When it comes to Hyaluronic Acid, you probably sit in one of three camps…
What is it?
I’ve heard of it but why should I use it?
I wouldn’t let my skincare routine be without it!
Whichever camp you currently reside in, here’s the lowdown on the hottest beauty ingredient on the market right now…
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Whilst the name gives the impression of an ingredient likely to strip your skin – this could not be further from the truth. Hyaluronic acid’s main purpose is to add hydration to the skin. In technical terms, it’s a moisture binding molecule powerful enough to absorb 1000x its weight in water.
Hyaluronic acid is also very clever. It has the ability to regulate moisture within cells without drowning them.
So, where some acids are abrasive (such as those used to exfoliate) hyaluronic acid actually delivers gentle hydration to where your skin needs it most. Think of it as a refreshing drink for your skin.
Why should I use Hyaluronic Acid?
Our skin cells naturally produce hyaluronic acid in an effort to maintain moisture levels. However, due to ageing, the environment, UV exposure, these levels reduce. A reduction in hydration can result in the skin becoming sensitive, dull, uneven – you get the picture, it’s not great. It also leads to the dreaded fine lines and wrinkles.
Applied directly, hyaluronic acid helps to hydrate the skin and maintain this hydration as a humectant (a substance used to reduce the loss of moisture).
It is claimed, using products containing hyaluronic acid will
- Improve the feel of your skin
- Hydrate and plump your skin improving its overall appearance
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines
- Protect against pollution and other aggressors
Sounds good right?
Hyaluronic acid can also be injected (yes, I’m talking needles) into the dermis of the skin to fill and plump. The Juvéderm Volite treatment starts at £400 and lasts for around 6 months. To find out more, you might like to read English Mum’s article: Post 40 beauty: everything you need to know about new Juvéderm Volite.
Mythbuster: Hyaluronic Acid is only for people with dry skin
Wrong! It’s a very common misconception that only dry skin types are dehydrated. Do not confuse dry skin for dehydrated skin. Even oily skin types are highly likely to be lacking in water.
If your skin looks dull, feels tight, you’re noticing more lines and wrinkles or your makeup isn’t sitting well, it’s likely your skin would benefit from a hydration boost.
To reiterate, hyaluronic acid is suitable for use by all skin types even sensitive!
Recommended: Hyaluronic Acid products
Without realising it, your skincare products may already contain it.
Ingredients to look out for are: hyaluronic acid (obvious), sodium hyaluronate, hydrolysed hyaluronic acid and sodium acetyl hyaluronic. Different brands will use different ones or a combination of them but they all work in a similar way. The higher up the ingredient list, the higher the amount included.
If you’re looking to introduce hyaluronic acid into your beauty regime or expand on the products you already use, here are my recommended products:
The product most associated with the hyaluronic acid revolution. The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is quickly working it’s way to cult product status. It combines low, medium and high-molecular weight HA (which basically means it actually hydrates rather than creating an illusion of hydration). All delivered in a shockingly well-priced oil-free formula. Having multiple friends swear by it, I decided to give it a go. I’m pleased to say it didn’t disappoint. Whilst some of my friends only find they need to use it a few times per week, I found more benefit from using it the recommended twice-daily. It feels slightly sticky on application, but settles in quickly and became a great BFF for my moisturiser. Apply a few drops after cleansing and toning and before your moisturiser. Find out more here.
One word…love! Great at smoothing lines for a fresher faced look…Sarah (The Ordinary HA convert!).
My current day moisturiser. A non-greasy formula that works to supplement multiple amino acids, fatty acids, triglycerides, urea, ceramides, phospholipids, glycerin, saccharides, sodium PCA, hyaluronic acid and many other compounds that are naturally present in the skin but may have been impaired. Used in conjunction with a serum, this moisturiser sinks in well and provides good hydration. I find it works well as a base for my makeup to sit on. Find out more here.
I’m never one to fully get behind a 48hr claim, especially if it’s something you reapply daily. However, I can get behind how this serum delivers hydration and reduces feelings of tightness. The cream formulation is thicker than the usual oil formulations of most serums but it does melt well into the skin and produces a nice plump feel. The formulation also claims to help protect your skin from hydration stripping pollutants. Find out more here.
Applied after cleansing – before any creams or serums – Vichy Mineral 89 HA Booster provides the highest concentration of Vichy Thermal Mineralizing Water with natural origin hyaluronic acid. It helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier function whilst leaving it in optimal condition to receive the next steps. For me, it’s my way of letting my skin know – when it comes to hydration – I mean business! Find out more here.
This one is a must for the handbag. It’s definitely in my hand luggage whenever I’m flying! An instant shot of hydration for parched skin, especially when exposed to environments that will strip it of its moisture. The pineapple fruit extract brightens your skin and works as a gentle astringent to reduce the appearance of pores. Plus it helps to balance out oiliness and dryness. It’s particularly helpful when my skin is less than perfect due to hormonal imbalance, it lifts and soothes. It’s a good anytime of day pick-me-up product. Find out more here.
Containing 3-types of hyaluronic acid absorbed at different rates, it works hard to keep your skin moisturised throughout the day. The formula is tinted to create a more even base. In the past I have found primers can clog my skin and lead to breakouts, (if they work at all). However, I have noticed a difference when using the Paul & Joe primer. Whilst I don’t use it daily, I do bring it out when I want my makeup to have some staying power. Only a small amount is required per application, so it lasts a long while. Find out more here.
Keep in mind that HA is not a one-product solves all answer for the health and appearance of your skin. Beautiful, healthy skin also requires a good cleansing routine, daily sun protection and hydration from within through drinking plenty of water. Get these good practices in place and HA will help you to maintain flawless skin for even longer.
You might also like to read: Recommended: Facial Cleansers (For all skin types)
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Hello to any fellow hyaluronic acid fans! And welcome to any new people about to dip their toe into the HA pool – come on in the water is hydrated! What are your thoughts on HA? If you have any questions on any of the products I’ve mentioned, please let me know, I’m more than happy to help! Get in touch by leaving a comment in the box below…