Product testing: La roche posay serum

For the last 30 days, I’ve been trying out a new serum in an attempt to rehydrate the skin more. The lucky product was a serum from La Roche Posay, which is a French brand that is very popular here in Norway. It’s called Hydraphase Intense Serum. It’s containing thermal mountain spring water and hyaluronic acid, it says. So, how was it?


It kind of makes the skin smoother right away after being applied, but that’s it. The skin is as dehydrated the following evening as it was the morning before application. In addition, I lost the bottle to the ground once, and the mechanism went out of function. It’s not very robust, though.

On a scale from 1 to 10, I would give it a 4, mostly because of the pleasant odour.



Peeling formulations

It is recommended to use peeling 1-2 times weekly to remove dead skin cells, refresh the skin and cleanse deeper. Nevertheless, there are basically two types of peeling formulations on the market: Mechanical peeling creams and chemical peeling creams.


Mechanical peeling creams contain peel grains and are rubbed gently in circular movements. Almost immediately, the cream is rinsed off. This formula fits most skin types and conditions, except for acne and oily skin. The reason why is because of the grinding and movements, which may stimulate the sebum (oil) production and worsen the conditions. These skin conditions should use chemical peelings instead.


Chemical peelings do not contain any grains. On the other hand, they contain acids, which peel the skin chemically. Examples include lactic acid, salicylic acid and hydroxy-acids. Chemical peelings can be used by all skin types except very sensitive or irritated skin. They are the bets choice for acne and oily skin types. Another point worth mentioning is that you should be extra careful in the sun for 1-2 days after the peeling, since it may potentially increase the chances of sunburn.


Dehydrated skin?

Recently, I was at a skin therapy session downtown, and the session inspired me to write more about skin types and skin conditions. The skin therapist analyzed my skin, and told me I had normal to oily skin regarding skin type, but that my skin condition (which is not constant), was quite dehydrated. People often mixed the terms dry and dehydrated skin, but they are quite different. Whereas a dry skin is lacking oil/fat, dehydrated skin is lacking moisture (water).


We went over and analyzed my daily skin therapy routine, and discussed what to be optimized.


Here’s what I used before the skin session:

  • Cleanser
  • Moisturizer, I tend to use two different types, one purely water-based and one that is richer if I feel my skin is dry or tired
  • Peeling (acid-based) approximately once weekly


What was suggested to optimize the routine:

  • Cleanser (mild)
  • Moisturizing serum
  • Moisturizer – strictly water-based
  • Peeling (acid-based) 1-2 times weekly
  • Hydrating masks once in a while


I got a tester of a serum they recommended from Elisabeth Arden Pro (Age defyingserum). It was nice and gave the skin more moisture, but it contained lactic acid and a retinoid conjugate, and a few other irritating ingredients, which is not so suit able for my sensitive skin. My skin got redder and a little irritated. I therefore decided to purchase another serum later, I just have to do some research first.

Regular question at the pharmacy: Collagen

So, during the last weeks I have gotten a lot of questions about collagen. I do not know if it is the advertising in general or the doctors’ recommendations or a combination of the two, but it has gotten quite interesting. Many advertisements recommend the intake of collagen orally through capsules or powder. Let us have a look at collagen’s chemical structure for a quick moment:




It is a huge protein molecule that would never cross the barriers of the intestine. The only way this molecule could be absorbed is if it injected directly to the blood stream, or else the body’s own molecules will just break it down. So I would never recommend to use collagen in capsules or powder form, it is just a waste of money.

Product testing – Dermalogica Active Moist

As I work at a pharmacy, I get to test a lot of products over time; both new and well-established products. A fairly new but quite popular brand here in Norway is Dermalogica, which is a brand developed by American beauticians.




For approximately 4 months, I’ve tried the moisturizing cream Active Moist. Overall, I think it’s a good cream, very light though so it’s probably not the best fit if you have a normal to dry skin. The consistency is very light and easy to apply, but the smell is too “botanical” for my taste. It’s water-based, which fits oily skin well. I used this cream during the summer, but it will be exchanged by a richer cream soon now that the cold weather is arriving. (A general tip here if you live in a place with cold winters – use two different moisturizers through the year, one for the winter-season and one for the summer).

The brand itself is quite expensive, but as a local beautician told me, the 100 ml tube will last just over 6 months.


If I had to rate it at a scale from 1 – 10, I would give it an 8.

Hyaluronic acid – is it really that miraculous?

Constantly we are reminded in different advertisements of hyaluronic acid and how great and skin improving it is. This compound is said to penetrate the skin deeply, keeping the natural moist in the skin at place while refining the skin and remove wrinkles. Anyway, is all of it true?


If you look at hyaluronic acid’s structural chemistry in the picture below, you will observe that it’s a highly polar molecule, with a lot of OH-groups and acid-groups, that can deprotonate in water. Therefore, you have an extremely water-soluble substance. The skin, on the other hand, is mostly hydrophobic (water-insoluble).




Regarding the above information, hyaluronic acid will not pass through the lipid layers in the skin. On the other hand, it will remain on the surface of the skin, not being able to penetrate the skin layers below.

In conclusion, I think that hyaluronic acid is very overrated. We need something better and more efficient. Isn’t that right?