I love blogging and the skincare community. Blogging and Instagram in particular, has been such a great medium for me to get to know like-minded people (whether it be in skincare or just general life) but also a means for me to be able to learn, expand my knowledge and of course be recommended all sorts of different types of products and brands. It is through social media and blogging that I have been introduced to, purchased and experienced products such as Pixi Glow Tonic, Jordan Samuel Skin’s serums, sheet masks and the world of facial oils. There is a never-ending list of products that I wish to purchase and try and my skincare stash has most definitely taken over my bathroom vanity. It is also through social media and blogging that I have learned to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the ‘hydrating serum’. Since Caroline Hiron’s introduced me to my very first one (Indeed Lab’s Hydraluron), I don’t think I have ever looked back as hydrating serums have become a staple in my daily skincare routine. I am rarely without one.
What are hydrating serums exactly? Well, in a nutshell, it is a skincare product designed to give the skin a boost of hydration. Hydration serums normally contain ingredients such a hyaluronic acid – an impressive molecule that can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water and humectants which help to seal and lock in water, keeping the skin looking hydrating, healthy, lifted and plump. I have used a variety of different hydrating serums and here are 7 of my favourites.
***Please note that anything marked with a * has been kindly gifted to me without any expectation of a review or mention. I have added them to this list as I do think they are quite fantastic and all opinions of these serums are my own.
Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate
This serum needs no introduction from me. I rave about it all the time (like this bog post here) and it frequents my empties on a regular basis. There is no doubt in the world that I love this serum and it is one of my favourites, ever. Jordan Samuel Skin’s Hydrate Facial Serum contains all sort of goodness for the skin in the form of humectants, peptides and botanical extracts to give the complexion a hydration boost as well as helping it look healthy, plump and dewy.
Out of the hyaluronic acid serums that I have ever used, Jordan Samuel’s Hydrate is my pick in terms of pricing and effectiveness. This lightweight formulation has been repurchased time and time again since I first discovered it last year. Hydrate has a beautiful serum consistency that is just a little thicker than water, however once applied to the skin sinks into the skin effortlessly. My skin absolutely loves this, soaking up every drop of this formulation like a sponge. I find that it has an immediate plumping and hydrating effect on the skin that lasts the entire day. Skin looks juicy, fresh and plump – the exact results you would expect from a hydrating serum. The only downside to this is that sometimes this formulation doesn’t play well with makeup causing my foundation or primer to pill but I have noticed it happening to only to some foundation formulations and primers.
Overall, I really can’t fault Jordan Samuel Skin’s Hydrate Facial Serum – my skin loves this and I honestly don’t think I could be without it. The texture is fantastic on the skin, its formulation is simple yet so very effective and my skin just drinks this serum up, leaving my skin looking plump, hydrated and refreshed throughout the day and night.
Hydrate can be purchased directly from Jordan Samuel Skin’s website. It retails for USD$29 for 30ml or USD$72 for 120ml.
Indeed Lab’s Hydraluron
I have very fond memories of Indeed Lab’s Hydraluron – it was one of the first Caroline Hiron’s recommended products I ever purchased and one that I have repurchased over and over again. It is the serum that made me want to learn more about HOW my skincare works due to its efficacy on my skin and one that I still recommend to friends and family when they are first starting with building their skincare routine. The simple reason why? This stuff just works.
Hydraluron is one of those products where it just gives the skin an instant plumping effect and hydration boost, though, I find that the effects don’t last as long as some other serums. However, it does a fantastic job of immediate hydration which is why I have continued to purchase this. I find that Hydraluron is a great budget buy, especially when on sale or on a deal and I find that it is much more effective than other ‘budget’ brands out there. The instant plumping effect it gives to my skin is immediate and I notice a dewier, juicier and glowing complexion because of it. It does feel a little ‘tacky’ on the skin once applied but this soon disappears once another serum or moisturiser is applied on top. For me, it’s a fantastic product to introduce to someone who is just getting into skincare and ingredients as the effects are instant, it is great for layering and it is a relatively simple product to introduce to any routine.
