Note: I no longer recommend The Ordinary or other Deciem products due to the craptastic behaviour of the owner Brandon Truaxe on social media, which includes revealing a cancer patient’s diagnosis and refusing to take it down when she requested it. I recommend using alternatives like Skin Deva or Garden of Wisdom.
Last week I reviewed NIOD – this week I’m reviewing some products from Hylamide, another brand under the Deciem umbrella. Hylamide is a bit less pricey than NIOD, but researching the ingredients in these products was possibly more of a mammoth task than for NIOD. While NIOD tends to have more “silver bullet”, one-ingredient products, Hylamide formulas have a greater range of actives which act together to accomplish the same goal. The products I tried were SubQ Anti-Age Serum, Pore Control, HA Blur, Pore Delete and Photography Foundation.
SubQ Anti-Age Serum
SubQ Anti-Age Serum ($59.95 AUD for 30 mL) is a hydrating treatment that targets lines, wrinkles and skin texture. It contains 5 types of hyaluronic acid and a handful of peptides. Unfortunately, most of the actives don’t have independent studies, so it’s difficult to say how effective they are, but here are the claims:
- Copper lysinate/prolinate: should help copper ions enter the skin, where it’s used in collagen production.
- Nonapeptide-3 retino-complex: a peptide/retinol combo that’s supposed to work as well as retinol with less irritation.
- Palmitoyl tripeptide-38: Hylamide calls this an “advanced form of Matrixyl”, a popular anti-aging peptide that can reduce the appearance of lines and even out skin texture.
- Hyaluronic acid: non-animal-origin, two forms of very-low-molecular hyaluronic complex, a novel hyaluronic acid precursor, tamarind-derived plant hyaluronic form. I’m not entirely sure what they all are, but it sounds like they’d all act as water-holding humectants that can hydrate skin at various depths, much like the awesomely hydrating hyaluronic acid products from For Beloved One.
SubQ comes in a dropper bottle which I quite liked. It smells a little weird (like very weak beer, probably from the hydrolysed yeast extract) but it’s unnoticeable after a few minutes. The serum sinks into skin very quickly, and would be suitable to use during the day (though I only used it at night). I could definitely feel the increased hydration while using this product – my cheeks were plump and bouncy and smooth in the morning.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Copper Lysinate/Prolinate, Methylglucoside Phosphate, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Polyglucuronic Acid, Lactobacillus/ Eriodictyon Californicum Ferment Extract, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Phospholipids, Lecithin, Salicylic Acid, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
Pore Control Booster
Pore Control Booster ($29.95 AUD for 30 mL) is a serum that’s designed to reduce oil and pores. However, instead of drying out the skin like you’d normally expect, it’s actually designed to increase skin hydration, using actives to decrease the appearance of pores and sebum instead.
Again, there’s the problem where the active ingredients aren’t substantiated by independent studies. The actives Pore Control contains are:
- Bitter mushroom concentrate: causes pores to be less visible in number and size
- Marine ferments: balance out shiny appearance without drying out skin
- Pistacia lentiscus tree resin: skin looks and feels more “pure”
- Surface balance peptides: improve skin texture without skine
- Zinc PCA, niacinamide and panthenol: reduces shine and sebum
The best supported ingredient here is niacinamide, which has been found to reduce sebum and pore size in a few studies, though it’s far from a sure bet. Niacinamide has a whole host of benefits apart from sebum and pore reduction, and it’s ingredient number 3 in this product, so if nothing else, this is a great niacinamide serum. I didn’t notice a huge reduction in pores or sebum while using this, but my skin is quite hydrated and healthy otherwise so I’m not sure there’s much that can be done. It works really well under sunscreen and makeup, so if you’re after a daytime niacinamide product this could be a contender.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Niacinamide, Panthenol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PPG-3 Isostearyl Methyl Ether, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Pistacia Lentiscus (Mastic) Gum, Fomes Officinalis (Mushroom) Extract, Zinc PCA, Allantoin, Lecithin, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Sorbitan Isostearate, Isohexadecane, C12-14 Pareth-12, Methyl Methacrylate/PEG/PPG-4/3 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Laureth-9, Polysorbate 60, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Sodium Salicylate, Ethoxydiglycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
Pore Delete Finisher
Pore Delete Finisher ($24.95 AUD for 30 mL) is a product that you’re meant to use after skincare, or after liquid foundation and before powder, to reduce the appearance of pores. It’s a sticky white fluid that feels a bit like glue, containing blurring and light-diffusing particles. It also kills shine.
