What is Hyaluronic Acid: Ultimate Guide
What is hyaluronic acid and why do you need it? Hyaluronic acid has been a popular skincare ingredient for some time now. This powerful humectant helps skin retain moisture while boosting collagen production to give skin a dewy, plump appearance—almost instantly.
Using hyaluronic acid in your skincare routine can effectively treat fine lines and dryness. So, how does hyaluronic acid work? And what are the skincare benefits of hyaluronic acid? We’ve created a complete guide to help you learn everything about hyaluronic acid and what it can do for you.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid (HA), otherwise known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, is a molecule that’s naturally present in the skin, joints, eyes, and connective tissue. As a humectant, which means it binds to water, hyaluronic acid helps lubricate and protect these body parts. Hyaluronic acid production begins to decline from around age 25, leading to moisture loss and volume reduction over time.
Able to hold over 1,000 times its own weight in water, hyaluronic acid plays an essential role in helping to attract and retain moisture. As a result, it’s an excellent skincare ingredient that keeps the skin soft and supple.
Hyaluronic acid is available in many different forms including pills, injections, and skincare products such as serums and creams.
What is Hyaluronic Acid Good for?
There are many positive effects of hyaluronic acid. As a natural humectant, it improves and maintains hydration levels for skin that’s soft, smooth, and plump. It’s especially useful if you’re experiencing dry, dehydrated skin as HA is known for increasing moisture levels.
Hyaluronic acid also boasts antioxidant properties, meaning it can fight free radical damage and ultimately prevent premature signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Alongside this, hyaluronic acid boosts collagen production and improves skin elasticity, helping to plump out lines and provide a subtle tightening effect for loose, sagging skin.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Skin
What does hyaluronic acid do for the skin? Here are all the benefits of using hyaluronic acid for skin.
Topical use of hyaluronic acid draws in water from the environment and seals it in for long-lasting hydration. It also regulates moisture within the cells, in the process hydrating, plumping, and smoothing your skin.
One study found that people who used hyaluronic acid serum and lotion followed by a hyaluronic acid cream twice a day noticed visibly smoother skin that was more elastic after two weeks. The study also showed significant improvements in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after eight weeks of use.
Hyaluronic acid is an effective ingredient for targeting skin aging. Serums and creams with hyaluronic acid provide the skin with deep hydration, reducing existing lines and wrinkles while preventing new ones from forming. Because hyaluronic acid can retain large amounts of water, it helps to fill in fine lines and wrinkles to reduce their visibility.
Additionally, hyaluronic acid increases the production of collagen, which can help to soften wrinkles while giving skin a plumper, more youthful appearance.
Hyaluronic acid supplements may also improve skin’s overall appearance. According to a study of 60 people in Japan, those who ingested 280 milligrams of HA daily for eight weeks witnessed less pronounced fine lines and wrinkles than taking a placebo.
HA doesn’t technically brighten skin but it does add radiance by increasing skin’s moisture levels and protecting the skin barrier. Dry skin doesn’t reflect light as well as hydrated skin. For that reason, topical hyaluronic acid application can give the skin a nice natural glow.
Hyaluronic acid influences skin elasticity in a few different ways. First, by hydrating the skin. Proper skin hydration is essential for maintaining elasticity, as hydrated skin is plump and resilient. Second, by increasing collagen production. Hyaluronic acid can help support collagen synthesis, indirectly promoting elasticity.
Some studies suggest that hyaluronic acid may have antioxidant properties, helping to protect the skin from oxidative stress. Antioxidants play a role in preventing damage to collagen and elastin fibers, which are crucial for maintaining skin elasticity.
The more elastic skin is, the firmer it appears. For that reason, hyaluronic acid is a powerhouse ingredient for firming and tightening the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is also known for its healing properties. Applied to wounds, it can reduce their size on the skin’s surface while providing pain relief in the affected area. Hyaluronic acid can also regulate inflammation levels and stimulate tissue growth, which can ease discomfort and speed up healing.
Best Hyaluronic Acid Products
Which hyaluronic acid product is best? We’ve selected the best hyaluronic acid skincare products that will replenish cells, plump out lines, and leave skin irresistibly smooth and nourished.
Truly’s Dulce De Leches Routine
Firm up your boobs and belly with this 3-step sculpting kit. It features an elasticity-boosting lineup of 2% retinol, hyaluronic acid, and guarana to smooth, lift, and firm. Bonus: you’ll smell like warm caramel decadence when you’re done!
Truly’s Goodnight Moon Sleep Mask
Wake up to taut, radiant skin with this overnight sleep mask. Formulated with a blend of adaptogenic herbs and hyaluronic acid, it helps improve skin elasticity and provides visible lift while smoothing out creases.
Truly’s Glazed Donut Shave Set
Treat yourself to the ultimate supermodel shave. Truly’s Glazed Donut Shave Set provides everything you need for a silky, lustrous, bump-free shave in five luxurious steps. Enriched with softening, glow-enhancing active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, peptides, and niacinamide.
