The Benefits Of Hyaluronic Acid For Skin & What You Need To Look For
10 minutes read
What is hyaluronic acid? This ingredient is a humectant substance used in many beauty products such as the Clarins Multi-Active Treatment Essence. But you might be surprised that hyaluronic acid is naturally found in our bodies, particularly in our connective tissues. It gives our skin structure and is responsible for that plump and hydrated look.
Using hyaluronic acid for skin is simple, easy and ideal for most skin types, tones and textures. It has excellent benefits for your complexion, including pro-ageing – so lines and wrinkles appear less visible, resulting in a smoother texture.
Why Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Skin?
Hyaluronic acid is one of the most potent hydrating substances in skincare products today. It works as a sponge that pulls water from the upper layer of the skin, specifically up to 1000 times its own weight. That’s why it’s the key to plump, hydrated skin. It also reduces the signs of soft wrinkles and lines.
Hyaluronic acid is also one of the main ingredients for fillers (like lip-enhancing injections). It binds up water from your body and makes the skin plump up.
Hyaluronic Acid Benefits for the Skin
If you’re passionate about skincare and have a rigorous daily routine, you should know that hyaluronic acid is an invaluable ally for your skin. It’s a moisturising powerhouse and can have positive anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory effects. Let’s take a look at all hyaluronic acid for skin benefits:
Keeps your skin hydrated
Hyaluronic acid is like a big drink of water for your skin. It penetrates your skin and binds every cell with water, infusing your complexion with plumping moisture.
As we age, our skin is less able to retain water; therefore, lines and wrinkles become more visible. Hyaluronic acid replenishes hydration and moisture, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Helps with wound healing
Hyaluronic acid is considered one of the key players in tissue regeneration. For example, if applied to an open wound, it’s been proven to speed up the healing process by signalling the body to build more blood vessels in the damaged area.
Gives you a smoother skin texture
Hyaluronic acid intensely moistures your skin, contributing to a smoother and more radiant texture.
It can be used as a filler option
Since hyaluronic acid is a natural ingredient in our bodies, it works well as a filler without causing too many diverse irritations. It can also plump the lips and cheeks, which naturally lose volume over time. Of course, nothing is 100% safe – so seek out registered and qualified professionals before embarking on any cosmetic procedure.
Reduces joint pain
Beyond skincare, hyaluronic acid is a lubricant present in our bodies that keeps the space between your bones free of friction. So if you’re looking for a natural reliever for joint pain, try taking hyaluronic acid supplements or topical products that contain this ingredient.
“People get nervous of the word ‘acid’ but there’s no peeling, redness or irritation with hyaluronic acid – it’s actually a very neutral ingredient that the body produces naturally to maintain moisture levels – and it’s the key to juicier-looking, bouncy and hydrated skin.”
TRY THIS: Hydra-Essentiel [HA2] Light Cream, £38
How do hyaluronic serums differ from each other?
In the world of skincare products, there are technically three types of hyaluronic acid molecules based on their molecular weights. The lower the weight, the deeper the hydrating and plumping action on the skin. As the weight increases, hyaluronic acid remains on the skin’s surface and has a shorter life span. The types of hyaluronic acid used in skincare are:
- Hydrolysed hyaluronic acid: is obtained by hydrolysis of a high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, and it’s more soluble than hyaluronic acid itself. Therefore, it has an excellent moisturising action on the skin.
- Sodium acetylated hyaluronate: is the salt form of hyaluronic acid, which has a smaller molecular size. This means it can penetrate deeper into the skin, providing hydration beyond its surface. This type of hyaluronic acid is used for anti-ageing and moisturisers.
- Sodium hyaluronate: it easily mixes with water and can provide greater hydration to the skin thanks to its low molecular weight. It’s a fibre- or cream-like powder you’ll likely find in moisturisers and serums.
All three types of hyaluronic acid for skin share the same benefits of hydrating the skin, plumping it up and reducing light age signs such as wrinkles and lines. However, there are differences in how they’re used in skincare products. For example, hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate are both referred to as ‘hyaluronic acid’, but sodium hyaluronate is a more stable molecule to use for skincare products, thanks to its lower molecular weight; it can penetrate the skin faster.
If you’re wondering which one is best, a combination is the key to getting all the benefits hyaluronic acid can give your skin. Check your labels, and don’t exceed 4% hyaluronic acid content; above that percentage, it might irritate and dry the skin.
What Does Hyaluronic Do for the Skin?
We’ve already mentioned that using hyaluronic acid daily will help you have a hydrated and plump look. What’s more, its chain-like structure helps tissues grow. This is a key step in wound healing; hyaluronic acid can speed up wound recovery.
Hyaluronic acid is also used in many anti-ageing products because it improves skin hydration and reduces the signs of wrinkles and lines. It also promotes the production of collagen and elastin in our bodies, boosting the skin’s elasticity.
The USP? It can plump skin in 60-seconds.
Hyaluronic Acid by Skin Type
Is hyaluronic acid good for all skin types? Yes! One of hyaluronic acid’s perks is that it works perfectly with almost any skin type and age. It’s a non-irritating ingredient that doesn’t trigger acne or usually has other allergic skin reactions. Although it contains the word ‘acid’ in its name, there is no reason to worry, even for sensitive skin types. Let’s analyse how hyaluronic acid works on different types of complexion.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Oily Skin?
