In a recent Ageless Style interview with Jennifer Denton, we talked about her favorite skincare products. Many of them contain hyaluronic acid, and we joked that hyaluronic acid seems to be in everything these days. I’m sometimes surprised it’s not in our breakfast cereal. But how many of us know what hyaluronic acid is and what it does for our skin?
Or whether product junkies with 10-step skincare routines are potentially doing more harm than good to their skin?
While the term hyaluronic acid may sound harsh, it’s actually a substance that’s found naturally in our skin. Its star quality is that it can hold a thousand times its weight in water which contributes to the plumper appearance and fewer lines seen in younger skin. That’s why skincare serums and moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid are meant to be applied to damp skin: They trap any moisture from your freshly washed skin—never use soap, only a gentle skin cleanser—followed by a toner, and a hydrating moisturizer. This process is now being referred to as creating a “skin barrier,” which is nothing more than trapping the moisture in your skin, however, many women have taken their skincare routines even further.
Some dermatologists argue that too many skincare products and complicated regimens can lead to clogged pores and irritated skin.
That doesn’t surprise me when I see online videos of women, like 58-year-old Trinny Woodall (an English fashion and makeover expert who has her own line of makeup and skincare products), slapping and tugging at their faces in-between separate toners, serums, peptides, amino acids, collagens, Vitamin C, and moisturizers, all of which may contain hyaluronic acid. If you don’t have time to watch Trinny’s entire video, perhaps you can checkout the first nine minutes and see how many products she applies and how she manipulates her face. It’s amazing and amusing, but she does look fabulous!
Hyaluronic acid has become over a billion-dollar industry. Once the marketing wizards get ahold of a trend, they bring us products we didn’t know we needed. Google hyaluronic acid and it’s in the majority of skincare products which makes some experts wonder if we need that much hyaluronic acid. Or why don’t they put more of the super-duper ingredients in one bottle with the HA? That way we would have only a few multi-tasking products with possibly less clogged pores and irritated skin. But then we know why they don’t do that.
Skincare companies would have fewer products to sell, which means they would make less money.
Only you can determine which of the plethora of serums and moisturizers you need for your skin—apply serums first, followed by moisturizers—and whether you can achieve the same results with lower-priced products. I can’t afford a steady stream of luxury skincare creams like Chanel, Tom Ford, Dior, etc., plus it’s difficult to figure out what’s in them.
My favorite skincare line is DermaE, a company that began with one moisturizing cream they sold in a small health food store in Southern California. Today they’re one of the largest natural facial care brands in the U.S. While I don’t have a 10-step skincare regimen, I have added a new product from their line that’s made a noticeable difference in my skin.
DermaE’s Vitamin C Renewing Moisturizer. Here are a few of their other products I love, and BTW, they aren’t compensating me in any way. I just really love their products.
In the coming weeks, I’ll talk about my experience with HydraFacials and Facial Yoga/Gua Sha Facial Lymphatic Massage and how effective they are. I’m curious, what is your skincare regimen?
What is my skincare routine? LOL! Soap (little soaps from hotels) and water and whatever moisturizer is on sale at the grocery store. BTW the English woman’s video is hysterical. Is she on something?
Hi Candice, Some little soaps are better than others and some are specifically for the skin. I hope those are the ones you’re using because soap for our bodies can strip our skin of natural oils. Trinny Woodall is a hoot. I like her makeup and how-to-dress videos because they point out things I didn’t know or hadn’t thought about. xoxox, Brenda
I use DHC’s Olive Oil Cleanser everyday for my face and once in awhile the face scrub. I use a variety of skin creams rotating Retin A from the dermatologist, and a C&E cream from PCA, with a wonderful hydrating moisterizing cream I found in a french drugstore from Avene. And I have a LED panel that I use for 5 minutes a day, when I remember to do it. I go to a spa and get my face dermaplaned, and a micro current treatment monthly. That’s it and that’s plenty!!
Hi Gray, LOL! I had to look up all the initials of these products so I’d know what you were talking about. There are so many skincare products on the market and procedures we can have done to our skin. Dermaplaning, micro current and LED panels… I’m way behind! Thanks for the insight, Brenda
Thanks for explaining what hyaluronic acid does, because anything with the name “acid” on it is intimidating. If this ingredient is in so many beauty products these days, I can see why women may be buying all of them because that word is on the label. I love your thoughts on why they don’t put more of these ingredients… components… into the same bottle! Everything’s about money! Thank you Brenda!
