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Versed Clean Drugstore Skincare Review

Target Versed Clean Skincare Collection

Target recently launched the clean alternative skincare line, Versed, with all items under $25 each. They partnered with Who What Wear, the brand that also has an exclusive fashion and accessory line with Target. Who What Wear spent over 11 years in product testing and research and the skincare line is inspired by the Who What Wear community.

2020 UPDATE: Versed continues to add to its skincare line, and is now available at other retailers besides Target. When I saw a multi-tasking hydrating toner and retinol/bakuchiol serum, I could not resist. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for my thoughts on these products.

What is “Clean” Skincare?

While clean skincare is not officially defined, clean skincare is generally considered to be made without toxic, harmful, and irritating ingredients. The Versed product line is made without over 1,300 toxins, added colors, or fragrances. The Versed brand meets Target’s product qualifications for its clean beauty category which includes being formulated without Phthalates, Propyl-paraben & Butyl-paraben and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and other ingredients you don’t want in your skincare. It’s great to see that Versed products meet these qualifications and that are also vegan and cruelty-free. Even the product packaging is produced from low-waste materials.

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Clean Skincare at Under $25

The pricing at under $25 per item is very impressive since clean skincare tends to be on the more expensive side. Even if the formulations don’t warrant the price, there often is an expectation that clean skincare will be more expensive. As a result, you will usually find clean skincare products at higher price points than those without the “clean” description. But the Versed line, with all products priced under $25 each, just may allow you to try a variety of products in the product line without breaking the bank.

I previously tried the Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm along with a handful of other drugstore cleansing balms. You can read my initial thoughts on the product in this post on drugstore cleansing balms. I was curious about the rest of the line, so I picked up a few more products.

It was quite hard to narrow down my choices. Since the products are not expensive, I wanted to try a few, but not the entire product line, which is now at over 20 products. But before I knew it I had several items in my cart and I had to edit my choices. I guess that’s fitting considering the name of this website! Before I discuss my thoughts on the products I tried, here’s a breakdown of the collections in the line.

Dullness, Aging Skin, Dryness and Problem Skin

The product line currently has four collections: Dullness, Aging Skin, Dryness, and Problem Skin. My skin concerns led me to the Aging Skin and Dullness collections, so I finally edited my selections down to a serum, mask, peel, and body oil in addition to the previously purchased cleansing balm. My final choices were Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum, Photos Please Brightening Tightening Face Mask, The Shortcut Overnight Facial Peel, and Keep It Supple Body Oil. Read on for my thoughts on these products.

Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm

Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm was the first product that I tried from Versed. The cleansing balm emulsifies into soothing milk once water is added and contains eucalyptus, clove, and jojoba base oils. I liked the clean-rinsing formula and thought it did a great job of removing my makeup. At first, it was the strong clove-like scent that I couldn’t get over. I like the scent of eucalyptus but the clove oil made it smell very medicinal to me.

Maybe it’s just because I love balm cleansers, or maybe it’s because the cleansing balm has truly grown on me, but I’ve really started to enjoy using this cleanser. I actually find myself reaching for this cleansing balm when it’s time to remove my makeup. The size of this cleanser is a little smaller (2.3 oz) than some of the other cleansing balms (3.88 oz) I use, so keep that in mind that you may go through a jar of this quicker than others.

Versed Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum

Versed Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum is formulated to brighten your skin, so it is not surprising that it contains Vitamin C. The serum contains a stable form of ascorbic acid in a water base. Versed does not disclose the percentage of Vitamin C in the formulation but keep in mind that vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) is the 10th ingredient in the list of ingredients. A reader kindly informed me and Versed confirmed that the serum contains 0.5% vitamin C, 1.0% Niacinamide, and 2.0% licorice root.

Licorice root is a plant-based extract that can help with discoloration and inflammation. Palmaria palmata extract is another plant-based extract that is found in dulse, a type of algae. This extract contains vitamins and minerals and has antioxidant benefits. It also helps to brighten the skin.

Active Ingredient: Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a star product all on its own. Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3, has an arsenal of skin benefits. It helps to brighten, reduce discoloration, inflammation, pore-size and has wrinkle-reducing properties. If that wasn’t enough, it’s great for oily skin and can treat acne while calming the skin.

Related: The Benefits of Adding Niacinamide To Your Skincare Routine

The Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum sinks right into your skin. It’s not tacky, and works well with the rest of my skincare routine. I use this in the morning, and makeup applies nicely over this. I haven’t noticed any major changes in my skin yet, but this is a lower-priced facial serum with a nice mix of antioxidants, including Vitamin C.

Target Versed Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum and The Shortcut Overnight Facial Peel

Versed The Shortcut Overnight Facial Peel

Versed The Shortcut Overnight Facial Peel is my favorite product in the bunch. The peel contains a blend of lactic acid, glycolic acid, and vitamin A. I’ve discussed how much I love lactic acid skincare products in this post on Sunday Riley Good Genes drugstore alternatives. Lactic acid products simply work well with my skin. Glycolic acid reaches a deeper layer of skin than lactic acid, so those with sensitive skin may experience some irritation from products including glycolic acid. I am sensitive to glycolic acid, but this product did not bother my skin at all.

Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid & Vitamin A

The lactic and glycolic acids work together in this overnight to exfoliate dead skin cells, so in the morning you may find your skin smoother and brighter. Vitamin A is a lower strength retinoid that is known to be less irritating than other retinoids. I used the peel in place of my lactic acid treatment, so I apply moisturizer on top of it and leave it on my skin overnight.

I have been using this overnight peel two times a week and I’ve noticed my skin has been brighter and smoother every single morning after I use it. I am currently loving this product!

