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Hyaluronic Acid & Retinol Are a Skin-Boosting Power Couple



Just because you have a collection of star active ingredient-based serums and creams in your beauty cabinet doesn’t mean you should be slathering them all on your skin at once. In the case of hyaluronic acid and retinol, however, you’ll be doing your complexion a favor if you include both in your routine.

In the realm of skin care, the two ingredients do totally different things. Hyaluronic acid is an MVP when it comes to hydrating, and retinol is a multitasker that does everything from stimulating collagen and cell turnover, smoothing the skin, and helping reduce breakouts and dark spots. According to dermatologists, they’re a power couple when used together.

“They work together synergistically in achieving healthier skin,” says Dr. Daniel Sugai, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in Seattle, Washington. “Hyaluronic acid can soothe and hydrate the skin while your topical retinoid can be quite drying and irritating for some.” His take? Retinol and hyaluronic acid can join forces to better address fine lines and wrinkles along with skin tone and texture.

Keep reading for expert intel on the unique benefits of using hyaluronic acid with retinol and tips for incorporating them into your beauty regimen.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

What Is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is found in all types of beauty products, from serums to lotions and creams — and that’s because it’s a humectant. “It can hold 1,000 times its weight in water and helps to keep the skin hydrated,” says Dr. Hadley King, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist. The ingredient is a molecule that’s naturally found in your skin, too, which makes it particularly beneficial when applied topically.

“Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan, or basically a carbohydrate or sugar molecule, that’s distributed widely throughout the connective, epithelial, and neural tissue,” explains King. In other words: It’s a key component of the deep layers of your skin. When you apply a product that contains hyaluronic acid (HA), your complexion is better able to retain moisture and it’ll appear more dewy and plump.

What Is Retinol?

Retinol — a kind of retinoid — is a vitamin A derivative that increases cell turnover and reduces dead skin buildup that can clog your pores (so it’s good for fighting acne and leaving your skin more even-toned). “Retinols can also decrease discoloration and increase collagen production,” says King. At its essence, retinol is an anti-aging hero that dermatologists love for offering a long list of benefits to all skin types.

The downside to using retinol, of course, is retinization, aka the adjustment period in which your skin adapts to the active ingredient. “During this time the skin may become irritated, resulting in dryness, peeling, scaling, redness, or a burning or stinging sensation,” says King. And that’s where hyaluronic acid comes in.

Retinol And Hyaluronic Acid Together

When skin is dry and flaky, it needs moisture — and so hyaluronic acid works as a remedy to the common side effects people can experience when using a retinol. “Retinols tend to cause dryness, flaking, and mild irritation when they’re first used, and hyaluronic acid can help to increase water content and provide hydration to balance these effects,” says Dr. Corey L. Hartman, M.D., founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Alicia Zalka, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Surface Deep, echoes this. “HA offers intense moisturization and can reduce the dry and peeling side effects of retinol,” she tells Bustle.

Certain skin types will actually be better off using hyaluronic acid with retinol. “Sensitive skin and those prone to conditions like rosacea and eczema may be particularly affected by [retinization] symptoms,” says King, who recommends increasing the use of moisturizers — such as those that contain HA — to offset these side effects. “Using hyaluronic acid combined with emollients and occlusives should help make retinoids more tolerable, less irritating, and less drying.” (As a refresher, emollients are moisturizing ingredients that prevent water loss and occlusives form a protective layer on your skin to create a barrier that locks in hydration.)

And there’s no need to worry about combining the two ingredients — Hartman notes that HA and retinol react well together and pose no risk of irritation.

Hyaluronic Acid Before Or After Retinol?

Generally, the consensus is to apply hyaluronic acid before your retinol product. “HA allows the retinol to be applied without the dryness that can accompany normal retinol use,” Hartman explains.

You should also follow the skin care routine order rule of thumb: Apply products from thinnest to thickest consistency. “Hyaluronic acid, which is typically found in a lightweight serum, is best applied on damp skin after cleansing as it works by drawing in water,” says Sugai. Then comes your retinol — just be sure to seal it in. “After a retinol, use a moisturizer that contains humectants, emollients, and occlusives,” says King. Emollients include cholesterol, fatty acids, ceramides, and squalane, while common occlusives are petrolatum, beeswax, lanolin, and zinc oxide. And that will conclude your skin-boosting sandwich.

Studies referenced:

Babamiri, K. (2010). Cosmeceuticals: The Evidence Behind the Retinoids. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. Volume 30, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 74–77,

Leyden, J. (2017). Why Topical Retinoids Are Mainstay of Therapy for Acne. Dermatol Ther.

