Dior products always evoke a sense of luxury. The idea of strutting Parisian avenues wearing the label is perfect daydream material for some of us, but for most the skincare is a more accessible reality! The change in season takes a toll on our skin and our skincare routine starts to crave something to give a little extra hydration. Dior’s Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Essence claims to do just that, with some innovative ingredients, we couldn’t wait to investigate! We’re expecting big results from such a luxe brand.

The Claims

With three active flower extracts, Dior claims that this product reinvigorates the skin by stimulating aquaporins: channels that allow water to pass through cell membranes. Dior claims hydra life contains a “new invigorating hydration technology”, which from the patent we have concluded this must be the action of centella and mallow on Aquaporins. With water moving more freely throughout the skin, our complexion will be refreshed and healthy-looking… or so Dior promises! Let’s see how the ingredients stand up to our Beauty Geek scrutiny.


Centella asiatica, a Madagascan plant, has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years because of its healing properties. Dior claims that Centella stimulates Aquaporin 9 to strengthen the skins barrier by filling it with water. Stimulating aquaporins allows water to be drawn up from deeper in the skin to hydrate the upper layers, where dryness starts to be noticeable. However, after much searching, we couldn’t find any independent evidence that Centella can activate aquaporin 9. All we could find is Dior claiming to have proven it “in vitro” (in a test tube) themselves and we would like to see the quality of that data before we are convinced.


This is another plant that has lots of rumoured therapeutic uses and according to Dior, its extract ‘revitalises the cells to give a luminous complexion’. It is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant but it is present in a small amount in the product and this makes us unsure of how much benefit it will add. This extract also supposedly acts on aquaporin 3 and 9 to hydrate the skin, yet we struggled to find any independent research to support this claim. The patent claims that Centella and Mallow compliment each other perfectly and work together to increase the expression of aquaporin 9 in our skin to leave it hydrated. Although we love the science behind the concept and it sounds promising, these studies were done in vitro (not on people!) and there have been no independent studies to support it. After much research, we just can’t help be unconvinced by the aquaporin claims!


This is the third botanical extract in Dior’s trio. It is from Sanguisorba officinalis, which has some promising anti-ageing research! Sanguisorba extract has anti-oxidant activity and as anti-oxidants mop up the damaging free radicals (reactive single atoms) that can cause the DNA damage associate with ageing, so it could prevent signs of premature skin ageing. One paper also suggests that a component of the extract, ziyuglycoside, could help to increase collagen expression and topping up declining levels of collagen in ageing skin would help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. However, we couldn’t find much other solid research to support this so we wouldn’t be rushing to buy this product on this extract alone.

Hydrating Ingredients

Hydra life contains several moisturizing ingredients including glycerin, butylene glycol, hyaluronic acid and caprylic triglycerides. These all work to hydrate the skin by attracting water to the skin, as well as forming a seal to prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL). These moisturising ingredients are well-known hydrators and have more much evidence behind them than aquaporins but they are found in a lot of products and aren’t exactly revolutionary.

The Verdict

Although the science behind this product initially excited the Beauty Geeks, we weren’t convinced by the “hydration technology” and until we see more research or the research conducted by Dior, we won’t be recommending this product. It does contain some good moisturising ingredients that will hydrate skin and a couple of anti-oxidants that will help to prevent premature ageing. However, these ingredients are not spectacular and don’t warrant the price tag.

We can’t help but be left thinking that all this aquaporin hype is a bit of a gimmick and Dior are using this science buzzword to make this product sound more cutting edge than really is. We want to see more research but until then, this product really ­­­­­­­­­­seems to be more style than substance.


If you are thinking of splashing out on Dior Hydra Life, you can get it cheapest here (UK) or here (US)