I used to be one of those arrogant idiots who thought skincare was all about antiaging.
Who cares about moisture? My skin has all the moisture it needs already. Give me all the antioxidants, baby!
Seriously, if a cream weren’t loaded with retinol, vitamin C & co to the brim, I wouldn’t even give it a second look. “Useless crap!,” I would proudly declare.
Fast forward a few years. I’m a little older (just turned 36 last month) and living in London, one of the coldest cities in Europe.
Come winter, the unrelenting winds and freezing low temperatures suck all the moisture out of my skin. Cue dryness, flakiness and redness.
You know what happens when you slather antioxidants on your dry skin? You still look like a withered old prune.
Turns out, hydration is the foundation of a good skincare routine. Lose that and everything else goes down the drain. Ugh.
That’s why, these days, I have a newfound appreciation for hydrating skincare lines like Skinsense by Abi Cleeve. They focus on getting the hydration foundation right so you can then build the rest of your skincare routine on it.
The Skinsense 4 Piece Hydranet Discovery Collection features a dry cream, a night cream, a hydration concentrate and face mask to keep your skin hydrated 24/7.
FYI, you can get the products separately if you prefer. Here’s how they work:
Skinsense by Abi Cleeve Hydranet Day Cream
Skinsense by Abi Cleeve Hydranet Day Cream is my least fave product from the Skinsense by Abi Cleeve range – and only because it doesn’t play well with my current sunscreen (La Roche Posay Anthelios Dermo-Kids 50+).
When I layer the two together, they pill. Bummer! But if you can find a sunscreen that works well with it or are willing to wait 10+ minutes between applications to avoid the pilling, it’s well-worth a try.
Rather than fancy natural oils/butters or cheap silicones, Hydranet Day Creme uses a bunch of synthetic emollients, like Stearyl Alcohol and Dicaprylyl Carbonate, to moisturise skin.
I know they’re not sexy, but they get the job done. They prevent water loss and soften skin, all without suffocating it or leaving a greasy residue behind.
It also has a bunch of moisture magnets – think glycerin and hyaluronic acid – that attract moisture from the air into the skin, helping to keep it hydrated for longer.
This combo makes the cream very hydrating. That’s something you wouldn’t say judging from the texture alone. It’s so lightweight, it sinks in immediately.
I find the cream does a good job at keeping my skin soft and hydrated all day right now. But I have a feeling that, in the depths of winter, I will need to use a hyaluronic acid serum or the Intense Concentrate (more on it below) to give it a helping hand.
Winters in London are terribly drying for the skin and I’m not going to take any chances. 🙂
Related: Why Your Skincare Pills (And How To Avoid It)
Struggling to put together a skincare routine that banishes dryness and makes your skin supple and dewy? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):
Skinsense by Abi Cleeve Hydranet Intense Concentrate
Thicker than a serum and lighter than a night cream, Skinsense by Abi Cleeve Hydranet Intense Concentrate has a lightweight, lotion-like texture that absorbs into the skin in a matter of seconds.
The star of the show here is sweet almond oil. First things first: almond oil is fast-absorbing, so you won’t get a slick of grease on your skin for the whole day.
Sweet almond oil works because it creates a barrier on the skin that slows down water loss. Moisture can’t escape out. It’s forced to stay in and moisturise your skin.
Plus, it may help prevent some UV-induced damage and help you age more slowly. That’s always a plus.
It also has its fair share of moisture magnets to bring an extra dose of moisture into your skin and ensure it always has all the hydration it needs during the day (or night).
Oh, Myristyl Myristate has sneaked its way in here. Usually, this stuff makes me breakout but I haven’t had a pimple since I’ve starting using the Intense Concentrate.
Just goes to show that it’s not just what to use – it’s how it plays with the rest of the formula that makes it good or bad for your skin.
I use the Hydranet Intense Concentrate before the Night Cream in the evening. You could use it in the mornings too, especially if your skin is dry and needs the extra moisture.
I don’t because I don’t like to wear too many layers under my sunscreen. I don’t mind a wardrobe full of shoes but, with my skincare, I’m a minimalist. 🙂
Either way, this stuff packs a hydrating punch. All this moisture makes my skin super soft, plumps it well up so I look younger than my age, and gives me that dewy glow Korean women are famous for.
If you have dry skin and want to try just a product from Skinsense by Abi Cleeve, make it this one.
Related: Do Comedogenic Ingredients Give You Pimples?
Skinsense by Abi Cleeve Hydranet Night Cream
Skinsense by Abi Cleeve Hydranet Night Cream is the heaviest product from the range. If it can be called heavy… It’s a light cream that absorbs into the skin immediately, keeping it well hydrated all night long.