Gabi, I agree. Acid is a scary thing to think about putting on our skin, but this form is natural and not harmful. We could spend weeks getting caught up about all of the skincare products on the market. Perhaps the most important thing is to find a natural product and be consistent in using it. Little by little the differences add up. Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment! Brenda
I love Candice’s comment about Trinny Woodall. Is she on something? So funny! I’ve seen other videos of hers and that’s just how she is. I have a number of products with hyaluronic acid in them. Thanks for the serum before moisturizer. I didn’t know that. So much about our skin is what we’ve inherited and whether we’ve stayed out of the sun. I thought I was doing pretty good until a year ago then splat!! Now I’m not so sure because I look my age. No more thinking I don’t.
Hi Breva, I had the same response about “Is she on something?” but Trinny imparts a vast amount of tips and knowledge in her videos. It was six months or so ago that I learned that serums go first… They’re treatments for the skin, not moisturizers, and I hear you about waking up one day and realizing we can’t stave off the years. But good skincare works because it helps us soften the edges of time. Thanks for letting me know you learned something here! I’m grateful. Brenda
I’m always amazed at these twelve step nightly regimens many bloggers show. Wow! Just wow! That is a lot of products built up on your face, morning and night. In the day they add sunscreen before the other serums, then full face makeup. Add in all the dermatologist treatments and that is a lot of maintenance on just a tiny area of skin on your body. Skin is suppose to breathe and they are smothering theirs daily. Is it beneficial to more youthful skin? I don’t know. Is it eating up a lot of their money? Sure is!
I use very little on mine. In the morning, I wash my face, then apply sunscreen before my walk. At night, I wash my face and apply Retin A, followed by moisturizer. Done! Once a week I use rose hip oil before bed. I think the less we manipulate our faces the better. Put a smile on your face and you’re beautiful.
Joanna, I know!!! It’s astounding, all the products and steps women are using on their skin. It’s as though they’re using every option available, hoping one or more will be the magic youth elixirs, and yes, it’s expensive. If I could suggest anything, it would be to apply a moisturizer with your sunscreen and to wear a hat on your walks. Not a baseball cap because that does nothing to protect the sides of your face and your neck. You’ve already got the smile thing down and I also wonder about pushing and rubbing and tugging our facial muscles. Gravity is doing enough. It doesn’t need any help. xoxox, Brenda
Joanna makes a good point. It used to be just sunscreen and then a moisturizer or a sunscreen in your makeup base and then we wakeup one morning and the world is on the hyaluronic acid train. What’s next? Since marketing is built on the next new thing, will there come a day when hyaluronic acid is out and we’re all rushing to buy something new?
Great comment, Andrea! Marketers are responsible for what we eat and wear and what we put on our skin, so when their accounting shows sales are leveling off, you bet there will be something new on the market. Or it will be “NEW & IMPROVED!!” Thanks, Brenda
I use Clean Biotic cleanser (now discontinued) by dr. Brandt, also bright Biotic (dark spot minimizing serum) along with La Roche-Posay Hyalu 5 (hyaluronic acid + Vit 5) and sun protection. That’s it, 4 products! I bought Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior (2- in-1) Plumping Moisturizer + Serum and I use it instead of Hyalu5. I don’t have deep wrinkles just fine lines, but I thought that I would give it a try. The effect is temporary as with all serums and creams. They don’t penetrate deep enough to have a lasting effect. Injections might prove to be different. I also use an exfoliator once a week. Brenda, thank you for another interesting post! I know women who have good results with Beauty Counter products, and I might try Derma E.
Hi Yvonne, I’m learning so much from everyone’s comments, and new skincare lines I didn’t know about. My skin is in great condition and I hope the products I use will keep it that way. It’s the muscles underneath that are bending to gravity. Nothing but a facelift can correct that and so far… No thank you. Dr. Brandt… Do you know why his product was discontinued? Sadly, he hung himself in his Miami garage. It sounds as though his depression was partly caused by “overdoing” his own face with Botox and surgery and who knows what else? Very sad story. Thanks for the info, Brenda
This was a good article to read. I happen to agree with you that skincare should be simple but women are always looking for that next magic bullet. It is like the collagen craze. Collagen cannot penetrate the dermis as the molecules are too large which most companies selling it fail to mention.
I have suffered with acne most of my life torturing it with strong products and the last 5 years it has “subsided”. You are correct about a gentle cleanser (every dermatologist I ever consulted stressed this) like Cetaphil. The only two things I have used on my skin the last 10 years are a stabilized vitamin C serum I make every few weeks for pennies and a simple moisturizer with some hyaluronic acid. I love the line “I am surprised it is not in our breakfast cereal”.
