The #1 Best-Selling Anti-Aging Moisturizer On the Market Now Comes in Oil Free Form, and Helps Keep My Mature Skin Shine Free

It’s the perfect pick for layering under makeup, too.

Since its launch in 2021 MERIT Beauty has been known for its five-minute face makeup products, designed to help you get out the door and on with your day as quickly as possible. The brand’s core lineup—which consists of a complexion stick, a blush balm, a highlighting stick, a mascara, a brow gel, and a tinted lip oil—has reached viral fame on TikTok, primarily because it’s got everything you need to glam yourself up in less time than it takes to listen to a Taylor Swift song. And now, MERIT is working to make your mornings even easier with the introduction of its first-ever skin care product.

MERIT Beauty Great Skin Instant Glow Serum — $38.00


  • Luxe Packaging

  • Fragrance-free

  • Absorbs quickly


  • Watery consistency

  • Little portion control due to pump dispenser

The MERIT Great Skin Instant Glow Serum ($38), is a hydrating, bi-phase serum that promises a smooth, mirror finish with zero residue. It’s basically dewy, #cleangirlaesthetic skin in a bottle, and I, for one, am on board.

The star ingredients happen to be two dermatologist favorites: hyaluronic acid (for moisture) plus niacinamide (for brightening)—and pairs them with cacao seed extract, which uses caffeine to boost circulation and offer plumping effects. The fact that the formula is bi-phase means that you’ll have to shake it vigorously before each application, because its components separate in the bottle when they’re not in use (kind of like salad dressing). Think: two types of products in one.

MERIT encourages using this serum as a base for makeup, but it can also be used on its own for a dewy finish. After testing it for a little over a week myself, I can confirm this is a really nice product. It’s hydrating but not oily, nourishing yet light, and truly does leave your skin with a glow. I also like that it’s fragrance-free, and it absorbs well into my semi-dehydrated visage. Plus, it was formulated “without acne-triggering ingredients,” which is a nice touch—I always mindful that my skincare routine isn’t triggering acne. I leave that up to my raging hormones.

If packaging plays a role in your purchase decisions, the weighty (recycled) glass bottle gives an air of serious luxury to this modestly-priced serum (it’s only $38!). I do have one hangup with the format, though. While I like the thinner viscosity of the product itself, I don’t love the combination of a liquid product with a pump dispenser… IMO, this serum needs a dropper. The dispenser/liquid combo was rather messy, and without fail got product splatter all over my sink, countertops, and medicine cabinet mirror each time I’ve used it.

Don’t let that discourage you from trying it, though. It’s been a matter of weeks, and already my skin feels hydrated and my makeup wears better. I’d recommend this serum to anyone who wants to quench their dull skin while giving off an extra glow.

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