It takes a lot for me to feel really wowed by a skincare product, serums specifically. Because they are the cornerstone of my routine, there’s little margin for error. It needs to work (and if it doesn’t, I’ll know). When you consider serums in the context of brightening, things get even more complicated. Pigmentation, scarring and uneven skin tone are all notoriously tough to treat, especially via topical skincare products alone.

I’ve always used an antioxidant serum as part of my morning routine, and am hesitant to switch (you know the saying: if it ain’t broke…). BUT, when every good skin-haver on Instagram (many of whom are friends of mine) started talking about Emma Lewisham’s Skin Reset Serum, I knew a road test was imminent.

The brand itself hails from New Zealand and puts focus on clean, efficacious formulas. Clean is a word that irks me in the context of skin because there are no regulations surrounding its use. So really, any brand or person can put it on a product and send it off into the world. But for Emma Lewisham, it means something. You’ll learn more in the interview below but the brand only uses ingredients that are verified as safe by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Emma Lewisham has actually banned over 2,700 ingredients that are used in mainstream beauty products due to safety and sustainability reasons.

But back to the serum. I’ve been using it consistently for six weeks now and I’m IMPRESSED. My skin looks clearer, calmer and brighter. Pigmentation around my cheeks and eyes has softened, a few acne marks I had around my jaw and hairline look less obvious, and my breakouts feel less “angry” when they do pop up. It’s full of plant-based actives (including vitamin c, niacinamide and plant stem cells) that work in synergy to inhibit melanin and brighten the skin. Overall, it’s one of the best skin brightening serums I’ve ever used.

If you too are looking for something to give you a brighter and more even complexion overall (without the need for cheap fillers and irritating ingredients) this is gold class.

Credit: Emily Algar

To help shed some more light on the brand the formulation, find a quick Q&A with Emma herself below:

GRAZIA: What’s the Emma Lewisham background story?

Emma: The genesis of Emma Lewisham was when I learned a product I had been applying for my hyperpigmentation (hydroquinone) contained a known carcinogen and was banned in many countries. I went looking to replace my skincare with truly 100% natural and clean alternatives, with scientifically validated results – only to find this didn’t exist. There was a compromise you had to make when using natural, and that was performance. I was used to investing in high-performance, premium cremes and serums, like La Mer. Suddenly I found myself at organic health shops trying to find the natural La Mer equivalent, and I had the realisation that these products were not going to deliver the results I was used to. It became clear to me that natural, non-harmful ingredients came at a compromise to efficacy and evidenced-based results.

I decided to be the change I wanted to see in the beauty industry. I wanted to prove it was possible to produce 100% natural and clean products that would be as effective, if not more so, than anything in the world. I wanted to prove to women they didn’t have to compromise their health for beauty. In short – I founded Emma Lewisham with a single purpose, which was to make a meaningful difference in the beauty industry.

What steps and ingredients do you believe in?

Emma: Cleansing is really important to begin with as it enables the following products to penetrate the epidermis effectively. It is actually directly linked to anti-ageing benefits as a good cleanser will draw out environmental toxins, make-up and impurities that if left in the pores, would degrade collagen and elastin.

Sunscreen is the other skincare product that I always wear every day. It’s a misperception that you don’t need to wear sunscreen when the sun isn’t out. 80% of visible facial ageing is from UV ray exposure. And these UV rays are present every day, even when it’s cloudy or raining.

In terms of ingredients, natural skincare is coming leaps of bounds. We are all about results, while sticking to our 100% natural commitment, so some of the ingredients I am very impressed by are collagen peptides which are in our Supernatural 72 hour peptide crème, which is proven to regenerate collagen – so there’s real validation behind its effectiveness. Others are our unique 72 hour water-trapping matix from Pentavitin which is proving to be superior to hyaluronic acid, for keeping the skin lifted and plump, and natural plant derived Ceramides, which are seen as the new prized ingredient for anti-ageing.

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Skin Reset has reached cult status for its out-of-this-world performance. It is scientifically proven to outperform the most recognised and luxurious vitamin C and brightening products on the market.* ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Its unprecedented performance stems from years of meticulous scientific research, to discover the most potent combination and concentration of 24 natural actives from around the globe. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Our proprietary formula boasts concentrations up to 2 to 4 times higher than other products and includes innovative plant stem cells, phytonutrients, omegas, fatty acids, and 12 sources of brightening vitamins (including cellular extracted vitamin C) to repair, prevent and even the skin’s complexion 🍊 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ *Independent Scientific in vivo testing 2018 and in vitro testing 2019, 2020 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Emma Lewisham is 100% natural and simultaneously delivers scientifically validated results. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #EmmaLewisham #CleanBeauty #CleanSkincare #EmmaLewishamSkinReset #SkinReset #NaturalSkincare #Cleanyourbeautyroutine

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The Skin Reset Serum is getting rave reviews – which is no mean feat considering how difficult it is to treat pigmentation. What’s the secret?

Emma: It’s the ingredients that are in it, but it’s also the concentration levels we use and the synergy of the ingredients. We use up to four times higher concentrations than other brands, in line with scientific recommendations, and Skin Reset has 24 high performing actives in one bottle. We don’t use fillers and use the most premium waxes and emulsifiers. It’s a product that has five years of research in each bottle. In our Skin Reset, we have a patented plant stem cell extract, which is the result of a research program in which plants were selected for their effectiveness in inhibiting tyrosinase (this is the enzyme which produces the pigment melanin, which you see as dark spots or pigmentation on your skin). The resulting clinical studies showed phenomenal results for their effects in inhibiting the production and transfer of melanin to the skin. We also have seven sources of Vitamin C which is proven for reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Shop the serum below:

Emma Lewisham Skin Reset Even Skin Tone Serum, $138. shop now