Hyalis Hydrating Serum focuses on the ingredient hyaluronic acid and little else—this gel-texture treatment contains nothing more than the star ingredient (in its salt form, sodium hyaluronate), water, and preservatives. Packaged in a pump-style container, its light formula is appropriate for any skin type, whether prone to breakouts or not, and it’s also fragrance-free.
While hyaluronic acid is absolutely a beneficial ingredient for skin—more on this in a moment—it certainly isn’t the miracle worker Neocutis makes it out to be here (and the $60+ price just doesn’t make sense).
If Hyalis Hydrating Serum contained a mix of antioxidants or other reparatives in addition to hyaluronic acid, this could have been worthy of your dollars. Unfortunately, it doesn’t, and so isn’t worth its price—your skin needs far more than hyaluronic acid to reach your anti-aging goals.
Topically applied hyaluronic acid can help skin better hold on to moisture and other substances that keep it healthy. Its primary function is as a water-binding agent—that means it helps attract and restore water to skin—and it also helps speed the healing time of wounded skin (Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, 2014; and Dermato Endocrinology, 2012).
However, because Hyalis Hydrating Serum contains only hyaluronic acid, the only fundamental benefit you can expect is added moisture to skin—a result you could also get from any well-formulated moisturizer or anti-aging serum that contains the ingredient (hence, its AVERAGE rating). Rather than pin your hopes on this overpriced formula, check out the hyaluronic acid–containing alternatives on our list of Best Serums.
We should note that Neocutis also sells Hyalis Hydrating Serum in a larger 1-ounce size for $105.
Formulated with a high concentration of premium quality hyaluronic acid, Hyalis acts as a “drink of water” for your skin. Skin looks plumper, fuller and the appearance of lines appear smoothed as hydration is quickly replenished.
Water (Aqua), Sodium Hyaluronate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Methylparaben, Sodium Butylparaben, Sodium Propylparaben, Sodium Chloride.
Strengths: Fragrance-free products; use of pump or tube packaging protects the light- and air-sensitive ingredients; excellent vitamin C serum and retinol product.
Weaknesses: Many of the anti-aging moisturizers and treatments are disappointingly simple formulas; expensive; some products rely on unproven ingredients.
If you’ve heard of the Neocutis brand, it’s likely because a dermatologist or aesthetician recommended one of their moisturizers or treatments. Like many skincare brands catering to patients of dermatologists and so-called “medi spas,” the claims associated with their products play off the perception of “prescription results” via ingredients that have medicinal-sounding names such as “Processed Skin Proteins” and “Melaplex.” It’s all designed to make you think you’re getting something special along with the pedigree of the doctor or spa retailing this line. As you’ll see from the reviews, that’s not true, although there are some good products to be found here.
Now headquartered in San Francisco, California, Neocutis was founded in Switzerland in 2003 by a group of physicians and biologists who realized the [marketing] potential of human cells in skincare products—specifically, amino acids and proteins (which is where their trademarked ingredients with exotic-sounding names come into play).
Despite their beginnings and their initial exclusivity to dermatologists’ offices, today you can order Neocutis products from beauty sites and other online retailers. Their line includes a range of products that caters to those whose foremost concerns are treating and preventing signs of aging. As a result, you’ll find Neocutis offers moisturizers, eye creams, and targeted treatments, many of which are themed around their trademarked “PSP,” or “Processed Skin Proteins.” Note: They claim this blend of peptides, proteins, and other substances “harnesses the power of human-cell derived growth factors and cytokines.”
What Neocutis isn’t telling you is that this blend of cytokines and human-cell derived growth factors has little research demonstrating any benefit for skin, and certainly not in comparison to the numerous well-researched antioxidants and cell-communicating agents used in so many of today’s best anti-aging products (see the More Info section of the products reviewed here for more details on PSP).
We should also note that, at the time of this review, Neocutis does not universally adhere to cosmetics ingredient labeling regulations on some of their products. In some cases, they do not list individually the proteins and amino acids that make up their PSP blend, which violates International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) and
Unfortunately, despite the pomp and circumstance surrounding these products, most are extraordinarily overpriced and contain a surprisingly bland mix of basic moisturizing ingredients with a dusting of antioxidants. When we say “dusting” of beneficial ingredients, we really mean just that; in fact, one of their “remarkable” moisturizers is little more than a mix of glycerin, glycol, and thickeners, with a price tag topping $160!
On a positive note, Neocutis does have two outstanding products—one vitamin C serum and a retinol product—that are (like all of their formulas) fragrance-free and packaged to protect their light- and air-sensitive ingredients. What’s certain is that Neocutis doesn’t have enough going for it to make putting together an entire anti-aging skincare routine from their products a good idea, for your skin or for your budget!
For more information on Neocutis, call 1-866-636-2884 or visit http://www.neocutis.com/.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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