Another week, another new must-have skincare ingredient. Today we will take a look at Hyaluronic acid also known as hyaluronan, or HA.
It’s a substance naturally produced by inside the body to keep tissues cushioned and lubricated. Skin cells produce Hyaluronic Acid to help maintain moisture levels.
Its found in the highest concentrations in skin, eyes, and joints. The hyaluronic acid that is used in skin products is produced in laboratories.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
It’s a type of sugar molecule that lubricates our skin, joints, and connective tissue.
It works as a magnet for moisture and stores up to 1,000 times its weight in water. This, of course, helps your cells retain moisture so that your skin stays hydrated, plump, and healthy.
Despite having acid in its name its a moisturizer and not an exfoliator like products that contain hydroxy acids or salicylic acid. Because it works by retaining skin moisture it’s used in products that are left on the skin like face creams, serums, masks, eye creams, and body lotions.
Hyaluronic Acid Benefits
Roughly half of the hyaluronic acid in your body is present in your skin, where it binds to water to help retain moisture. Aging and environmental factors, cause those levels to drop as we age contributing to the appearance of wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps skin to “improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Here are some of the benefits of using it:
- Sufficiently hydrated skin is softer and more radiant.
- Lines and wrinkles (even the deeper ones) are diminished.
- Works for any skin type, even sensitive or breakout-prone skin.
- It has antioxidant properties which means it acts like a shield against free radicals.
- Reduce wrinkles, redness, and dermatitis.
Hyaluronic Acid Side Effects – Is It Safe To Use?
Since it’s something your body naturally makes it’s considered safe to use. Allergic reactions are rare, and it can be used on all skin types like oily, sensitive, dry skin, or even combination skin. Just about everybody has no problems using a Hyaluronic serum.
It can be used topically, as a supplement, in eye drops, or even injected. Injections are for purposes other than skin health and are not covered here. It’s useful for very dry or parched skin in need of deep hydration.
However, its effects during pregnancy or breastfeeding have not been thoroughly studied, so these groups should be cautious and consult their doctor before using it.
Hyaluronic Acid In Skincare Products
While Hyaluronic acid works well on its own its full potential is realized when mixed with other ingredients. It’s used with Retinols, vitamins, other acids, and most other ingredients. One benefit of using it with other ingredients is because the HA molecule is relatively large.
It needs to be paired with something that penetrates the skin in order to be effective where it needs to be deep into skin layers. Otherwise, you may be putting it on top of the skin without getting all the benefits.