If you’re not already familiar with Consonant Skincare, let me introduce you to your new favourite line of all-natural personal care products from a brand that believes “what goes on your body, goes in your body.” Take oats for example – the star ingredient in the Consonant’s first-ever oil serum that’s as comforting for dry, sensitive skin as it is for dehydrated winter complexions that need revitalizing.
After years of clinical trials and reformulations, Consonant finally launched the newest additions to its skincare collection at the end of 2019 – the Vitamin E + Oat Serum and the Vitamin B3 + Zinc Serum.
What sets the new vitamin serums apart from the rest of the line is the option they give every user to customize their routine.
The intentions are simple: add them in and take them out as needed. For instance, using one to three drops of the Vitamin B3 + Zinc Serum once or twice or day will help to reduce redness and discolouration, resulting in a more even skin tone.
“We’re always looking to create what our customers need next,” said Erika Shwass, Science and Wellness Manager at Consonant. (And yes – she’s the gorgeous mad scientist in all of Consonant’s explainer videos.) “We noticed that people were looking for a solution for skin clarity and a solution for protection and moisturization, so we sourced the best ingredients to achieve those results: vitamins B3 (niacinamide) and B5 (panthenol), zinc, and oat. People wanted choices when boosting their routines. Now, they’re able to decide what they want with these serums and choose their own adventure.”
More than two years into a tumultuous health journey as a result of a major car accident, I’m thankful that my skin has remained fairly normal. However, it’s had small flare ups thanks to stress, hormonal ups and downs, and hospital stints that took me in and out of my routine.
Small areas of discolouration still exist along my cheeks, and minor congestion comes and goes after building up on my nose, chin, and sometimes, my forehead.
With that said, you can imagine why I was excited to learn about Consonant’s new vitamin serums. They offered all the things my slightly dry skin needed most at the time: healing, clearing, and hydration.
What happened next? Well, you guessed it – I tried Consonant’s new vitamin serums. Here’s what happened.
Consonant has all kinds of detailed information on its website, including the results of the clinical trials it conducts for each one of its products. According to Schwass, a third-party carries out Consonant’s clinical testing to ensure there’s zero chance of a bias being reflected in the outcome.
I became curious about the panel results that were posted about the Vitamin B3 + Zinc Serum as well as the Vitamin E + Oat – after only two to four weeks of use, between 89 and 94 per cent of users experience major results. I wondered: could it be so?
As soon as I got my hands on the serums, I began using them in conjunction with one another for two weeks.
And I was careful to stick to the brand’s intentions when it came to how they were supposed to be applied – I only put on what I felt my skin needed day and night. On some evenings, either product was applied overtop of Consonant’s Maximum Glycolic Meta Serum (which I was also trying for the first time) and the Ultra Firming Organic Eye Cream (which works amazingly and is now a sole part of my regular skincare arsenal).
The Experience: Vitamin B3 + Zinc Serum:
Almost every night, I applied the Vitamin B3 + Zinc serum for clarity before going to sleep. I like applying a product that’s going to go to work on my skin at night, so it has all the time in the world to absorb and (hopefully) perform its magic to the best of its abilities without becoming exposed to the elements and the sun, or worse, obtrusive water and coffee drips that somehow escape my mouth. Did I mention that I’m a kluttz?
One thing I loved about the Vitamin B3 + Zinc was its texture.
Though it’s water-based, the serum left a semi-slick barrier on my skin that almost felt like a light oil. Interestingly, after massaging it in, you could see a leftover shine on my hands that would dissolve when it came into contact with water. This is because of the propanediol it contains – a hydrating, hydrophilic substance that moisturizes the skin since it’s attracted to water molecules. The Vitamin B3 + Zinc serum gets extra points for being fairly unscented and residue-less, leaving no oily mess on my MYK Silk pillowcases. (Skincare junkies – do yourself a favour and treat yourself to some.)
The Experience: Vitamin E + Oat Serum:
Since my skin tends to run on the dryer side (especially in the wintertime), I wake up most mornings feeling like it needs to be replenished – similar to how the body needs to be rehydrated with water after a night’s sleep. This is when the Vitamin E + Oat Serum came to my rescue; on the chilliest and most sleep-deprived days. It felt incredibly comforting when I would pat it into my skin before layering on my SPF. I was ready for the day!
The Vitamin E + Oat Serum also absorbed nicely without having to work it into my skin much at all, which is spectacular given the richness of the two-ingredient formula.
Even more enticing was its scent: pure oat, which lends itself to the serum’s potency. Even better is that the formula is gluten-free so it’s suitable for all my celiac friends.
Within a week of using the Vitamin B3 + Zinc and Vitamin E + Oat Serums together, I began to experience some congestion that concentrated in the centre of my forehead. I took it as a sign that the serum was purging my skin of what was attempting to hide below surface level prematurely, though there were no visible signs of a bumpy texture beforehand.
When I mentioned this to Schwass, she confirmed that the clarity serum was simply working to improve the texture of my skin.
