Skin Deva Review: Affordable Targeted Serums

Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a small commission for purchases made via affiliate links.

If you’re after a new brand of targeted serums at reasonable prices, without controversial marketing, Skin Deva might be up your alley! This brand (which has free shipping in the US, although they ship worldwide as well) has a range of simple serums containing 1 or 2 evidence-backed ingredients only.

I personally prefer to use these sorts of targeted serums in my routine. I like the flexibility it allows – if I have a breakout or irritation, I can just cut out a few products instead of having to find alternatives. It also means I can figure out what’s working for my skin concerns a lot more easily!

Skin Deva has a great range of serums that work for my skincare preferences. The serums have very short ingredient lists which is great if you have sensitive skin, or if you just prefer to keep your routine simple. The serums all contain hydrating humectants as well, which is great for dehydration-prone skin like mine! They’re all cruelty-free, paraben-free and fragrance-free, and made in the USA.

Skin Deva Serum Review

Skin Deva’s star product is the 20% Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum ($24.99 for 30 mL), a lightweight water-based serum that has the holy trinity of antioxidants: vitamin C (in the form of L-ascorbic acid), vitamin E, and ferulic acid.

Ascorbic acid has a whole bunch of awesome anti-aging properties:

  • it’s an antioxidant that will protect against free radical damage from the sun, environmental pollution and the course of natural aging
  • it can increase the protein collagen, which plumps up your skin and flattens out wrinkles
  • it can even out pigmentation, like the brown marks from acne and sun spots

Ascorbic acid is notoriously unstable – it breaks down in water, in light, with exposure to air. But it’s also the most effective and proven form of vitamin C for skincare. Vitamin E and ferulic acid are great to have with it since they can regenerate vitamin C after it’s broken down, turning it back into the unoxidised, active form. Having this combination in the one product means it’s more stable and less likely to break down, giving it a shelf life of somewhere in the region of 3 months (or more with refrigerated storage). The combination also means it’s more stable on your skin. One study found that adding ferulic acid and vitamin E to vitamin C increased its ability to protect from sun damage by 8 times!

The scent of this serum is pretty much the same as other vitamin C/vitamin E/ferulic acid products – a bit strange, though not as strong as the Paula’s Choice and Skinceuticals versions. It’s a LOT more affordable than both of those versions as well – it’s one of the most inexpensive versions I’ve seen.

Ingredients: Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L- Absorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Vitamin E, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

I’ve also tried a few of the other serums too:

Vitamin B5 + Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($22.99 for 30 mL) contains vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate) and 1% hyaluronic acid. Both of these ingredients are great for hydration. I found this serum great for applying after cleansing – it glides on really smoothly and plumps up skin, without feeling too sticky.

Ingredients: Water, Calcium Pantothenate, Hyaluronic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

Matrixyl Synthe ‘6 + Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($29.99 for 30 mL) contains 2% of the peptide Matrixyl Synthe ‘6, which is also known as palmitoyl tripeptide-38. Unfortunately there aren’t any peer-reviewed studies on it yet, but the manufacturer studies found that it reduces forehead wrinkles (frown lines) and crow’s feet. It’s a staple of anti-aging peptide products. There’s also aloe, glycerin and hyaluronic acid (1%), which are great for moisturising – dehydration makes wrinkles look worse!

Ingredients: Water, Matrixyl Synthe ‘6, Aloe, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

20% Argireline + Matrixyl 3000 + Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($34.99 for 30 mL) is a serum with anti-aging peptides. It contains 20% argireline solution. Argireline, also called acetyl hexapeptide-6, is a peptide with anti-wrinkle effects – there’s a study where it reduced eye wrinkles significantly after 30 days. Matrixyl 3000 is less studied, but is supposed to help with deep eye wrinkles, and increase collagen.

Ingredients: Water, Argireline, Matrixyl 3000™, Aloe Barbadensis, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

These three serums are fragrance-free AND pretty much odourless which I’m really pleased about – a lot of fragrance-free products have unpleasant odours, but these avoid that.

You can purchase Skin Deva’s products via their online store: they offer worldwide shipping (with free shipping in the US – I know I said it earlier but free shipping really excites me), and you can use the discount code labmuffin for 10% off (not an affiliate link i.e. I don’t get commissions).

This is a sponsored post; however, the opinions expressed are still my honest opinions of the products. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

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13 thoughts on “Skin Deva Review: Affordable Targeted Serums”

  1. Do you still make your DIY Vitamin C Serum? Do you find DIY to be more or less effective than the 20% Vitamin C with Ferulic and Vit E?

    Reply
    • I do – according to studies it looks like it’ll be less effective than the combined formula if both are made at the same time, although the effectiveness of the formulated version will decrease with time.

      Reply
  2. This is really useful. I was looking for a brand to replace Deciem as I am disgusted at the way their founder Brandon Truaxe communicates with customers and commenters on Instagram.

    Reply
  3. Does look the same to me as the Ordinary’s ones that I already have, only more expensive… I don’t get why you would want to change :/ ??

    Reply
  4. I’m heartened to hear belowthread precisely what brand was being referenced as “controversial.” Ugh @ Deciem. What a shame, but there’s no way I’d repurchase from them again.

    Adding my thanks to highlighting a responsible alternative company.

