Monday, 16 June 2014

Re-thinking my Skincare Routine / Indeed Labs Hydraluron: is it worth the hype?

Anyone who follows/worships the world of Asian skincare will surely have heard of Hada Labo’s Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion. With one sold every four seconds in Japan, promises of soft bouncy skin, endless praise blahblahblah who wouldn't want a bottle for themselves? I certainly do, but you can't buy it in the UK :( So when I first heard about the launch of Hydraluron I jumped at the opportunity to buy a similar product. The key ingredient is Sodium Hyaluronate so it should be a great product - in theory. I'm down to my last tube after using it for about two years (thank you, 3-for-2 at Boots for the never-ending supply) and I'm only now questioning whether it actually does anything. When in doubt, ask the Internet. A Google search for “hydraluron does it work” brings up pages and pages of reviews, praises and ballads upon Hydraluron:
  • Plumps the skin
  • Skin appears more glowy
  • Restores dull and dry skin
  • Fewer breakouts
  • Helped scars heal and fade more quickly
I’m not sure how this landed in cult status territory because I don't think it's anywhere near as good as it's cracked up to be! Or have I simply been using it for too long to remember any difference? Because of that, I decided to do a little experiment. Rather than stop using Hydraluron altogether to see if I would notice a difference, I thought I'd test it against other serums by using Hydraluron on one half of my face and a different serum on the other.

vs Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Longevity Concentrate
My sample of Orchide Imperiale lasted 11 days and by the end of it I thought my complexion looked better on the Guerlain side. My skin felt smoother and I was convinced that my cheeks felt fuller, more plump and boingy. I briefly thought of buying this til I found it costs £300. Yah.

vs Guerlain Super-Aqua Serum Light
This sample lasted six days. After much pinching and squashing of cheeks, I had to conclude that there was no difference between using the two. The side with Hydraluron felt smoother after application, but I think this is just a temporary thing to do with the formula.

vs Guerlain Abeille Royale Serum Jeunesse
More from Guerlain! This sample lasted four days and again, both sides felt the same by the end.

vs Astalift Jelly Aquarysta Rejuvenating Concentrate
I have a full 15ml pot of this but only used it for one day :( By the time I came home in the evening, I had two spots on my forehead, and I could feel two more lurking below the surface - all on the Astalift side. Do not megusta.

vs Melvita Eau Extraordinaire Fleurs d'Oranger - Hydration (Orange Blossom Extraordinary Water - Hydration)
This sample lasted five days. I could have got more out of it had I not spilled half on my dressing table. The "eau" part of it is no joke. This 'extraordinary water' (that name wtf) felt a little dry when first applied, but this went away when followed with moisturiser etc.

vs Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster
I used this for two weeks to see if not using a hydrating serum would make a difference.

Drum roll: after one month plus of using Hydraluron on only one side .. there was no difference. My skin wasn’t any drier, no less “plump” or spot-prone (ignoring the Astalift jelly), hyperpigmentation still there, face still intact ... So what DOES it do - if anything?

The Claims:
  1.  Reinforces skin's natural short and long term moisturisation
  2.  Increases hydration from below the surface

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant. Humectants retain moisture => immediate difference in skin hydration. Ok. I'm less sure of the 'long-term' benefit though. Since I don’t have a chemistry degree I relied on snippets from articles and journals floating around the internet (heck at least I admit my ignorance) to erm, ‘establish’ that hyaluronic acid molecules are too big to penetrate the skin’s deeper layers. Hyaluronic acid provides effective surface hydration and supports the skin’s protective barrier but topical application won’t boost our ‘natural’ store of hyaluronic acid or send wrinkles to Neverland. It can help prevent the appearance of fine lines etc. by keeping the skin hydrated.

  3.  Plumps up skin tissue to restore elasticity and firmness 

Theres a little graph printed on the packaging about an in-vivo clinical trial conducted over eight weeks that showed an increase of skin elasticity by 27% and decreases surface roughness by 10%. In-vivo testing is great - it means tests on people, not in test tubes. You know how many participants that study had? TWELVE. Taking the concept of a 'trial' literally.

How can you ‘plump up’ the skin without dermal fillers? I'm going to guess that this relates to dehydration. (Not 'dry skin' a la Helena Rubenstein) There's a simple way of testing dehydration by pinching (facial) cheeks. Normal skin will quickly 'bounce' back. Skin with low turgor goes back to normal more slowly, which can be a sign of dehydration. For the sake of your health you'll need to increase water intake. For your skin, a humectant like HA will help skin retain moisture.

All in all, this is definitely not one of my skincare saviours. I'm not really convinced it does anything! I do want to use some kind of hyaluronic acid serum and I have my eye on Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel but it's a bit too expensive :/

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