A few days later, the mix of small red bumps appeared to calm down and I gently extracted what my skin had expelled. I did the same for the congestion that lined my nose, and the buildup felt and looked as if it was much easier to extract than before. Overall, the Vitamin B3 + Zinc serum brought the blockages in these trivial areas to the very top layer of my skin, which truly improved its texture by helping clear the pores that needed some spring cleaning.
Following a full two weeks of using the Vitamin E + Oat Serum, the two largest advancements I noticed were a reduction in the appearance of tiny spots of discolouration, (like the blemish pictured on my jawline), and the hydration level of my skin.
I found that the renewal serum maintained a very effective moisture barrier throughout the cold winter days that actually crept its way below surface level and moisturized my face. Both of the benefits I experienced from using the Vitamin E + Oat Serum gave me even more reason to classify oats as one of my favourite skincare ingredients for all of its nourishing and anti-inflammatory and properties.
If you’re as interested in giving Consonant’s new vitamin serum duo a shot, read on for a glimpse into my detailed conversation with Schwass about how to use the products to achieve maximum results and so much more.
AB: The panel results for the B3 + Zinc serum and the Vitamin E serum report that most people saw results after two weeks of consistent use. For each serum, what would you say the most noticeable results are after two weeks?
ES: After two weeks of consistent use of the Vitamin B3 + Zinc, the most common visible results include decreased appearance of congestion and blemishes, reduction of redness, and overall increased luminosity. After consistent use of the Vitamin E + Oat the most common visible results include more moisturized-looking skin, elimination of dry patches and flakiness and improved skin texture. In both panel studies 90 per cent of people who used either the B3 or the E serum for three weeks reported their skin looked healthier and more radiant.
AB: For the Vitamin E serum – why oats?
ES: Oat oil is far more than just a carrier oil for lipid-soluble vitamin E. Oat oil is a functional ingredient as it contains over 35 per cent essential fatty acids including skin-loving, alpha-linoleic acid. Oat oil is known for its soothing properties, especially for mature, sensitive, or damaged skin (and ours is also certified gluten-free to keep it non-irritating for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities). Oat oil has great emollience, it penetrates the skin quickly and it is a good source of antioxidants. The result is more hydrated, healthy-looking, and illuminated skin.
AB: For those who’re used to the oil-free texture and appearance of Consonant’s original product range, what can they expect?
ES: We’ve always leaned into really natural healing oils, and the way that we mix them makes the finish feel matte. It doesn’t feel super slick, and you don’t get that sensation of oil. With the demand for more oil products and the fact that people now know not to be afraid of oil, we wanted to use the best, efficacious formula we could. We found that when you pair vitamin E with a naturally rich in vitamin E oil as a carrier oil, it’s going to deliver results better.
AB: What skin types would you recommend each of the serums to and why?
EK: Vitamin B3 + Zinc is formulated to increase overall skin clarity. It’s good for all skin types but great for those with congested, oily, red, and acne-prone skin. Vitamin E + Oat is formulated to increase skin renewal. It’s good for most skin types but great for mature, sensitive, dry, and damaged skin. While it’s absolutely not a rule, we see great benefits with the B3 + Zinc in our younger clients and E + Oat in our more mature clients.
AB: How would you recommend applying the serums for maximum benefit?
ES: We recommend applying the water-based B3 + Zinc first, followed by the oil-based E + Oat to maximize absorption. In addition to the benefits we see from the use of each serum on their own, there is also a synergistic skin benefit to the skin’s moisture barrier when the two serums are used together. This is as a result of the vitamin B5 within the B3 + Zinc serum and the oat oil in the Vitamin E + Oat serum. A healthy moisture barrier means more supple, healthy and smooth skin, even as you age.
AB: Why would you recommend using the serums together and who would you recommend them to?
ES: While these serums are to be used in a preventative and prescriptive manor, a person’s skin may benefit from using both serums at once to target a few skin concerns at the same time. A person with dry, redness-prone skin could benefit from both vitamin E as well as zinc. Similarly, a person with mature skin, who experiences breakouts may choose to use both serums in conjunction. Sometimes you just need skin clarity and renewal at the same time!
AB: How would you say the serums, (particularly the B3 + Zinc), fair for hyperpigmentation? There seems to be some confusion over the difference between hyperpigmentation and discolouration these days.
ES: Hyperpigmentation is complex and can be the result of several different physiological processes. Whether the hyperpigmentation is genetic, a result of sun exposure, age or scarring, changes how treatable it is. Most types of hyperpigmentation are not reversible. With some skin types, scarring from acne (especially the acute darkening of a blemish after sun exposure) can fade with time. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) has been shown to increase cell turnover and may help speed up this process. Some types of scarring pigmentation can also decrease in appearance with the application of vitamin E however, the Consonant Vitamin Serums were not formulated specifically to address hyperpigmentation. As with all of our products, we always want our clients to know the limits of topicals and remind them that great skin is about more than just great skin care. The best practice is always prevention, wear sunscreen, moisturize and start caring for your skin as early as possible.
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