Three years in the making, Flawless Brightly Serum combines the 4 key ingredients that tackle the' 5 levels of glow'

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Have you ever felt despondent about the fact you're using endless 'glow-giving' serums and yet somehow your skin is still lacklustre? You're not alone. Dr Sam Bunting created her first-ever day serum, Flawless Brightly Serum, £44, in response to exactly this gripe – after hearing countless Harley Street patients express disappointment about using so many actives in their skincare routine yet still seeing no results.

Flawless Brightly Serum has been designed to tackle dull, lacklustre skin, with the hero ingredient of gently exfoliating  azelaic acid (which has a host of other benefits too)  and brightening vitamin C.  Bakuchiol  and  niacinamide  are also in the mix, giving the serum serious brightening powers; bakuchiol banishes blemishes while niacinamide evens out skin tone and strengthens the skin barrier.

there are 5 levels of glow: surface texture, hydration, pigmentation, redness and collagen ‘bounce-back

The secret to bright skin it tackling what Dr Sam call the five levels of glow.

"I think people assume bright skin is just about reducing pigmentation but it’s actually a lot more than that," Dr Sam tells us. "There are five levels of glow: surface texture, hydration, pigmentation, redness and collagen ‘bounce-back’. The four key active ingredients in the serum target them all."

"They actives also work together to unclog pores, calm blemishes and redness and stimulate collagen production. I really wanted to produce a 'daytime warrior' – lots of power in one single layer for a time-efficient morning routine."

Black and Asian skins, which can experience dullness, ashiness, post-blemish pigmentation and melasma will particularly love this serum, suggests Dr Sam, as it contains six different ways of tackling pigmentation.

This fragrance-free and  non-comedogenic  serum was three years in the making and took 34 versions to get it perfect and the products we're left with is rather impressive. It uses stronger percentages of high-performing ingredients in a single formula – your bathroom shelf is about to get a lot less cluttered.

The reason we get excited about a new Dr Sam product is that it's formulated directly from her clinical experience as a cosmetic dermatologist, working day-to-day with skin concerns as well as conversations on her vocal Facebook group. She formulates based on what people need and while making skincare as uncomplicated as possible. Her philosophy is using simple 'perfected' basics (cleanser, moisturiser, SPF) with serums featuring 'amplified actives' – powerful problem-solving ingredients that work synergistically.

It's the seventh release from Dr Sam's skincare range, following her  Flawless Lip treatment  which landed in February of this year (a simpler time!), so with several other products under her belt including a  Flawless Daily Sunscreen , and a  Flawless Nightly Serum  with  retinoid  why did this one take 34 attempts to get it right? "Brightly is 18 per cent actives using four different ingredients so my chemist had to keep tweaking it to get everything to behave within the formula and to get the base silky-smooth and easy to layer – otherwise it just wouldn't have worked for a morning product," explains Dr Sam.

What's in The Flawless Brightly Serum?

There are four key ingredients

* 10 per cent  azelaic acid:  this lesser-known acid evens out skin tone and reduces sensitivity with light exfoliating powers. It can also help your skin adapt to other active ingredients  – think of it as a gateway product if you like. It can temper the skin’s natural tendency to react to things. Dr Sam refers to it as ‘acid with extra’ due to the versatility and tolerability. "The rest of the formula was built around this ingredient," she tells us.

* 5 per cent  niacinamide.  Niacinamide is a regular in Dr Sam's formulas: "In this serum I tried to balance efficacy alongside ingredients that are known for a calming, anti-inflammatory action. Niacinamide is a real hero in this regard, hence it appears in several products in my range." It helps to strengthen the skin barrier, reduce hyperpigmentation and banish blemishes as well as being known to minimise irritation caused by other ingredients. The serum is shaping up to sound quite the peace-keeper.

* 2 per cent ascorbyl glucoside. It wouldn't be a brightening serum without vitamin C (in case you are wondering what ascorbyl glucoside is) to fade and prevent dark spots and boost collagen production. "Ascorbyl Glucoside was the form of vitamin C that was most compatible and stable in the formula alongside the other active ingredients plus it has excellent abilities to penetrate into skin at pH 4-5, so is well-suited to sensitive skin," explains Dr Sam.

* 1 per cent  bakuchiol.  Often dubbed the natural alternative to retinol because it stimulates collagen production, strengthens the skin's foundation and minimises the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

What do all of these ingredients have in common? They’re easily tolerated by the skin and soothe it while working hard to brighten.

What's it like and how to use it?

Dr Sam recommends applying the serum to cleansed skin and then top with moisturiser and SPF.

When we tried it we found it quite creamy for a serum, although not oily. You might find you don't need a moisturiser on top as it contains the moisturising ingredient glycerin found naturally in the skin – although SPF is always advisable. Like all Dr Sam skincare, it's fragrance-free to minimise irritation and pump-dispensed to keep ingredients stable. She recommends starting slowly with half a pump every other day building up to one pump a day.

When will I see results?

Dr Sam encourages people to review their skin’s response to a new treatment in blocks of six weeks or a skin cycle.

Buy Flawless Brightly Serum, £44.  Dr Sam is also launching her routine finder to help you build your customised Dr Sam System based on your skin concerns and behaviour.