September 08, 2015

30+ Days with Hylamide

I feel like my skin story is a never ending novel, this is probably Maria’s skincare story Part 3; Serums.
Until recently, I never saw the need for serums. I gave into the hype of the Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher once after hitting my quarter century and felt like it didn’t do me any good. It was like applying slippy silicone on my face with no real visible results. I didn't having any wrinkles back then, and luckily still don't, but I like to prescribe to the mathematics theory that acne-prone skin = zero to few wrinkles (do not hold me to that one). From what I've read though, moisturisers can only protect the skin so much and the potent workers are really, serums.   With my birthday coming up, I’m well into my 30’s, and having spent a lifetime growing up under the kiwi sun as well as the Aussie sun, it’s probably time I tried to see how serums could improve my skin texture while prolonging its elasticity while I still have it.

The number of serums available on the market have certainly exploded over time and its hard to wade through the marketing hype. I was a bit "meh" after trying the much celebrated Sunday Riley's Artemis oil for 2 weeks and was recently unlikely to repurchase my REN "Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot", so I was on the hunt for a new serum. The stars sort of aligned when Shonagh Scott mentioned Hylamide in one of her videos. I had no idea what, where, how this brand came about, and then found out the company was actually called DECIEM. A company that owns a whole suite of brands spanning from haircare to fitness supplements, with one of them being Hylamide. The star product is their Subq Anti-Age Serum which promises "multi-depth rehydration and visible reduction in lines and irregularities"

Although Shonagh's post-five-days-use results seemed rather impressive enough to entertain an "add to cart" click, I was still skeptical so I did a quick web search and although there was limited write up about Hylamide, I did find a nice little review here, and a thumbs up from Caroline Hirons and Sali Hughes over here (see at the 30 minute mark).

My main concerns have always been the dryness and sensitivities that have developed in my skin over time. Overproduction of oil on the T-zone during the day and enlarged pores between my brows and nose area, clogged pores/under-the-skin-surface on my left cheek (such a weird phenomenon, like why just one side?), and a few bumps around the right cheekbone and jawline.

So really, dryness and texture.

With one liners like "promotes comfortable skin feel within just 2 weeks" I got sucked in. The idea that this gave surface AND below-surface hydration caught my eye, as well as aiding "textural irregularities". Short of dropping a bomb for SKII, I thought AUD57+ free shipping for a 30ml bottle of Hylamide was was worth the try!
I wanted to keep a 10-day diary to keep a record of my experience, testing out their claim to "Expect results in 10 days and further improvements over time",  and here is how it panned out.

Night 1 (Time stamp 5th August 2015): I received the serum in record speed for overseas shipping. As I couldn't wait, I used the serum on the same night. The consistency of the serum is like a watery gel and has no perfume but has that scent that reminds me of a skin clinic. Like a really clean clinical smell that isn't obnoxious. The instructions was to wear the serum twice daily, in the AM and PM after cleansing. This may sound stupid, but I felt so great after using it. I normally wash my face in the shower and dryness usually overcomes my skin (that parched feeling) as soon as I dry off - which I know is bad and means I’ve used too much cleanser or the wrong cleanser - but I felt no ounce of dryness after applying the serum. Just absolutely fine. The serum was slightly tacky for a few seconds and then sinks into the skin. I then used my normal REN night cream over top. No funny reactions. Simples!

Day 1
Morning: My skin feels absolutely normal. No film of oil on face in the morning. Not parched. No combo of oily and parched. This was something I hadn't felt in awhile! One pimple that was forming on my forehead had come to a head already. I could be imagining things but the L'oreal 24 Hr Infallible Matte foundation I'm trying just glided over my pores so smoothly. No visible "black" holes or the need to pat pat pat my foundation in like normal (I use fingers for foundation testing application). The bumps under the skin of my left cheek are still there but feel smaller. Really? Are miracles happening?
Afternoon: I didn't feel as oily as usual after day in the office (I'm doing some contracting).
I inadvertently popped the pimple on my forehead that had surfaced. I could be imagining things, but the pores between my eyes/eyebrow area don't look as deep or dark or as evident as they normally would. Is this the anti-sag thing that the serum is doing to my skin?
Night: I just went to watch MI6 after the usual pre movie ramen and then my naughty tradition of popcorn and frozen coke. Let's see if this put a spanner in the works! Applied serum on a clean face and followed up with my night cream

Day 2

My face feels baby smooth despite some under skin bumps still there (that again feels smaller).
No dryness or morning oiliness
Applied the same routine as last night

Day 3

Face felt same as yesterday morning. Pores less visible under makeup although I didn't do anything different to my normal going-to-the-office makeup routine (light application of foundation, bronzer, concealer under eyes, little powder in T zone, filled eyebrows, eyeliner and mascara)
Applied the serum on my face in the same way as the last 2 nights

