Are These New $30 Serums Worth the Hype? Here's What Our Editor Thinks...

boost lab reveiwsboost lab reveiws

When I first heard Adore Beauty was launching an Aussie brand that only makes $30 active serums, I could've fallen off my chair.

I didn't, because that would've been unprofessional. But this bargain skincare launch is pretty damn exciting because, well, quality skin care can be really expensive.

Yes, it's true you often do get what you pay for, but not a lot of people have the means to spend hundreds of dollars on a serum - let alone a whole routine of them - which is where these affordable yet effective products swoop in to save your bank account.

We've got a lot to get through, so let's dive right into everything you need to know about these newly-launched $30 serums from BOOST LAB.

My BOOST LAB Serum Reviews.

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Here are some fast facts on BOOST LAB:

  • First up, every BOOST LAB serum costs $29.95. That's roughly half the price of your entry-level cosmeceutical serum. An excellent start.

  • The brand only makes serums. And not hundreds of them (because no one needs that many products), but just seven serums designed to slot into your existing routine.

  • You can mix and match, and layer all seven serums depending on how your skin's doing.

  • Each serum is formulated with 'clean technology' (cruelty-free, and free from artificial fragrances, sulphates, parabens and mineral oil) to target a specific skin concern.

  • They're also dermatologically-tested, suitable for all skin types and contain high-efficacy active ingredients.

But the biggest draw card? The serums are ridiculously easy to understand. Yes, the packaging is Instagram-worthy, but show me a product that spells out exactly what it can (and can't) do on the box and I'm a happy beauty editor.

Now, onto my BOOST LAB reviews of each of the seven serums.

1. BOOST LAB Retinol Night Renewal Serum.

BOOST LAB Retinol Night Renewal SerumBOOST LAB Retinol Night Renewal Serum

What: BOOST LAB Retinol Night Renewal Serum - An overnight serum that promises to help reduce the appearance of ageing.

Main ingredients:

  • Retinol and Granactive Retinoid 2% - derivatives of vitamin A for increased cell turnover and an increase in collagen and elastin production.

  • Hydrating and soothing ingredients Bisabolol and Aloe Vera Juice mitigate any irritation.

BOOST LAB Retinol Night Renewal SerumBOOST LAB Retinol Night Renewal Serum

My verdict:

This vitamin A serum is your classic beginners anti-ageing serum. It has a slightly creamy yellow consistency that sinks into the skin fairly quickly and doesn't feel sticky.

If you're a seasoned retinol user, this serum won't really do it for you. But it's perfect for anyone who wants to start using a vitamin A serum in their routine consistently, without the high-commitment price tag.

2. BOOST LAB AHA Glow Resurfacing Serum.

BOOST LAB AHA Glow Resurfacing SerumBOOST LAB AHA Glow Resurfacing Serum

What: BOOST LAB AHA Glow Resurfacing Serum - A non-irritating exfoliating serum that gives good glow, without any hectic tingling or peeling.

Main ingredients:

  • Time-release complex of Lactic Acid (the gentlest of alpha hydroxy acids) and amino acid Arginine for gentle yet effective chemical exfoliation.

  • Glycerin and Aloe Vera for added hydration.

  • Antibacterial Manuka Honey.

BOOST LAB AHA Glow Resurfacing SerumBOOST LAB AHA Glow Resurfacing Serum

My verdict:

I really enjoyed using this serum and reckon it was made for anyone who's been too scared to try a chemical exfoliant before. The formula is silky with a very subtle clinical scent, and glides beautifully onto the skin without any irritation, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin.

I didn't experience any tingling at all, but that doesn't mean the product won't work. We've been trained to think a product is only working if it's literally burning your face off, but that's not true. Gentle = good. My skin looked bright and radiant the next morning, and even more so a few days later. It's probably the most agreeable chemical exfoliant I've ever met.

3. BOOST LAB 2D-Hyaluronic Hydro Boost Serum.

BOOST LAB 2D-Hyaluronic Hydro Boost SerumBOOST LAB 2D-Hyaluronic Hydro Boost Serum

What: BOOST LAB 2D-Hyaluronic Hydro Boost Serum - A deeply hydrating serum for plump, juicy skin.

Main ingredients:

  • Sodium Hyaluronate and Hydrolysed Hyaluronic Acid - two forms of hyaluronic acid that can hydrate deeper and surface levels of the skin to help plump the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Panthenol or Vitamin B5 is another moisturising ingredient that helps to support your skin barrier's function.

BOOST LAB 2D-Hyaluronic Hydro Boost SerumBOOST LAB 2D-Hyaluronic Hydro Boost Serum

My verdict:

I'll keep using this hyaluronic acid serum for sure. Why? Because it just does the job and feels nice on the skin. Some affordable hydrating serums can feel sticky or tacky when you apply them, but this one sinks in well and doesn't pill when layered over my vitamin C serum and under my sunscreen or makeup.

If you're tossing up where to save in your skincare routine, this serum is a great budget option. Sodium Hyaluronate (the small molecular form of hyaluronic acid) is listed towards the end of the ingredients list, meaning there isn't a heap of it in the formula, but I didn't see a huge difference between this $30 serum and other $60-70 hydrating serums I've tried.

4. BOOST LAB Multi-Peptide Anti-Ageing Serum.

BOOST LAB Multi-Peptide Anti-Ageing SerumBOOST LAB Multi-Peptide Anti-Ageing Serum

What: BOOST LAB Multi-Peptide Anti-Ageing Serum 30ml - A potent peptide anti-ageing serum that also hydrates the skin to reduce the appearance of dehydration.

