Rainbow Spotlight: Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a popular ingredient in the skincare world. Hydrating, collagen-boosting, and cell-repairing, it is a powerhouse ingredient for smoothing, soothing, and sculpting the skin.
Here's everything you should know about hyaluronic acid, including how to use it in your skincare routine.
WHAT IS HYALURONIC ACID?
Hyaluronic acid is a molecule often listed as sodium hyaluronate, hyaluronan, or hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid on the ingredient list. It's naturally found in your skin as well as your joints and cartilage.
According to dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban, "It is a superstar at alleviating dry skin." She explains, "Hyaluronic acid is a moisture binder, which means that it will attach itself to the water in the cells making them 'plump.'"
Applied topically, this humectant -- which holds almost 1000 times its own weight in water -- functions like a sponge, pulling in water to quench and plump skin. Besides delivering deep hydration to the skin for a smooth, dewy finish, HA also acts as an anti-wrinkle formula, helping to turn back the clock for mature skin types.
"As we age, our skin loses moisture and becomes less firm and supple," explains Dr. Sonia Batra, a dermatologist and co-host of The Doctors. "Hyaluronic acid is an oil-free ingredient that works to replenish the skin’s moisture as well as plump and smooth the appearance of fine lines."
Clearly, there are numerous benefits to this natural plumping moisturizer. Let's explore them further.
BENEFITS OF HYALURONIC ACID FOR SKIN
Today, hyaluronic acid serums are one of the most beloved skincare products out there for boosting skin hydration. However, HA is equally as effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Studies prove that hyaluronic acid is excellent at bonding with water molecules, making it extremely effective at retaining skin moisture. Lack of moisture is one of the leading culprits of aging skin, so making this moisturizing ingredient part of your daily regimen is essential when it comes to treating creases and sagging.
While HA naturally occurs in the body, lubricating the skin and joints, those naturally occurring levels decrease as you age. This reduction leads to a loss of skin structure, elasticity, and volume, resulting in creases. Though it's not possible to fully restore the levels of hyaluronic acid you were born with, applying it topically helps replenish lost skin cell moisture for improved elasticity and fullness.
On top of all that, researchers say HA can increase collagen production and ward off free radicals to preserve a healthy and youthful complexion.
Best of all, hyaluronic acid is safe for use with all skin types. Even those with sensitive skin can enjoy the benefits of this hydrating ingredient.
HOW TO USE HYALURONIC ACID IN YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
According to dermatologists, hyaluronic acid pairs well with a few skincare ingredients, including retinol.
"They can be combined so that the benefits of retinol can be achieved more easily with concomitant use of hyaluronic acid, which helps to prevent retinol irritation," says Corey L. Hartman, M.D., the founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama.
Translated: Your overall skin texture should improve and fine lines should become less visible when using the two actives.
Before applying, use a gentle cleanser to prep your skin and improve product absorption. To maximize the benefits of HA, combine a hyaluronic acid serum with an antioxidant cream or oil. Vitamin E, aloe vera, and niacinamide all really well with HA.
Still, there are certain ingredients that don't combine as well with the compound. Vitamin C, for instance, may increase the irritation effects of the ascorbic acid. They're both acids, after all, so combining them may not be ideal for sensitive skin types.
Whenever you begin using new products or start blending new combinations, it's worth taking a patch test to see how your skin reacts. In some cases, HA can increase the potency of other products which may cause irritation -- especially if the secondary ingredient is potent in itself, like vitamin C.
Nevertheless, retinol and hyaluronic acid work wonders together.
BEST HYALURONIC ACID SKINCARE PRODUCTS
If you're looking to upgrade your skincare routine with more effective products, we've rounded up the best skincare products formulated with hyaluronic acid -- and some products to match them with.
This Hydrate Mask + Serum offers intense hydration to dry and aging skin. Combining hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5, this dewy duo helps to visibly plump, hydrate, and regenerate damaged skin cells for a clear and smooth complexion.
While hyaluronic acid serves water to a parched complexion, vitamin B5 improves tissue regeneration, elasticity, and brightness. Together, these ingredients can tackle everything from dryness to hyperpigmentation, fine lines to dullness.
With daily use, you will start seeing a noticeable improvement in your skin within the first two weeks. Those with dehydrated skin will see results as soon as HA quenches its chronic thirst.
Pair with: Tighten Bundle
Combing hyaluronic acid skincare products with other anti-aging products can boost the overall effects. If you're looking for a gentler alternative to retinol, rely on red microalgae and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). These ingredients are found in our Tighten Bundle, a Face Mask + Serum duo.
Red microalgae is a powerful antioxidant that is clinically proven to protect the skin against oxidative stress for a firmer, smoother complexion. AHAs lightly exfoliate the skin to shed off dead skin cells and boost collagen production for skin that glows. Used together, these ingredients also treat dark spots and breakouts.
For best results, use each bundle on alternating days to reap the benefits of both without irritating your skin.
Without a doubt, hyaluronic acid is an elite skincare ingredient with a multitude of benefits. You will find it in a range of products -- specifically in serums, oils, and lotions. Whether you have dry skin, aging skin, or pretty normal skin, everyone can benefit from the hydrating, skin repairing effects of HA. It's friendly for all skin types. Plus, it can help ease chronic skin conditions like eczema.