an accessible, super hydrating serum.”
There was no better time than any to add this hyaluronic acid serum to my routine. Read on for my review on the serum shot.
Best for: All skin types, but cosmetic chemist Ginger King notes that oily skin that is dehydrated can especially benefit from this non-sticky formula.
Uses: Twice a day, morning and night.
Byrdie Clean? Yes
About the brand: Sweet Chef is a K-Beauty skincare brand from the creators of Glow Recipe. Its clean and vegan formulas harness the power of superfoods to help improve skin. They are available at affordable price points—every product is priced under-$25—at Target.
About My Skin: Combination
I have combination skin, and when it's exposed to extreme temperatures, dry patches appear on my upper cheeks. I take very good care of my complexion, but after a summer spent outdoors and the above mentioned road trip, it was left feeling extra dry and dull. I slotted Sweet Chef's serum in both my morning and evening routine, before a moisturizer.
Dr. Zeichner says layering it under thicker textures is key to getting the most out of a hyaluronic acid serum. "Hyaluronic acid is good at attracting water to the outer skin layer, but it’s not as good at keeping it there," he says. "That’s why it’s important to use emollient ingredients like natural oils to lock hydration in place."
The Feel: Water-like and fast-absorbing
The serum, which appears green in the bottle, dispenses like water from the included dropper. The liquid easily spreads across skin, quickly absorbs, and feels non-sticky. This texture was meticulously perfected by the Sweet Chef team. “One challenge with hyaluronic acid formulas, in general, is that it tends to be sticky,” says Goldberg, who said the serum went through various iterations to get to its final texture.
Because it doesn't leave behind a residue, I didn’t have to worry about it disrupting my morning makeup routine. It seamlessly fit into my rotation of products.
The Ingredients: A well-rounded formula
The idea that this serum would hydrate my skin was clearly written on its fluorescent green label. What wasn’t so obvious was its other skin benefits. According to King, this serum can also help with oil-control, minimizing pores, brightening, and healing. (That's the niacinamide at work.) She does, however, note that some of these effects can take time to appear. "It may take six to eight weeks to see a boost in radiance," she says.
King considers this a "modern formulation," for how it contains a variety of active ingredients while still remaining clean.
The Results: Hydrated and Smoothed Skin
It’s like a green juice for your skin—packed with ingredients that can help it look and feel its healthiest. I began testing the serum when my skin was so stressed and dry, it began peeling on my upper cheeks. I applied a little bit over a dropper-full twice a day for two weeks, and it soothed and hydrated my dry patches and helped return my skin to its normal bouncy, radiant state.
The Value: Affordable and worth it
At $20, this pick from Sweet Chef is more affordable than other hyaluronic acid serums on the market. At the rate I'm using it, I'm finding that I'm running through the bottle quickly. This makes sense, as one dropper-full of the stuff appears to measure at about 0.5 milliliters and the bottle itself contains 30 milliliters (making this a 30-day supply if I am using it twice a day). Still, I find the cost to be worth it for it's active-packed formula.
Similar Products: You have options
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% and B5 ($7): This clear serum contains hyaluronic acid of different sizes and niacinamide to help hydrate and soften skin.
Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid ($42): It contains the ingredient in a lightweight gel formula that leaves skin silky soft and moisturized.
- Product Name Celery and Hyaluronic Acid Serum Shot
- Product Brand Sweet Chef
- Price $20
- Weight 1 oz.