Moisturizing ingredients are usually a key selling point in our skin care products. It’s not just because we want our skin to be soft and plump (however, that’s still nice), but it’s also because dehydration can cause more serious issues down the line, from acne with visible signs of aging. The solution? A hydrating serum to save your skin from a very thirsty nightmare.
Regardless of your skin type, chances are your complexion could benefit from a little more hydration than it received. “Even those of us with normal skin can definitely become dehydrated,” says Ava Shamban, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills. She explains that our skin is designed to defend itself against environmental stressors and maintain our body at homeostasis, and has millions of pores and follicles to help it do this job. “Because our outer stratum corneum [aka the top-most layer of the skin] has openings that can allow ingredients to flow in and out both for egress and evaporation, when we lose more water in our skin than we take in it can become depleted or dehydrated “, she says.
Dr. Shamban adds that when these intracellular water levels become depleted, our skin can also become dull, scaly, itchy, yellowish and dull. It can also cause dark circles under the eyes as well as more visible fine lines and wrinkles. “Internal and environmental factors are at play,” says Dr. Shamban. “Those who consume alcohol and caffeine or who are at high altitudes or who travel often have episodes of dehydrated skin. Additionally, those who live in dry climates or who are more exposed to the sun generally have more water losses and higher levels of dehydration than those who live in more humid, temperate or dreary places.
To combat or prevent skin dehydration, you can always start from the inside out by making sure you drink enough water, get enough sleep, and eat foods rich in essential acids. But you’ll also want to tweak your skincare routine to make sure your products work too. While there are plenty of affordable options on the market, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to try a high-end serum when you need to stop dehydration.
Ingredients to Look for in a Luxury Hydrating Serum
The purpose of a hydrating serum is to improve your skin’s moisture retention, which is why Dr. Shamban advises looking for formulas that contain polyglutamic acid (PGA), hyaluronic acid, glycerineand ureamore acids as ferulic, lactic, citric and mandelic. All of these ingredients are humectants, which means they act like water magnets to draw moisture into the skin and hold it below the surface.
“Panthenol is also a strong humectant, along with the amino acids,” says Dr. Shamban. Additionally, aquaxyl (which is a patented compound of xylitylglucoside, xylitol and anhydroxylitol)” is an excellent source for working on the balance of our internal water “reservoirs”, such as our natural hyaluronic acid and our ceramides, while helping the function of the matrix”. Another she recommends is saccharide isomerate, which she says is a powerful humectant that also works as an emollient as it replenishes the skin. “Aloe is a great simple natural ingredient for dehydrated skin and it also has added benefits for calming and soothing tired or sensitive skin,” she says.
Keep reading to find out which hydrating serums are worth their higher price tag, according to Dr. Shamban.
6 Best Expensive Moisturizing Serums
Environ Vita Peptide Intensive 4 Plus — $146.00
Dr. Shamban calls this serum “a winner” due to a powerful combination of peptides and vitamins A, C and E. “It also contains lactic acid, urea combined with jojoba and ceramides in fine wording,” she says. This combination helps transport moisture and nutrition while soothing, smoothing and strengthening the skin barrier, and never feels heavy or sticky in the process.
Alumier MD Ultimate Boost Moisture Replenishing Serum – $95.00
Dr. Shamban loves this serum because it’s a lightweight hydration and hydration booster with ingredients like glycol, glycerin, green tea, honey, and sodium hyaluronate. Together, these ingredients strengthen the skin barrier while enhancing luminosity.
QMS Density Structure Night Serum — $250.00
According to Dr. Shamban, this QMS serum features a “right balance of emollients, humectants and moisturizers to boost hydration levels and keep skin plump.” It also contains a good range of glyceryl, which keeps the skin soft. sodium hyaluronate, which helps hydrate and fights the signs of aging; and skin barrier reinforcing glycoproteins. “Linoleic acid and citric acid are great in tandem,” she adds.
Tata Harper Superkind Bio-Barrier Serum — $146.00
Dr Shamban points out that this serum from Tata Harper contains a blend of calming, hydrating and lipid-rich ingredients to support hydration and barrier function. “The winner here is probably that it incorporates a high level of propanediol which is actually even better than glycols and combines well with glycerin,” she says. “Once again, the glyceryl gang does its job with calendula, sunflower, and shea butter as super soothing.”
Another legend is the presence of vitamin F, which Dr. Shamban says is very soothing for skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis. “Interestingly, it contains lactobacillus ferment, an aqueous product that helps introduce antimicrobial peptides. It’s more than just a hydrating serum; it’s a more comprehensive serum that has a secondary purpose and function,” she says.
RéVive Hydrating Regenerating Serum — $235.00
For this option from RéVive, Dr. Shamban finds the use of bananas particularly appealing, as they are rich in potassium and B vitamins (panthenol) and help protect and correct dehydration in their own way. The serum also contains vitamin E, a good blend of essential oils (namely sunflower, jojoba and squalane) and arabica coffee, which is packed with essential fatty acids and antioxidants. “
“A bonus here is arachidyl glucoside, which helps limit transepidermal water loss,” says Dr. Shamban, explaining that the ingredient is a smoothing emollient that helps trap water beneath the skin’s surface. Mango is another legend because it contains excellent vitamins and helps with enzymes for cell renewal. “This combination is a good solid moisturizer and humectant serum that emulsifies to help keep skin soft and supple, and also has good ingredients for barrier function,” she says.
SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence Serum — $245.00
Dr. Shamban points out that SK-II seems to be as brightening and brightening as it is hydrating. “Niacinamide and pitera are good for soothing and hydrating, but also serve to gently brighten and exfoliate, more of a multitasker like allantoin,” she says. “Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, and Glycerin are all good for maintaining high skin hydration.”
For more tips on how to keep your skin extra hydrated this winter, watch the video below.
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