Like its siblings, the night cream uses a mix of moisture-magnets to draw water from the air into the skin, emollients to soften and smoothe it out and oils to seal everything in.
I put it on as the last step of my night-time skincare routine, often after the Intense Concentrate. I find the two play very well together.
When I wake up in the morning, my skin is soft as a baby’s. It looks plumper too. I like that. It makes my fine lines look smaller. 🙂
Related: My Skincare Routine
Skinsense by Abi Cleeve Hydranet Face Mask
Skinsense by Abi Cleeve Hydranet Face Mask is my fave product from the range. Yes, even though it contains alcohol.
I have mixed feeling about alcohol. On the one hand, it can be drying and irritating. On the other, it makes textures thinner so you can pack a bunch of moisturising ingredients in there without ending up with a thick and greasy mess all over your skin.
Plus, recent research suggests that, when formulated with other hydrating and antioxidant ingredients (like it’s the case here), it’s not as drying as we previously thought. Phew!
I use this mask once a week and I got no irritation or dryness. On the contrary, the lightweight gel texture is super hydrating. I leave it on for 10 minutes, like the instructions say, then rinse it off and apply the rest of my skincare routine, retinol included.
In the morning, when I wake up, my skin is super soft and plump. I mean, the rest of the Hydranet range does a great job at hydrating skin but the mask does give it that extra wow factor. It’s softer, smoother, glowier. Like, your skin but way better.
I like to use it mostly before a special occasion, like a wedding or a photoshoot just to make sure I don’t have any nasty surprises on the day. The last thing I want is to wrestle with foundation on flaky patches of skin. Duh!
The only weird thing is the tickling. It’s not a tingling or, worse, stinging sensation. It’s not uncomfortable or painful at all. It’s just… well, the mask tickles me a little. I’m not sure how else to explain it.
Still, my skin looks so good afterwards, I don’t mind much. Oh well, I guess there’s a first time for everything.
Related: Should Skincare Products Tingle?
Price & Availability
4 Piece Hydranet Discovery Collection, £21.84; Day Cream, £26.50; Intense Concentrate, £24.50; Night Cream, £24.50 and Face Mask, £24.50 at QVC
Hydranet Day Cream Ingredients:
Aqua, Dicaprylyl Ether, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Stearyl Alcohol, Pentaerythrityl Distearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Phosphate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Phenoxyethanol, Glycerin, Arginine, Propanediol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Hydroxyacetophenone, Parfum, Diisopropyl Adipate, Lecithin, Acrylic Acid/Acrylamidomethyl Propane Sulfonic Acid Copolymer, Canola Oil, Maltodextrin, Hydrolyzed Acacia Macrostachya Seed Extract, Trisodium Ethylediamine Disuccinate, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Betula Alba Bark Extract, Hydrated Silica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Methylcellulose, Ammonum Lauryl Sulfate
Hydranet Intense Concentrate Ingredients:
Aqua, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Myristyl Myristate, Pentaerythrityl Distearate, Cetyl Phosphate, Behenyl Alcohol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-11, Arginine, Hydroxyacetophenone 1,2-Hexanediol, Prunus Persica Juice, Propanediol, Perfum,. Diisopropyl Adipate, Canola Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Lecithin, Acrylic Acid/Carylamidomethyl, Propane Sulfonic Acid Copolymer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Betula Alba Bark Extract, Hydrated Silica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Methylcellulose, Tocoperol, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
Hydranet Night Cream Ingredients:
Aqua, Decyl Oleate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Pentaerythrityl Distearate, Cetyl Phosphate, Glycerin, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Phenoxyethanol, Arginine, Perfum, Hydroxyacetophenone, Sodium Polyacrylate, Propanediol, Canola Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Diisopropyl Adipate, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Lecithin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil, Acrylic Acid/Acrylamidomethyl Propane Sulfonic Acid Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Betula Alba Bark Extract, Xanthan Gum, Hydratyed Silica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Methylcellulose, Tocopherol, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
Hydranet Face Mask Ingredients:
Aqua, Glycerin, Propanediol, Alcohol Denat, Carbomer, Actinidia Chinensis Fruit Water, Phenoxyethanol, Heptyl Glucoside, Cocoyl Proline, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Hydroxyacetophenone, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl/Capryl Wheat Bran/Straw Glucosides, Parfum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Fusel Wheat Bran/Straw Glucosides, Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Galactosyl Fructose, Glyceryl Caprylate, Alcohol, Vaccinum Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Diisopropyl Adipate, Canola Oil, Heptanol, Tris(Tetramethyldroxypiperidonol) Citrate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Acrylic Acid/Acrylamidomethyl Propane Sulfonic Acid Copolymer, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Betula Alba Bark Extract, Xanthan Gum, CI 42090