If anything, I wake up looking and feeling like Grumpy Cat, which why my morning skin care routine is so important (as is an adequate amount of tea). I was quite intrigued by dedicated wake up serums and have spent months testing two top-of-the-line products: Kanebo Sensai Silk 10 Seconds Awakening Essence and Oskia Get Up & Glow.
Kanebo Sensai Silk 10 Seconds Awakening Essence used to be sold at Bergdorf Goodman (also online from Neiman Marcus), but it seems like it's no longer there. The Essence is still in production, but seems to be an Asia and UK only product (available from Harrods, but also online at StrawberryNet). It doesn't really matter, because this is one of those rare occasions where I think a product has absolutely no redeeming qualities. None.
The first ingredient listed for Kanebo Sensai Silk 10 Seconds Awakening Essence is water, obviously. The second one is alcohol. And, boy, does it feel like it! I'm usually a very big fan of Kanebo Sensai skincare and have repurchased many of my favorite products over the years, but this Essence is unbelievably bad, and I'm not using this word lightly. Withing seconds of applying this serum I feel an unpleasant sensation of tightening and dryness. It's the exact opposite of pampering and calming, and the strong alcohol smell doesn't do much for my well-being, either. I can't see this product working even for those looking for an oil-control. They still need hydration in order to not strip the skin and cause extra sebum activity. The essence does jolt me awake, I'll give it that, but it's an utterly wrong way to do it.
Oskia Get Up & Glow wins by default, obviously. I can also tell you that I was about 1/3 of the way through the bottle before I decided that I do like this serum. Now, I can't say that it turns me into a morning person (or even to Cindy Crawford), but this Oskia product is high in hyaluronic acid and milk peptides, so it gives my skin the much-needed first boost of the day. does it make a difference in the long term? Not as far as I can tell. Is it better than other pampering and hydrating serums on the market? I doubt it. I enjoy what it does for me, but I can't say there's any magic there that you can't get from other treatments (Lancome Genefique, various Peter Thomas Roth or Ole Henriksen serums for example, and you can easily find them at Sephora). At least it feels good on the skin and gives a good start to my day
Oskia Get Up & Glow Ingredients:
aqua (water), methyl sulphonyl methane (msm), glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, benzyl alcohol, whey protein, zinc glycine, ribose, malus domestica fruit cell culture, limonium narbonense flower/leaf/stem extract, saccharomyces ferment filtrate lysate, galactoarabinan, panthenol, biosaccharide gum-1, inulin, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, petasites japonicus (butterbur) root extract, parfum (natural fragrance), citronellol, geraniol, linalool, chondrus crispus (carrageenan), lecithin, xanthan gum, tocopherol, dehydroacetic acid, phenoxyethanol, lactic acid, potassium sorbate.
Sensai Silk 10 Seconds Awakening Essence, $85 at strawberrynet.com or £53.00 at harrods.
Oskia Get Up & Glow £64.50 on oskiaskincare.com and lookfantastic.com.