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As I get further along in my 50s, I find that my skin's moisture content is constantly changing. Add this to a combination-type skin, and it can get difficult to find a moisturizer that provides balance for those oily areas as well as the drier areas.
I was lucky enough to be chosen to review a new hyaluronic acid serum: the Kenneth Mark, M.D. Hydrating Serum AM & PM ($90 in the shop). I have to admit that I do know and have seen the benefits of hyaluronic acid (AKA hyaluronidase, and HA) but have only used it as an ingredient in other types of products wherein I did notice its benefits.
Hyaluronic acid is an important "natural" component of skin which is produced by fibroblast skin cells. HA decreases as you age. Skin starts losing hyaluronic acid as early as the late teens. However, wrinkles and other skin damage from hyaluronic acid loss doesn't generally show up until the late 30s or early 40s. Scientific research shows hyaluronic acid retains moisture well, holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water. HA is a commonly used component in moisturizers. In a moisturizer, it delivers water to the skin and also holds it there.
The Kenneth Mark MD Hydrating Serum AM & PM arrived in minimalistic packaging — a clear glass bottle with dropper that is one-ounce in size. The label does include the few ingredients in this hydrating product. It is very easy to dispense with the dropper. I liked that they didn't waste money in packaging it, yet the dropper is quite adequate at dispensing most of the product, and you can tip the bottle to get the remainder on the bottom.
Dr. Mark's serum was quite easy to incorporate into my routine. I tried it alone as my first layer of skin care product, but it made my face feel even drier and taut when used alone — a feeling I didn't like. Thus, I decided to try mixing it with my moisturizers, as it is often an ingredient in many moisturizers. As my menopausal skin changes with the weather (literally and figuratively), I find that many of my previously favorite moisturizers seem to just sit like oil on my skin, or they don't provide the necessary moisture needed throughout the day and/or night any longer.
I decided to add a few drops of the Hydrating Serum to my morning and evening moisturizer, which inevitably made those precious products last longer. I found that my skin was more moisturized, supple and smooth with use of the Hydrating Serum and moisturizer combined than with the moisturizer alone. My skin felt moisturized and smooth in the mornings, but it didn't still feel as though it had a film of oil over it. I am also not going through my moisturizing products as fast as I usually do. I tend to have a heavy hand with product. This hydrating serum did plump up my fine lines and make them much less noticeable, if not invisible, for up to eight hours. This serum seemed to help decrease the depth of my worst wrinkles for most of the day, as well, though they certainly did not disappear as did the "finer" wrinkles. I am also happy to report that the Hydrating Serum is neither oily nor sticky in consistency, nor does it pill when other products/makeup are added over it.
Overall, I was fairly happy with this product. The packaging is minimalistic, the ingredients are few and most all of them are beneficial to the skin. The Hydrating Serum had absolutely no scent, and I liked that. It also did not irritate my skin in the least. One drawback for me is that I don't like the ingredient phenoxyethanol, which has been reported to be a possible neurotoxin, contact allergen, and reproductive toxin. Though I didn't notice the serum to be detrimental to my skin, I would rather they use another more natural/organic preservative.
I believe HA is an important addition to my aging skin's needs. However, while this serum did extend my moisturizer, and I liked the extra boost of hydration without any greasy feeling afterward, I think that I can possibly find an effective and safe hyaluronic acid serum at a lower price. If it had more active ingredients, I might reconsider the price tag. Consequently, I would give this serum a 3.5 or 4 out of 5.