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11 November 2016 14 comments

I think keeping your skin hydrated is really underrated. It's arguably one of the very most important things you can do for your skin - for overall skin health, to prevent premature aging and blemishes, and to alleviate acne, eczema and other skin conditions. Today we're talking about super-skin-hydrator, the Yuri Pibu Artichoke Essence ($38), available here at Glow Recipe (go check out their brilliantly curated selection) as well as 5 tips I use to hydrate my skin in the colder weather.

Y U R I   P I B U   A R T I C H O K E   P O W E R   E S S E N C E

This water-free serum claims to soothe and hydrate skin with 10 natural moisturising factors (NMF's) , whilst tightening pores, to leave you with baby smooth skin that feels fresh and hydrated. It comes in a frosted glass bottle - a blogger's aesthetic dream - with pipette. With it's bouncy, voluminous texture and opacity, this essence initially feels much more like a gel cream but has a great slip that ensures it smoothes over the skin with ease. 


Artichoke Leaf Extract (60%), Witch Hazel Water, Glycerin, Coco-caprylate, Silica, Eclipta Prostra Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil, Zanthoxlylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Lichen Extract, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Beuthero Root Extract, Cathamus Tinctorius (Safflower Seed) Oil, Rose Flower Oil, Lavender Oil, Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Ceramide 3, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phytosphingosine, Yeast Polysaccharides, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Squalene, Glucoyl Ceramide, Keratin Amino Acids, Shea Butter, Tocopherol, Adenosine, Xanthan Gum, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sclerotium Gum

As you can see from the ingredients list, this is a water free formula - which I always enjoy as you're getting a little more bang for your buck instead of a formula that's been filled out or diluted by water. What I love about this serum is how much good, and how little bad, they've included - hydrators, humectants, fermented ingredients, linoleic and palmitic acid containing oils, sugars, amino acids, vitamins, ceramides (my fave) - the vast majority of this essence is made up of skin-benefitting ingredients. Artichoke also is known to firm skin and is a rich source of antioxidants, providing moisture and protection against free radicals. 

There are a few negatives I want to discuss so let's do a compliment sandwich and tuck them in now. Firstly, the packaging is difficult to work with. The pipette doesn't allow you to reach all of the product, especially when you're on the last quarter, and the fairly wide bottle vs thin bottle neck means it's hard to get in there with a spatula etc to get every last drop - inevitably you're going to waste some, which I deeply disapprove of. I also seemed to get through this really quickly - it lasted me only around 2 months and I don't think I was overgenerous or liberal with my application. Lastly, the supposed pore tightening effect left me a little wanting. It certainly excelled in other areas, but I have other products that provide a much better result when it comes to pores. 

More on those results. From the very first application you can see a difference. I was highly impressed with the level of hydration this incredibly lightweight serum (bear with me as I use serum and essence interchangeably here - you can see my Kbeauty Definitions post for more on the lingo) gave - even though it set to a demi-matte finish on the skin, I still woke up the next morning feeling amply hydrated. Obviously YMMV but I think you'd be hard pushed for a better layering/hydrator serum if you have acne-prone or sensitive skin like mine currently is (check out more on how I deal with it all in my Korean Skincare Tips For Acne and Scarring) - the formula comes out with flying colours after a run through Cosdna. 

Although not strictly an oil-free serum, I feel this would be a fantastic product for those with combo-oily skins. For drier to normal skins I'd recommend using this as a layering item, especially during the winter. Speaking of which, let's move on to my 5 tips for keeping your skin hydrated during winter.

H Y D R A T E   I N S I D E   O U T

Really this comes down to drinking more water and eating monounsaturated fats, fatty acids, omega 3's and oleic acid, that prevent dehydration lines. Whilst you can apply products topically, you want to make sure you're hydrated and moisturised on the inside too - yadayadayada you know all of this right? Just remember that non-essentials like skin and hair are last in the queue for water and nutrients so make sure you stock up. 

U S E   A   G E N T L E   C L E A N S E R

I know how obvious this one must sound too, but it's the cornerstone of any good hydrating routine. Using a sulphate or harsh cleanser (like those often marketed for acne) can upset the natural balances in your skin's acid mantle, creating a layer of dead skin cell buildup that can trap oil and bacteria, whilst making your skin feel dry and tight. I generally only cleanse my skin with water in the mornings, and with an oil followed by micellar water like the REN Rose Cleansing Water (big fave) in the evenings. 

H A V E   Y O U R   T O N E R   R E A D Y

Especially if you've washed your face with warm water, the surface of your skin is going to be warm, creating evaporation of moisture into the atmosphere - which we obviously do not want. To help mitigate this, have an alcohol-free spray toner, skin refiner or facial mist handy to spray your face within a minute after cleansing. I like the Cosrx AHA BHA Treatment Toner or the Trilogy Hydrating Mist. Tip within a tip - making your own facial mist from a skin softener/refiner (like this IOPE one) works really well for this, as the ever so slightly thicker viscosity helps to seal in more moisture. 

W O R K   I N   T H I N   L A Y E R S

To get the most out of your skincare routine, layer your products from lightest to heaviest, and give the necessary items time to work before applying the next. As an example - I might start off with my Cosrx AHA BHA Treatment Toner to reduce the pH of my skin, before applying my Cosrx AHA Power Liquid (full review here) as it's extremely thin and almost water-like. This needs 20 minutes to 'cure', before I ruin the low-pH environment with my next product. I might then apply my hydrator - the Yuri Pibu essence as it's slightly thicker and has excellent ingredients. To cap everything, I like to finish things off with a facial oil, either retinol orientated like Sunday Riley's Luna (we had a shaky start to our relationship but I actually really enjoy it now) or something like rosehip oil. The key here - I find very thin layers of multiple products work better to hydrate my skin than one generous layer of a single product. 

A P P L Y   O I L   B E F O R E   S H E E T   M A S K S

If you haven't tried the Blossom Jeju two-part sheet masks then you definitely need to experience them - you can read my full review and demo here. And if they're a little out of your budget then you can still gain the benefits by applying oil before your favourite sheet mask. Some formulas work better than others, I tend to find a light, viscous oil and milky essence work really well together - eg I really like a generous amount of rosehip or camellia oil, followed straight away by Etude House Snail Therapy Air Mask.

Pick up the Yuri Pibu Artichoke Essence here from Glow Recipe, and a big thank you to Sarah and Christine providing this sample for review! Let me know your favourite hydrators in the comments below beauties!

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