Everyone’s Going Crazy Over This Holy Grail Skin-Care Ingredient—I Tried It to See What All the Buzz Is About

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You know those girls who post gorgeous #shelfies of their perfectly color coded skin-care products that support their 10-step beauty routines? Yeah, that's not me. Props to them for having the patience for all those steps, but personally my skin-care routine has always been pretty simple (cleanse, tone, moisturize, with eye cream thrown on when I'm feelin' fancy/when I remember).

With my I'd-rather-be-sleeping-than-masking mindset, I've generally written off most skin-care trends as unnecessary additions to my streamlined regimen. But when multiple vials of hyaluronic acid appeared on my roommate's side of our shared medicine cabinet, I'll admit I was intrigued. She already has so. many. products, why did she clear out space for several versions of this particular serum?

I did some research on the stuff, and I started to understand her obsession. Hyaluronic acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water—so it's arguably one of the most hydrating ingredients out there. All that hydration helps to plump up the skin, so it's also heralded as a powerful anti-aging ingredient.

Hyaluronic acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water—so it’s arguably one of the most hydrating ingredients out there.

Seemed pretty legit, so I decided to try out jane iredale's new BeautyPrep™ Hyaluronic Serum, which has awesome (pronounceable) ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen, spirulina extract, witch hazel and two percent hyaluronic acid in its plant-heavy formula.

When I chatted with the folks at jane iredale, they said the paraben- and phthalate-free serum should make my skin feel more hydrated pretty much instantly, and after about three to four weeks should help reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines and wrinkles.

I don't have any fine lines to speak of yet (#blessed), but I'm always looking for clean skin-care products that can help me shrink my large pores, so I decided to give it a go.

hyaluronic acid serum

On day one, I was pleasantly surprised at how light the faintly cucumber-scented formula felt on my face. It sunk right into my skin, and didn't make me feel greasy like other serums I've tried. Without any greasiness, I was able to use one pump morning and night, which was ideal because the antioxidants in the formula create a protective barrier to help protect your skin from the elements during the day.

After about two weeks, I started to get nervous that the magical powers of hyaluronic acid weren't going to work on me because I didn't notice much of a difference, aside from my skin feeling generally hydrated. That's when I realized—I hadn't had any major breakouts since I started using the serum. With the combo of oily skin and large pores, my complexion tends to go nuts with breakouts if I put anything too heavy on it, so the lack of initial change actually turned out to be a total win.

Once I got past the two-week mark was when the real benefits started to kick in. It's everyone's "I woke up like this" fantasy to apply all their skin-care products before bed and wake up with a flawless complexion. While I wouldn't say I had a Disney-princess style overnight transformation, I swear my skin was its smoothest, plumpest, and clearest first thing in the morning after letting the hyaluronic acid serum soak in overnight. They don't call it beauty sleep for nothin'.

After about a month, several different people remarked to me, "You look tan!" which, mind you, is scientifically impossible because it is mid-February in New York City, where it's been so cold I've been minimizing time spent outside as much as possible. So unless you can get a suntan from the fluorescent lights in the Well+Good office (you can't), my skin is definitely its usual shade of fair. What I think people were mistaking for sun-kissed radiance was actually just how glowy and refined my skin looked.

My pores have definitely shrunk (honestly this is the first product I've ever tried that's actually delivered on that promise), and the non-highlighter-induced radiance of my skin is pretty unmistakable. So yes: When it comes to hyaluronic acid, it's definitely worth adding the extra step.

In partnership with jane iredale

Photos: jane iredale

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