‘I’m an Esthetician, and This $300 Serum from Iceland Is Truly Worth Every Penny’

Photo: Getty Images/ Anna_Om
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Mother nature is the formulator behind some of our favorite skin-care ingredients. You can find complexion-soothing cacti in the desert, anti-aging algae under the sea, and acne-fighting tree bark in the forest, but one of the places on the planet to look for potent actives is at Iceland's famed Blue Lagoon.

The Lagoon—which you may have seen glowing phosphorescent cerulean on your Instagram feed—sits between two lava fields on the Reykjanes Peninsula in the southwest corner of Iceland. Because of its proximity to all that lava, its geothermal seawater is packed with  sulfur, silica, blue algae, and other minerals, a combination that Senior Beauty Editor, Zoë Weiner, calls "a skin savior."

Enter:  The BL+Serum from BL+ Skincare, which packs all of the Blue Lagoon's skin-healing benefits into a bottle so that you can bring them with you wherever you are in the world. Yes—it's $300, but Soho and Miami-based esthetician Shamara Bondaroff says it's worth every penny.

"The brand spent 30 years of research developing this all-in-one collagen-boosting formula," says Ása Brynjólfsdóttir, director of research and development at BL+ Skincare. When used regularly, it "protects the skin barrier, provides a brightening effect, deeply moisturizes, and is packed with antioxidants."

What makes the serum so special is its inclusion of the brand's patented BL+ Complex, which blends algae and silica—aka two of the Blue Lagoon's most powerful skin-nourishing ingredients.

The blue-green microalgae is packed with nutrients and antioxidants that "protect our skin from a cellular level," says Bondaroff. It works to stimulate our bodies' natural collagen production (which decreases as we age), leaving skin plump and supple. Additionally, one study by the National Library of Medicine found that bioactive microalgae has "various biological activities [that protect] against skin disorders including hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, dry skin disorders, skin inflammation, and skin cancer."

Silica, which is what gives the Blue Lagoon its infamous hue, "has purifying properties that help to draw out skin impurities and the effects of pollution from our skin," says Bondaroff. It works as a gentle exfoliant, and can be helpful to add to your skin-care routine during the warmer months when your pores are more likely to get clogged with dirt and grime. What's more, "silica helps to retain our moisturizer, which is what makes this serum so hydrating, and also helps to strengthen and protect our skin barrier all while locking in hydration," says Bondaroff.

Though microalgae and silica are the stars of the show, the serum also includes  vitamin C (a go-to for brightening skin) and three types of hyaluronic acids, which Bondaroff says "work together to hydrate the skin and leave you glowing."

When I tried the product out for myself, I loved how quickly it melted into my skin. It's super lightweight, which makes it perfect for warmer (and sweatier) weather, and my complexion felt immediately more hydrated after I used it. It also doesn't have fragrance, which is always a plus for my sensitive skin.

No matter your skin concerns, this serum was designed for everyone. "It's suitable for all skin types," Brynjólfsdóttir says, adding that it's made with "sustainable, traceable and COSMOS Natural approved ingredients." It's also free of fragrance, which is great news for anyone with sensitive skin.

When I tried it for myself, I was impressed with how quickly it melted into my pores. It's super lightweight, which makes it perfect for warmer (and sweatier) weather, and my skin felt immediately more hydrated after I used it. Plus, it didn't cause any irritation in my normally-reactive complexion.

While $300 for a 30 ml product certainly isn't cheap, we'd consider it a worthy investment, considering this do-it-all formula tackles a slew of skin concerns in a single step (and for what it's worth, you can snag a smaller, 15 ml bottle for $180). Want to try it for yourself? Shop the serum above.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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