Meet my favourite skincare ingredient: hyaluronic acid
Hello all! I’m Vicky and I can usually be found over at @_vickyloves_ on Instagram where I share my love of skincare, decor and gin – this is how Beth and I first bonded! I’ll be popping on here over the next few weeks to give my thoughts and experiences with skincare that I hope you find interesting. Thanks for having me, Beth!
I am forever in search of the glow –that effortless dewy skin that comes from not only your Glossier Haloscope but radiates from within! I want skin that looks like I can afford weekly facials, drink my recommended daily intake of water and follow a 10-step Korean skincare routine. It’s safe to say I do none of the above. I mean, why have water when you can have gin? But, I like to think I have my hydrating skincare down and in less than 10 steps! My 30-something dehydrated/dry skin needs all the help it can get in the moisture department and this is where hyaluronic acid as part of my routine comes in!
Hyaluronic acid (or HA) is a gem of a hydrator that can hold on to moisture like nothing else, which gives a plump and fresh look to the skin. When it comes to HA it can be found in many formulations of skincare across a range of price points. I’m not here to tell you which is best, but only what works for me. However, I have tried A LOT so here are some of my top hyaluronic acid products for a “there’s always a refillable water bottle in my bag” glow!
The first is Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium. A cheap and cheerful behemoth of a lotion (170ml) that will only set you back around £10 for an impressive list of ingredients that include FIVE types (or molecular weights if you want to be all skintellectual about it) of hyaluronic acid!! I use this every single day before I apply any other serums. It’s light and sinks in quickly, giving a boost of hydration following my other skincare steps. Quick-tip – you only need a small amount of this, too much and it can get sticky!
When I’m looking for something more intense, especially in winter, I’ll add the Dr Sebagh Serum Repair (20ml) into my routine. Something about this serum just saves my skin, I’m on to my third bottle and it has never let me down. It is thicker than the Hada Labo, but sinks in like dream and doesn’t pill under other products or makeup. It is however rather pricey, so something similar and also effective would be the Pestle and Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum (30ml).
My final daily hydrator is the Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly. Although more expensive than the Hada Labo, you are again getting a lot of product (125ml) for your money. I use this as a serum, though I think Clinique intend this to be a moisturiser. I am generally a lizard person so need something more substantial over the top of this.
More hydration please!
Winter weather, post-plane travel, recovering from a cold…these are the times I reach for an extra layer of hydration. These will be used as well as the daily hydrators and not instead of. Like I said, lizard lady over here! But you do you and use as much or as little as your skin needs. If like me your skin can be flaky, look at exfoliating regularly with an AHA chemical exfoliant such as glycolic or lactic acid. Removing those dead skin cells first will only help your hydrating products work better and increase your glow!
For a super quick burst of hydration, you can use an HA packed face mist like Valjean Labs Hydrate Facial Mist (have a root around your local TK Maxx) or the Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist. Both excellent for your instant HA fix. Alex Steinherr’s effective and budget-friendly skincare range for Primark includes Plump & Glow, a moisturiser with HA built-in. For those of you whose skin doesn’t resemble a desert, you may be able to use this moisturiser/serum hybrid without an HA serum.
At the end of the day, when all of this isn’t enough or I jsut eant to give my skin a treat, I will reach for a trusty mask. Both of which happen to be of the Korean beauty variety. The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is a cult classic and I have to say I love it, especially when layered over an oil. It’s thick, nourishing and really feels like it’s working. I regularly alternate this mask with the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask. You get extra bang for your buck here, as the mask includes a number of exfoliating AHAs (lactic and glycolic) as well as the trusty hyaluronic!
Some affordable alternatives
I just wanted to give a quick shout out to some wallet-friendly options. I have used both The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and the Hylamide Low-molecular HA from Deciem and though they both do the job, I’d say I had better results with the Hylamide and less pilling under products. An honourable mention also has to go to Superdrug’s Simply Pure Hydrating Serum for making such a moisture-filled serum so affordable. I mean, £2.99!!