As a person with curly hair, eczema, and an oily T-zone, I think a lot about hydration and oil: how to get it, how to get rid of too much of it, and how to scale both in the easiest and cheapest way possible. I’ve tried everything, but relief finally emerged on Twitter. There, my friend Tracy Clayton tweeted that a mysterious benefactor sent her a bottle of hyaluronic acid serum. Creepy, perhaps, but she tried it anyway and said it made her skin less oily. I was immediately intrigued, so I bought a bottle for myself.
Hyaluronic acid serum is having a moment in beauty right now. Its name — hyaluronic acid — makes it sound complicated, dangerous even, but in reality it’s a harmless and helpful clear goo. It’s based on a naturally occurring substance in our body that helps lubricate eyes and joints, but, more importantly (for the purpose of this essay, at least), the bottled synthetic versions fight wrinkles and dry skin. All the beauty know-it-alls are hooked — like Jackie Aina, my go-to makeup guru.
My first experience bore happy results. I patted the serum on my skin after I washed my face and then topped it off with a moisturizer with SPF. My skin stayed matte longer, and when my daily mid-day shine emerged, there was less of it. After a few weeks, Tracy confided she was also using the serum on her body and in her hair. And with that tip, I decided to do the same.
Around that time I traveled to New Mexico, where the dry desert air was relentless. My seasonal eczema flared in patches on my arms, and my hair was lifeless and crunchy. Desperate, I rubbed a mixture of a few hyaluronic acid drops and coconut oil throughout my hair. The improvement was instant: my curls were springier, more defined, and looked moisturized. To treat the eczema, I combined cocoa butter with a few hyaluronic acid serum drops, and within a few days, my eczema cleared. Before hyaluronic acid, my only source of eczema relief was a prescription cream.
I don’t use the serum in my daily hair routine because the results are pretty long-lasting. If I fall asleep without my protective bonnet, I refresh my curls with a few drops of the serum-moisturizer mix the next morning. And the serum is light, so my hair and curls never feel heavy. It’s become one of my favorite new beauty products, and for once, I’m glad I paid attention to something on the internet.
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