Unpopular Opinion: You don’t need Hyaluronic acid for hydration


Hold onto your serums, skincare lovers, because I’m about to drop a bombshell: you don’t need hyaluronic acid to hydrate your face. There, I said it. I can already hear the collective gasp from the beauty community. But let’s be real, not every skincare ingredient is a one-size-fits-all miracle, and hyaluronic acid just doesn’t cut it for me. So, let’s dive into why I’ve kicked this so-called skincare saviour to the curb and embraced a different path to hydration.

First, let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, I know hyaluronic acid is touted as the holy grail of hydration, with its magical ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water. But here’s the kicker—if your environment is drier than a desert, hyaluronic acid can actually suck the moisture right out of your skin, leaving you feeling like you just trekked through the Sahara. And living in a city with the humidity of a saltine cracker, my skin and I have had some serious words about this.


My skin is normal (that’s the only thing I can say that’s normal), but there were two things that were happening when it came to using this active ingredient.

1. I was waking up like a raisin – even after applying it to damp skin

2. During the day it would form a film on my skin – which would cause all the other products to pill.

Either way, none of these scenarios were working out in my favour. So, what’s a dehydrated gal to do? Instead of sticking with this miracle worker, I’ve found some alternatives that actually do the job without the drama. Let’s talk about my trusty allies in the quest for hydration:

Glycerin: The Humble Hero

Move over, hyaluronic acid. Glycerin is the underdog that deserves the spotlight. This little wonder works by drawing moisture from the environment and the deeper layers of your skin, creating a barrier to keep it locked in. It’s like having a hydration bodyguard on duty 24/7.

My pick: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (yes, a little HA, but it’s the glycerin that does the heavy lifting). It’s simple, effective, and doesn’t come with a high-maintenance attitude.

Squalane: The Skin’s Best Friend

Squalane is like that friend who always has a bottle of water and some snacks ready. It mimics the natural oils your skin produces, helping to balance and hydrate without clogging pores. Plus, it’s non-comedogenic, which means no surprise breakouts. Win-win!

My pick: Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. It’s luxurious, hydrating, and makes you feel like you’ve got your life together, even if you’re still wearing yesterday’s pyjamas.


Peptides: The Anti-Ageing Powerhouses

When it comes to hydration with benefits, peptides are where it’s at. These tiny proteins help build up the skin’s barrier, lock in moisture, and even fight off those pesky fine lines. It’s like having a skincare Swiss Army knife.

My pick: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream. It’s rich, hydrating, and packed with peptides to keep your skin looking plump and youthful.

Now, I’m not saying hyaluronic acid is the devil, if it works for you, keep on slathering it on with the enthusiasm of a kid in a candy store. But for those of us who’ve been left high and dry (literally), there are plenty of other options that don’t come with the risk of turning into a dehydrated prune.

In the end, skin care is personal. What works for one might be a disaster for another. So, don’t be afraid to ditch the trends and find what truly makes your skin sing. And remember, hydration is key—but hyaluronic acid isn’t the only player in the game.


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