Can This £12.99 Serum Really Brighten My Skin Tone?
I’m going to admit, I’m a gal who’s a lover of great skincare at a great price.
I’ve never been one to spend £50 on a moisturiser or £100 on a hair oil, with my most recent skincare routine being whittled down to The Ordinary potions (my fave), the renowned CeraVe Bumpy Skin Cleanser, and the latest product to join my skincare clan – Byoma’s Tri-Ceramide Brightening Serum.
Thanks to its cool and colourful packaging and an affordable starting price of just £9.99, Byoma has become a firm fave for lovers of low-cost – but effective – skincare. It’s loved by derms, clinically proven, and is made up of some *super* powerful ingredients.
Whether you’re just beginning your skincare journey, recovering from excessive acid use, or seeking an effective moisturiser without breaking the bank, Byoma has something for everyone.
And their own trademarked Tri-Ceramide Complex Serum claims to help restore natural moisture while giving your skin barrier some much-needed attention.
Coming in at just £12.99 ($15.99) on the Byoma website, trying this serum was a no-brainer for me. Bright, smooth skin with a glowing finish? Sign. me. up.
But how does it *actually* feel on the skin, and does it produce the results it promises? Read my full thoughts, as well as advice from board-certified dermatologist Dr Anthony Rossi and board-certified aesthetician Evelyn Ramirez, here.
What is Byoma?
But who *exactly* are Byoma and when did they become such a firm fave on the skincare scene?
A relatively young brand, Byoma was founded in 2020 by Marc Elrick – the CEO and founder of Future Beauty Labs, the British brand incubator behind Isle of Paradise, Tan-Luxe and Tanologist – with the aim of creating accessible, affordable and approachable skincare that educates without being complicated. Most importantly, Byoma looks to strengthen the skin rather than strip it, boosting the skin barrier with simple yet effective formulations.
Their ethos is to boost the skincare barrier – the outermost layer of skin that protects against environmental threats as well as protecting the critical water balance in the body – encouraging stronger, more protected skin.
They’re also *super* environmentally friendly, with a pledge to use fully recyclable materials, easy and efficient shipping to reduce their carbon footprint, and purchasable refills to reduce household waste. Not only this, the brand has also partnered with One Tree Planted to help effectively offset their carbon emissions by planting trees for a cleaner and greener planet.
Did I mention their products are all vegan, cruelty-free, alcohol-free, and fragrance-free too?! As a big animal lover, this is a definite plus for me.
Offering a range of cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturisers, Byoma combines skincare heroes like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, squalane, green tea and bakuchiol (a plant-based alternative to retinol) to create its fuss-free line.
Over just 3 years, Byoma has been picked up by international stores like Space NK, Sephora, Boots UK, and Cult Beauty – becoming somewhat of a must-have for guys and gals who want high-quality skincare at a low price.
What is Byoma Tri-Ceramide Brightening Serum?
The Tri-Ceramide Complex, according to Byoma, “Is designed to mimic and replenish the essential lipids found in skin. Formulated with the 3 key components of the stratum corneum – ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids – to rebuild the skin barrier and restore natural moisture levels, ensuring skin functions at its best every single day.”
This serum also contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide – niacinamide is said to reduce redness and the appearance of pores and lines while also hydrating.
And how does it do this?
According to Cleveland Clinic, “It helps build keratin, a protein that maintains skin health. It’s also been shown to make your skin stronger, smoother and brighter.”
Dr Rossi says “I love the ingredient niacinamide. It’s a potent B vitamin antioxidant, and I use it all topically and orally.
“Niacinamide increases the reduced forms of NAD(P), which have potent antioxidant properties. It also inhibits oxidative processes, such as protein oxidation, glycation, and the Maillard reaction, which produces Amadori products. Amadori products are yellowish-brown in color and accumulate in skin matrix components, like collagen, in response to oxidative stress as we age.
“It decreases fine lines and wrinkles by reducing Glycosaminoglycans and increasing dermal collagen and protein production (i.e., keratin, fillagrin, and involucrin), and it also reduces hyperpigmentation.”
“Niacinamide and its derivatives nicotinamide both have benefits for the skin. I use it often in patients with sensitive skin or sensitive skin as well as rosacea, which is an inflammatory skin condition that has the symptoms of redness in flushing, irritation, and stinging,” he adds.
Ramirez says that niacinamide can “help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.
“It has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe irritated skin and help with conditions like acne and rosacea,” and it also “helps strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, which can reduce moisture loss and prevent environmental damage.”