Main ingredients:

  • Pollustop - a complex to help mitigate the environmental aggressors that can increase irritation and redness in the complexion.

  • Natural Plant Sugars help restore the skin’s moisture barrier for long lasting hydration and plumpness.

  • Arigeline and Syn-ake - two peptides to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

BOOST LAB Multi-Peptide Anti-Ageing SerumBOOST LAB Multi-Peptide Anti-Ageing Serum

My verdict:

Most of us can benefit from using a peptide serum because peptides help our skin to do its job more effectively. They plump and hydrate the skin, which in turn can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (most of which look more obvious when the skin is dehydrated).

Again, this peptide serum is silky and glides onto the skin nicely, providing lightweight hydration. It also layers really well over the top of more active products like the AHA or vitamin A serums. You won't see any dramatic results overnight, but it's basically a no-brainer serum that just quietly goes about its business for better-looking skin over time.

5. BOOST LAB Vitamin B3 Blemish Rescue Serum.

BOOST LAB Vitamin B3 Blemish Rescue SerumBOOST LAB Vitamin B3 Blemish Rescue Serum

What: BOOST LAB Vitamin B3 Blemish Rescue Serum - An oil-free serum formulated to support blemish-prone and/or oily skin.

Main ingredients:

  • 10% Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 targets skin texture, reduces the appearance of enlarged pores and regulates excess oil production, which can lead to blemishes, blackheads and acne.

  • 1% Zinc PCA (an amino acid derivative called Pyridine Carboxylic Acid) keeps skin hydrated and helps to reduce inflammation.

BOOST LAB Vitamin B3 Blemish Rescue SerumBOOST LAB Vitamin B3 Blemish Rescue Serum

My verdict:

I don't really have too much to say about this serum personally because it's not designed for my skin concerns, but if you're after an acne or oily skin serum that can slot really easily into your existing routine, this is it.

Your sunscreen and makeup won't pill when applied over the top, the consistency is just as lightweight as all of the BOOST LAB serums, and it sinks into the skin really quickly leaving a slightly matte finish. Clinical studies show niacinamide is effective between 2% and 5% - this one has 10%, so you can trust you'll see some visible results with consistent use.

6. BOOST LAB Bio-Active Eye Reset Serum.

BOOST LAB Bio-Active Eye Reset SerumBOOST LAB Bio-Active Eye Reset Serum

What: BOOST LAB Bio-Active Eye Reset Serum - A lightweight serum to hydrate and plump the look of tired eyes.

Main ingredients:

  • A 4-in-1 blend of Peptides, Algae Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B5) and Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), plus Glycerin for hydrated, plump skin.

BOOST LAB Bio-Active Eye Reset SerumBOOST LAB Bio-Active Eye Reset Serum

My verdict:

Gosh I love an eye serum. Eye creams? I enjoy them when I can be bothered, but eye serums are especially easy to use in warmer weather when you're too hot and flustered to wait for creams to sink in.

The texture is the lightest of all the BOOST LAB serums, and it's very cooling on the skin. There's no scent to irritate your eyes, and bare minimum, this product feels really lovely on weary, puffy eyes in the morning. The hydrating ingredients will also help with the appearance of fine lines around the eye area that become more pronounced when the skin is dehydrated.

7. BOOST LAB Vitamin C Brightening Serum.

BOOST LAB Vitamin C Brightening SerumBOOST LAB Vitamin C Brightening Serum

What: BOOST LAB Vitamin C Brightening Serum - An entry-level vitamin C serum that helps to brighten the complexion and protect against environmental damage.

Main ingredients:

  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate - a stable form of Vitamin C that is unlikely to cause irritation, but isn't as powerful or effective as L-ascorbic acid.

  • Vitamin E helps to hydrate, provide antioxidant support and neutralise free radicals.

  • Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 helps to diminish shine and balance oil production.

BOOST LAB Vitamin C Brightening SerumBOOST LAB Vitamin C Brightening Serum

My verdict:

I'll admit, this vitamin C serum was probably my least favourite of the bunch, and mostly because my all-time favourite brightening serum SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic has ruined me for all other vitamin C products. The problem is, that one costs $218 and most people just can't afford that.

This vitamin C serum has a slightly thicker consistency and no sickly sweet or weird ham scent (win!), but the biggest difference between this vitamin C product and a cosmeceutical pigmentation serum is the core active ingredient. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a more stable form of vitamin C that's easier to formulate, less irritating and doesn't go off. But it isn't as active and effective as serums formulated with L-ascorbic acid, so it won't shift stubborn hyperpigmentation like a more expensive vitamin C serum will.

Now, for the $30 question... will I continue to use BOOST LAB serums in place of my more expensive serums?

Yes and no. No, because I'm a big advocate for sticking with what's working for you, and right now, my skin is loving my current retinoid and vitamin C serums. But the rest of my skincare routine is fair game, and my skin and I are quite happy mingling with other serums interchangeably depending on what we feel like.

We'll keep using the BOOST LAB hyaluronic acid, peptide and AHA serums for sure. Oh, and the eye serum.

So, can these $30 serums replace more expensive cosmeceutical skincare products? No, but they don't claim to.

Do I think the BOOST LAB serums are excellent if you're new to skin care or need more affordable options? 100 per cent.

And if you're still not sure, that's OK. The BOOST LAB Supercharged Skincare Pack (7 Piece Set) is a discovery set that gives you all seven full-size 30ml serums for the price of five.

I mean, it'd be rude not to.