Related: The Beginner’s Anti-Aging Skincare Routine

Versed Photos Please Brightening Tightening Face Mask

Versed Photos Please Brightening Tightening Face Mask is a clay mask containing turmeric and kaolin clay. It comes in a 1.5 fl oz. pouch that has a screw top, and states on the package that you get 12+ applications from the mask. Red kaolin clay helps with exfoliation and turmeric is for balancing and brightening your skin.

The one thing that stood out to me after using the mask multiple times is that the mask is as described: creamy and non-drying. I expected to get that tight feeling on my face after the 10-15 minutes you wear the mask, but instead, it dried smoothly on my skin without any dryness at all.

I can’t say that I noticed immediate tightening or brightening after using this mask, but it is a nice non-drying balancing clay mask that warrants it’s $9.99 price. This clay mask doesn’t contain extravagant ingredients that would warrant a higher cost. It’s a nice mask to use after a hot day when you feel like your skin could use some purifying and balancing.

Versed Keep It Supple Body Oil

Versed was Keep It Supple Body Oil is a dry body oil that is enriched with a blend of sweet almond, macadamia nut, and coconut oils. It also contains soothing calendula flower extract and nourishing vitamin E.

The light floral scent comes from Ylang Ylang oil. If you don’t like floral scents, this may not be for you, but the scent is very light. I find that the white flower scent transforms over time to an even softer floral a few hours after you apply it. I really like the spray applicator that makes the application a breeze. This is a nice dry body oil that is not the slightest bit greasy even in the heat of the summer.

New for 2020

Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum & Baby Cheeks All-in-One Hydrating Milk

Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum

This is the new product from Versed that I was really excited to try. Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum is formulated for retinol first-timers and those with sensitive skin. It addresses those fine lines and wrinkles, boosts collagen production and evens skin tone. (All the characteristics of a good anti-ager.) It is formulated with encapsulated retinol, which delivers retinol to the deeper layers of the skin without irritation. It also contains arophira and bakuchiol, both of which are plant-based retinol alternatives.

Arophira is a plant extract which regulates sebum and helps improve skin texture. Bakuchiol is one of my absolute favorite anti-aging ingredients for its gentle but effective properties. You can read more about this ingredient in this post on Backuchiol: A Plant Based Retinol Alternative.

Versed’s bakuchiol is certified by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), which ensures that use in doesn’t negatively impact the survival of the plant species.

Anti-inflammatory chlorophyll also has antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties and contributes to the creamy serum’s pretty pale green color.

Versed Press Restart Retinol Serum

Retinol + Bakuchiol

This retinol serum intrigued me for the combination of encapsulated retinol and bakuchiol. I’ve used and love both ingredients but never in the same product. I’m glad I gave it a try, because it’s definitely a winner.

If I had my choice, I would only use cream-based serums, and this is a lovely one at that. It is thick and non-sticky and absorbs into my skin easily. I follow with moisturizer and when I wake in the morning, I get the same results with this product as I do with my other favorite over-the-counter retinoid: smoother and brighter skin, with improved skin tone and texture. I experience zero irritation with this product and for that reason alone, I would repurchase.

Related Post: The Benefits of Bakuchiol in Skincare: A Plant-Derived Retinol Alternative

Versed Baby Cheeks All-in-One Hydrating Milk

Versed Baby Cheeks All-in-One Hydrating Milk is described as a vegan multitasking milk: it removes all traces of makeup, restores the skin’s pH balance, and gets rid of post-cleanse hard water residue, plus it hydrates the skin. It is formulated with algae extract, bamboo extract and coconut water to leave skin ultra-soft. It is recommended as the first, last, or the only step of your skincare cleansing routine.

I couldn’t resist the idea of a multi-tasking toner. Basic toners are the least glamorous part of my skincare routine. Traditionally, I used a toner to remove any left-over makeup that my cleanser did not remove, but these days I double-cleanse, so the makeup removal part is taken care of. This toner does so much more. It balances your pH and hydrates, which is always welcome, especially in the cold weather months. I’ve never heard of a product removing hard water residue post-cleanse, but I’m glad that it does.

I love the pump bottle. It has a flip up cap, and you take a cotton pad and push down for a pre-measured amount of product. So easy. The only warning I have here, is to make sure your cotton pad completely covers the pump. I’ve had toner shoot out and onto my clothes because I was not careful! Otherwise, I love this product. It is a clean product and does so much more than simply remove residual makeup.

Final Thoughts on Versed Clean Skincare

I really love to see the growing availability of affordable skincare lines like Versed that use clean and non-toxic ingredients. While every Versed product is under $25, you are getting formulations that are just as good as some higher-end products at twice the price.

My Favorites

My favorite Versed product that I tried in 2019 was The Shortcut Overnight Facial Peel. I haven’t found another combination of acids that work so well together (and also so gently) to create such a noticeable change in my skin literally overnight.

So far for 2020, I’m two for two. I really love both Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum for the combination of both bakuchiol and retinol and Versed Baby Cheeks All-in-One Hydrating Milk for its hydrating and balancing properties.

Have you tried Versed skincare? What are your favroites? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Versed Clean Skincare Review


Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Hey! If anyone is interested in the percentage of the main ingredients, I contacted the Versed live chat: Vitamin C is .5%, Niacinamide is 1.0%, and Licorice Root is 2.0%

Niharika Verma

Friday 15th of November 2019

This range is super new to me :) Thank you for sharing.


Friday 15th of November 2019

Thanks so much! It's great to see clean beauty available at affordable prices!