The research on peptides has exploded in the last few years and while some peptides are falsely marketed as the next coming of Jesus in the skincare community, there are a lot of remarkable peptides that are worth adding to your routine.
So, what the heck are peptides? Basically, they are fragments of protein found in your skin and are made up of amino acids (water-binding agents). Proteins are the building blocks of skin. So, think of peptides as the bricks that help your skin stay intact. No peptides = loss of firmness, appearance of wrinkles, texture changes, and skin that doesn’t bounce back the way it used to when you were younger. Peptides are the teachers of skin and you definitely want those bricks in the wall!!
I recently found out not to buy peptides that come in a water-based formula because the peptides become unstable. Another surprise is that peptides are vulnerable to attack by enzymes present in our skin and they can break the peptides down to the point where they become ineffective. The horror! But science is a wonder and chemists have been able to produce synthetic peptides in a lab, which are engineered to be more stable on and within skin. Therefore, lab engineered peptides are able to survive and thrive on the skin and help target aging skin concerns. Hooray!!
There are a plethora of amazing peptides on the market right now, and more and more are being made in labs. While they are definitely something that will help your skin keep its bounce long-term, they are not miracle workers; your skin still needs other ingredients to operate at optimal levels and it’s never going to replace cosmetic procedures (Debbie Downer over here) no matter how much we wish they could.
So, are peptides worth the hype? In short, yes. There are lots of peptides that are definitely worth incorporating into our skincare routine but there are some peptides, like copper peptides that are over-hyped and over-priced. So keep that in mind when you’re on the hunt for a peptide product. Great peptide serums are out there, like The Ordinary Buffet serum, their Matrixyl 10% serum, and Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster. The Ordinary Buffet + Copper 1% Serum won’t be one I purchase because from everything I’ve read, it’s a good skin-restoring peptide but not worth all the buzz it receives.
Peptides are worth the skincare investment and I’m loving the effects they’re having on my skin. Want to discuss more with me? Head on over to my instagram, talk to me and the rest of the mod squad in The Ordinary and Deciem chatroom, or leave a comment on this post. Love hearing from you.
I love applying a good primer before I slap on makeup on my face. I’ve tried tons. Most of the Smashbox range, Dior, Urban Decay. Most I’ve enjoyed but I wanted to start using a makeup primer that would not only blur my pores and help my makeup go on smoothly, but provide real skin care benefits as well. Lucky me, my two favourite skin care brands have great primers with skin care benefits. Score! So, let’s take a look at each of their claims, how well they held their ground with my makeup, and whether I saw any visible improvements from using them.
Hylamide HA Blur (Hyluronic-Based Prismatic Blurring Surface Finisher)
Whew! Long-ass name for a hyluronic based primer! The HA Blur is part of Hylamide’s Finisher Series. After one uses their Core Series products and any of their Booster Series’ products, Deciem recommends using one of their Finishers. So, I chose the Ha Blur because of my skin’s affinity for hyluronic acid.
Hylamide HA Blur promises to blur and minimize pores while hydrating and plumping the skin. It uses a new form of powder based hyluronic acid which is supposed to provide blurring properties to your skin. It also claims to be compatible with all makeup and all skin types. In fact, Deciem states that “…it’s so compatible with makeup that you can apply under or over foundation, or mix it with any liquid foundation for an ultra-high-definition skin finish.” (Hylamide, 2018)
Looking at the ingredients, HA Blur uses a heck of a lot of crosspolymers to formulate their primer. Crosspolymers basically do the same job as silicones in skin care; they work as film-formers (hence the blurring claims) and work as aesthetic enhancers, helping your makeup glide on smoothly and stay put longer. It also contains sodium hyluronate, which is a salt form of the skin-replenishing ingredient hyaluronic acid, and it’s supposed to be more effective for skin than pure hyaluronic acid due to its greater compatibility with your skin.
I’ve used HA Blur since last October. I first tried using a pea-sized amount alone and as a layer before my foundation. No bueno. My experience using the primer this way goes against Deciem’s promise that this will work under foundation. It pilled and made my foundation patchy. I had to rub the foundation around my face for quite a while before the patchiness went away along with most of my foundation. The next time, I tried mixing it with my foundation and this worked beautifully. No pilling and no patchiness. Definitely blurs and minimizes pores. Did it hydrated my skin? My skin is well-hydrated since I use a healthy amount of hyluronic acid already, so I didn’t feel any significant difference in the hydration level of my skin. Did it plump my skin? Nope. Again, I use a shit ton of hyluronic acid already. Would I repurchase? Yes. It looks great in pictures and it definitely blurs my pores.
Paula’s Choice Resist Smoothing Primer Serum SPF 30
This primer serum is part of PC’s RESIST line of skin care, which is specifically targeting anti-aging (I really don’t like this term. We need to come up with a better alternative) concerns. It’s both a primer and a serum in one. Let’s get straight to the claims.
Paula’s Choice primer serum promises to target fine lines and wrinkles, protect against sun damage, protect skin from environmental damage, and prevent early signs of aging. It preps the skin for a perfect makeup application and has a lightweight silky texture. All claims are right up my alley.
The ingredient list makes the skin care nerd in me drool. Ya know I love me some antioxidants and this primer serum has a very decent selection. Licorice root extract helps fight discoloration, fades age spots, fights free radical damage, and helps reduce oil production. Coffee seed extract helps skin retain moisture and smooth the skin’s texture. Matricaria Flower Extract calms sensitive skin and fights inflammation. Retinyl Palmate is the ester of retinol and is a gentle form of vitamin A. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin and a great antioxidant for us acne prone skin types. Chlorella Vulagaris Extract is derived from seaweed and prevents the breakdown of collagen and elasticity. Apple fruit extract is rich in antioxidants and helps reduce the look of pores. Pretty Impressive!
