Best & worst of Versed (skincare review)

Today I’m trying a new style of blog post: Rapid-fire reviews. Rather than talk about one product in-depth, I’ll cover a whole bunch from the same line: Versed.

An offshoot of the highly successful Who What Wear blog-turned-fashion line, Versed hit the shelves of Target stores across the country in 2018 and caught my interest from the jump. Affordable, effective skincare that’s vegan, cruelty-free, “sustainable” (in some sense of the word—in this case, recycled and recyclable packaging), and pretty to look at is still not very common. Over the past few years I’ve tried quite a few products from Versed’s line; read on for my thoughts on each.

Disclaimer that skincare, like skin, is really personal, and what works for me may or may not work for you! So, take my opinions with a big pinch of salt; I hope they’re useful to you regardless.

Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm (cleanser)

Versed | Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm
All photos in this post are from Versed’s site.

As cleansing balms go, Day Dissolve is solid. I’d put it on par with Farmacy’s Green Clean balm, as it does pretty much the same job (at a fraction of the price). Both balms successfully took off my makeup, although both unfortunately stung my eyes. I’ve realized that I prefer a liquid makeup remover, like a cleansing oil or a more liquid balm instead of one that you scoop from a jar, so I didn’t repurchase Day Dissolve. But if you like Farmacy’s balm or one of its even more expensive counterparts, check out this product for an option that feels similar on the face and lighter on the wallet.

Weekend Glow Daily Brightening Solution (toner)

Versed | Weekend Glow Daily Brightening Solution

As with the cleansing balm, this toner is a decent product that I don’t dislike; I’ve just outgrown it. In comparison to other chemically exfoliating/brightening toners I’ve tried, it doesn’t quite match the superstar (in my opinion) Pixi Glow Tonic, or the similar-but-more-expensive REN Ready Steady Glow. But it does its job just fine. I’ve just decided to, in the words of beauty podcast Gloss Angeles, “Obey Renee” (a.k.a. esthetician and brand founder Renee Rouleau) and take my chemical exfoliation via serum, not daily toner. So I currently have a half-used bottle of Weekend Glow sitting on my vanity—I’m saving it for emergencies, I guess? Side note: Are brands contractually obligated to put the word “glow” in the name of any brightening toner?

Baby Cheeks Hydrating Milk (toner)

Versed | Baby Cheeks All-In-One Hydrating Milk

Not to show all my cards or whatever (I don’t play poker so I don’t know even know if I’m using this analogy correctly), but this is my favorite product from Versed. As the name suggests, it’s a hydrating toner instead of an exfoliating one, and it’s become a crucial step in my skincare routine—I’ve gone through at least three or four bottles of the stuff already.

The product description is a bit confusing on where to use this product in your routine; personally, I use it in the mornings as a sometimes alternative to fully washing my face, and in the evenings as a step between cleanser and serum to keep my skin hydrated and prevent it from getting that tight, squeaky-clean feeling. For the record, Versed recommends this product for dry skin, but I have pretty oily skin and still love it. (This was also a product recommendation from Gloss Angeles — fun!)

Just Breathe Clarifying Serum (serum—shocking, I know!)

Versed | Just Breath Clarifying Serum

The best way to describe how I feel about this serum is “meh.” I used it up, and it didn’t break me out, but it didn’t seem to do much of anything for my skin, either. I bought this serum because one of its main active ingredients is niacinamide, which I’ve found helpful for my skin in the past, but I’ve seen much better results from The Ordinary (cheap) and Blissoma (expensive) niacinamide serums, both of which I’ve repurchased multiple times. Investigating for the sake of this blog post, the percentage of niacinamide in Just Breathe is the lowest of the three by quite a bit, so that’s likely why it didn’t wow me. If you’re looking for a gentle introduction to niacinamide, it might be more up your alley, but I’d probably just recommend you try The Ordinary’s instead.

Found the Light Vitamin C Powder (serum-adjacent)

Versed | Found the Light Vitamin C Powder

I’ll be honest: I have yet to see a result from any Vitamin C skincare product I’ve tried, and this one is no exception. So in that sense, I can’t single it out for underwhelming me.

The idea behind this product seems good: Offered in powder form, Vitamin C (a.k.a. ascorbic acid) is much more stable and has a longer shelf life than its liquid-integrated or encapsulated counterparts. You’re instructed to mix the powder as needed into your serum or cream. In practice, though, I’m wary of leaving the amount of active ingredient to apply up to the consumer. This product caters to the growing trend of skincare enthusiasts moonlighting as amateur cosmetic chemists, and while I’m all for more women in STEM, having only partial, incorrect, or misleading information about your ingredients, without the scientific training to understand them, can be a dangerous state. Also, “two shakes” of powder as prescribed by Versed’s website is not a measurement that instills confidence in me that consumers will use this product properly.

I don’t think the brand has any malicious intent in offering this product, but I do think skincare formulation is better left to the experts. Also, the product just didn’t do anything for me.

Look Alive Hydrating Plumping Mask (self-explanatory)

Versed | Look Alive Hydrating Plumping Mask

I’ve used this mask several times and it truly just does nothing for me. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend spending your money on it.

Silk Slip Conditioning Lip Oil (lip balm)

Versed | Silk Slip Conditioning Lip Oil

I feel somewhat conflicted about this lip balm (or lip oil, technically, I guess), but ultimately I don’t like it. It doesn’t actually make my lips feel hydrated or moisturized. What it does succeed at is sealing in the moisture, so I will sometimes apply it over another lip product that is actually hydrating. So it’s kind of like Vaseline in that way. But it does not do what I’m looking for in a lip product.

Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Versed | Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen

This sunscreen is the most contentious Versed product for me. The first tube of it I bought, I loved. It’s a great, lightweight, relatively affordable mineral sunscreen that doesn’t feel greasy or heavy, and the slight tint keeps it from leaving a noticeable white cast on my skin. But the second tube…was gritty! Each time I used it, there were noticeably gritty bits when I tried rubbing it into my skin, and that’s just a no-go. Aside from making the application experience unpleasant, it could be a sign of a faulty product. I actually sent the faulty tube back to Versed so they could investigate. In the meantime, I’m holding off from repurchasing this sunscreen until the issue is resolved.

Final Thoughts

In the spirit of March Madness, I decided to distill my thoughts on the Versed products in my lineup into sports metaphors.

The MVP: Baby Cheeks

The Varsity Squad: Day Dissolve, Weekend Glow

The Benchwarmers: Just Breathe, Found the Light

The Flops (this may not be a sports metaphor but if you have a better equivalent I’m all ears): Silk Slip, Look Alive

The Disgraced Former Pro: Guards Up

The Prospect: Gentle Cycle cleanser (I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my list)

Have you tried any Versed products? What are your thoughts on the brand?

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