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Two new sodium hyaluronate serums

Is a Solution for:
Dry Skin, Oily Skin
December 15, 2010 Reviewed by Marta 12 Comments

This is the time of year when I reach for anything quenching – and that’s just my excuse for a cold Chardonnay. Seriously, I don’t know whether it’s the weather, hormones or both, but for last month or so, my skin has been super thirsty. I find that serums often need topping up with moisturizers, but I recently I have been trying two sodium hyaluronate based ones that are quenching enough on their own as well as bringing anti-aging ingredients to the party.

It seems that no new serum can launch these days without making a big deal about sodium hyaluronate and SenZen’s Plump It Up Hydrating Serum ($48) and Your Best Face’s Hydrate B ($40 in the TIA shop) are no exception.  One of the reasons for sodium hyaluronate’s “it” status is that, according to a review in The Archives of Dermatology, it is one of three anti-aging treatments available that are proven clinically effective. the naturally occurring and widespread component found within the extra-cellular space within bodily tissues, especially those of the face. Its water-binding and water-attracting attributes fill up the spaces between the connective fibers collagen and elastin in the dermis. Like most things, it decreases with age and, therefore, we need to top it up somehow.

SenZen’s Plump It Up Hydrating Serum has also silk amino acids and antioxidant botanicals including three types of tea. More unusually, there is magnolia, which is used as a skin whitener and to soothe irritation. Forsythia suspensa is one of SenZen’s signature ingredients and is an antioxidant that research has shown can outperform vitamin C. It must be said that there are a couple of silicones (although they do provide something of a wind barrier) and controversial lavender.

Your Best Face’s Hydrate B is a simple formula that is mostly what it says on the tin, There are two forms of vitamin B. There’s a one percent  or so shot of DMAE, which works synergistically with the other B vitamins as it is a precurser of the B vitamin choline. DMAE, a favorite of Perricone MD and Nutra-Lift is one of those ingredients that I am not quite sure what to make of. It certainly works as an anti-ager, but a Canadian researcher claims that this may be a result of the damage that it causes to the skin.

I tend to use Plump It Up in the mornings. Hydrate B is something I like to use with my Baby Quasar and I enjoy squirting it into a scoop of Tilvee’s fruit powder for a hydrating, antioxidant face mask. You can have fun with Hydrate B and its Antioxidants twin and make your own serums with YBF’s DIY kits ($95 in the TIA shop) that come with free vitamin C and botanical powders.

Ingredients in SenZen Plump It Up

Water, cyclomethicone, dimethicone, glycerin, sodium PCA, propanediol, jojoba seed oil, panthenol, tetrapeptide 17, silk amino acids, sodium hyaluronate, green tea, white tea, red tea, Job’s tears extract, forsythia suspensa extract, magnolia biondi extract, bacillus ferment, flax seed, liposomal blend, lavender oil, grapefruit oil, polyacrylate-13, polysobutene, polysorbate-20, butylene glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol, fragrance, FD&C blue 1, D&C red 33

Ingredients in Hydrate B Concentrate:

Reverse osmosis water, vitamin B5, sodium hyaluronate, niacin B3, dimethylamioethanol (DMAE), paraben DU

  • December 16, 2010

    by susanne olson

    Thanx Jana--will reread your infor. as it is complex--but I like chemistry. Will see about getting the products. I just went to a skin care center--ya know--laser, photofacilas, sking tightening etc. chem peels and CO2 skin laser. pricey. I still wish we could somehow fins simple ingred via labs to do ourselves--eliminate costly middlemen and pricey advertising, etc. Coconut oil? Collgen???

  • December 16, 2010

    by Jana

    Suzanne - I'm much closer to 60 than 50 and became disillusioned with hyaluronic acid (HA) serums years ago. They seemed always either to not soak in, leave a sticky, tacky film or, worse, eventually "pill" on my skin, flaking off throughout the day. I stopped buying products in which HA was high on the ingredients list. I thought it was something to do with my skin, not the HA. Although still skeptical, recently I tried two products with HA that actually DO work! They soak in. They plump. They feel really nice. Turns out that products made by smart, dedicated formulators and actual chemists beat both DIY and those sort-of mainstreamed, mass-produced products, at least for me. (I've tried DIY - I have a PhD [not in chemistry] and still could not get my formulas right. From five or so years ago, I still have a faint red mark where I burned my skin trying to come up with a simple HA/Rooibos Tea serum. And that serum flaked. Kudos to those of you who can make your own.)

    Anyway, I found out the hard way that all HA serums are not equal. And, to my delight, I've recently found two that work very well indeed. Now I know what people mean when they say "It just melted into my skin." These serums feel good, to boot. My skin is extremely dry, moreso with the cold weather, so these products are getting a tough trial period. The first is YBF's Hydrate B. I've used it mixed with Isomer's One 3000 Face Complete (another recent trial) and the Hydrate makes the One 3000 soak in well and extends the coverage. I also get a bit of a plumping, "fullness" effect with the Hydrate B that isn't there with One 3000 alone. I am happy about the B vitamins in the Hydrate, too.

