It’s been a cold, dry Winter – now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Winter but this year Winter has been brutal on my skin (and hair). Add a month and a half of being sick plus a couple of hospital visits to the mix, and the result is an immune system that is basically non-existent. Starting about a month ago my skin became incredibly dry and dehydrated. Your immune system actually has a huge impact on your skin & hair – if your immune system is down, usually the health of your skin goes out the door (dehydration, dryness and even acne breakouts).
Something I’ve noticed lately is that because of the dehydration, my skin flaws (i.e. fine lines, dullness, and skin laxity) looks much more exaggerated. And I’m sure it’s safe to say that no one wants to look older than they actually are!
While a good moisturiser will improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it’s actually just a temporary fix. In order to make significant and long-lasting changes, your skin needs an advanced formula containing powerful ingredients that will fight the signs of ageing.
We all want supremely hydrated skin that feels soft and looks radiant, right?
I’ve mentioned Hyaluronic Acid (it’s actually not an acid) on the blog quite a few times already, mainly because it’s one of my favourite skincare ingredients. Hyaluronic Acid (let’s refer to it as H.A. going forward) has powerful anti-ageing properties and is an excellent hydrating ingredient for any skin type (normal, oily, dry, and even sensitive skin). This molecule naturally occurs in the skin and plays an important role in maintaining moisture (it basically traps water and can hold 1000 x its own weight in water). But as we age, H.A. unfortunately gets broken down faster than we can produce it. And, unfortunately, this leads to fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness.
Did you know? A baby’s skin is plump, radiant and healthy-looking because it’s packed with Hyaluronic Acid!
The problem that most cosmetics companies face when creating H.A. based products, is that H.A. is a big molecule and usually can’t be absorbed into the deep layers of the skin. Plus, during your thirties (and older) you ideally want your own skin to start producing H.A. faster and more continuously (95% of the anti-ageing skincare products on the market that contain H.A. actually can’t kick-start the process of accelerated H.A. production).
This is where the SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier comes in…
It’s important to note that SkinCeuticals’ ingredient concentrations differ from those found in over-the-counter products. It has been proven that their ingredients actually penetrate the dermis (deeper absorption), whereas similar counterparts only work in the superficial layer of the skin.
WHAT IT DOES:
The H.A. Intensifier is a multi-functional corrective serum that acts in three different ways: 1. It stops the breakdown of the skin’s natural plumping agents (preserving existing H.A.); 2. It stimulates H.A. synthesis, giving your skin a gentle push to start producing more of its own plumping agents (i.e. H.A.); and 3. It contains a whopping 1.3% Hyaluronic Acid that instantly helps to smooth, plump and hydrate.
The SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier contains these key ingredients:
♥ 10% Proxylane – a sugar-protein hybrid (found in beech trees) known to stimulate the production of molecules that are responsible for defending the skin against water loss.
♥ 2% Licorice Root – a plant extract that has skin-soothing properties, plus it improves the look of an uneven skin tone.
♥ 0.2% Purple Rice Extract – an antioxidant that prevents H.A. from being broken down.
♥ THREE forms of Hyaluronic Acid – full molecular weight for moisturising the top layer of the skin, fragmented bits of H.A. and encapsulated chains of H.A. that will soak into the deeper layer of skin to increase hydration and plumpness.
The SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier comes in a dark purple bottle with a dropper / pipette dispenser. I really appreciate that dark packaging was chosen for this product because it prevents UV light from breaking down the active ingredients in the serum. Something else I really like about the packaging is that there’s a stopper in the neck of the bottle (almost like what you see in a tube of mascara), the stopper cleans the excess serum off the outside of the pipette for neater dispensing (and I imagine it’s a lot more hygienic too).
The serum itself is an interesting dark reddish colour, a result of the inclusion of the Purple Rice Extract (rest assured it contains no harmful dyes, plus the colour isn’t noticeable on the skin). The formula is paraben-free and fragrance-free, and has quite a thick consistency (not unpleasant). The texture of the serum once applied to the skin is a little tacky at first, but absorbs into the skin really well after a couple of seconds. After that, it leaves a soft & velvety veil on the skin – it really is a lovely feeling.
On a few occasions I accidently licked around my mouth area after applying the serum, and it actually has a very pleasant sweet taste (yum!). Although I don’t recommend you start licking your fingers after you’ve applied the H.A. Intensifier – haha!
I’ve been testing the SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier for about a month now and my skin is loving it! I’ve been using it both morning and evening because my skin is so needy right now, but I will probably opt for once a day (in the evening) once the weather gets warmer. I add 4 to 5 drops to my fingers and then pat the serum over my entire face. I also like to sometimes go in with another drop (or two) on my ring finger and gently apply it to the areas that need a bit more TLC i.e. my eye area and my laugh lines.
In terms of the order in which to apply your skincare products: In the morning, apply after a Vitamin C antioxidant serum (if you’re using one) but before your sunscreen. At night, apply this after your Retinol but before your night cream / facial oil.
I’ve definitely noticed a slight plumping effect immediately after applying the H.A. Intensifier, and after using this for almost a month my fine lines are less prominent and my skin looks dewier, firmer, and overall more healthy too. The biggest improvement, though, is how my skin FEELS. It doesn’t feel as tight and uncomfortable anymore, plus my makeup applies much smoother (bonus!).
I’m hoping to see even more improvements after a few months, but so far the results have been very promising.
The SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier retails for R1550,00 and is available at selected aesthetic centres or online at Dermastore.
Dermastore is giving away H.A. Intensifier products this Monday (14th of August) and next week Monday (21st Of August) – at 9am! All you have to do is find a HIDDEN ELEMENT of the H.A. Intensifier product on the Dermastore website and win! For more information on how to enter this competition, check out their website here.
Disclaimer: This blog post was kindly sponsored by SkinCeuticals South Africa.