I’ve Tested Hundreds of Serums—This Hydrating One Is My Secret to Dewy Skin All Winter

Selena Gomez is also a fan of the brand

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Dermalogica Circular Hydration Serum with Hyaluronic Acid

Byrdie / Jaclyn Mastropasqua

I typically have combination-oily skin. In the warmer months, I am more concerned about looking like a greased doughnut by 10 a.m. than I am with hydration. Then it’s like the second the calendar flips to November, all of that oil is packed away with the bikinis. Along with the return of steam heating in my NYC apartment—the clanging signals the start of dry skin season, IYKYK—dewy moisture is zapped from the air and my skin.

Dealing with oily skin all my life means that I have learned light layers are my friend when it comes to skincare. One swipe of a too-thick cream is a fast ticket to the oily zone. And I keep these principles up, even in the colder months. Last winter, I discovered a serum that became a godsend for my dry, flaky corn husk of a complexion. It kept my skin looking dewy and supple without feeling heavy or causing my makeup to slip. The secret sauce was the Dermalogica Circular Hydration Serum.

Dermalogica Circular Hydration Serum with Hyaluronic Acid


Shop now: Dermalogica Circular Hydration Serum, $64

The texture is similar to other hyaluronic acid serums—like if you added a bit of thickener to a water-based serum. But before you write it off as a been there, done that, let me explain why this elixir is different from others I’ve tried: the formula relies on three types of hydration. Let’s think of this in terms of our medical system—a less flawed version at that, too. Algae are the first responders, they work quickly, like a band-aid for your dryness. Then comes polyglutamic acid acting as the ER. It’s the stop gap to replenishing the water reserves in your skin. Finally, hyaluronic acid (HA) is your primary care physician, who provides a plan to prevent repeat visits. HA drives that hydration deep into the skin to keep it radiant and avoid more dryness over time. This powerhouse team each works on a different level to stave off that cycle of drought.

I stick to the essentials for my morning skincare routine. First, I press on the circular hydration serum, next up is a vitamin C serum, finally topped with SPF—an extra moisturizing formula in the winter. If you want to add more hydration to your nighttime routine, after cleansing and toning steps apply your circular hydration serum, followed by retinol or another active. I like the Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Retinol Serum (it won a Byrdie Beauty Award last year)—Selena Gomez is also a fan. She also used the Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner and Smart Response Serum if you want to copy her full regimen. 

Dynamic Skin Retinol Serum


Shop now: Dynamic Skin Retinol Serum, $92

Multi-active toner


Shop now: Multi-Active Toner, $43

Dermalogica smart response serum


Shop now: Smart Response Serum, $145

This circular hydration serum has become like a Liquid IV for my skin—drier than a glass of chardonnay to juicy and dewy in one step.

More Dermalogica Products for Dry, Winter Skin

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