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Today I’m reviewing the Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising series from For Beloved One, a popular Taiwanese cosmeceutical skincare brand that’s just been launched at Sephora Australia. I haven’t had much experience with Taiwanese skincare (apart from My Beauty Diary, the brand that produces the super popular and affordable sheet masks), so I was excited to try these out!
For Beloved One’s skincare products contain a laundry list of patented ingredients that, while not all supported by independent peer-reviewed evidence (which, let’s face it, very little skincare is), have plausible mechanisms for what they do – in the case of the Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising range, hydrate the heck out of your skin.
Here are some of the featured ingredients in the range:
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant moisturiser that’s the absolute bee’s knees at hydrating your skin by grabbing onto water and keeping it from evaporating. In its usual form (as high molecular weight hyaluronic acid), it’s a long chain molecule made up of thousands of sugar units. This makes it too large to enter the skin, so it can only effectively hydrate the upper layers.
There’s also low molecular weight hyaluronic acid or hydrolysed hyaluronic acid, where the hyaluronic acid has been broken up into smaller fragments, which means it can penetrate and hydrate deeper in the skin. It also seems to have a signalling role, and can decrease wrinkle depth, I’m guessing through hydrating the skin. For Beloved One’s products use Hyalo-Oligo as their source of low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, which has an average weight of 7 kDa (7000 Da), along with high molecular weight hyaluronic acid.
GHK-Cu (Copper Tripeptide-1)
There are only a few peptides with multiple published studies to show that they will actually act on the skin, and GHK-Cu is one of them! This peptide is made up of 3 amino acids (glycine-histidine-lysine) and has a strong attraction for copper. When applied to skin, it increases the production of collagen, an important substance in the skin which gives it its plumpness (the skin’s collagen content decreases with age and with sun damage). It also promotes the production of other important skin components elastin, proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans, keeping the skin firm and plump.
GHK-Cu is thought to mostly work by carrying copper into cells (as a carrier peptide), as copper is an important part of the enzymes that make collagen and elastin. Some of the products also contain malachite extract, which has copper and zinc.
PatcH2O is an interesting mix of water-holding humectants – there are the long-chain humectants algin (from the cell walls of algae) and pullalan (from a fungus) as well as hyaluronic acid that can be thousands of atoms long, mixed with small humectants like urea, glycerin and serine. Together this makes a humectant film that slowly releases humectants to be absorbed deep into the skin (at least according to its manufacturer BASF), and claims to be able to sustain this hydration for 48 hours.
Here’s the full ingredients list for this ingredient: Water, Glycerin, Trehalose, Urea, Serine, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Algin, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pullulan, Disodium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate.
This is an interesting hyaluronic acid-like extract from the snow fungus or silver ear mushroom (Tremella fuciformis sporocarp), which acts as a humectant moisturiser. The film it forms after water evaporation is less prone to shrinkage and cracking than hyaluronic acid, which theoretically means that it should feel less tight on the skin.
This is a galangal extract that claims to increase the action of the enzyme that produces high molecular weight hyaluronic acid within the skin, leading to filling in of skin folds and plumping of skin.
Exo-H contains Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate, an ingredient from marine bacteria which claims to induce the production of hyaluronic acid as well as filaggrin, a protein which breaks down to form the humectants in the natural moisturising factor (NMF) of your skin. It’s also supposed to increase production of lipids, which can also help with moisturisation.
Raffinose Oligo GGF
This is a beetroot extract that’s essentially sucrose (table sugar) with an extra galactose sugar ring attached – like every other sugar, it’s very hydrophilic and acts as a great humectant. It’s also supposed to give a smooth effect on the skin.
Ichytocollagene Marine Collagen
Unfortunately applying collagen to your skin is extremely unlikely to increase the collagen content of your skin (the molecules are way too large to penetrate the skin at a large enough concentration), but it’s a great humectant.
For Beloved One Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Series Review
Onto the products themselves! I’ve been really pleased with how well humectants were working for my dehydrated skin, so I wasn’t expecting much since I thought my skin was hydrated enough already. Turns out my skin could do with a lot more hydration, since this range made a big difference. With the humectant water under my moisturisers and makeup, my skin would generally be bouncy and plump for a few hours before slowly petering out and getting slightly tight by the time I had to do my evening routine. With a once-a-day application of toner, serum and a moisturiser from this range, my skin stayed smooth and bouncy all day.
