by Sophie Y.
ASDM Beverly Hills' 100% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($23) advertises that its low molecular weight formula hyaluronic acid (HA) serum instantly refreshes and hydrates skin for a smoother, more supple appearance. Its formulation, amazingly, boasts only 4 ingredients — all of which you are likely able to pronounce: distilled water, pure hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronic acid), grapefruit seed extract, and lactobacillus ferment. (Note that their website also lists glycerin as an ingredient, which wasn't listed on my bottle). Of these, only grapefruit seed extract comes up as an ingredient of moderate concern in EWG's Skin Deep database and primarily because there is limited toxicity data available about it despite its widespread use. However, it also reportedly has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Many products nowadays boast formulations with hyaluronic acid, and with good reason. It is a naturally-occurring component found within the extracellular matrix within bodily tissues, especially those of the face. The amount of HA in our tissues decrease with age, leaving that extracellular matrix dehydrated and resulting in surface roughness, fine lines, and wrinkles. When topically applied, HA can help skin absorb water more effectively while offering a barrier to prevent further water loss.
Did ASDM's serum live up to its claims? For the most part. In particular, ASDM's description of this serum as instantly refreshing was exactly right. The clear, odorless serum glides on smoothly and easily (a large pea size amount will mostly likely cover your entire face) and leaves your face, at the risk of sounding redundant, feeling extremely refreshed. Used after a hot shower, this serum feels particularly nice as it leaves behind smooth, soft, and lightly moisturized skin. With that said, the moisturizing effect is light and, even with my 30-something combination skin, I was wanting for more. Thus, when ASDM claims that this serum "keeps skin hydrated, elastic and youthful looking, helping to plump fine lines and wrinkles," I would take all of that with a little grain of salt. While the serum doesn't disappoint in terms of providing a nice, refreshing boost of moisture, I personally needed to use it in conjunction with my usual moisturizers. There is nothing inherently wrong with having to do that — I layer products quite often — but I am not sure this product will find a permanent place in my routine given its limited utility.
With that said, the product is offered at a very respectable price point ($23 on the manufacturer's website), its formulation is simple and clean, it offer a very nice feeling immediately upon application and it does not contain any animal products and has not been tested on animals. For those looking for a refreshing boost to their routine, this serum could fit the bill.