I find it relatively easy and enjoyable to test and monitor the results of skincare for dehydrated skin; not only are these types of products usually light and fresh-feeling and suitable for use nearly all of the time, their effects are often pleasingly noticeable and fast. Never too heavy or greasy, they can usually be applied to even the oiliest faces and many are simple serums that can be quickly boshed on before moisturiser or foundation or whatever it is that you’re doing with your routine at that particular time.
There’s a video on this below, if you want to see some absolutely terrible lighting and a woman on the brink of heat exhaustion (haven’t quite sorted the windows/temperature control aspect of my new office yet); but I thought I’d give you a written run-through too as I never quite manage to say everything I need to say when I’m waffling away on camera…
Many beauty products for dehydrated skin use hyaluronic acid (or a derivative) as their hero ingredient; hyaluronic has an amazing ability to hold onto water, so the skin stays more hydrated, looks plumper and feels softer. It’s present in loads of the products I’ve featured here, and a good ingredient to look out for (as a general rule) if you’re after something that will help with hydration. One of the ultimate hydration boosters has to be Hydraluron (here); I’ve talked about this so much that it’s not included in the round-up below, but it’s very simple and effective if you just want something that gets straight to the point. It can tend to feel a little tacky or sticky, but you need to follow it with your face cream – don’t just use it alone.
The first product I wanted to talk about is the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum, which is £26 at Amazon here. It’s such a fresh, lightweight serum – just like applying water, more or less – and it contains antioxidants, anti-irritants and ingredients like allantoin and oatmeal to help fight redness. It’s quite brilliant, especially considering the price point. If you have angsty, spotty skin that also feels dry and tight then give this a go, layering it on underneath your moisturiser. You will need a moisturiser, I’d have thought, even if you’re very oily – it’s far too light to use alone. (I like Effaclar Duo+ (European formula, not US) as a treatment moisturiser for spotty skin and also Toleriane fluid, which is intensely hydrating but totally lightweight.)
Eucerin Hylaruon Filler, £31 for six here, is another light little treatment that sinks effortlessly into the skin and leaves it feeling nicely quenched. I like the mini doses that are great for those who travel frequently.
Institut Esthederm Hyaluronic Serum, £49.50 here. Pricier than the other serums here, but incredibly effective – three different types of hyaluronic for effective hydration and an instant plumping effect. A joy to apply and (for me, at least) powerful enough to use straight before tinted moisturiser or BB Cream, with no standalone moisturiser in between.
And then Chanel’s Hydra Beauty Lotion “Very Moist”, which is £40 here. Again, pricier than some of the other options but this had me very pleasantly surprised – a watery texture, half-essence half-serum, it really has quite phenomenal clout in the moisture department. I’ve been using it as a light serum, rather than as well as a serum, and it has worked very well – the fact that you get 150ml in a bottle makes this rather good value for money, really. A sentiment that should never be uttered in the same breath as “Chanel”, but when something’s worth saying… I love the Hydra Beauty Lotion, even if it does – inexplicably – have the vom-inducing description “Very Moist” tagged onto the end of the product name.
Possibly one of the bounciest and most intensely moisturising products that I’ve ever used: Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, which is £123 here. Formulated to help support the skin’s protective layer (the lipid barrier) and restore moisture, it really does leave skin quite dramatically changed. This is the sort of moisturiser Carlsberg would make, if Carlsberg made moisturisers. And if you don’t know what on earth I’m referring to there, just be satisfied with: it’s bloody good.
Lastly, we go from over a hundred pounds to under a tenner with L’Oreal’s Revitalift Night Mask: £9.50 at Amazon here. I’ve been working my way through quite a few of the Revitalift products after going on the L’Oreal lab tour a while back; this one is a non-sticky, cushiony-feel night moisturiser that has an almost gelatinous texture – it contains a form of salicylic acid that helps to smooth and resurface, as well hyaluronic acid and hero ingredient Pro-Xylane to help the skin to retain moisture. An inexpensive way to get skin looking bouncy overnight – I’ve found this particularly useful after flying. If I got hangovers anymore, I’d imagine it would also be good for that, but I can’t even imagine what a hangover must be like when you have to get up with a baby, so for now I’m giving them a miss!
Here’s the video with some face bases I’ve been using to get that fresh, dewy skin feeling and an eye cream suggestion for those who want something rich and nourishing. (It’s the Elemental Herbology one, full review here.)