Li, W-H. (2017). Topical stabilized retinol treatment induces the expression of HAS genes and HA production in human skin in vitro and in vivo. Arch Dermatol Res.

Mukherjee, S. (2006). Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clin Interv Aging.

Papakonstantinou, E. (2012). Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. DermatoEndocrinology.

Thierry, O. (2012). A Placebo-Controlled Study Demonstrates the Long-Lasting Anti-Aging Benefits of a Cream Containing Retinol, DihydroxyMethylChromone (DMC) and Hyaluronic Acid. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications. DOI:10.4236/jcdsa.2012.22012


Dr. Daniel Sugai, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in Seattle, Washington

Dr. Hadley King, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist

Dr. Corey L. Hartman, M.D., founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama

Dr. Alicia Zalka, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Surface Deep


Personal Care

Cassidy Timbrooks on ‘The Bachelor’ Isn’t the Villain You Think She Is



I knew Cassidy Timbrooks was going to be eliminated from The Bachelor the second she addressed a table full of children as “you small people.”

But it wasn’t until Clayton Echard learned she had a “friend with benefits” back home that her number came up. The Bachelor rescinded the rose he had already given her and predictably sent the 26-year-old executive assistant packing on Monday night’s episode.

In the eyes of the show, she had committed two cardinal sins: Not acting overjoyed to be around kids, and not putting her sex life on pause for a man she had never met.

That’s why her ride home from the mansion was more than just another early villain exit. The Bachelor is clearly trying to get back to basics this year — and by basics I mean American sexual politics circa 2002. The fact that Cassidy got the boot so swiftly shows how quickly the show is returning to its traditional roots. In an era of dating apps and delayed motherhood, ABC’s long-running reality dating franchise is recommitting in Clayton’s season to its core tenets: Love, marriage, and family — preferably before age 30.

In the eyes of the show, she had committed two cardinal sins: Not acting overjoyed to be around kids, and not putting her sex life on pause for a man she had never met.

Only against that backdrop would a woman like Cassidy strike anyone as an outlier. Outside of the show, she doesn’t exactly seem nefarious. Since the premiere aired, I have been following her on Instagram, where she’s been posting incredibly lucid and self-aware reflections about her time on The Bachelor, conceding in one of her Stories that she struggled to balance “confidence” with “considering other people’s takes.”

Indeed, like so many hated contestants before her, Cassidy appears to have been the victim of a selective edit and a mocking soundtrack. The unflattering edit began in earnest when she largely ignored the children at a birthday party group date to talk with the Bachelor instead. At one point, seated around a table sipping tea, she told a group of kids, “I spend as little time around you small people as possible, so forgive me…” and then immediately went on the back foot as they latched onto the comment.

I don’t blame the kids for taking offense. But any adult viewer who paid attention to her tone should have recognized the droll delivery. Was it an inartful thing to say? Sure. Children aren’t the right audience for wry humor, especially if you’re joking about avoiding them. But Cassidy didn’t deserve to be demonized as a kid hater, either.

“I knew I was giving villain, but I thought I was far more amusing and harmless,” she wrote in one of her post-show Instagram Stories, “and I think a lot of the hate is based in misogyny internalized and otherwise.”

She’s not wrong. Cassidy was punished, both in the edit and by a segment of the audience, for not going googly-eyed at the notion of spending an afternoon building a dollhouse. She certainly didn’t echo the enthusiasm of a fellow contestant who saw the kids from afar and exclaimed, “Oh my God! I’m so excited! I love children!” while running toward them.

The Bachelor is retreating to an extremely white, hyper-hetero comfort zone in which babies are the ultimate goal.

To be fair, that attitude is more in line with Clayton’s. In the first five minutes of the current season, the new Bachelor was twice moved to tears by the thought of raising a family. He introduced himself in the opening voiceover by saying, “I can’t wait to get married and have kids,” and later choked up while reading a letter from a child predicting that he will “have lots of kids.”

Clayton is nothing if not sincere, but there’s probably a reason the producers picked someone like him in the first place — and why they’re emphasizing childrearing so much this early. After years of controversy over racism in the franchise, culminating in the departure of ex-host Chris Harrison — and after more recent flirtations with progressive casting including the first same-sex engagement, a (gasp!) 39-year-old Bachelorette, and several leads of colorThe Bachelor is retreating to an extremely white, hyper-hetero comfort zone in which babies are the ultimate goal.

I used to wonder whether the horror novel I wrote satirizing Bachelor-style shows would be outdated by the time it comes out later this year, but if anything, this season has felt ripped out of time in the worst way.

