Hyaluronic acid has attained superhero status among cosmetic ingredients. It is prized as a natural lubricator, glorified as a soother of inflamed skin, and hailed as a skin plumper. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, hyaluronic acid can hold over 100 times its weight in water. Some say it can even promote collagen formation.  Capitalizing on the deification of hyaluronic acid, Veris Natural Skin Care has constructed a product centered on this singular ingredient.



When we first met Veris Natural Skin Care, a reader pointed out that the formulas by Veris are veritable replicas of those produced by CSI (Cosmeceutical Sciences Institute - not the crime drama). Tellingly, the one exception to this rule is Veris’s Super Hyaluronic Cream. (Just in case you weren’t aware of hyaluronic acid’s superhero rep, the name says it all.) Now, there’s no point in quibbling over which came first - Is CSI the chicken, and Veris the egg, or vice versa? But it is curious that the copycat cosmetic brand - whichever one that may be - chose to make the hyaluronic cream march to the beat of its own drum, unlike its relatives.

My first impression of Veris was negative - The consistency is so thick that I worried the heft of the cream would clog my pores and clump up when introduced to makeup. Instead, my skin gobbled up the moisturizer within minutes, which was shortly followed by a wet tingle (the skin’s version of a stomachache?) and a tightening effect. Shortly thereafter, my skin cried out for more cream, and I couldn’t resist smearing on a second application. A few days into my trial, I had a bad breakout, but I can’t blame Veris point-blank since I always suspect hormonal culprits.

If an ingredient in Veris were to blame, I would wag my finger at C13-14 isoparaffin, a mixture of petroleum-derived mineral oils. Or maybe my sensitive skin suffered in the presence of the formula’s irritants - namely, polyacrylamide and phenoxyethanol. Regardless, I saw no sign of hyaluronic acid’s phenomenal effects - no disappearing wrinkles act, no rejuvenated skin cells. There was a hint of fresh-faced dewiness, which might be attributed to the formula’s hydrating jojoba oil, antioxidant-rich apricot kernel oil, or olive-extracted squalane. But my skin looked no younger or plumper than it does on a good day au naturel.

In fact, the cream felt more drying than hydrating - a common complaint for all manners of hyaluronic acid products, since this powerhouse ingredient might be too strong for its own good. Even while trying to apply sparingly (just three dots for my entire face), I managed to use up the entire 1 oz. pot after ten days of use. Although the Super Hyaluronic Cream won’t break the bank (at $36), its moderate price tag multiplies before your eyes if one tub only lasts up to two weeks. That’s $72 per month, or $864 for a year’s supply. When compared with CSI ($18.99 on Vitacost), the better buy is a no-brainer.

Normally, I would be tempted to test CSI’s imitator product to see if it outperforms the competition. Unfortunately, an assessment of CSI next to Veris left me underwhelmed. CSI’s product is packed with more fillers (dispersing agents and stabilizers) and boasts less botanical emollients. One interesting addition is xylitylglucoside anhydroxylitol xylitol, which may sound like an ominous chemical (or a ludicrous tongue-twister), but it is in fact just a sugar found in wheat and olives that helps skin retain moisture.

As the fifth most concentrated ingredient, Veris’s hyaluronic acid is too feeble to nourish and restore the skin. CSI has a higher hyaluronic acid content, but I don’t see anything in its formula that would produce a dramatically different result from what I experienced with Veris. And Vitacost’s customer reviews ("Went on goopy, then left skin feeling tight and dry!"; “Doesn't seem to moisturize!”; “Feels like egg whites on my skin once absorbed.”) bear out my misgivings. The lesson I took away from my Veris trial is that hyaluronic acid has a big talk and a weak walk. If you want true superhero action against dry, aging skin, you won't find it here.

Ingredients in Veris Super Hyaluronic Cream:
Purified Water, Jojoba Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Laureth-7, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

Ingredients in CSI Super Hyaluronic Moisturizing Cream:
Purified water, squalane, hyaluronic acid, polyacrylate 13, polyisobutene, polysorbate 20, xylitylglucoside anhydroxylitol xylitol, phenoxyenthanol and ethylhexylglycerin.