Jane Scrivner Skincare Bioluronic Buzz 2000 Smoothing Hyaluronic Hydrator*
If I had to pick my favourite hyaluronic acid to use in the evening, Jane Scrivner may take the cake. As it suggests, Bioluronic Buzz is packed full of hyaluronic acid – 2000mg in every 135g bottle to be exact. On top of the hyaluronic acid, this serum/gel also contains Buzz Button (Spilanthes Acmella) Extract, Aloe Vera and White Willow (a natural form of Salicylic Acid) for added benefit. The Buzz Button extract is a little bit like nature’s botox and helps to keep the muscles relaxed, thus looking more plump and firm and the white willow extract is a natural astringent helping to gently exfoliate the skin, keeping it smooth and clear. It isn’t as watery as some hydrating serums as the consistency of Bioluronic Buzz is very much like a gel.
What makes this serum a favourite in the evening for me is that fact I find that the hydration that Jane Scrivner’s Hyaluronic Serum is one that is long-lasting. It can withstand environmental factors such as constant airconditioning and heating – things that can easily suck out the moisture in the skin. When using this in the evening, I feel that the plumping and lifting effect from the burst of hydration lasts well into the morning, leaving me with a lift in the complexion when I wake up. I find that this serum doesn’t sink into the skin as easily as some of the other serums/gels I have used in the past and it leaves a little bit of a ‘film’ after application. However, once another serum/oil/moisturiser is layered on top, this ‘film’ disappears immediately and what I see is an instant plumping, lifting and hydrating effect on the skin.
What makes this serum even more enjoyable is perhaps the larger than average sized pump bottle that this comes in. One pump dispenses a large amount of serum which is a perfect amount for the face, neck and décolletage, making it a great product for those who are very heavy handed with their hydrating serums (that is me!) and like to use it everywhere else. It is a fantastic hydration and a product I thoroughly enjoy using due to its capacity to not only inject some moisture into my skin but also keep it there when I need it most.
A 135ml bottle of Bioluronic Buzz 2000 can be purchased directly from the Jane Scrivner website for £59.
Mabel and Meg Lumilixir Serum*
The Lumilixir Serum by Mabel and Meg Mabel is supposed to be the ultimate hydrator for the skin, powered with actives such as pure Vitamin C and of course, Hyaluronic Acid to help target dull and dehydrated skin, restoring youthful elasticity whilst also plumping out fine lines and wrinkles. This serum works to not only hydrate the skin, but also helps to brighten the complexion due to its inclusion of Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate).
I personally find that this is an amazing serum underneath makeup, as it not only hydrates and plumps out the complexion but also gives the skin a beautiful glow and brightening effect over time. When using this serum, I find that it sinks in beautifully in the skin and works to smooth the complexion beautifully, making it a great base for the rest of a skincare routine and of course makeup. I also find that when using this serum under various different moisturiser, primers and foundations that this has not pilled or flaked off. It works wonders with other products as well.
It isn’t the cheapest hydrating serum, nor is it the most expensive on this list. However, I find what sets this particular serum apart from the rest is just how well it works with other products and the fact that it did indeed help to brighten my complexion. I find that instantly this lifts and gives the skin beautiful, plump and dewy glow, thus making it a great addition to an evening out or when the skin needs a little bit of TLC.
Mabel + Meg’s Lumilixir Serum can be purchased from Mabel + Meg directly and comes in both a 20ml and 30ml size at GBP £29 and GBP £39 respectively.
African Botanics Rose Essence*
If you are a lover of green beauty and luxury, then the African Botanics Rose Essence is the perfect hydrating serum/toner/essence in one. The Rose Treatment Essence has a really unique airy gel texture that magically transforms into a lightweight liquid once applied on to the skin. It is very reminiscent of a Korean Essence. This intensely concentrated formula helps to detoxify cells and restore moisture levels while brightening, refining, hydrating and rebalancing skin’s pH levels. Like any African Botanics formulation, this essence fuses both science and nature, using a powerful combination of bioactive medicinal plants, botanical emollients, peptides, humectants, Vitamin B and collagen boosters to help prepare and deliver nutrients deep into the skin. Its signature ingredient, pure Rose Flower Water and CO2 extract of Rosa Centifolia is used to help retain moisture, even out skin tone and reducing redness and inflammation.
