I’m not sure about everyone else, but I am ready for fall to happen ASAP. It’s regularly over 100℉/37℃ daily where I live, and I’m ready to pull a Charmed and start casting some spells to get the weather to cool down already.
I’ll be getting into how I gear up for season changes in regard to my skincare in my next article, but as I was sitting down for my weekly cheesy snack party this weekend (@Jude Chao knows what I’m talking about), I got sucked into another episode of Get It Beauty. In this show from earlier this month, they were focusing on hydrating ampoules and serums, which led to me talking back at the screen very passionately. In that moment, I realized two things: 1) I needed to calm myself and stop talking to a TV show, and 2) I am really passionate about hydration. That is such a weird sentence, but I know all of you reading are my people and get just as giddy over hydrated skin as I do.
Earlier this year, @Coco Park wrote an article about dehydration in your skin, and I can honestly say that figuring out my skin is combination with surface dehydration was the biggest personal revelation. Embracing the 7-skin method (or 3-5 skin method for me personally lol) was awesome and something I still do every day, but if I’m gonna be honest, I really don’t have the patience or desire to pat away that much in the morning. Yes, I know, it literally just takes a few minutes, but something about the combination of my T-zone already getting so oily and layering on a lot of product doesn’t feel like a great fit for me. I have no problem walking around my apartment in the evenings looking shinier than a Krispy Kreme glazed donut, but I personally am not down with shuffling through the aisles of Target looking drenched like the Little Mermaid.
That’s where hydrating ampoules really shine in my routine for me. Grabbing something containing hyaluronic acid isn’t anything new for me, but if you’re looking to spruce up an existing routine or are newer to the skincare game, it’s something that I would say is almost vital to getting that seemingly elusive (but in reality, not that hard-to-get) glow that everyone is chasing.
I’m sure a lot of us have heard time and time again that hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, but sodium hyaluronate has been what I’ve had my eye on lately. It’s categorized as the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, and the reason I love it is that it has a smaller molecular size than hyaluronic acid, which is supposed to aid it in penetrating deeper into the skin. Since I’ve got the aforementioned dehydrated situation going on, this could not sound more appealing.
Some of my fellow K-Beauty Squad members have mentioned this before, but I cannot stress it enough: If your skin is not hydrated, it cannot function at its best. I live in the desert, and I can attest to the fact that when the monsoons hit here, it completely floods the streets because the ground is so dry that it can’t absorb the rainfall. Obviously skin is not a dry, cracked desert landscape (although my face may beg to differ during the summer), but the same principle does apply. A few of the experts on the Get It Beauty panel, comprised of beauty industry veterans and respected dermatologists, weighed in on this topic themselves:
On this particular episode, Get It Beauty tested 100 hydrating ampoules. They gathered about 10 testers and had them wash their faces. After 30 minutes, doctors measured their skin’s hydration levels with a skin moisture meter. Then, the testers applied a hydrating ampoule to their face and nothing else. After three hours, doctors again measured the skin’s hydration levels, and this is how they determined the winners.
Out of the 100 ampoules, the top four were presented, each with their labels and brands obscured. The finalists included the seaNtree Hyaluron Ampoule 100 (from brand “S,” but you could still see the name Hyaluron Ampoule 100). This little gem — brought into the test by dermatologist Ahn In Sook, director of the Korean Society of Dermatology — actually ended up being the second place winner of the hydrating ampoules; it increased skin hydration by 88.46% even after three hours. The panel raved that it felt very lightweight, absorbed super quickly, and had a clean, non-sticky finish. In fact, host Jang Yoon-ju commented that of the two ampoules they had just tried, the seaNtree one felt the best. The panel also liked that it was very simply formulated without unnecessary ingredients like artificial colorants or fragrance.
The seaNtree ampoule is actually great for those of the you who have skin that’s more on the sensitive side of the spectrum. The ingredient list is super concise (only four ingredients, the second of which is sodium hyaluronate), and I’m always here to stan a budget-friendly option ($25 for 100ml!). The bottle is huge and should last you quite some time even with twice-daily use.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, the COSRX Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence is another great alternative that’s budget-friendly and a blast of hydration for your skin. I’ve gone through two bottles of this in the past, and it worked perfectly for me, regardless of the season or condition of my skin. The sodium hyaluronate is suspended in a base of Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) water. Sea buckthorn is an awesome little berry that is packed with vitamins A, C, E and carotenoids that help with free radical damage — think acai berry but improved.
One of my favorites (and the one that I’ve planned out for many of my friends’ skincare routines) is the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum. This one has quite the ingredient list, so make sure to take a look that there isn’t anything in there that your skin may not like; however, I’m all about the botanical extracts that are in here. I mentioned in @Coco Park’s article about mixing skincare products together that I like using a water-based serum with a few drops of face oil morning and night, and this is exactly the kind of product that I would use for that purpose: all of the hydration and none of the heaviness.
Do you use hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate in your routine? If so, what are your favorite hydrating ampoules or serums? I want to know!