And it has a pretty cool ingredient that the animal kingdom has been using forever.

By Erin Reimel
September 22, 2020
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As a beauty editor, one of the best parts of my job is testing hundreds of products in search of the newest innovations and best launches. This year, I worked with a group of Shape editors and wellness experts to put our picks to the test. While there were clear favorites from the makeup, hair, body, and iconic products categories (we even added a new category for derm-approved products because who doesn't look for a rec from the pros?), one item stood out to everyone as the unanimous skin-care winner: Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice (Buy It, $48, amazon.com).

The formula of Elemis' Hydration Juice focuses on centella asiatica (or cica), an antioxidant-rich ingredient derived from a type of grass found in Asia that's been used to heal wounds for thousands of years. Why is it cool? Tigers are said to rub their cuts and wounds on the grass because it speeds up the skin’s healing process and calms irritation. Despite being used in the animal kingdom since, well, forever, the ingredient only recently came onto the skin-care scene a few years ago — but has quickly become a must-have for those with sensitive skin or redness. (Related: These Cica Creams Are Perfect for Soothing Dry, Sensitive Skin)

Along with its magical ability to heal and calm irritated skin, the cica-based serum also protects against environmental aggressors and brightens complexion, thanks to the addition of vitamin C. Not to mention, it also includes aloe vera and a blend of kiwi and green mandarin water to really hydrate dry, parched skin. The gel-like texture is a bit thicker than a typical serum, but not as heavy as a moisturizer, so it'll still feel lightweight enough to wear under makeup or on a bare face. Also nice: It smells absolutely delicious, like a refreshing green juice from your trendy smoothie shop. (Psst... try these gel moisturizers for oily skin.)

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Elemis brand; the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (But It, from $15, amazon.com) has been the first step in my double cleansing routine for years. So, I had high hopes for this serum — and it didn’t disappoint. I love that the Elemis Hydration Juice combines hydrating ingredients with antioxidants, which is so important for fighting sun damage, as well as soothing the sensitive skin under my face mask whenever I go outside. It’s become the new holy-grail serum in my lineup. Plus, thanks to its healing capabilities, the serum should help soothe irritation from frequent mask-wearing, and could also help bid adieu to your 'maskne.' And, I'm not the only skin-care junkie who was blown away by Elemis' Hydration Juice

One tester from the 2020 Shape Beauty Awards said: “This is my favorite of all the products I tested. It’s light, hydrates my skin immediately, and feels cooling."

“At first, I wasn’t really sure if it was a serum or a cream. It feels so hydrating and dries down nicely. It’s become a staple in my nightly routine," shared another.

Another tester revealed the moisturizing gel soothed her skin after being in the sun all day. “It’s so refreshing that I wish I could bathe in it," she said. "I spent a few weeks in New Mexico this summer and even with constant sunscreen applications, my skin still felt so sun-exposed and parched. This is what I reached for to nourish it back to health. It's like the next-gen aloe.”

Not only does the serum hydrate and soothe skin, but multiple testers swore by its ability to calm redness after a workout. “I could tell my skin loved this product every time I applied it," one raved. "It leaves a cooling sensation and it toned down the redness in my cheeks instantly.” (Check out other ways to calm red skin after a sweat session here.)

It’s not every day that you find a product that an entire group agrees on as the best of the best, but it officially happened. Add the Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Hydration Juice to your shopping cart ASAP!

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