Would you pay $125 for a beauty product that comes in a bottle the size of a shot glass? I wouldn’t have pegged myself as the type, but after testing the new facial serum from HiQ Cosmetics, I handed over my credit card. The Decatur-based skincare line is the brainchild of chemists Patrick Pickens and Holly Carpenter, who launched HiQ last fall after leaving their respective posts at the CDC and the University of North Georgia (where Carpenter taught chemistry and researched skin proteins). The serum is free of parabens and petrochemicals, blending green tea extract with pure CoQ10, an antioxidant that promotes cell growth and, according to HiQ, helps prevent age-related damage. After a few days using the serum, which is orange-tinted (the natural color of CoQ10) and smells pleasantly of mandarin, my skin had grown softer. In a month my complexion had become almost radiant—something other masks, exfoliators, and moisturizers had never managed to achieve.
This article originally appeared in our May 2016 issue.