Day 4

Morning: Face feels smooth again, I'm getting a pep in my step. Nice feeling this morning.
I feel like these positive skin feels is going to be like this for the next 5 days. The bumps under my cheek haven't surfaced or anything like I have hoped but they haven't gone any large either. Maybe the only way is facial extraction?
Night: In my haste after I did a gradual tan regime on my body, I decided to try 6 drops of serum on my skin (instead of the prescribed 4 - hey, I was feeling adventurous) and then slowly rubbed the serum in … while the bottle was still in my left hand with the dropper top still in my right hand. IDIOT. I splat a good week’s worth of serum across my left shoulder and then it looked like I lost 2 weeks' worth of serum on the bathroom floor.
The bottle is now 3/4 full :( Silver lining - lucky it’s not as crazy exp as Artemis!

Day 5 - Day 8 

Much the same routine and air conditioned office environment during the weekday.
My face would normally be oily all throughout the day, requiring blotting of an oily t zone, about once or twice throughout the day, but I've noticed I've had to do less of the blotting.

Day 9

We were meant to have flown to Hawaii so I was makeup free. But the flight from Sydney had cancelled. I then carried on my normal night routine.

Day 10 

Skin feels great again. We decided to fly to Melbourne this morning to catch the flight to Honolulu.
I was makeup free again and slept on the plane (awful, it's so gross for the skin, I feel like I'm sitting in a fruit dehydrator machine). I reapplied the serum after a hydrating dermalogica mask before sleeping (my face lapped up all those products in exponential time)

Day 11 

Well I wasn't going to take notes past day 10, but I just had to write my experience down because guess what happened while we were in Hawaii?
2 words. Got burnt.
That is SO BAD. I don’t usually have my forehead on show and though I sun screened with SPF50+, I must’ve sweated it off and didn’t reapply sunscreen high enough on my fore(hello five) head.
I was dubious about carrying on with the skincare routine but surprisingly, Hylamide really helped soothe my strip of burn at the top of my forehead, 

my face just felt so hydrated and normal again.

On Day 12, the next day, the strip on my fivehead started peeling (not a pretty sight), but it happened only once. And while I had a premonition of my whole forehead looking like a patchwork quilt, I’m pretty sure my constant moisturisation and the Hylamide helped my skin just even out with no visible pigmentation issues.

I then just carried on with the same routine for the next 6 nights over the holiday. On our entire trip, the only makeup I used on my skin was Chanel tinted moisturiser / a little MAC mineralise skin finish, but that was really just 2 out of the 6 days we were there. The rest of the time, my face was slathered with copious amounts of SPF 50 Dermalogica sunscreen (and then later a Coppertone sensitive skin brand in our last 2 days of the trip).
I’m back in Sydney now , and as I write this, it’s day 31. I blew my nose raw a week after we came back from Hawaii (sick with a cold) and while I would normally have a peeling nose with all the tissues....Nope! My nose was a litle sensitive from tissue blowing but no signs of peeling! 
I’ve kept with using about 5-6 drops of the serum (forehead, nose, both cheeks and sometimes the chin) and still have just under half a bottle even though I dropped a heap on the floor on Day 4. I've also used my Alpha Gold every now and then in place of the serum just to have a break and let the Glycolic work its way on my skin bumps. There have been no negative sides effects from mixing it up.
My skin is the smoothest it’s been in quite awhile. I don’t wake up with a face of oil slick like I used to. The bumps I have underneath the skin on my left cheek have turned into tiny dots. I still have a few little bumpies on the chin but they aren’t huge and disappear within a couple days (I’ll chalk that up to normal hormonal cycle).
Overall I feel like the serum has normalised my skin and I think the longer I use it, alongside conscious cutting out of sugar and eating more leafy greens and super foods (my upcoming summer diet mantra), the better my skin will be. I just took a hard core mirror close up of my skin and I wished I took a before and after photo as I'm sure the pore size between my brows (something I'm rather self conscious about) and on the cheeks closest to the sides of my nose aren't as deep or as big as they used to be. I read that increased pore size as we age is also sometimes due to skin sagging and not being hydrated enough. Now that I've seen this kind of result I absolutely do believe the claims that Hylamide is a major skin quencher and has helped revive my rather dehydrated skin. 

Hylamide is by no means a miracle potion. Drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep and maintaining a healthy diet is always something that goes hand in hand with healthier looking skin. But I have to say I am sticking to this serum after the good experience I have had. 
If you’re wanting to try serums for the first time, I highly recommend this one, I didn't experience any side effects with using the serum alongside my other normal skincare products (but if you're on the worry wart side, try and see if your skin reacts by testing a small area first). The serum is soothing and gentle and I’m sure my skin will only get better the longer I use it. I will for sure continue using Hylamide. In fact I’m going to try out the eye serum now too and also have my eye on the photography foundation.

Hopefully this is a very quick and happy ending to Maria's skincare story Part 3?


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