Our Rating: 5 stars

I recently had the opportunity to test and review two anti-aging products that I believe deserve to be shared again with the TIA community: Episilk Pure Hyaluronic Serum ($59.95 in the shop) and Episilk Instant Facelift Serum ($39.95 in the shop), by Hyalogic, a leading manufacturer of personal care products with hyaluronic acid.

Many of us are familiar with the benefits of skincare products containing hyaluronic acid (HA). Hyalogic’s website offers a very thorough and informative page about this amazing substance found in the human body, which is naturally occurring in specific locations for different functions. Also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, Hyalogic states that HA can be found in greater concentrations on the skin’s tissue, in both the deep underlying dermal areas as well as the visible epidermal top layers. While young skin has lots of it, aging skin’s HA production decreases and the result is what we (especially the 40- to 50-plus age group) all are fighting: dry, wrinkled and sagging skin.

The Episilk Pure Hyaluronic Acid (PHA) Serum and Episilk Instant Facelift (IFL) Serum are colorless, lightweight – somewhat viscous yet not sticky – non-oily, fragrance free, and bottled in recyclable amber glass containers. Episilk PHA Serum was one of the 25 products awarded the “Best of Natural Beauty Awards in 2012” by Better Nutrition shopping magazine for natural living (Episilk IFL was an awardee in 2008). PHA Serum is so pure (ingredients are just deionized water and sodium hyaluronate) and highly concentrated that just one pump (pea size) applied to my just-cleansed, damp skin is really quite sufficient for my whole face and neck. The serum is easily absorbed and leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated, as well as soft and smooth to the touch. After each a.m. and p.m. application, I could instantly see how it refined my lines and wrinkles. I never felt the need to apply any additional moisturizer or cream during the nightly regimen, other than the Episilk IFL Serum.

Immediately after the Episilk PHA Serum is absorbed, I spritz my face and neck lightly with a fine mist of water and apply the Episilk IFL Serum on my neck, around the eyes and on the nasolabial area. Aside from HA, IFL Serum’s other active ingredient is Pepha-Tight, a "highly purified biotechnologically produced extract from the microalgae Nannochloropsis oculata." This unique ingredient is an amazing hexapeptide and is said to have the “ability to support the skin’s natural firmness and vitality.” I checked on the other ingredients and except for zinc glyconate (which was considered by the cosmetics database as a moderate hazard ingredient based on concerns regarding developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergic reactions, and organ system toxicity) they are, pretty harmless. Surely and instantly upon IFL’s absorption, I felt my skin tighten; the deep nasolabial lines appeared less defined; and the finer lines, specifically on my lower eyelids, were less visible. There was an instance when I pumped out too much of the serum, so I applied the excess to my entire face. The tightening effect could be felt especially on the forehead and around my nose where large open pores seemed to have temporarily shrunk and closed.

Although the IFL package literature states that best results are seen if used in conjunction with PHA, each serum does the job it is formulated to do: Episilk PHA soothes and moisturizes, while Episilk IFL tightens and smooths the skin. Both replenished the lost HA in my mature skin and brought the moisture it needed to plump it up.

After the initial two weeks of usage, I immediately noticed the benefits that the Episilk Pure Hyaluronic Acid and Episilk Instant Facelift serums have done: greatly improved overall skin tone, and facial and neck contours. My skin felt and appeared significantly more supple and smoother. Now after over five weeks of using these Hyalogic serums, I am truly pleased at how my skin is visibly even more hydrated and radiant.

For me, the 1-oz bottle of Episilk PHA (priced at $59.95) can probably last up to three to five months, and probably a bit longer for the Episilk IFL (priced at $39.95), since I apply it to target areas only. I would definitely recommend these two serums as highly effective hyaluronic acid products to include in your anti-aging arsenal. These could very well pass the test and may be voted as among the high-powered serums in TIA’s best value products under $100.

Ingredients for Episilk Pure Hyaluronic Serum Serum: De-Ionized Water, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid)

Ingredients for Episilk Instant Facelift Serum : Water, Pepha®-Tight (Pullulan, Algae Extract), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Zinc Glyconate, Xanthan Gum, Vegetable Glycerin, Vitamin A, Citric Acid, Glucose, Lactoperoxidase, Glucose Oxidase