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When your face is burdened with ingredient sensitivities, the simple act of moisturizing becomes a laborious, sometimes detrimental task. You cross your fingers when you apply serum or a moisturizer, hoping you’ll wake up with dryness subsided, your barrier back in tact, and zero irritation. Bottle after bottle, formula after formula, I started to think I was going after the impossible. But then my dermatologist introduced me to SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator, and in all honesty, it helped nurse my skin back to health and hydration.

To give you some perspective, my skin was majorly compromised, meaning it was lacking moisture, and the ability to hold onto it, to get it back to tip-top shape. But because my skin was compromised, I need to find an incredibly gentle product, something that would act as a glass of water to my skin. SkinMedica HA5 was recommended to me because it was gentle, easily absorbed, and packed with hydrators. Actually make that 5 different hydrators—the superstar being hyaluronic acid—that work together to keep your skin moisturized for eight hours. It’s also made with vitamin E to ward off fine lines and wrinkles while moisturizing. Interestingly enough, it also happens to be an InStyle's 2017 Best Beauty Buys winner.

What makes it interesting, though, is that it’s actually an incredibly lightweight serum and has a gel consistency, but still acts like one of those uber rich creams that seals hydration in your skin. I was instructed to use it as the first step in my moisturizing routine before applying a thicker product that addressed the eczema I was dealing with.

I patted it on my entire face morning and night and was shocked to find that my skin still felt soft and supple in the morning and not at all parched. Even more comforting, it didn’t sting, flare up redness on my cheeks or forehead, and it didn’t clog my pores.

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I continued to apply it day and night, and finally after a few weeks, a glow returned to my face. I had started to believe that dullness and blotchiness was going to be the new normal, but this powerhouse serum is thankfully showing me otherwise.