Truly’s Bubble Butt Set
Butt lift in a bottle! Give your tush an extra push with this 2-step butt sculpting routine powered by collagen-boosting hyaluronic acid, retinol, and vegan collagen booster. Skin looks noticeably firmer and plumper after the first few uses.
Types of Hyaluronic Acid
There are several different types of hyaluronic acid with varying molecular weights. The smaller the hyaluronic acid molecule, the deeper it penetrates into the epidermis. Here are the different types to look out for:
Hyaluronic Acid: A natural substance in the skin that is able to attract and hold vast amounts of moisture.
Sodium Hyaluronate: Identical to hyaluronic acid once absorbed in the skin.
Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer: Remains in the uppermost layers of skin, enabling enhanced hydration.
Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid: Low molecular weight for maximum penetration and fine line reducing.
How to Use Hyaluronic Acid
You’ll find hyaluronic acid in a variety of skincare products, including cleansers, serums, eye creams, and lotions. One of the best ways to use hyaluronic acid is as a serum. Serums contain high concentrations of active ingredients, making them especially effective at targeting skin concerns like dryness and signs of aging.
When using hyaluronic acid, always start by cleansing your face thoroughly to remove the buildup of dirt, oil, and dead cells. This will allow your hyaluronic acid products to absorb better and ultimately work their best.
If you have sensitive skin and you’re using a new product, always start slow. Incorporate the hyaluronic acid formula gradually into your routine to avoid irritating your skin. Dermatologists recommend using it 2-3 times per week in the beginning and then working your way up to daily use once your skin adjusts.
For best results, always apply your hyaluronic acid moisturizer or serum to damp skin to help draw moisture in. Then lock that moisture in by following up with an emollient like shea butter, jojoba oil, or cocoa butter. Finally, finish with a generous layer of sunscreen to keep your skin protected from harmful UV rays.
When to Use Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Hyaluronic acid serum is typically used in your skincare routine to provide hydration and maintain skin moisture. Here’s when to use a hyaluronic acid serum.
1: After Cleansing - Apply a a couple of drops of hyaluronic acid serum on clean, damp skin. Cleansing removes impurities and allows the serum to penetrate the skin more efficiently.
2: Before Moisturizer - Hyaluronic acid helps to attract and lock in moisture, so apply it before your moisturizer. This allows the serum to hydrate your skin, and the moisturizer seals in that hydration.
3: Under Makeup - Applying hyaluronic acid serum before makeup can create a hydrated base, helping your makeup look fresher and dewier.
4: Morning and Night - Hyaluronic acid is extremely versatile in that it is safe for use both morning and night.
5: Before Retinol - Dermatologists suggest using hyaluronic acid serum before retinol serum as it will create a protective barrier and reduce irritation.
6: After Vitamin C - Apply your vitamin C first, then pat on your HA serum. Vitamin C is notoriously unstable which is why you want to apply it on clean, dry skin right after washing.
Hyaluronic Acid Side Effects
Is hyaluronic acid safe for skin? Hyaluronic acid is generally safe for all skin types when applied topically. If you have severely sensitive skin or a chronic skin condition, we recommend consulting your dermatologist before starting a new product to prevent any potential irritation. Since hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by your body, a patch test isn’t necessary.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Safe for Pregnancy?
It should be safe to use hyaluronic acid during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in our skin, so experts consider it to be safe during pregnancy. It’s best to use hyaluronic acid with a large molecular density so it doesn’t absorb as deeply into the skin.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Dry Skin?
Hyaluronic acid is renowned for its ability to address dry skin concerns. As a potent humectant, HA excels in attracting and retaining moisture, playing a crucial role in hydration. When applied topically, it draws water from the environment, replenishing the skin and preventing moisture loss.
Moreover, hyaluronic acid supports the skin’s barrier function, enhancing its ability to ward off environmental stressors and maintain overall health. By incorporating hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine, people with dry skin can enjoy a softer, smoother skin texture and long-lasting hydration.
Does Hyaluronic Acid Cause Weight Gain?
Hyaluronic acid does not cause weight gain as it has no caloric value. It functions primarily as a hydrating agent, attracting and retaining water in the skin and connective tissues. Whether applied topically in skincare products or used in cosmetic procedures like dermal fillers, hyaluronic acid does not have the capacity to influence metabolism or body weight.
Hyaluronic acid, being a large molecule, is not absorbed into the bloodstream in significant amounts when applied topically or injected for cosmetic purposes. As a result, HA does not interact with the body’s metabolic processes that regulate weight.
Should You Use Hyaluronic Acid?
With its myriad of benefits, such as hydrating, anti-aging, and healing effects, hyaluronic acid helps to keep skin healthy, youthful, and radiant when used daily. It’s suitable for all skin types, and is gentle enough for daily use. Combined with occlusives and emollients such as jojoba oil, shea butter, and coconut oil, hyaluronic acid may offer even better hydrating effects.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, hydrating moisturizer for daily use, choose a hyaluronic acid serum. You can also use it on your body for all-over smooth, supple, and radiant skin. Without a doubt, hyaluronic acid can be a gamechanger in your skincare routine, especially if you have dry skin.