I also gave up my usual evening actives (AHA, BHA, vitamin C and retinol, one per night) while using these products, as I didn’t want the results to be influenced by any interactions between the ingredients while on my skin. Surprisingly, my skin stayed smooth and I didn’t get any breakouts during my three week test, which is better than my skin’s usual behaviour while using actives (of course, this could be coincidence, but it usually doesn’t happen when I test out a new range). I’m guessing that the extra hydration helped my skin exfoliate itself, as your skin’s desquamating (exfoliating) processes only work if your skin has a high enough water content.
Here’s what I thought of the products:
Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Toner
This is a gentle toner ($55 AUD for 200 mL) with a pH of around 5, so it’s great for bringing the pH of your face down after cleansing. The blue colour comes from the copper ions in the malachite. It’s very hydrating and soothing for just-cleansed skin, and kept my face from feeling tight until I remembered to apply the rest of my routine (about 3 hours later… oops). This product spreads very well on the skin, and 3 weeks of use on my face (applied using my fingers) made about a 1 cm dent in the 12.5 cm bottle, so a bottle will last about 8.5 months.
Ingredients: Water, Pentylene Glycol, Diglycerin, PPG-12-Buteth-16 Raffinose, Chlorphenesin, Coceth-7, PPG-1-PEG-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, Malachite, Butylene Glycol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Citrate, Betaine, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, Sclerotium Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Alteromonas Ferment Extract.
Hyaluronic Acid GHK-Cu Moisturising Serum
The Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($113 AUD for 30 mL) is one of the stars of the range, containing all the big-name ingredients like collagen-boosting copper tripeptide (GHK-Cu), and hydrating heavy-hitters Exo-H, hyaluronic acid, PatcH2O and polysaccharide WSK. There are also some less exciting-sounding but still effective humectants in there, like butylene glycol and PEG/PPG/polybutylene glycol-8/5/3 glycerin. In fact, nearly all of the ingredients have some humectant ability! The serum glides on smoothly and sinks in quickly without leaving a tight feeling film after it dries down. The hydrating ability is amazing.
My pet hypothesis as to why this product works so well compared to a glycerin-only product is that the mix of humectants of different sizes means you’ll get a mix of sustained and immediate hydration. Glycerin is quite small so it’ll absorb into the skin, bringing water with it, but then after the initial burst of hydration, it peters out quickly. On the other hand, if you have a mix of humectant ingredients, the smaller ones will absorb into the skin and hydrate deeper, while the longer chains sit on top and keep the very upper layers moist for longer. Additionally, since the longer chain humectants will sit on the top of the skin and bind reversibly to smaller humectants (via what’s called hydrogen bonding), the smaller humectants will gradually absorb into the skin over a longer period of time, like an extended release humectant system, so the plumping and hydration effects last longer. (Again, this is just a hypothesis and there’s no reliable evidence to support this!)
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Glycereth-26, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Glycerin, Bis(Tripeptide-1) Copper Acetate, Trehalose, Urea, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl Glycol, Serine, Hyaluronic Acid, Propanediol, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Algin, Pullulan, Disodium Phosphate, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Potassium Phosphate, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.
Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Surge Cream and GHK-Cu Moisturising Lotion
There are two moisturisers in this range: the Moisturising Surge Cream and the GHK-Cu Moisturising Lotion. Interestingly, the lotion in the pump bottle is richer and meant for drier skin while the cream in the jar is thinner and meant for more oily, dehydrated skin.
The cream ($90 AUD for 30 mL) is a very lightweight product that feels cool to the touch, and goes on feeling very wet. It reminded me of Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask in the tub, but on the skin it glides on easily and absorbs very quickly, giving a plumping, smoothing effect (in part due to the dimethicone, I’m guessing). It works great under sunscreen and makeup. In addition to Exo-H and malachite, it contains an ingredient called Aquaphyline (hydrolysed viola tricolor extract) which claims to increase aquaporin-3. Aquaporin-3 brings water and glycerin to the upper layers of skin, and increases the production of hyaluronic acid.
The lotion ($53 for 50 mL) is a heavier product, with a laundry list of anti-aging and hydrating actives including copper peptide, malachite, Exo-H, Hyalufix GL and Oligo GGF. It’s a lot richer than the cream, and doesn’t sink in as well with my oily skin (which makes sense, since it’s designed for dry or sensitive skin). It’s very hydrating, but did feel like it left a layer on top of my skin, so it worked pretty well as a night cream.