The PC primer serum contains a blend of chemical sunscreens and as always, layering sunscreen is a great idea and helps keep your skin protect from the sun’s rays longer. Definitely a plus.
I’ve been using this primer for over a year. It definitely has a silky texture and goes on smoothly and leaves a velvety feel to my skin. Yes, it does blur my pores and also works great as an eyelid primer. My foundation lasts all day and I don’t end up looking like an oil slick by mid-afternoon. Looks good in pictures but not as much of a blurring effect as the Hylamide HA Blur. You only need a pea-size amount to cover your face. Would I repurchase? I already have a backup stashed in my vanity.
I’ve used both of these primers together. I layer the PC primer first and then mix the HA blur with my foundation. Do you have a special night coming up and you want your skin to look flawless? Try this method. Works like a charm.
I would recommend both of these primers. Both are great to use with makeup. Both have skin care benefits. I’ll continue to use them both. What are your favourite primers? Have you used either or both of the above? Leave a comment below or come by the Deciem and The Ordinary Chatroom and discuss your favs with other skin care addicts like yours truly.
My quest to find the right type of hydration for my cray, cray skin began two years ago. I had finally found the perfect combination of actives that worked great for my skin but it still felt slightly dehydrated. Oftentimes, my skin felt tight but was still oily in the centre of my face; I had flaky patches from using retinol (normal by the way) and my moisturizer wasn’t cutting it. If your skin is anything like mine, you know how frustrating it can be to find products that hydrate your skin without clogging pores or exacerbating acne. I’ve got awesome news: they are out there and they work!
I was blind to your powers but now I see the light! Hyaluronic acid is my hydrating superhero because it deeply nourishes my skin without all the drawbacks that I sometimes find from using certain moisturizers. So why do I bow at the altar of hyaluronic acid (did I go too far there?)? Because it’s THE ideal way to deeply nourish and hydrate oily and dehydrated skin. One gram of hyluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water! Hydration heaven! Our bodies are filled with this moisture-binding goodness but as we get older, we begin to lose it and as a result, our skin begins to lose its firmness and that lovely plumpness we had when we were young and naive. Another amazing benefit of this light and fluid ingredient is its ability to guard against environmental stressors, like using harsh ingredients, abrasive skincare tools, or too much sun exposure. Adding hyaluronic acid to your routine can help protect and replenish your compromised skin barrier.
Hyaluronic Acid Products I’m Loving
Hylamide Sub Q Anti-Age is part of Deciem’s Hylamide core range. It’s a multi-functional anti-age serum containing advanced hyaluronic complexes, which target both surface and below the surface hydration. It targets loss of firmness, dynamic and fine lines, sagging skin, and textural irregularities. I was very lucky to be gifted this product by my lovely friend Joanne, founder of The Ordinary and Deciem Chat room, and now I’m hooked! Sub Q Anti-Age serum leaves my skin feeling plump, hydrated, and bouncy. I’m already on my second bottle and I certainly see an improvement to my skin. It’s definitely pricier than The Ordinary’s Buffet Serum, which I’m also a fan of but I do think it’s worth the price because it targets below the surface hydration, unlike Buffet, and has more anti-aging properties as well.
Hylamide Booster Low-Molecular HA is described by Deciem as a “hyper-strength rehydration serum with 5 forms of hyaluronic compounds with varying molecular weights.” Fancy talk for packing a lot of hydration. Does it deliver on its claims? Yes siree it does! I add three drops of this viscous serum to the Sub Q Anti-Age and woah Nelly! My skin is in hydration nirvana. I began to add this serum in place of my beloved The Ordinary Hyluronic Acid +B5 serum in the wintertime because my face was still feeling a bit tight. TO Hyluronic Acid is great but it wasn’t enough for my skin during the wintertime and it does tend to pill on me, so I’m happy to spend a bit more for the added hydration and more elegant Hylamide version. If you’re not willing to spend more and you live in a more humid climate than I do (slightly jealous of you), definitely try The Ordinary version.
Other Hydrators for Oily and Dehytrated Skin I’m crushing on
Squalene- The only oil-like skin hydrator my skin craves is squalene, which is naturally found in our skin, like hyaluronic acid. It’s not an oil and thank the skin gods because my skin hates them oils! Squalene is non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and helps prevent loss of hydration. The Ordinary has an amazing 100% plant-derived squalene in its long skincare line-up. I add 3-4 drops of it into my moisturizer at night and my skin still feels lovely and hydrated (not greasy) the next morning.
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors +HA is my favourite nighttime moisturizer. It is so nourishing and delivers a combination of amino acids, fatty acids, triglycerides, urea, ceramides, phospholipids, glycerin, saccharides, sodium PCA, hyaluronic acid. All of the ingredients used in this moisturizer are essential skin nourishing ingredients that help our skin retain water and help our skin stay healthy, replenished and restored. Acne-prone skin is actually very sensitive, so using a moisturizer like this one will help calm the skin and keep it balanced. I only use about a dime-size amount mixed in with my squalene but play around to find the right amount for your skin.
Skin is finicky and needs a combination of skin loving ingredients to perform at an all-star level. We’ve covered active ingredients like niacinamide and retinol, and hydrators. Next up, antioxidants! See you soon 🙂