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Congrats everyone. We survived Blue Monday, aka, the most depressing day of the year. Give yourself a pat on the back. Unfortunately, we now have the rest of winter to tackle. And by tackle, we mean addressing the dry AF skin that January has bestowed upon us. Our weapon of choice? A hyaluronic acid serum, of course. Serums are worth spending more on, as they deliver essentials ingredients deeper down into the skin, much more than a moisturiser does, which only hydrates the very top layers of the skin.
But does more £££ mean better results? Everyone, including the Powder team, raves about Skinceuticals serums and we particularly love the B5 Hydrating Gel. Not just for cold weather, but for all year round to quench and plump the skin. At £61.95, it ranks high on the spenny scale, so we’ve been on the hunt for a SkinCeuticals B5 Hydrating Gel dupe. We’ve spied Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Serum, £25, as a potential contender, so put them head to head…
RELATED: What is hyaluronic acid?
The best hyaluronic acid serum
Formula: This serum boasts hyaluronic acid (tick) and vitamin B5 (helping to repair the skin’s barrier – tick) within an oil-free formula (tick). Making it super hydrating for any skin type.
On the skin: This serum has a water-gel consistency that sinks in immediately on contact. You only need two drops – a little goes a long, long way – and it dries down without leaving a tacky residue.
Effects: Skin feels immediately hydrated and continues to feel moisturised throughout the day and night. Skin looks and feels more balanced and plump with regular use and it manages to hold onto moisture far better than before. No more flakey bits.
Formula: Hyaluronic acid, glycerin (another humectant, which draws in moisture and helps hold onto it) and Vichy’s very own Thermal Water from the preserved region of Auvergne, France. Which contains 15 different minerals to help improve the skin’s moisture barrier and protect from aggressors. Ooh la la, indeed.
On the skin: The serum is very watery, allowing it to sink in quickly and spread easily over the skin. It leaves a slight film on the skin, but not in a bad way, it soothes dry and tight skin. It just takes a minute or so to sink in completely.
Effects: It’s incredibly hydrating and leaves the skin feeling comfortable all day. Expect skin to be plumped, quenched and as bouncy as a space-hopper.
The verdict: These two are so similar that it would probably be tricky to tell the difference based on the results alone. Both contain hyaluronic acid and vitamins to restore and protect the skin’s barrier, as well as hydrating the skin.
The big difference is the texture. SkinCeuticals has more of a silky-gel consistency that spreads really well over the skin and isn’t sticky or heavy. Two drops can easily cover your face and neck, so it’ll last you for ages. Vichy’s has a watery consistency that doesn’t go quite as far, so you may need a little more of it to sufficiently cover the areas you want to treat. It also takes a little longer to sink in, but this isn’t bothersome. Not matter what your skin type, both of these will hydrate and plump your skin without causing irritation or breakouts.
For that reason, SkinCeuticals just about takes the crown. By investing a little more, it will last you longer and you’ll be amazed at it’s hydrating properties. However, Vichy’s is not to be sniffed at. It still hydrated just as well as SkinCeuticals and for the reasonable price point you’re getting very similar ingredients and skin-plumping effects.
Want to know how SkinCeutical’s CE Ferulic Serum compared to The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%? It’s a close one…