Kinship founders Christin Powell and Alison Haljun started their brand to create simple, accessible products that actually work — and their newest launch, Self Smooth, might just be their best one yet. Called a serum but with the consistency of an essence, it contains 10% glycolic acid that works overnight to give you smoother and brighter skin without any irritation. Seriously — the before/afters are pretty mind-blowing.
Here’s how it works. The glycolic acid in the formula is a purified alpha hydroxy acid molecule that essentially “melts” the glue that keeps dead skin cells attached to your skin’s surface. Think of it as a liquid exfoliator, sloughing away roughness and even decreasing the appearance of your pores. Glycolic acid is considered a powerhouse skin care ingredient because it actually works, and there’s real science to back it up: a 2020 study on glycolic acid found tha can be beneficial in anti-acne products and also has anti-bacterial properties.
Kinship’s Self Smooth also contains strawberries for their high concentration of vitamin C, another powerhouse ingredient that helps with evening and brightening your skin tone. If your skin is sensitive to either of those ingredients or just in general, not to fear — the formula adds in a dose of oat extract as a soothing and nourishing agent, making it incredibly gentle on the skin. And like all other Kinship products, it contains the proprietary Kinbiome, a plant-based proprietary probiotic technology that helps balance your skin’s microbiome (the bran coins this as “kombucha 4 your face”). The Kinbiome secures a stronger skin barrier that ultimately creates balance in your skin and locks in the exfoliating, brightening properties of the serum.
If it sounds too good to be true, well, the brand went the extra mile to back up their claims with stats — and they’re pretty impressive. In an independent third-party clinical and consumer trial for Self Smooth, they found that after only 24 hours, 97% of participants showed a clinical education in pore size, while 94% said that their skin felt balanced and more smooth. After one week of using the product, 97% said this serum didn't dry out their skin and that their skin felt hydrated and 94% didn’t irritate their skin like other products. Yeah, we’re sold.
If you struggle to find an acid product that won’t irritate your skin, Kinships’ Self Smooth might just be the product you’ve been waiting for.