Ingredient Spotlight: Hyaluronic Acid and its Skincare Benefits
Don’t let the word “acid” fool you. Hyaluronic acid is one skincare ingredient that can take skin full throttle to hy-dra-tion. It’s about time we discussed how this clear, gooey substance plays a pivotal role in anti-aging. It supports skin health, protects skin cells, retains moisture and gives skin instant plumpness! Apply this bad boy in the morning and skin can look renewed, dewy and glowy all day long.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid (HA for short) is a natural substance naturally produced by the body, found in connective tissue that works to bind water to collagen and lubricate areas of the body, such as skin, joints and eyes. It is a humectant, which means it draws in moisture, so it can instantly boost skin’s hydration.
Skin aging is associated with the loss of hyaluronic acid and collagen, which causes skin to become easily dehydrated, saggy and wrinkled. Keeping skin hydrated is a key element to preventing premature aging and it is important to add hyaluronic acid back to skin, usually in ways of a serum. It can also be found in injectable fillers which provide a temporary “fill” or plumpness to areas of the face, restoring volume and soften fine lines and wrinkles. The benefits discussed in this ingredient spotlight are from using hyaluronic acid topically.
Why We Love it.
If your skin is oily, acne-prone or dry, it will definitely benefit from an extraordinary ingredient such as hyaluronic acid. It is generally well-tolerated by most skin types, which is great news for sensitive skin, in particular those with eczema and overly dry skin. Hyaluronic acid is extremely hydrophilic (attracted to water) and can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water. Applying a hyaluronic acid serum can provide instant results: immediate plumping and softening of fine lines and wrinkles.
Hyaluronic acid works well with other anti-aging must-have ingredients, like Vitamin C, other antioxidants and peptides.
One of the main characteristics of youthful skin is its large capacity to retain water, and this decreases significantly as we age (1)
Benefits to skin:
- Instant increase of moisture & plumpness.
- Combat dryness.
- Moisture barrier repair.
- Speed up wound healing and reduce scarring.
- Reduce visibility of wrinkles.
- Help to balance skin and help prevent breakouts and acne.
- Prompt collagen production.
- A postbiotic to help strengthen skin’s microbiome.
Cosmetic doctor Ana Mansouri, MD states, “It’s is a humectant—meaning it pulls water from the environment to the upper layers of the skin like a sponge.” – Cosmopolitan
Sodium hyaluronate is derived from hyaluronic acid, but has a lower molecular weight. It has similar properties as hyaluronic acid, like trapping water in skin for maximum hydration, preventing transepidermal water loss, and smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. Sodium hyaluronate “serves as a water reservoir in the skin, helping it to regulate the moisture content.” (Byrdie).
Using Hyaluronic Acid the correct way
Although you might consider yourself a skincare MVP, did you know that if you aren’t applying your hyaluronic acid serum the correct way you can actually make skin drier? Hyaluronic acid is a magnet for moisture so if your skin is dry it can pull from your skin, making it drier. When skin is damp, hyaluronic acid will have moisture to pull from and deliver to parts of your skin that needs it most.
How to apply hyaluronic acid serum:
- After cleansing face, leave skin damp or apply a mist to dry, clean skin.
- Apply hyaluronic acid serum.
- Immediately follow with a moisturizer to seal in the moisture.
Hyaluronic acid is an extremely powerful hydrating ingredient for skin. If you are looking to make your skin more hydrated, supple and looking its healthiest, hyaluronic is the perfect ingredient to add to your skincare regimen.
- Rejuvenating Hydrator: Restoring Epidermal Hyaluronic Acid Homeostasis With Instant Benefits. V. Narurkar et al. J. Drugs Dermatol. PubMed.
- Hyaluronic Acid for Skin: The Benefits and 8 Best Products To Try. It’s great, but it’s not totally foolproof. L. Balsamo. B. Shunatona. Cosmopolitan.
- Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. E. Papakonstantinou et al. PubMed.
- Health Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid. A. Benisek. Radiance by WebMD.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Evaluation of Efficacy with Different Molecular Weights. A. Mazzucco. Department for Life Quality Studies, University of Bologna, Italy.
- Sodium Hyaluronate Is Key to Maintaining Hydrated, Healthy-Looking Skin. B. Shunatona. Byrdie.
- Anti-aging and filling efficacy of six types hyaluronic acid based dermo-cosmetic treatment: double blind, randomized clinical trial of efficacy and safety. V. Nobile. J. Cosmetic Dermatology. PubMed.