The lowdown on hyaluronic acid (and the right way to use it)
Skincare ingredients come and go but few last the pace like hyaluronic acid. As more and more people seek out ingredients that truly perform, this hero hydrator has retained an obsessive following. Beloved by makeup artists for its skin-smoothing benefits, hyaluronic acid is quite simply an essential ingredient for anyone who cares about how their natural skin looks and feels.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of skin. It is present in abundance in our skin from when we are born, but depletes as we age. It is the key molecule responsible for skin moisture, with the amazing capacity to hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water.
Even though its name sounds a little scary, hyaluronic acid is not an astringent. Unlike glycolic acid, lactic acid, and other AHAs and BHAs, hyaluronic acid doesn’t break down dead skin cells or exfoliate the skin. Conversely, it actually plumps up the skin, locks-in moisture, and softens the skin’s surface. It’s a complexion champion that belongs in any self-respecting skin care routine. You can read more about what this wonder ingredient does for skin in this blog post, but in the meantime, here’s the lowdown:
• Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
• Deeply hydrates and locks moisture into the skin
• Smooths and refines the complexion
• Plumps-up the skin and enhances elasticity
• Basically, incorporating hyaluronic acid into your routine is like giving your
skin a big glass of water.
• Not only does it ensure optimal hydration, it also leaves skin feeling like velvet
Who should use it?
Before you worry about putting this acid on your skin, remember, it’s not astringent and will not strip your skin. One important reason why hyaluronic acid sits stubbornly in the top ten skin care ingredients is that it is suitable for all skin types. Because our skin produces it naturally, it’s gentle enough for everyone to use. Your skin recognises it and knows what to do with it.
What this means is that it’s unlikely to cause irritation and even the most sensitive skin types can use it safely.
Because the amount of hyaluronic acid in our skin decreases as we age, leading to dry skin, wrinkles, and a rough complexion, hyaluronic acid is a must-include in everyone’s routine, and everyone can use it.
What should I look for on the label?
First off, the most potent form of topical hyaluronic is a serum over a moisturiser or cream. This is because serums are the most effective way to deliver active ingredients into the skin. Because serums are lightweight and highly absorbent, they can penetrate the deeper layers of the dermis and get to work quickly.
Look for a hyaluronic serum that contains different molecular weights of this hero ingredient.
Hyaluronic acids across multiple molecular weights deliver distinct skin benefits:
• High molecular weight HA locks in moisture. This retains moisture, prevents dehydration, and makes skin look healthy.
• Mid molecular weight HA provides hydration to mid-dermal layers. This reduces fine lines, plumps up the complexion, and delivers a smooth complexion.
• Low molecular weight HA penetrates deep into the skin to stimulate the body’s own HA production systems. It deeply penetrates into the lower layers of the skin to revive collagen production and enhance elasticity.
Another thing to look for on the ingredient label is Sodium Hyaluronate. This water-soluble salt form of hyaluronic acid is smaller in size and more easily absorbed by skin. The terms hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate are often used interchangeably by cosmetics companies.
Get bouncy skin, instantly
If you’re using a well-formulated hyaluronic serum, you’ll notice an instant skin-plumping effect when it’s applied. This is because hyaluronic acid acts like a sponge – not only will it hold on to moisture that is already on the skin, it will also attract moisture to boost hydration on the skin’s surface.
The result is skin that is bouncy, more elastic, and supple, which is why makeup artists love to prep skin using a hyaluronic serum. Makeup glides on smoothly, and skin looks plump and hydrated.
The right way to use hyaluronic acid
Before you invest in a hyaluronic serum, you should know how to use it. Because hyaluronic acid is a humectant, it draws water towards it and holds onto it.
A problem arises in conditions where humidity is low – if there is no moisture in the air, hyaluronic acid can draw moisture out of the skin. This is why you should always apply a heavier cream or moisturiser over your serum to ensure that the product is sealed in and moisture can’t escape from the skin.
Another tip is to apply hyaluronic serum to damp skin and then seal it in with your moisturiser. This will ensure that you get maximum hydration benefits from your serum.
TOP TIP: Apply hyaluronic acid serum to damp skin and seal it in with your moisturiser.
Create the ultimate hydrating routine
Almost everyone suffers with dry skin at some stage, and it’s frustrating trying to firefight it. The secret to reducing dry skin flare-ups is to develop a consistent daily skincare routine that delivers optimal hydration without clogging pores or leading to oiliness.
The key is balance – when you treat your skin with clean ingredients that are nourishing, hydrating, and non-comedogenic, your skin will know what to do. It will reset itself so that everything is working harmoniously.
An effective skin care routine will work wonders over time. But the great thing about hyaluronic acid is that it provides visible results almost instantly. You can slot it into your regular routine, without worrying about irritation, and you’ll notice the difference immediately. Your skin will look smoother, and more refined, and feel bouncy, hydrated, and healthy.
Hyaluronic Acid is a wondrous hydrating ingredient that sinks straight into the skin and gets to work fast, which is why it’s been hailed as a holy grail skin care ingredient for almost a decade.