For my skin, I actually found Pore Delete to be a bit overkill. The mattifying effect is very strong, and I found that I couldn’t get illuminator powder on top to look natural. If you’re going for a really matte look, this product is awesome though, and fills in pores really well.
Ingredients: Adipic Acid/ Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Aqua (Water), Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ethoxydiglycol, VP/VA Copolymer, Vinyl Dimethicone/ Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolate Fruit/ Leaf Extract, Glycerin, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Acrylamide/ Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Amodimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
Photography Foundation Finisher
Photography Foundation Finisher ($29.95 AUD for 30 mL) is a shimmery liquid that’s a lot like the NIOD Photography Fluid I reviewed earlier. It goes on transparent (with a very slight pale cast), and contains “prismatic hue correctors” and “fractionated blurring silica suspension” – the overall effect is a bit like HD powder with glow.
I found this very similar to the NIOD Photography Fluid, in that both of them worked best on me mixed with primer (Klara Cosmetics Reset Glow) and dabbed on with a sponge. I only really needed concealer over problem spots on top, then powder to control oil. The most exciting thing about this combo for me was that it gave me a gorgeously healthy glow without being greasy or glittery. In fact, I didn’t have to blot oil from my face all day, which was previously unheard of. Like with NIOD Photography Fluid, by itself, I found Photography Foundation a bit prone to sinking into lines and pores.
Unfortunately the results don’t really show up that well on the skin in photos – which is a good thing, since it really gives a “your skin but better”, natural sort of glow (don’t get scared of how shimmery it looks, it’s a lot more natural once on). Here’s a comparison of Hylamide Photography Foundation (left) and NIOD Photography Fluid 12% (right), smeared on black paper.
NIOD Photography Fluid has a lot more dense, fine golden particles. The particles in Hylamide Photography Foundation are a bit larger, with less yellow and more pink. Since my skin is naturally quite yellow, I preferred the NIOD, but they’re both very similar on my skin.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Titanium Dioxide, Hexamethyldisiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Mica, Propanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polypodium Vulgare Rhizome Extract, Cetraria Islandica Thallus Extract, Sphagnum Magellanicum Extract, Fructose, Allantoin, Glucose, Maltose, Trehalose, Urea, Citric Acid, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Pca, Methyl Methacrylate/PEG/PPG-4/3 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, VP/VA Copolymer, Polysorbate 60, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Amodimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Tin Oxide, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol.
HA Blur Finisher
The idea of HA Blur ($23.95 AUD for 30 mL) is that it’s a makeup primer that makes your skin look soft-focus. Most blurring products are based on silica (think HD powders), which give horrible flashback in flash photography, and are quite dehydrating on your skin. However, HA Blur contains powdered hyaluronic acid, which makes it more compatible with other makeup products, as well as providing a really nice blurring effect. Additionally, hyaluronic acid is a humectant moisturiser, which means it’ll actually hydrate your skin. You can use HA Blur under, over, or mixed in with liquid foundation. I’ve also been using it mixed it with Photography Foundation alone.
I think this primer is actually really handy for a bunch of different purposes. It worked with every foundation I tried it with, with no balling up or separation. I found that it’s suitable for both the oily and drier areas of my combo skin – it’s mattifying on the oily parts, while being hydrating for the dry areas. I did find that the mattifying effect only lasted for a few hours before blotting was required though, which is pretty standard for me when I use silicone-based primers.
Ingredients: Caprylyl Methicone, Aqua (Water), PEG-12 Dimethicone/PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Hexamethyldisiloxane, Polysilicone-11, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Cyclomethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Sodium Salicylate, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Methyl Methacrylate/PEG/PPG-4/3 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Tocopherol, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Laureth-12, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate-80, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, VP/VA Copolymer, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Amodimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Citric Acid, Butylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol¸ Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
Overall, I’ve been very impressed with Deciem products so far! The only issue is that they’re pricey, especially for the more premium skincare products that include ingredients that aren’t well supported by independent evidence. The products with immediate effects are excellent though, and most of the serums have enough reliable ingredients that they still might be worth trying.
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