What Is Hyaluronic Acid And Does It Really Work?
6 minutes read
Hyaluronic acid is one of those scary-sounding active ingredients that might spook the less skincare savvy, but it’s gaining traction in the skincare world, and it’s something the experts want you to stock up with. We explain everything you need to know about the moisturising powerhouse: hyaluronic acid and all its virtues.
The word hyaluronic acid, along with salicylic acid, are two of the most most-searched terms for skincare ingredients with over 60,500 and 74,000 monthly searches, respectively, a 2021 report revealed.
Unsurprisingly, during the lockdown, most of us became beauty-obsessed and the statistics can back that with a whopping 143% increase in skincare since the outbreak of Covid-19. In addition, the term ‘skincare’ has exploded on Instagram with 89,044,286 million hashtags.
Beauty Daily does a deep dive and lets you into the world of this hydration-attracting ingredient so you can enjoy all of its benefits.
What is hyaluronic acid, and how does it work?
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant (which is a fancy word for saying it helps retain moisture) and not a face-dissolving scary acid.
It is an active ingredient lauded in the skincare industry because of its ability to absorb up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it a moisture magnet to tackle skin dehydration.
While experts say that hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the skin, its production is similar to collagen and elastin, which deplete as we age (as early as our twenties).
This, in addition to the harmful effects of environmental aggressors such as UV exposure, pollution and even heaters during the wintertime, compromises the skin’s barrier function resulting in skin sensitivity, dryness, dullness, sagging and wrinkles. Need we go on?
The good news is that there is a wealth of hyaluronic acid-centric products, supplements and treatments to choose. Hyaluronic acid can be found in moisturisers, eye creams, serums, and sheet masks. Experts say if hyaluronic acid is applied topically, it can boost and retain skin hydration. This is why adding moisturising products into your beauty routine can be extra beneficial.
Which skin type suits hyaluronic acid?
However, experts say everyone will benefit from hyaluronic acid’s moisture-boosting properties because whether it is seasonal or just your natural skin type, we all experience dehydrated skin. This is especially the case in the UK, where harsh winds and a blast of indoor heating is a way of life.
What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid?
The loss of hyaluronic acid in the epidermis is one of the significant reasons behind premature skin ageing.
If you want to target fine lines and wrinkles or even achieve a plump and dewy complexion, then incorporating hyaluronic acid into your skincare regimen will give you those covetable results.
Here are some other brilliant hyaluronic acid benefits.
1. It is anti-ageing
Because of its ability to retain water to the skin, hyaluronic acid is proven to improve skin’s firmness and elasticity, preventing the common signs of skin ageing. In addition, studies show that hyaluronic acid can also help reduce the roughness of a person’s skin and smoothen skin texture. However, do not forget the plumping abilities, too – so that lines are softly diminished.
2. It is ultra-hydrating
Hyaluronic acid hydrates and boosts skin’s moisture content, while also soothing and preventing moisture loss. When you apply a hyaluronic acid cream or serum to your skin, it acts like a sponge by attracting moisture to boost hydration on the surface of the skin.
The moisture that hyaluronic acid attracts comes from your external environment absorbing the moisture from the air around you, leaving your skin plump and hydrated.
3. It speeds up wound healing
One study suggested that applying hyaluronic acid to open wounds can improve the skin’s healing ability. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, protecting the skin from free radicals and has skin regeneration properties.
4. It can treat eczema
Hyaluronic acid improves the symptoms of mild to moderate eczema.
Is it ok to use hyaluronic acid daily?
Data shows that hyaluronic acid is safe to use. Experts even recommend adding hyaluronic acid as part of your morning and evening rituals to help you reap its skincare benefits. However, like any other skincare product, it’s essential to understand that hyaluronic acid can potentially cause side effects – when misused.
If you want to go for hyaluronic acid or a serum, experts recommend it’s best to use high concentrations but in smaller doses between 1 or 2 % (you can see this on the product label). Higher levels can irritate.
Skin experts recommend using hyaluronic acid twice a day as part of your morning and evening beauty rituals and should be applied to damp skin for it to work effectively.
It is also one of best skincare ingredients to use under the sun as it doesn’t make your skin photosensitive and it boosts skin moisture, so wear HA products under your sunscreen.
Is hyaluronic acid the same as retinol?
The simple answer is ‘no’. The main difference is that hyaluronic acid hydrates while retinol is an antioxidant that increases skin cell turnover. So don’t mix the two up.
What should you not use hyaluronic acid with?
The best thing about hyaluronic acid is its ability to enhance the benefits of every product you layer on top of it, making it one of the best additions to your skincare routine. However, when combining serums, experts advise ensuring they’re complementary and target the correct skin concern.
For acne-prone or oily skin, you might want to combine niacinamide and salicylic acid. Or layer serums that complement each other such as vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, or for nighttime, hyaluronic acid and retinol.
The best way to add hyaluronic acid in your skincare routine now
If you are a bit concerned about the right amount of concentration and the perplexities that come with it, There are a plethora of options for every skin type here: Hydra-Essential [HA2] Range.
The Clarins skincare advisors suggest starting with the Hydra-Essentiel [HA²] Emulsion, £38. It’s a hydrating serum perfect for people suffering from parched skin. It is lightweight and can address irritated, dull, and uneven skin. For even more hydration, Bi-Phase Serum can be used together with the Hydra-Essentiel Cream suitable for your skin type for even more fresh, comfortable, radiant, and plump skin.
“Hyaluronic acid can serve as an excellent inclusion into your existing skincare routine. It might feel watery and not as unctuous as an oil – but believe me, give it some time, intermingled into your regimen and you will notice a difference in your skin texture, look and feel.”
Want to know more?