Zelens Z Hyaluron Hyaluronic Acid Complex

What it is: A facial serum

What it does: Intensely hydrates and plumps skin

Star ingredients: Encapsulated multi-molecular Hyaluronic Acid, Beta-Glucan, Glycerin, Kaempferol, Succinic Acid, Algin

Review:

This is not your average hyaluronic acid serum. Loaded with the precise skin-nurturing ingredient formulations and technology that Zelens is known for, this is a powerhouse hydrating/feeding/protecting serum that easily sails to the top of my skincare favorites. Per the Zelens product description, it combines “three types of hyaluronic acid at different molecular weights encapsulated into niosomes for improved delivery to the skin. Supercharged with bioflavonoid that inhibits hyaluronidase (the enzyme responsible for HA degradation) and plant derived succinic acid for renewal support.” It boasts twelve active ingredients and promises to leave skin “looking plump, smooth and supple.”

There are three main points in which this stands out for me. First, the texture of the product. It is a “heavy” watery fluid that isn’t quite thick enough to be classified as a gel but it stays in it’s place for the most part when you dispense it onto the hand. And it spreads like a dream. One dose from the dropper is enough for my face and neck. It sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave a residue. Second, the initial burst of hydration when applying is extremely satisfying. It feels like the hydration is actually going into the skin rather than just sitting on top. And third, the moisture retention in my skin throughout the day is phenomenal. I have dehydration-prone skin and am currently wearing a mask for 8+ hours a day and I can feel the moisture in my skin for several hours after putting on my mask. Overall it leaves my skin much happier and calm at the end of the day.

Personal tip: when applying this serum, I prefer to sandwich it between mists. Meaning I do a light spray before I apply it and also afterwards. I find that this boosts the hydrating properties and it really makes a difference in how long the hydration lasts during the day. It also helps in spreading the product around and massaging it into the skin. These layers of hydration aid in plumping up fine lines and wrinkles and achieving that “glass skin” look. Don’t forget to apply moisturizer as a final layer to seal it all in.

Final verdict: skincare gold. You get what you pay for with this product and it delivers as promised.

Purchase: Z Hyaluron Hyaluronic Acid Complex Serum Drops – Zelens Limited 2021

Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance

What it is: A moisturizing treatment for face/neck/decollete

What it does: Deeply hydrates and fortifies the skin

Star ingredients: Barrier repairing lipids, Hyaluronic Acid, Echinacea, Centella Asiatica, Chlorella Algea complex, Ceramides

Review:

This is at the forefront of my favorite moisturizing products ever. I’m on my second supersize tube of it and have yet to come across another product that is in the same league as this cream in terms of performance. It does exactly what it says in the name: it intensely moisturizes and balances the skin, and it does so without shouting “Hi, I’m on your face!” It effortlessly blends into the skin and leaves it feeling like, well, skin. Calm and comforted, hydrated and healthy.

This is exceptional for me during the colder winter months (I live in Michigan) and for the havoc that wearing a mask for long periods of time wreaks on the skin. I can wear this during the day or in the evening, although I generally save it for evening use as my morning routine works well for me without it. It gives me the needed extra oomph in restoring my skin after the day’s activities and keeps it hydrated and protected throughout the night. It does not have any discernible scent to it, just smells like product (does that even make any sense?). It is lightweight and smooth and glides on like a lipid-rich lotion, and a pea-size amount goes a long way. My first 3.4 oz version lasted me almost nine months with regular nighttime use.

This is a product that knows its purpose and delivers, straight and to the point. And for a time and a season such as this current one, that is exactly what I need and what I think a lot of others need, too. Highly recommend. For a lighter moisturizer option, Dermalogica’s Skin Smoothing Cream is also perfection, though more suited for the summertime for me.

Purchase: Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance | Ulta Beauty