The short answer is yes. Oily skin manifests itself with a shiny appearance, usually with enlarged pores on the forehead and nose. The cause behind this type of skin is the overproduction of sebum. That’s where hyaluronic acid comes into play: studies have found a positive connection between hyaluronic acid and healthy sebum production. So use a light hyaluronic acid serum for oily skin and avoid any heavier or stickier serums. The best way to choose a formula is if it’s designated to your skin type or when it states ‘all skin types’ it’s worth trawling the department stores to find the one you like the feel of. Clarins offer decent trial sizes, so you’ll get a proper measure to trial. Try this light day cream designed for normal skin types – even combination and oily. Hydra-Essentiel [HA2] Light Cream, £38.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Dry Skin?
Being a hydrating agent, hyaluronic acid is suitable for dry skin. However, you need to pay attention to a few steps when using it. It pulls out moisture from the skin, so it can leave the skin even drier if you don’t have much in the first place. Please apply hyaluronic acid on damp skin and always follow it with a moisturiser. This will ‘seal’ the hydrating effect and avoid undesired effects. Last but not least, your skin might react differently to low or high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid, so try swapping one for the other if you don’t see results.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Sensitive Skin?
People with sensitive skin tend to have a weaker skin barrier, meaning moisture gets lost easily, and irritants can find their way in. Moisturising agents like hyaluronic acid can help fix the issue, and combining them with oils will give you the perfect balance. Although hyaluronic acid works well with any skin type and usually doesn’t trigger any irritation, it allows other beauty products to penetrate more into your skin. This could irritate sensitive skin types, so if concerned, check the labels and consult a dermatologist before adding any new product to your skincare routine.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Crepey Skin?
The term crepiness refers to the changes in skin that happen with ageing or sometimes dehydration. Skin naturally becomes thinner, more fragile and prone to wrinkle. This process is accelerated by photo-ageing, meaning frequent exposure to the sun without protection. Luckily, hyaluronic acid helps plump up and hydrate the complexion, improving the appearance of crepey skin. A water-based hyaluronic acid serum is the best way to hydrate and increase skin moisture levels. Try: Hydra-Essentiel Rich Cream, £38 as hyaluronic acid is combined with rich emollients like shea butter to add instant glow, radiance and comfort to drier skin types.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Acne Prone Skin?
Yes. The bacteria that enter your pores and cause acne are a reflection of a weak skin barrier. Hyaluronic acid can help reduce the redness caused by acne and improve your skin barrier. Although it won’t prevent acne, integrating it into your skincare will help relieve some symptoms and has anti-bacterial properties.
Hyaluronic acid injections can also be prescribed by your doctor and have proven effective against acne scars. This treatment can have a very positive impact on the mental well-being of acne sufferers.
If you’re looking for more information on how to treat your acne, why not read: How To Treat Acne Breakouts, According To The Experts
How to Use Hyaluronic Acid
You can safely use hyaluronic acid alongside other skincare products, including retinol and serums. Here’s a quick guide on how to incorporate it into your skincare routine:
- If you’re using a hyaluronic acid serum: wash your face with a cleanser or toner. Don’t dry your face; apply the hyaluronic acid serum and rub it in. Let it sit for a few moments until it’s absorbed, then continue your routine.
- If you’re using a hyaluronic acid-infused moisturiser: perform your skincare routine as usual, then use your hyaluronic acid-infused moisturising lotion and finish with your SPF.
- Use it twice a day: there is no recommended hyaluronic acid dosage, but you can apply it daily, morning and night, to achieve the best results.
When it comes to do’s and don’ts:
- Apply hyaluronic acid on damp skin and use a moisturiser. If not sealed properly, it will evaporate into the air. A moisturising top layer ensures hydration is locked into the skin.
- Is hyaluronic acid safe for teenage skin? Yes, you can use hyaluronic acid at any age since it’s a natural compound found in our bodies.
- Is hyaluronic acid good for darker and black skin? Definitely! Hyaluronic acid works for any skin type, including melanin-rich complexions.
Does Taking Hyaluronic Acid Orally Work for Skin?
Oral hyaluronic acid supplements are becoming increasingly popular and are available in health and beauty stores. The typical dosage is 120mg, but check the packaging for the dose. Furthermore, hyaluronic acid capsules are sometimes enriched with collagen or biotin to boost the skin.
These tablets contain a unique and highly absorbable complex of hydrolysed collagen type II, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid.
Is Collagen or Hyaluronic Acid Better for Skin?
Collagen and hyaluronic acid are your skin’s BFFs. They both contribute to a healthy and youthful complexion; you should use both to take advantage of their benefits. Collagen firms the skin, while hyaluronic acid moisturises and nourishes it. What’s more, hyaluronic acid retains water keeping collagen smooth and elastic.
What Concentration of Hyaluronic Acid is Better for the Skin?
Hyaluronic acid concentration should be around or below 2%, as any higher – especially over 4% could irritate the skin. That’s why it comes combined with other ingredients in serums, masks, creams and moisturisers. It works best for the skin in a moisture-loaded formula, and the secret is applying it to damp skin.
Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid on Your Face Every Day?
Yes. Hyaluronic acid should be the pillar of your skincare routine. It can be safely applied once daily, as our body synthesises at least a third of its hyaluronic acid daily and produces less as it ages.
Does Hyaluronic Acid Lighten Skin?
No, hyaluronic acid doesn’t brighten hyperpigmentation on the skin but focuses more on hydrating and moisturising it.
Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid in Summer?
Yes! It is one of safest ingredients to use in summer. It keeps skin moisture levels topped up, and it doesn’t cause photosensitivity. Always apply sunscreen over your HA products.