Pure Anada Smooth Priming Serum

I'm a firm believer that healthy, optimal skin needs both water and oil.  It's possible to get both components from a single product -- as is the case with standard water/oil emulsion moisturizers -- but with the prevalence of anhydrous (waterless) butters, balms, and oils in the green beauty realm, many people are missing out on the water element entirely. 

Another great way to illustrate these separate needs is the distinction between dry and dehydrated skin.  Dry skin generally feels rough or papery to the touch and might flake or peel, while dehydrated skin feels tight and sensitive and tends to show more prevalent fine lines.  In simplest terms, dry skin is lacking moisture (oil), whereas dehydrated skin is lacking hydration (water).  As such, skin can be dry, dehydrated, or both.  

I'm very conscious of incorporating both water and oil components into my  routine, but when my skin started looking generally lackluster and feeling dry and tight towards the end of the winter, my regular oils and moisturizers just weren't cutting it, so I knew I had to up the water component in my regimen.  Enter the Pure Anada Smooth Priming Serum....

The Smooth Priming Serum ($25 CAD for 30ml) is advertised as a hydrating and plumping makeup primer, and while I'm sure it works great for that function, it's, at its root, a very basic hyaluronic acid serum.  I purchased it with the intention of adding it into my skincare routine and that's where I've kept it, rather than as a first step in makeup application. 

The ingredients are incredibly simple: just plant-based hyaluronic acid and organic chamomile floral water.  Chamomile is a favorite ingredient of mine that smells wonderful and is fantastic for sensitive or irritated skin.  Hyaluronic acid, a humectant that draws water into the skin and binds to it, helps skin retain moisture, keeping it plump and hydrated.  (Be aware that in dry climates hyaluronic acid can have the opposite effect and actually pull water OUT of the skin if there's nowhere else for it to draw from!)  

The ingredient simplicity is what first drew me to this product -- a lot of water-based serums are made with glycerin, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's not an ingredient my skin enjoys in large amounts, so it can be an issue for me in some formulations.  Glycerin can also sometimes feel sticky or tacky on the skin, and has the potential to clog pores in larger quantities too.  The Smooth Priming Serum, on the other hand, has a lightweight consistency and sinks into the skin beautifully without any residue or residual tackiness.  It does a great job plumping up the skin and (temporarily) reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

I prefer to apply the serum onto damp skin, either from a toner or just a spritz of water, since it immediately gives the hyaluronic acid some moisture to bind to.  Usually I do a two-step routine, following the serum with a separate oil or cream moisturizer, but I've also enjoyed blending a couple drops of the serum and an oil together in my hand to create a sort of micro-emulsion.  I was using the serum daily in the winter, but since the weather's warmed up -- and all the humidity that comes with that here in Toronto -- I only find I need to use it 1-2x per week now.

The Bottom Line
Pure Anada is a great Canadian company and, clearly, I'm a fan of the Smooth Priming Serum!  The serum does a fantastic job hydrating and plumping the skin and its simple ingredients are gentle and perfect for sensitive and reactive skin.  I prefer using the serum as a skincare step rather than a direct makeup primer, however, I think it does prime the skin for makeup this way also.  Healthier, hydrated skin inevitably creates a better surface for makeup to sit on top of and reduces the number of crevices and fine lines for products to slip into throughout the day.  Whether you're looking for a skincare serum or a makeup primer, The Smooth Priming Serum is a great inexpensive option to consider.  You can also purchase samples directly on the Pure Anada website.  

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