lunchtime buy

This Is My New Favorite One-and-Done Serum

Photo-Illustration: The Cut; Photo: Retailer

Summer is my favorite season because, as the song says, the “livin’ is easy.” All you need are two perfect peaches for a snack, two articles of clothing (counting shoes) to be presentable in public, and if you’re looking for a hobby, you can just watch the waves roll by.

Alpha-H is an Australian company that makes one of skin-care Reddit’s favorite products, and its one-and-done Liquid Gold Midnight Reboot Serum is like a lot of the best summer things: nice and easy. It contains all the hard workers you need for your skin: a healthy dose of glycolic acid, a tiny bit of a gentle retinol (a granactive retinoid), an antioxidant (ferulic acid, most commonly seen in SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic), and a peptide for promoting elasticity. I like that the main ingredients, glycolic acid and retinoid, don’t just mix well but also work synergistically. Research shows that the glycolic acid, in exfoliating the top layer of skin, can work to help the retinoid penetrate better.

The serum is the color of a pale turmeric latte. It has a viscous, nonsticky texture and leaves a satisfying tingle on the skin. Every time it tingles, I am pleased to imagine that my dead skin is sizzling off like frying bacon in a pan. Having used it now for a few months, I’ve noticed my old maskne scars are lighter, and my skin is brighter and feels noticeably softer the morning after. Using it has been like emphatically crossing off multiple things on my skin-care checklist and then tossing the list into the garbage with a swoosh.

This Is My New Favorite One-and-Done Serum