When you’re spending over a hundred dollars—or any amount of money, really—on a skin-care serum (ILYSM Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, and I would give 166 bucks plus one of my organs for you), you want to be damn sure the stuff you’re using is actually working to the best of its ability. And how can you make sure that happens? By prepping your skin with hyaluronic acid.
As any beauty geek worth their product stash knows, hyaluronic acid is the ingredient when it comes to hydration. It holds four times its weight in water, which helps to plump and moisturize your skin all at once. Because of this, when you use it before your other products, it acts as a sort of vacuum—drawing them into the surface of your skin so that they can penetrate your pores. “This is the tip, as hyaluronic acid will help every other active ingredient get deeper into your skin by drawing it in,” explains Mark Curry, founder of The Inkey List.
“It’s important to apply HA before your other serums because it helps to seal in the moisturizer you’ll be putting on top,” confirms board-certified dermatologist Shari Sperling, DO. She adds that it works great as a moisturizer because of how well it binds to water, plumping and hydrating your face. Pro tip: In the morning, use it before a few drops of a vitamin C serum, then seal it all in with moisture. And at night, swap your vitamin C for a retinol.
So there you have it. Now just make sure you’re applying the rest of your routine in the right order, too—peep our handy dandy guide for more on that—and you’ll be well on your way to smooth, hydrated skin… and can sleep better knowing that every single penny you spent on those serums is going to good use.
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