The polar vortex has hit us with a fiery (or rather, icy) blaze of fury, and it’s messing with our skin. Redness, blotches, and flakes have become the norm, and serums seem to be our only savior.
But all serums aren’t created equal. The key here is to find a quenching elixir to replenish moisture and improve irritation. But what qualifies a serum as moisturizing? Look beyond the front label and make sure your product of choice has these expert-recommended ingredients:
You know it’s good when every single expert recommended it. Hyaluronic acid is one of the Holy Grail ingredients for moisture due to its proven ability to retain up to 10 times its weight in water, which gives your skin a plumper appearance. That’s why Stephanie Gee of Gee Beauty always recommends using a serum with a high concentration of this miracle molecule:
“In order to see results, you want to ensure the serum is highly concentrated,” she says. “7% is the highest amount of hyaluronic acid a Serum can hold, so that’s the ultimate goal! Plus, the less ingredients on the label, the cleaner and more focused the product.”
In a perfect world, we’d tell everyone to stick to hyaluronic acid and call it a day. But as licensed esthetician Sarah Payne of Sarah Nicole Skincare points out, your climate can actually diminish the molecule’s impact on your skin. “Hyaluronic acid is an all time favorite but for those of us in dry, arid climates it can have the reverse effect,” she says. “If there’s no moisture in the air, hyaluronic acid will pull water from your skin instead of the environment, ending with your skin feeling dry and dehydrated.”
On drier days, reach for glycerin-filled serums instead. Unlike hyaluronic acid, glycerin has been shown to provide the same moisturizing effect, without pulling water from the environment.
Looking for an all-natural approach to your skincare woes? Then Dima Steesy, esthetician and founder of Dima Steesy skincare, has your answer: vitamins. Vitamins C and E, to be exact. These vitamins act as antioxidants to give your complexion a quenched look and feel, while nourishing it for truly healthy skin. He recommends using serums contain the naturally derived ingredients to restore your skin to a toned appearance.
Its tongue-twister name may throw you off at first, but trust us, this no-b.s. ingredient should be a mainstay in your winter skincare routine. According to Dr. Parvaneh Rafaeloff, M.D, medical director at Le Jolie Medi Spa, this vitamin B-derivative has moisture-retaining effects similar to hyaluronic acid, but has the added benefit of anti-aging effects.