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What is Hyaluronic Acid and why do I need it?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is classified as a humectant. It’s not an acid. It is a naturally occurring sugar in our bodies, found in our skin and joints (and body parts that need cushioning + lubrication to function optimally). HA works as a potent magnet to attract moisture, and it helps cells stay hydrated, healthy and plump. It also helps your body retain optimal moisture levels: HA can absorb up to 1000 times its weight in water. That’s a pretty hefty workload for such a small molecule!

Why does my body lose its ability to make its own HA naturally?

This usually happens due to environmental stressors and aging, which cause dry skin, fine lines, and loss of elasticity.

What’s the deal with Hyaluronic Acid sizes?

Some time ago, this sugar came in only one molecule size – large. Large-molecule HA works well as a topical humectant and can help keep your skin’s surface hydrated and elastic. With the dawn of injectables, a new smaller molecule was developed for optimal absorption and penetration. Many companies started using the smaller-molecule HA in their creams and serums, promoting it as better for your skin. A good selling point, perhaps, but it seems that the smaller molecule is very sensitizing. Some studies have found that it is not likely to penetrate below the skin surface when used in a cream or serum. It can leave you with drier skin and even redness. In other words, small-molecule HA is kind of a marketing buzz term with little to back up the claims.

Starling Super Boost uses large-molecule HA. Why?

Hear us out … we feel skincare isn’t a one-size fits all proposition. Sensitive and allergenic skin shouldn’t be treated like other skin types. In developing our HA serum, our team became a human testing lab of HA serums. Here’s what we found:

Small-molecule HA formulations can sensitize and create redness. Personally, I had small bumps and irritations on my face after using small-molecule HA for two weeks. My skin felt drier, too. Maybe I lost some firmness, and generally my skin just looked dry and sad. All of our findings were similar with small-molecule HA.

The right conditions need to be present in order for an HA serum to work. The air needs a bit of humidity so the HA molecules can pull in moisture to your skin’s surface. In January (in CT), none of us found a typical HA serum to work well without a moisturizing, efficacious face cream as a companion. Rely only on an HA serum and your face will look like it just vacationed in the desert. You must use a moisturizer, too!

We found simple formulations made with another humectant worked better (for us). A lot of HA serums are made with water. These can work well, and mostly that is a combo which makes sense. But we found the serums combining glycerin or another humectant with HA were more efficient that those which used only water.

We also found formulas with a smaller concentration of HA worked better. More does not mean better here. HA (noted as sodium hyaluronate on ingredient labels) should be one of the last ingredients. Never at the top.

We developed Super Boost after our personal testing was complete. Here’s what’s in it and what each ingredient does:

Rose, Olive Leaf and Witch Hazel hydrosols give you optimal moisture benefits and a surge of healing for sensitized skin. Hyaluronic acid pulls moisture into your skin. Larger molecule hyaluronic means less sensitized skin and a super boost of moisture. Organic Aloe Vera provides additional moisture and healing benefits and also works great for acne. Organic glycerin seals the deal and provides your skin with ultimate protection and hydration all day. These ingredients combine like an unbeaten team, leaving skin smoother, plumper and more hydrated.

Directions: Use once a day. To use: Pump 1-2 times onto hands and then massage on clean damp skin. Let sink in, then immediately apply your moisturizer to seal in the moisture benefits. You’ll glow all day and your skin will FEEL amazing.