    The other product is Pure Skin Formulations (PSF) Dermal Matrix Regenerating Serum, whose first listed ingredient is HA but, like Hydrate B, has other goodies as well. Like Hydrate B, the PSF just sinks into my skin, feels nice, and provides a bit of a plumping effect. As well, the PSF has SYN-COLL and other skin beneficial ingredients. As for the plumping with both products, I'm hoping the effects are cumulative but like what I see (and feel) so far.

    My point is that, having tried various HA serums over the years, I had completely negative experiences with most, if not all, of them. But now, having tried two products from formulators I have learned to trust, HA seems indeed to finally be living up to what I kept reading it is supposed to do. It's early days yet in my trial of both these products but, for now, they have reversed my previous experiences with HA. Sorry about the lengthy post.

  • December 16, 2010

    by marta

    Jc, you could certainly do that. But the Isomers doesn't represent much of a saving at $40.

  • December 16, 2010

    by Darrell Owens

    Morning Asya,
    I'm trying to find an ingredient list for the product to take a look at. I've found a couple of places on the web that list the product's active ingredients, but no luck finding a full ingredient list.

    Color changes with natural products is often normal and not necessarily tied to spoilage, but a rancid smell is usually never a good sign.

    Unfortunately some ingredients are more prone than others to spoil ...but when in doubt, throw it out.


  • December 16, 2010

    by Asya

    Hi Darrell,

    and thank you for your comment!
    I am using a HA moisturiser by DermaCeutic, an Irish company, that claims it has the highest concentration on the European market - 15 %. I have to say the effect is amazing - it gives you the skin of a 15-year old (without the acne :-)
    As it is not available where I live I stock it up when I go to France and I just found out that the two bottles (with airless pumps) that have been lying unopened in my drawer have both developped a rancid smell and have become yellowish (I bought them 4 months ago). Are they dangerous to use or just eneffective? Why HA is so easy to spoil?

  • December 16, 2010

    by Oksana

    about a week ago started using Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb HA Serum ($42) - amaizing! use it at night under my Hauschka Rose Light moisturizer. No "unfriendly" ingredients - 100% organic and smells delicious.
    Eminence also has a HA mask, also with Strawberry Rhubarb - baby soft, supple skin after. It is a totally different level of hydartion - truly supple. Highly recommend!

  • December 16, 2010

    by Janis

    Thanks for the info. Darrell!

    I have rosacea so I have to be extremely careful of ingredients, like no lavender or anytime of flower, fruit, etc. & SD-Alcohol & such. :(

    I have dry to very dry skin (no hormones left in this baby!) so Hyaluronic Acid used either under my moisturizer in the summer or sandwiched between serum & moisturizer in the winter works wonders for me.

    Being that I have mild to moderate rosacea & don't want it to get any worse I've decided to make my own skincare via (very impressed with this site & the forums) where I can not only choose my own ingredients, but can test the effects of one ingredient at a time & then build up my personalized ingredients from there. I don't have to pay big bucks & if I do add a # of ingredients which up the price to the equivalent to retail products, at least I don't have to worry about what Dr. Denese calls "fairy dusting," i.e. a manufacturer putting in unbeneficial trace amount of ingredient in so it looks good on the ingredients list.

    Anwyay, here's another link to buying the Hyaluronic Acid to add to your existing moisturizer which can be added up to 1%:

    HTH! BTW, just found this website ... very nice!

  • December 15, 2010

    by Darrell Owens

    Hi JC,
    I saw your comment and you highlight a great point.

    Hyaluronate use in formulas can be tricky to interpret and unfortunately sometimes statements by the skin care industry are misleading.

    Pure hyaluronate is a powder that is generally turned into a solution with water so it can become usable in a product formula. In most cases where hyaluronate is used in a solution, the rate of use is around .5% to 1.5%. Sometimes companies will refer to such a hyaluronate solution as "pure hyaluronate" ... and sometimes from there a leap is made to imply that a pure hyaluronate solution is 100% hyaluronate when in reality only about .5% or so of the solution is this ingredient.

    It's just something to keep in mind when looking at liquid products that either claim to be pure hyaluronate or that make statements such as "50% hyaluronate" or "75% hyaluronate," etc. A product with that level of actual hyaluronate just wouldn't be usable or very beneficial.

    One other thing to consider and look for is that as a natural ingredient, hyaluronate once hydrated really needs to be preserved to remain effective, stable and most important -- safe. My personal opinion is to be cautions of hyaluronate serums that do not contain a preservative system or that claim to be "pure" hyaluronate.

    All my best,

  • December 15, 2010

    by jc

    why not just have a little pure sodium hyaluronate you can add under your cream, or amp up your other products?

  • December 15, 2010

    by susanne olson

    Hyaluronic acid seems to dry my skin, so I used it with lipids and helped. What do women over 60 use now? The wrinkle fillrs are expensive such as Juvaderm Ultra Plus. Wish we could find a way to get this into our wrinkles by ourselves.

  • December 15, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Stephanie, they both seem to help a lot with hydration. I think the point is that Senzen is more of a standalone product, whereas Hydrate is probably best used as a boost to your normal cream.

  • December 15, 2010

    by Stephanie

    The silicones and lavendar of the SenZen concern me, as does the DMAE in the YBF version. But, I am in desperate need of an HA serum and I like other products from both lines. If you had to pick one, specifically for hydration, which would you choose?


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