Keeping your skin hydrated is an all-time mission, and it is just impossible to miss this renowned hydrating ingredient: Hyaluronic acid.
Although called “acid”, hyaluronic acid is not an actual “acid” like BHA or AHA. Opposite to these typical exfoliating acids, hyaluronic acid is only an acid when in its true form, meaning it is the only form of HA that has a lower, acidic PH.
Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced in the dermal layer of the skin and can be found in the connective tissue in your skin. Its main uses and benefits are keeping skin moist and lubricated with its ability to hold 1000 times its own weight in moisture—It means that HA can attract water from outside sources and draw it into your skin.
Therefore, hyaluronic acid is commonly used as a humectant in skincare products — a substance that helps the skin hold onto water. It helps hydrate the outer layers of skin, thereby improving its appearance and making it look plump, radiant, and youthful.
Typically, a person can use skincare products containing hyaluronic acid twice a day, but it is essential to read the instructions as products vary.
Here are some skin benefits of adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine:
Hyaluronic acid serum
Hyaluronic acid attracts water from the environment, pull it towards the skin and bind water to the skin. It then plumps the skin cells it has bound itself to.
However, as we age, it becomes harder to hold moisture in the skin—after reaching the age of 30, we lose approximately 1% of our hyaluronic acid stores per year. Luckily, we can add it back to our skin by applying hyaluronic acid skincare to the surface of the skin. Daily application of a HA product will make your skin appear smoother and plumper.
Enhance lipid barrier
The lipid barrier protects our skin from external damage, e.g. UV rays, pollutants and lifestyle choices. This damage results in more fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots and drier skin. As we age, the lipid barrier in the epidermis slows down. Adding hyaluronic acid to your routine can help fortify the skin’s natural barrier to help lock moisture in. Over time, this can help slow down the deterioration of the lipid barrier and help protect it.
Hyaluronic acid moisturizer
Reduce visibility of fine lines and wrinkles
With less hyaluronic acid stores, skin gets less firm and supple, leading to rough texture, visible fine lines, and volume loss. Research has found that hyaluronic acid can help reduce the roughness of a person’s skin and increase skin elasticity. This is because the extra moisture brought to your skin by HA helps plumps the fine lines and wrinkles and make your skin looks tightened.
Reduce redness and visible appearance of acne scar
Although hyaluronic acid can’t fill in acne scars, its hydrating properties can help acne sufferers’ skin balance their dermis and enhance the skin’s outermost moisture barrier. As skin gets healthier, redness and appearance of acne scar become less visible.
Side effects if misused
If misused, hyaluronic acid can indeed dry out your skin:
If you’re applying hyaluronic acid to a very dry face, it can end up drawing moisture from the deeper levels of your skin, which in turn will leave your complexion feeling tight and uncomfortable. It’s a problem that usually occurs when humidity levels are extremely low – meaning there’s a lack of moisture in the air.
To counteract that issue, you are recommended to layer hyaluronic acid serum with a moisturizer to seal the HA into your skin and provide a barrier against moisture loss.
It is also advised to apply serum to damp – not completely dry – skin for better results.