Product Review

The Skin-Care Collection That Keeps My Sensitive Skin Hydrated All Day Long

Maybe you’ve always had dry skin or maybe you only moisturize every winter. Either way, Cetaphil’s Deep Hydration Skin-Care Collection, which contains a face cream, a face serum, and an eye serum, can help without irritating your sensitive skin.

There’s a crispness in the air right now that tells me it’s almost Halloween — and boy, do I have a scary story for you. Five or six years ago, I was traveling to Chicago — in February — and the Windy City was not only windy, but frigid. The kind of frigid that leaves your cheeks bright red and chapped if you so much as think about going outside. If I were telling you this story in person, I’d grab a blanket and a flashlight right about now because reader, here comes the really scary part: My luggage got lost.

Was I concerned that the dress I’d planned to wear to a wedding was floating somewhere between JFK and O’Hare? Not really — surely, I reasoned, there must be a Zara in Chicago. But what sent me into a travel-mishap-induced tailspin was knowing I wouldn’t have access to the skin-care products I’d packed so carefully. As someone with dry, sensitive skin, I knew that without my usual lotions and potions (some available only at my dermatologist’s office; others costing hundreds of dollars), I’d be subject to redness, stinging, and flaking the moment my skin met the February air. I rushed to a drugstore, where I felt that my options were a far-cry from the luxurious formulas I used at home. I made it work, but I swear, it took my delicate skin weeks to recover.

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If the same thing happened today, I know this tale would have had a happy ending. Not because airlines have gotten better at keeping track of luggage, but because the skin care available at drugstores has gotten a major boost since that trip to Chicago. And with formulas backed by dermatologists, Cetaphil is leading the way.

Cetaphil Deep Hydration Collection: Refreshing Eye Serum, Healthy Glow Daily Cream, 48 Hour Activation Serum

Cetaphil’s new Deep Hydration Collection deeply replenishes skin's hydration for 48 hours, and hits all the right notes for dry, thirsty skin like mine. Sometimes when I apply moisturizer, it feels like my skin drinks it up right away, yet I have nothing to show for it come morning. But the three products in this collection — Cetaphil Deep Hydration Healthy Glow Daily Cream, Cetaphil Deep Hydration 48 Hour Activation Serum, and Cetaphil Deep Hydration Refreshing Eye Serum — delivered hydration that actually lasted for me. (So much so that I’ve woken up in the morning wondering if I somehow applied more skin-care in my sleep.)

The trick is Cetaphil’s HydroSensitiv Complex that, according to dermatologist Rita Linkner of Spring Street Dermatology in New York City (who is also a consulting dermatologist for Cetaphil), helps “increase skin’s overall water content, locking in hydration where it’s needed, and reinforcing the skin’s natural moisture barrier to provide long-lasting 48-hour hydration.” The complex contains, among other ingredients, blue daisy extract, a botanical skin-soother that makes these blends powerful, safe, soothing options for sensitive skin.

Step 1: Eye Serum. Step 2: Face Serum. Step 3: Face Cream.

Let’s take a walk through my new routine: I layer the products from thinnest to thickest consistency, so Cetaphil’s Deep Hydration Refreshing Eye Serum is first up. If my skin is “sensitive,” my eyes are watching-The Notebook-when-you’re-about-to-get-your-period sort of sensitive — and there’s science behind why. “The skin around the eyes is about 80% thinner than the rest of the skin on our bodies, making it much more susceptible to creasing, wrinkling, and showing discoloration,” notes Linkner. “Adding a hydrating barrier to this area is important to help not only replenish the skin, but protect it from dryness.” Its serum-like consistency means it penetrates deeply into skin while also absorbing quickly — perfect for layering under makeup. But the silicone applicator might be my favorite part: I love to use it to gently massage my under-eye area, and its pointed tip makes it easy to target fine lines caused by dryness as well as to reduce dark circles and puffiness.

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Next is Cetaphil’s Deep Hydration 48 Hour Activation Serum, which boasts an ingredient list that reads like a guide to some of the most reliable workhorses in skin care. I’m talking hyaluronic acid, sunflower seed oil, and vitamins B5 and E, the last of which has the ability to draw moisture from both the inner layers of the skin and our environment to help seal in hydration. In all, antioxidant vitamin E makes the outer layer of skin appear smoother and healthier, says Ava Shamban, a Los Angeles-based dermatologist. And though it’s not a replacement for sunscreen, vitamin E “has been studied to reduce acute and chronic skin damage caused by UV irradiation by neutralizing environmental [stressors],” adds Shamban. The resulting serum is so incredibly lightweight that you’d never guess it’s so active-packed.

Even if I stopped there, my skin would thank me — and reap the hydrating benefits for up to 48 hours. But I like to think of Cetaphil’s Deep Hydration Healthy Glow Daily Cream as an insurance policy to help lock in the moisture my skin craves. It also comes complete with one very special ingredient that’s all its own: niacinamide. “Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of vitamin B3 that can improve skin hydration and reduce transepidermal water loss through the skin by stabilizing the skin barrier function,” says Shamban. Basically, it’s the cherry on top of an already-moisturizing formula that helps my skin get — and stay — so noticeably hydrated.

There you have it: my new three-step regimen. And while travel may be paused for a while, I think I’ll keep an extra set in a carry-on bag — you know, just in case.

Cetaphil Deep Hydration Refreshing Eye Serum

Cetaphil Deep Hydration 48 Hour Activation Serum

Cetaphil Deep Hydration Healthy Glow Daily Cream