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By Melissa Hutsell
Photos by Christina de Giovanni
I’ve got dry skin, which gets extra flaky during the wintertime—no mater how much I exfoliate or moisturize it. Naturally, I was anxious to try a hyaluronic acid serum on my thirsty skin.
What is HA?
It may sound counter-intuitive to use an acid to help hydrate your skin. But hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring, gel-like substance that our bodies produce in order to lock-in moisture.
It’s found in our eyes, joints, and skin where its main function is to keep tissue lubricated.
A study in the journal of Dermato-Endocrinology finds HA to be the “key molecule involved in skin moisture.” In fact, the substance is known to hold up to 1,000 times it weight in water.
The signs of aging on our skin are due to dehydration, which can be made worse by harsh chemicals in the environment, like smoke. This is why the single most important beauty tip is to drink lots of water. Increasing the amount of HA in our skin can help fight the signs of aging, too—like thinning skin, dryness, and wrinkles.
HA injections are popular for this reason. But, you don’t need an expensive treatment to add the substance your skin regiment. And you certainly don’t need it to come from an animal source, either. HA treatments can be made synthetically and naturally from plants like wheat, reports Vichy Laboratories.
The Product: The Ordinary Hydraulic Acid 2% + B5:
While its name might imply otherwise, this is no ordinary beauty product.
For starters, it’s vegan, and free of oil, alcohol, and silicone. It’s also void of allergens, including gluten and nuts—which is great because many skin conditions, like eczema, can be triggered by allergens (an aspect of beauty products often overlooked by companies and consumers).
Additionally, the formulation is made with an army of differently weighted HA molecules, each of which are absorbed at different levels. Vitamin B5 is also added for extra water retention (a great ingredient for the skin all on its own).
Because it’s oil-free, the serum boosts benefits for those with oil or combination skin because lightweight, and won’t clog pores.
I patch test any new products I plan to use on my skin. The company also recommends this, and provides a comprehensive guide to patch testing on their website.
After a reaction-free test, I began using the serum twice per day on my face. I apply three-four drops of the thick, odorless serum directly to my T-zone with the dropper after a shower, rub it on, and put on moisturizer.
HA serums are intended to help retain moisture. It won’t hydrate your skin by itself, so don’t skip the moisturizer!
The first thing I notice is just how weightless it feels on my skin. It doesn’t leave any residue either.
Within minutes of applying the serum for the first time, my skin immediately looked and felt better. It looked more evenly toned and soft—which made the application of my foundation much smoother.
However, I still had some dry patches by the end of the day—albeit minimal.
I still wake up with dry skin. But, after more than a week of using the serum regularly, I’ve noticed significant improvements—especially when applying and wearing make-up. My foundation looks flawless…and I feel so confident about my skin! Even when I’m not wearing make-up, I’ve (so far) noticed my skin is markedly more evenly toned, less red, and so plump, so I know its actually getting more hydration.
This product actually hydrates. It’s not going to heal a skin condition, but with daily use, I’m learning it can help my dry skin become manageable, while also instilling some serious skin confidence!