The quality of your skin is amazing. I always notice women’s skin and even without makeup yours is enviable. Whatever you are doing keep it up!
Laura – like you, I struggled with acne from my adolescence through my 40’s. I tried proactive (it seemed to “break the spell” and got me on a good path), but it wasn’t until I saw an aesthetician who got me started on the Glymed products (total game changer for my skin! My acne disappeared with the exception of a breakout around my cycle). I still use the gentle cleanser but have started to use a couple of new products my dermatologist recommended (for my over-50 skin). Still, no breakouts (and I have to wonder if the menopausal hormonal changes helped me…?). I keep my skin routine fairly simple, but follow my dermatologist’s advice with the few products I use from their office (Elta MD gentle facial cleanser and Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser (at night). I really struggled with my self confidence for decades because of my acne – it feels so much better now that I like to jump in and tell people what has helped me over the years. I think the combination of hormonal changes (I was diagnosed with cystic acne), and not using harsh chemicals (which were probably over-drying my skin, causing breakouts) have been the biggest help. I try to let my skin “breathe” as many days as possible. It’s so tricky though, I know. It took a long time to begin to feel comfortable in my skin without makeup. Like you I notice other womens’ skin – I have always envied all of my friends (and sister) who have had flawless skin all these years!
Would you mind sharing how you make your Vit C serum? Thank you for sharing!
Acne deals us a cruel hand, especially since most of us first have acne when we’re under 18… Such formative years about how we see ourselves and the fear of how others see us. I’m glad you and Laura have finally beaten the beast. Once again, I’m not familiar with the products you’re using, but you’re obviously on a good regimen that’s working for you. Brava! Brenda
Thank you, Laura! I do have good skin, but as I mentioned above, it’s the muscles underneath that are betraying me. I haven’t decided about the “collagen craze,” because I haven’t done enough research. Part of me thinks it’s a marketing ploy and as you’ve stated, it may not be the magic bullet. Dermatologists have always loved Cetaphil and for years it was part of my cleansing routine. You make your own vitamin C serum? Would love to know how you do that. Very informative, Laura! Thanks so much, Brenda
The secret to beautiful skin is good food, plenty of water, rest, and reduced stress Heredity also helps. All of the things that I mentioned are not always doable for some people and as we get older, we lose collagen and hyaluronic acid therefore we try to replace them with products that in my opinion offer temporary benefits. We do what we can to fight the appearance of looking older. It would be simpler to accept ourselves the way we are and to cultivate compassion, right attitude, good self-esteem and self-confidence. As women we have been programmed to think that we’re not enough the way we are. I know that’s not the subject of the post and I apologize for the rambling.
No need to apologize, Yolanda. You’re right, but I fear it’s not that simple. For most of us, our self-esteem and self-confidence are part and parcel of how we look. Sad, but true, and for most of us, aging can make matters worse. We try anything to turn back the clock, and some of us go overboard and wind up regretting what we’ve done. The fear of regret is what keeps me from trying Botox and facelifts. I’d rather have the face I’ve earned than not be able to undue a face man gave me. Thanks, Brenda
Dr Shareene Idriss did a whole YouTube on hylaronic acid Very informative
I’ll take a look. Thanks for the reference, Kathleen. Brenda
The question regarding the Vit C serum was for Laura.
Hopefully she’ll see your question and answer it. Brenda
Sounds pretty straight forward and smart! Thanks Elizabeth, Brenda
Coincidence – interesting to find in the current magazine (which focuses on body/health/foods etc) that I’m reading the page on Skincare Superstars mentions hyaluronic acid. Also on tv tonight an ad for a moisturizer has Hyaluronic acid plastered across the screen!
What is my skincare regimen. I wrote in once before. I do very little – I do not wash my face on a daily basis – I do use sunscreen and at times a moisturizer. Recently I was seeing articles on rose hip oil for the face so bought some. Well my regimen in using it daily lasted 2 days! Tho with winter approaching – cold winds etc I hope to use it more.
Genetics has been good to me re my skin.
I like what Joanna wrote – put a smile on your face and you’re beautiful.
I bought some lavender oil and have been using that on my hands = lovely – much better than various hand creams that I have used. Highly recommend it.
Rosemarie, I remember your comment that you don’t wash your face on a daily basis. In thinking about all of the comments women have left on this post, I find it interesting that natural things like lavender oil, olive oil, rosehip oil… and you could include Vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid… are the tried and true products so many of us rely on. That and a smile:) The best accessory of all. Thank you, Brenda