“Niacinamide is suitable for various skin types, including oily, dry, sensitive, and combination skin. It’s known for being gentle and well-tolerated by most people,” she adds.
And hyaluronic acid?
Harvard Health describes HA as “a humectant – a substance that retains moisture – and it is capable of binding over one thousand times its weight in water. This substance is naturally found in many areas of the human body, including the skin, eyes, and synovial fluid of the joints.
“HA used in beauty and skincare products is primarily made by bacteria in a lab via a process called biofermentation,” it adds.
Dr Rossi agrees, saying that “hyaluronic acid is also a great moisturizer because it binds its weight in water 10,000 times. Therefore, by holding onto water, it increases the hydration of the epidermidis and dermis. This helps to also prevent transepidermal water loss and it pairs nicely with niacinamide because hyaluronic acid can also help improve the barrier function.”
What about using niacinamide and HA together?
Ramirez says that when niacinamide is “combined with hyaluronic acid, you can enhance the benefits for your skin.
“Hyaluronic acid is a hydrating ingredient that retains moisture, promoting plump and hydrated skin. When used together, hyaluronic acid provides intense hydration, while niacinamide helps the skin barrier retain that moisture.
“The hydration from hyaluronic acid can reduce the appearance of fine lines, and niacinamide can support collagen production. Together, they can improve the overall health and appearance of your skin, leaving it smoother, firmer, and more radiant.”
“At Evelyn Aesthetics, niacinimide is used for any post-laser and microneedling services to calm down inflammation and redness. It is also a booster add-on for the luxurious Hydrafacial treatment, to leave your skin feeling like a million bucks!
“Remember to incorporate these ingredients into your skincare routine gradually and observe how your skin responds, as individual reactions can vary,” she adds.
On the skin and results
First off, I’ve got combination skin – dry in some areas and oilier in others. This can make skincare routines quite annoying! I struggled with acne and pimples in the past, which has also left some marks and scars on my skin – sigh.
But the hyaluronic acid in this serum targets scars and marks, aiming to smooth imperfections as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Being on the wrong side of 30 and living in a sunny country, wrinkles are something I’m starting to worry about increasingly!
I’ve also got quite large pores, which makes the niacinamide in the Byoma serum a great addition to my (admittedly) tiny skincare routine.
Gone are the days when I would sit in the bath for hours, reading magazines and going through a 10-step skincare regime. Now, I stick to a cleanser, serum, retinol, lightweight moisturiser, and finish off with an oil for deep hydration.
And this serum *might* just be a new staple in my routine.
I’ve been using the Byoma Tri-Ceramide Serum every other night for around 3 weeks since my friend pointed it out to me on a trip to Sephora. Beyond the cool packaging (which looks great in my bathroom), I’ve seen some pretty great results with this product, too.
This product is really lightweight, and it doesn’t feel sticky at all. It’s quite a thin serum, however, it feels rich enough on the skin and sinks in *pretty* quickly ready for me to apply my moisturiser and oils.
Byoma positions this serum in their ‘treat’ line and advises using 4-6 drops to cleansed skin morning or night. I’ve been using around 3 drops of the product in the evening, gently pressing until it’s fully absorbed into my skin – and my face drinks it right up!
Although I’ve only had a couple of people comment on my skin looking brighter, it does feel smoother and more moisturised. It doesn’t feel pore-clogging or heavy like other serums I’ve tried, and I really like that it doesn’t contain any overpowering fragrances.
I will say, though, it does feel like there isn’t a huge amount of product in the bottle, but this could be due to the fact that the packaging does feel a bit bulky. But at €14.99 I won’t begrudge buying it again.
All in all, this is a great serum that doesn’t feel too heavy. Although Byoma says it’s “intensely moisturising”, it hasn’t managed to penetrate the pesky dry patch on my right cheek – yet!
However, it does feel like a great base for my moisturiser and oil, and I can see that my skin is feeling smoother and less congested.
I think a bit more time will tell with this product, but so far, I’m enjoying using it for its gentle feel and non-sticky characteristics (I really hate sticky-feeling skin!)
Meet the experts
Dr Anthony Rossi is a board-certified dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. One of the most sought-after surgeons and laser experts in the field of dermatology, he is internationally recognised for his pioneering research and clinical work.
Evelyn Ramirez is a New York state-licensed Medical Aesthetician with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and client director at Evelyn Aesthetics. For the past several years, Evelyn has worked alongside top aesthetic physicians at high-end medical spas in Manhattan.