Want Your Moisturizer to Work Better? Look for This One Ingredient

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I can quote the famous supermodel Derek Zoolander on how wetness is the essence of beauty all day long, but what I'm really trying to get at is: We all need serious hydration. And I don't have time to swipe on moisturizers that aren't gonna give me that wetness.

This is why I'm taking superstar dermatologist Dennis Gross, MD's tip as actual beauty insider gold: In order to make your face moisturizer more effective, make sure it has algae in it.

"Algae has a lot of water retention within the algae fibers, so when you use algae in skin-care products, it's always going to be the driving force for hydration," he tells me. "It's another way to hold in hydration. If the science is right in the product, it'll deliver hydration from the algae into the skin." Dr. Gross actually prefers to combine it with moisturizing ingredient MVP hyaluronic acid in his formulations, but algae can work the same way with others, like glycerin for instance, too.

"I combine it with hyaluronic acid, since it's like a sponge that holds 1000 times its weight in water, so algae is a great way to deliver the water that's then retained by the hyaluronic acid," says Dr. Gross.

"I love algae because, though it's not exactly a moisturizer, it prevents water loss," says Shirley Chi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in California. "So it's really good at keeping moisture on your skin. Of course, it also has all these antioxidants and it's good for healing, too."

So besides being an ingredient that can function as a skin soother and antioxidant (depending on the algae type), look for algae on the label of your moisturizer to truly get that dewy, Zoolander-level hydration.

And here's the deal on polyglutamic acid, which is more hydrating than hyaluronic acid (seriously). And this is a soft skin shower hack courtesy of dermatologists that'll leave your body moisturized, too. 

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