Moisturising Surge Cream Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Propanediol, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Malachite, Sodium Chloride, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Hydrolysed Viola Tricolor Extract, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
GHK-Cu Moisturising Lotion Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Triethylhexanoin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Diglycerin, Dimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Distearate, Stearic Acid, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii, Squalane, Malachite Extract, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Beeswax, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Chlorphenesin, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Raffinose, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Glycerin, α-Tocopherol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Allantoin, Sodium Hyaluronate, PEG-8, Polyglutamic Acid, Alpinia Galanga Rhizome Extract, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Carbomer, Hydrolysed Hyaluronic Acid, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Copper Tripeptide-1, Xanthan Gum, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Soluble Collagen.
Hyaluronic Acid GHK-Cu Moisturising Bio-Cellulose Mask
For Beloved One use biocellulose made by bacterial fermentation for their masks, including this GHK-Cu Moisturising Bio-Cellulose Mask ($59 AUD for 3). The biocellulose is a thinnish, slimy but firm material that’s used for crafting blood vessels and artificial skin. The texture reminds me of the chunks of nata de coco you find in Asian desserts. It clings surprisingly well to the crevices on your face – see for example how it holds onto the groove between my nail and thumb.
This is the best fitting mask I’ve ever tried, by far. It’s also immensely satisfying to tear up after I’ve finished masking. Apparently it’s 20 times more effective than a regular face mask, due to the increased contact area from the better fit and the thinner fibres used to make up the mask (20 nm thick, 1/133th of the thickness of the fibres in a normal sheet mask). Check out how smoothly it goes on! Any air bubbles that get trapped are easy to push out.
The mask contains copper tripeptide and copper from the malachite extract, as well as humectants including high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid and glycosyl trehalose for intense moisturising. There’s Exo-H as well. Additionally, there’s ammonium and dipotassium glycyrrhizate, which are licorice derivatives that even out skin tone and reduce irritation. It’s super hydrating
Ingredients: Purified Water, Malachite Extract, Glycosyl Trehalose, PPG-12-Buteth-16, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Chlorphenesin, α-Tocopherol, Panthenol, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Polysorbate 60, o-Cymen-5-ol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Allantoin, Mannitol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Betaine, Raffinose, Tetrasodium EDTA, Copper Tripeptide-1, Caffeine, Aesculus Hippocastanum Extract, Fragrance, Zinc Gluconate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Butylene Glycol, Alteromonas Ferment Extract.
Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Eye Cream
A small disclaimer: I don’t use eye cream much because I find that it tends to interfere with my nighttime Ortho-K contacts, so I’m not the most experienced at reviewing eye cream, but I’ll try my darnedest. Here are some before and after photos after using the eye cream ($68 for 15 ml):
It’s a little hard to see, and it’s REALLY difficult to make the exact same eye expression five minutes apart, but my undereye area was noticeably firmer, plumper and more hydrated, and the fine dehydration lines faded away, and the effect was still noticeable the next morning.
Ingredients: Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Octyldodecanol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Panthenol, Penta-erythrityl Distearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Betaine, Arginine, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Gluconolactone, Carbomer, Glycerin, Chlorphenesin, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Trehalose, Urea, Sodium Benzoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Serine, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Hydrolysed Hyaluronic Acid, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Algin, Calcium Gluconate, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium Phosphate, Pullulan, Salicylic Acid, Potassium Phosphate.
- Amazing at hydrating. I’ve never had such hydrated skin in my life, especially in the middle of an Australian winter while I’m working in an air-conditioned office. This range keeps my skin hydrated for hours, and seemingly hydrated enough to avoid a lot of my usual skin issues. It worked way better than any other hyaluronic acid product I’ve tried, I’m guessing due to the smorgasbord of humectants.
- Really nice formulas to use. The products all glide on smoothly and don’t feel like they’re forming a tight film on your face, and have a quick plumping and smoothing effect.
- Lots of actives. The products contain anti-aging and hydrating ingredients that have peer-reviewed research to back them up, like copper tripeptide and high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid.
- Most ingredients don’t have independent verification of their effects. This is a problem with a lot of cosmeceutical skincare, because cosmetic companies don’t have much incentive to publish their results openly, so I can’t really blame them.
- Price point. This range is priced firmly in the luxury range, and won’t be suitable if you’re budget conscious.
This range is incredible at hydrating. If your skin is dehydrated and nothing seems to work, this range probably will, and it’ll help with wrinkles as well. However, the world of super hydration doesn’t come cheap!
Where to buy
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