    Reply
  5. The prices are about 3 times more than The Ordinary for similar formulations. If Deciem can price them as they do, this pricing is a usual rip off. To me THIS IS CONTROVERSY.
    This is what you’ve written:
    “I haven’t been this excited about a skincare range since… possibly ever. It ticks all my boxes: effective ingredients, budget-friendly prices, formulas that work well with other products, light texture, highly hydrating. There isn’t much I can point to that I’d like to change. I’ve been recommending The Ordinary to pretty much everyone without hesitation.”
    Has that change product wise? It hasn’t. I am appalled by this anti-Deciem campaign in disguise, started by Caroline Hirons in her video that now seems to be taken off.
    It is SKINCARE we are about. We don’t have a personal relationship with CEO of Deciem, or any other company.
    I think that boycotting the whole company offering great products would be unfair to the people working there, including brilliant chemists, exceptional customer service team and all the others.

    Reply
    • If Deciem can price them as they do, this pricing is a usual rip off.

      Different companies have different pricing structures. Would you expect a small producer to have the same prices as a multinational supermarket? Then you understand market forces. A lot of other companies put in effort into their formulations to ensure that they’re effective – this takes time and testing, and a formulation is so much more than just the percentage of the active ingredient.

      Has that change product wise? It hasn’t.

      My opinions of formulations has changed a bit in the meantime, from speaking to some cosmetic chemists about them – I should really update those reviews.

      It is SKINCARE we are about. We don’t have a personal relationship with CEO of Deciem, or any other company.

      On their OFFICIAL Instagram profile (@deciem), they posted someone’s cancer diagnosis when specifically asked not to tell anyone, and refused to take it down when asked (which is illegal). Instagram is a marketing channel for them. They’ve also posted photos of their competitors drunk, and told someone they were fat and they should stop eating chips. If it was their CEO’s personal account, your argument might hold some weight, but again, this is an official brand account.

      If another brand posted racist, sexist or homophobic content on their official Instagram profile would it be unfair to boycott them? Or would you still say it’s “unfair” because we don’t have a “personal relationship” with them? Maybe some people are happy to save a few bucks to support a blatantly unethical company, but I am not.

      I am appalled by this anti-Deciem campaign in disguise, started by Caroline Hirons in her video that now seems to be taken off.

      Deciem have done this to themselves. It has nothing to do with Caroline Hirons.

      I think that boycotting the whole company offering great products would be unfair to the people working there, including brilliant chemists, exceptional customer service team and all the others.

      This isn’t logical. If Deciem go out of business, the demand will shift to another company and the people who work there can change to a less shifty company.

      Reply
      • ״Would you expect a small producer to have the same prices as a multinational supermarket?”

        It is really doesn’t matter. I would consider paying more only if the products by a “small producer” are better. if the quality and effectiveness are the same let alone worse/less, I will choose what works better both quality and price wise.

        “I should really update those reviews.”

        Maybe you should, in the meantime, followers have glorious and detailed with “when to use” and “how to layer” reviews by many bloggers from “beauty bubble” (the expression is not mine but a quote of Nadine Baggott). I’ve made bookmarks to them at the time they were published, and have been reading from time to time, in order to seriously learn from their educated opinions

        Although I have found the talk “about world issues” and beyond unnecessary and sometimes distasteful I find all of this not relevant for the current discussion. We don’t know what kind of people CEOs of other beauty companies are and don’t have, we don’t have to, as we don’t have a personal relationship with them.

        BT’s remarks have been sometimes questionable but they by any means haven’t been anti-semitic. To someone’s post wishing that ELC would pull out their investment, Brandon answered that they’ve just had a meeting with Lauder, and added a joke, that it’ll happen like a pulled Jewish pig. As it would be a thing that doesn’t exist. Not a tasteful or successful joke to tell, but not anti-semitic
        There was another instance that some girl has got over excited, and he suggested that she should use MODULATING GLUCOSIDES. Because she was dark-skinned, some people assumed that he was advising her to use a bleaching product. But Modulating Glucosides is an emulsion to target signs of skin sensitivity, of discomfort and of irritation and NOT BLEACHING PRODUCT, Not even brightening. Brandon’s reply was like a suggestion to relax. Despite multiple explanations, some people still have been trying to play a racist card.

        The incident you’ve mentioned was indeed unacceptable, and I’ve posted my opinion regarding on IG. But if it was illegal, it would be the certain authorities’ responsibility to handle that. It is still doesn’t have anything to do with a great company with a great vision.

        Personally, I have been checking what other brands have to offer because it is always good to check.
        But for now, most of what we see that some brands “inspired” so to speak by TO, without investing in their own r&d offer dupes with active ingredients at much lower concentrations, diluted by long lists of fillers sometimes just unnecessary sometimes irritating. Except for GOW, where Shabir indeed put an effort, but still TO formulations are better IMO, and their packaging is far from being presentable, and for some products flawed and don’t work properly, many reviewers have mentioned that.

        Please don’t patronize people for aiming to save money, although it is legitimate, it’s not just that, but the point is that Deciem makes good products at the prices that allow the company to be profitable without making customers pay for overblown markups as we used to pay, and as has been mentioned in the Nadine Baggott’s overexcited interview with CEO.

        “If Deciem goes out of business, the demand will shift to another company and the people who work there can change to a less shifty company.”

        I don’t agree with the argument. It is a Canadian Company, Companies in the USA and Britain are not a solution for them. And It does sound like a part of the campaign with a goal to put Deciem out of business. Why?Deciem is not a company of one man

        Reply
  6. I am potentially super excited about this company! The only thing that bothers me is that they don’t have any third party certifications (especially that what they say is in their products is in fact in them, or verifying the origin/purity of the ingredients used.)

    I sort of am jumpy about online companies whose background I don’t know much about as potentially being based (or produced) somewhere under-regulated. But I realllly want to be talked into it. It truly does look fantastic.

    Can you speak to any of these concerns at all?

    Reply

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