Shopping for skin care products is a very personal affair: texture, fragrance, and just the feel as you massage them into your skin, make all the difference. Vancouver fans of Swedish skin care range Verso will be excited to learn that no longer do they have to order their facial creams online: Holt Renfrew now stocks the brand in store.
Verso is best known for Retinol 8, a vitamin A derivative that is not only eight times more potent than the average retinol product, but 50 per cent less irritating, too.
“It’s really a performance driven product,” says Verso founder Lars Fredriksson, in Vancouver to promote the company’s new partnership with Holt Renfrew. “At the same time, it’s quite gentle to the skin.”
Fredriksson founded Verso in 2013, after the Retinol 8 complex was discovered and patented by Selego, a group of doctors from the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm. At the time Fredriksson was researching chemicals to help restore sun-damaged skin. “Sun-damaged skin is the medical term for wrinkles and pigmentation,” Fredriksson explains. In the Retinol 8 complex he saw a product that could exfoliate, promote collagen production, and reduce the first signs of fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and even adult-acne. It was marketed as the the first Vitamin A complex to be safely applied and worn in the daytime.
The 16-strong Verso range available at Holt Renfrew each contain a 0.06% concentration of Retinol 8, a high-dose of non-prescription Vitamin A. Bottles are numbered to categorize by treatment—N°1 Cleanse, N°2 Daytime, N°3 Nighttime, N°4 Boost etc.— and include everything from cream cleansers, spot treatments for blemishes and dark spots, and sheet masks. Brightening agent and anti-inflammatory, turmeric, as well as niacinamide (to increase keratin production and hydration), and oatmeal are key ingredients across the range.
Where many skin care brands promote incorporating a multi-step routine to the skin—and often a push to purchase the whole collection—Fredriksson notes that Verso takes a very Scandinavian, functional approach to skin health, and the total opposite of K-Beauty and three-step cleanse, toning, and moisturizing regimens.
“Each and every one of the Verso products, has been developed as a standalone,” he explains. “Here you have a smorgasbord—you can choose one.”
That said, with aesthetically pleasing pump bottles, mattifying textures and purifying scents, it is hard to choose just one. If pushed, we would plump for the Super Eye Serum, creamy in texture—the opposite of most high-performing, runny serums on the market right now—and buttery-yellow in colour. Smoothed under, over, and between the eyebrows in a swooping, soothing motion, it sinks right into the skin, leaving no sticky or thick residue behind, just bright eyes ready to take on the day.