In terms of texture and overall feeling on the skin, the African Botanics Rose Essence is my absolute favourite – for such a natural formulation, this is so cosmetically elegant. The Rose Essence is incredibly lightweight and sinks into the skin effortlessly, feeling almost weightless. Whilst it absorbs so easily in the skin, the Rose Essence does not lack in effectiveness as I find it gives my complexion immediate and lasting moisture and hydration. Its unique gel to liquid formula makes it so enjoyable to use, especially on hot and humid days. This product is meant to be an all in one product – being a toner, essence and hydrating serum in one, making it perfect for those who wish to streamline their routine.
The Rose Essence also is wonderful to apply underneath makeup due to its weightless texture and does not flake or pill underneath other serums, primers or foundations, making it a great product to use in a morning routine. I find that when my skin is looking a little red, the Rose Essence helps to even out the skin tone and calm down the redness – most likely due some of its botanical extracts. This beautiful formulation is not the cheapest of forms hydration and is definitely a luxury purchase. However, if you love green beauty and/or luxury then this is a product to consider as its all in one approach, elegant texture and delicate scent is what sets this serum/essence/toner from the rest.
The African Botanics Rose Essence can be purchased directly from the African Botanics website, retailing at USD$160 for 50ml.
Aurae Skin Beauty Boost Hyaluronic Serum*
Aurae Skin is a relatively new Australian brand, developed by Laura, a banker and qualified Beauty and Dermal Therapist who found her passion for ingredients and formulating. Aurae Skin is a brand believes in a balanced approach between cosmeceutical grade ingredients enriched with botanical actives and nourishing oils. The Beauty Boost Hyaluronic Serum from Aurae Skin has become a serum which I have enjoyed using on my skin due to its lightweight texture and the instant lift it gives my skin. The lightweight feel of this is reminiscent of the African Botanics Rose Serum, just at a much lower price point – making it a perfect alternative to those green beauty lovers.
I find that that Aurae Skin’s Beauty Boost is a treat to use due to its scent and lightweight, almost water like texture once applied. As the name suggests, it gives the skin an instant boost in hydration, lightly plumping the skin and helping to prepare the skin for the next steps. I find that this product works best straight after cleansing, as its lightweight feel makes it feel like an essence/serum in one. The ingredients of Beauty Boost makes it a hydrating serum with a little more oomph as it contains Vitamin C (in the form of Ascorbyl Palmitate), marine collagen, white tea, Kakadu plum and Aloe Vera to help protect, brighten and soothe the skin both instantly and over time. This serum interacts well with other skincare products and hasn’t pilled underneath foundation or serums.
The Aurae Skin Beauty Boost Hyaluronic Serum can be purchased from Aurae Skin’s website for AUD$59 for 50ml.
Pyunkangyul Moisture Serum
The Pyunkang-yul Moisture Serum is a beautiful product for those who love Korean Beauty or are looking for a great, cost-effective hydrating serum. The brand Pyunkang-yul was developed by the renowned Pyunkang Oriental Medicine Clinic in South Korea and uses hanbang – Korean traditional herbal medicine. Each and every product contains a high amount of traditional herb extracts and contains little fillers and fragrances to minimise irritation to the skin to help promote a healthy oil and moisture balance in the skin.
There is no doubt that the Pyunkang-yul Moisture Serum is a well-priced serum, retailing for around USD$27 for 100ml of product and its results are also just as impressive. I find that whilst this does not have the same plumping effects as some of the other serums mentioned, it does help to keep the skin instantly hydrated and balance the skin over time. This serum is one of those serums you start to notice the effects on the skin over time. For me, I found that my skin was not only more hydrated – it was also softer, bouncier and more even in tone. Overall, my skin looked healthier and my complexion most definitely felt more balanced. In terms of how the Pyunkang-yul Moisture Serum performs underneath makeup and other skincare, this serum is fantastic as it does not pill. I find that this milky serum works so well mixed with other products and sinks into the skin beautifully. What I also love about the Pyunkang-yul Moisture Serum is its simple formulation and heavy focus on traditional Korean herbs. I love the fact that it contains no fragrance, making it great for those who have sensitised skin. It is a truly enjoyable serum to use and I love the unique philosophy and backing behind the brand.
There are various places to purchase the Pyunkang-yul Moisture Serum (and other great K-beauty products). My favourite place to find this beauty is at OhLollyBeauty for USD$27 for 100ml.
What some of your favourite hydrating serums? Have you tried any on this list? I would love to hear what you think in the comments section below.
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