Taking its name from the Latin for reverse, Verso has patented a new formula which is eight times more potent than typical Retinol – or Vitamin A, as well as being half as aggressive.
Vitamin A is scientifically proven to reduce the signs of aging, stimulating the skin’s own production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Used consistently, it helps prevent wrinkles and sagging skin. It is also an antioxidant and is used to manage acne, eczema and skin discolouration.
However traditional Retinol is aggressive, unstable and can irritate the skin.*
Verso’s patented Retinol 8 formulation is less UV sensitive, less aggressive, and as it is eight times more potent than traditional Retinol, it can be used in smaller quantities.
So for example, Verso’s night cream contains only 0.06% Vitamin A, compared to 0.5% found in other night creams.
That’s the theory. So what’s the verdict?
I used four of Verso’s products over a two week period: the cleanser, day cream, night cream and serum. I followed the instructions (not that they’re complicated) to the letter and avoided all other skincare products and treatments – except for my usual Arbonne eye makeup remover.
The Foaming Cleanser has a light formulation and you only need one pump to cover your face. This is the only product in the range without Vitamin A, and it comes with three muslin exfoliating cloths.
The product didn’t foam for me at all, even when applied to wet hands or face. Perhaps it’s a London thing (hard water), but there wasn’t a tiny bubble in sight. The muslin cloths were very abrasive until I washed them, so the first time I removed the cleanser with the cloth, my face went quite red.
The Super Facial Serum can be used under the day cream or the night cream, so although it’s number 4 in the range, this came next in my daily skincare routine. The serum pump only dispenses a small amount of product, which is just right. Many serums have a gel-like consistency, but this is more like a rich cream.
The Day Cream contains an SPF 15, has barely any fragrance and a non-greasy consistency, making it a pleasure to wear.
The Night Cream has a richer texture and contains oak extract. It absorbed quickly into my dry skin.
The three stage routine (cleanser, serum & day/night cream) is quick and easy. For the first week of using Verso, my skin went quite red immediately after application. I could feel my skin reacting, with a warm, tingling sensation.
The instructions do say to avoid the eye area, but I forgot the first few times and used the cleanser on my whole face. That stung.
I also used one of Verso’s new hydrating cellulose masks. Yes, I looked like Hannibal Lecter but my skin felt amazing afterwards.
What I liked:
- The consistency and light to non-existent fragrance of all of the products.
- No waste, because of the pump dispensing bottles – one pump gives out just the right amount.
- The air tight bottles preserve the ingredients and prevent contamination – no pots to put my grubby fingers into.
- The lack of parabens, mineral oils and other harmful substances.
Room for improvement:
- The packaging is simple and well designed, but it’s impossible to tell how much product I have left after two weeks. Even holding it up to the light doesn’t reveal the creams within.
- The course texture of the muslins until they were washed.
- The initial redness was a bit worrying, but disappeared completely after a week.
Here are the before and after photos so you can judge for yourself. These were (obviously) taken without a scrap of makeup, both first thing in the morning, two weeks apart. No filters or retouching.
I think my skin’s texture has improved and my pores look less visible? What do you think?
There are other products in the Verso range, including an eye serum. And looking at both my before and after photos here, I think I might need some of that. My eyelids are going to cause blindness if they get any baggier.
After an uncomfortable first week, I think my skin has started to benefit from the Verso range. I will continue to use it until I run out (which is hard to predict due to the opaque packaging!).
Verso is available at Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and online through Cult Beauty. Prices range from £32 for the Cleanser to £135 for the Super Facial Oil.
*Please note: Verso, and any other product containing Vitamin A, shouldn’t be used during pregnancy.