Cassidy’s storyline especially has highlighted double standards that should be long dead by now. Clayton himself recently addressed viral TikToks about his dating history by saying that he “enjoyed [his] singleness” for “the last six years of my life.” This is the same Bachelor who confronted Cassidy on Monday night’s episode about allegedly “seeing someone up until the point that you came here,” as though she were beholden to him before then. Hookups for me but not for thee?

Presented in the weird logic of the show, you’d almost forget that Cassidy is one of 30 women Clayton dated simultaneously — and that, in season previews, the Bachelor will later admit to being “intimate” with two contestants. Somehow that behavior is more “for the right reasons” than having casual sex with someone before filming even began?

Cassidy may be off the air now, but her brief run was telling. This throwback edition of The Bachelor needed a villain, and the producers chose a confident woman with a history of casual dating who said “F*ck a dollhouse” on camera. It’s probably a bad sign when someone that refreshing doesn’t make it to the second rose ceremony.


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Another Day, Another Musk Tweet Pumps Dogecoin up 9%



Musk, who is the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, said he would eat a Happy Meal on TV if Fast food giant McDonald’s starts accepting Dogecoin

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Everything You Need to Know About the UK Government’s COVID Inquiry



On May 12, 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an independent public inquiry into the government’s response to and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Established under the Inquiries Act 2005, the COVID Inquiry will examine the government’s “actions as rigorously and candidly as possible,” according to the Prime Minister, and will aim to “learn every lesson for the future.” It will do so by summoning the production of documents and witnesses to give evidence under oath in order to examine the government’s response to the pandemic.

Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE will act as Chair of the inquiry, which is set to begin “sometime in spring 2022”. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the COVID Inquiry and what we can expect from the process.

How Will The COVID Inquiry Work?

According to BBC News, the Chair of the Inquiry can call whoever they want to give evidence, “whether they are witnesses to an event or people with particular expertise.” As barristers’ chambers Doughty Street Chambers notes, witnesses to an event will be asked to give evidence of their experience or direct knowledge of what took place. They speak on behalf of an organisation, like the NHS or the police.

Evidence sessions will be given in public and under oath, per BBC News, and most sessions will be available to watch on TV and online. There’s no time limit to the inquiry either, and they can often take years due to the “huge amount of evidence that needs to be read.”

What Will Be Included In The COVID Inquiry?

The exact aims, issues, and remits included won’t be announced until closer to the start of the inquiry, but the Prime Minister has said his government would work closely with the devolved administrations and governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland before setting out what exactly will be included in the inquiry itself.

Shortly after announcing that an inquiry would take place, the Prime Minister told MPs that the inquiry would consider his government’s handling of the pandemic before the first lockdown in March 2020, per The Guardian. As for other issues, law firm BDB Pitmans suggests that the higher death rate in general, especially among ethnic minority groups, will be a major point of contention, as well as the government’s “procurement processes” of contracts awarded during the pandemic.

What Issues Have Been Raised Around The COVID Inquiry?

Undocumented Migrants

Following the publication of a report by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), it’s vital that the voices of undocumented migrants are properly heard during the COVID inquiry. The report found that the UK “lagged far behind other European countries” in protecting undocumented migrants during the pandemic.

Caitlin Boswell, author of the report and policy officer at JCWI, said in a statement that if the government “wants to learn lessons” from this inquiry and “fully recover from the pandemic”, it needs to “stop prioritising its anti-immigration agenda above saving lives.” An anti-immigration agenda which is more commonly known as the Hostile Environment.

The term “Hostile Environment” is used by many to describe a set of policies that are intended to block undocumented migrants from using public services like the NHS and the police, as well as making work and housing inaccessible; effectively making life as difficult as possible.

Boswell added that the government “must listen to migrants’ voices, including those who’ve lost status, and ensure that in the future, no-one has their life put at risk because of their immigration status.” Boswell concluded that in “doing so will not only protect the most marginalised, it will help protect all of us.”

People With Disabilities

Sense, a charity which focuses on complex disabilities, has also called for the government to take the experiences of disabled people and their families into account. As the charity notes, 6 out of 10 people in the UK who have died from COID are disabled, despite making up 22 per cent of the general population.

“Decision-makers did not engage with us, our needs were often overlooked and communications were largely inaccessible,” Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy for Disability Rights UK, explained. “Health bodies treated our lives as less valued, disabled people receiving social care were inadequately protected, some disabled children were denied education and support, and supermarkets failed to ensure that we could access food.”

There is yet to be a date announced or confirmed for the COVID Inquiry.

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