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This Ayurvedic Serum Could Probably Replace My Entire Skin-Care Routine

Ranavat Radiant Rani Brightening Saffron Serum, $135, available here

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“A closer look at the serum one Sephora reviewer calls ‘Liquid gold in a bottle,'” read the subject line of a PR pitch for a product by Ayurveda-based beauty brand Ranavat. This effective email clickbait led me to one of my new favorite products, and that Sephora reviewer may not have been exaggerating at all.

Ranavat’s formulas are scientifically researched, clinically tested and inspired by the South Asian healing practice of Ayurveda, in which saffron is considered a “miracle elixir.” The brand harnesses this ingredient’s “antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties” for its Radiant Rani Brightening Saffron Serum to fight hyperpigmentation as well as other signs of aging and complexion issues. Saffron is also challenging to harvest and thus quite expensive (more expensive by weight than gold) — making 30mL of this stuff cost $135 — but in my experience, it’s worth it, and it more than lives up to the brand’s claims.

Amid a recent period of hormonal breakouts (resulting, as always, in stubborn post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), I was interested in new, perhaps alternative-leaning solutions. After receiving this product, I decided to experiment with a “less-is-more” approach to skin care. For about two weeks, my whole routine was just this and a cleanser, plus sunscreen if I was spending any time outside (and my now-trusted Olly gummies of course). It was by far the most minimal I’ve been with skin-care in decades.

First of all, this is a beautiful product. It smells so good I wish I could bathe in it and feels amazing on the skin, making my nighttime and morning routines feel like luxurious rituals. It feels more like an oil than a serum, locking in moisture as it’s massaged onto damp skin, as the brand suggests; but unlike other face oils I’ve tried, it feels more calming and soothing than greasy or pore-clogging. I’ve barely broken out at all since I’ve started using it, even though I eliminated all my usual anti-acne products — prescription and OTC alike. And any “activity” I did see practically disappeared overnight. 

While my hyperpigmentation hasn’t disappeared as quickly, I’m still impressed with the way this product can truly do it all without causing any harm (i.e. breakouts) in the process. While I’m now slowly incorporating other products on occasion, it’s great to know that if I’m feeling lazy, I can confidently just rub a few drops of this on, go to sleep, and still wake up with good skin.

Ranavat Radiant Rani Brightening Saffron Serum, $135, available here.

Please note: This product was gifted. Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. In no way do either affect our editorial decision-making.

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