The secret to healthy, glowing skin is to focus on hydrating ingredients. When it comes to your skincare, there’s nothing more important than getting your moisture levels right. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most talked-about active ingredients as it can hold up to ten thousand times its molecular weight in water. It’s the hydrating glass of water that your skin has been waiting for. Read on to find out everything you need to know about hyaluronic acid, its anti-aging benefits, wound healing capabilities, and why you should be using it.
BENEFITS OF HYALURONIC ACID
Hyaluronic acid (hyaluronate) is a versatile skincare ingredient that you’ll find in everything from face creams to serum. It works by hydrating your skin and boosting your natural protective barrier to reduce oxidative stress. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most popular active ingredients, offering something for every skin type.
WHAT IS HYALURONIC ACID?
Hyaluronate naturally occurs in your body, with almost half of your body’s HA found in your skin. What makes this component so powerful is that it holds 1,000 times its weight in water. When it comes to hydrating your skin, nothing is more powerful than hyaluronic acid.
As you get older, your natural hyaluronate starts to deplete. Everyone is reaching for products with hyaluronic acid as a way of boosting your skin’s natural HA. You can use it as a humectant to help your skin retain its moisture levels.
You’ll sometimes see hyaluronic acid labeled as ‘sodium hyaluronate’, which has a smaller molecule size and is comparatively cheaper than hyaluronic acid. It’s often referred to by its abbreviated name, ‘HA’.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS OF HYALURONIC ACID?
You’ll often see hyaluronate marketed as being the ‘fountain of youth’. While it’s a powerful anti-aging ingredient, the reality is more complex. You don’t have to be concerned about premature aging to take advantage of this active ingredient. Nothing will permanently reverse the passage of time, but hyaluronic acid will visibly improve the appearance of your skin.
The extent of the benefits will depend on the molecular weight of your hyaluronic acid.
1. Speeds up wound recovery
If you have acne scarring on your face, hyaluronate is one ingredient you want to invest in. When your skin is hydrated, the cells can rejuvenate themselves and push new (and undamaged) skin cells to the surface. The renewal process helps your wound recovery and gives you smoother skin in the process.
2. Increases skin’s hydration and moisture
Hyaluronic acid is all about hydrating your skin. As it holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, it hydrates your cells and improves your skin’s moisture retention. Keeping your skin hydrated is the key to preventing premature aging and breakouts.
When you have a moisture balance in your skin, it can stop excess oil production and keep your skin looking radiant. As hyaluronate is a humectant, it acts like a sponge and draws in moisture. It infuses the epidermis of your skin with moisture and gives your skin lasting hydration to see it through the day.
3. Boosts your skin’s elasticity
As a popular anti-aging ingredient, you’ll often see injectable hyaluronic acid offered as a way of boosting your skin’s elasticity and collagen production. If you want to get the most out of your hyaluronic acid for anti-aging, you should consider the filler option.
4. Aids your skin’s natural protective barrier
Hyaluronate protects your skin from free radical damage and oxidative stress by aiding your natural protective barrier. When your skin is hydrated, it’s better protected from the environmental factors that can wreak havoc on your skin. It enhances your lipid barrier by locking in the moisture that keeps it protected and stops it from breaking down under oxidative stress.
5. Reduces the appearance of dark spots
As hyaluronic acid helps to stimulate cellular regeneration, it diminishes the appearance of dark spots. It will naturally brighten your skin’s appearance by keeping it hydrated and healthy. You want to make sure you’re wearing an SPF alongside using your hyaluronic acid to keep your skin protected.
6. Smooths your skin’s surface and texture
You can use hyaluronate as a way to tighten your skin and smooth its texture. As you get older, your elastin breaks down, causing your skin to start to sag. Hyaluronic acid hydrates your skin, smoothing its surface to give you a more even texture. When your skin is hydrated, it naturally has a softer and smoother texture. If you have acne, you can use hyaluronic acid alongside a derma-roller to smooth your skin.
7. Reduces redness
If hyperpigmentation or inflammation is a concern, hyaluronic acid is your best friend. It diminishes the appearance of redness and can be used alongside vitamin c for maximum results.
CAN YOU INCORPORATE OTHER INGREDIENTS ALONGSIDE HYALURONIC ACID?
Hyaluronic acid is one active ingredient that is popping up everywhere right now. As it naturally occurs in your skin, it’s easy to mix and match with other active ingredients.
One of the most popular combinations is vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that can help tackle dryness and protect your skin from free radical damage. You can also add niacinamide to work with hyaluronate to smooth your skin’s texture and leave it soft to the touch.
Not all hyaluronic acid is made equal. You’ll see different molecular weights for hyaluronic acid, which impacts how deeply the ingredient penetrates your skin. A higher hyaluronic acid weight will sit on the top layers of your skin, while a lower weight can penetrate deeper. If you want long-term benefits from your hyaluronate, stick to a lower molecular weight.
Whatever type of hyaluronic acid you use, you can be confident that it will work with virtually any other skincare ingredient. You can use it with anything from alpha-hydroxy acids (known as AHAs) to retinol. You can even mix hyaluronate with retinol since they have a synergistic effect.
What about salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid? any adverse effects from combining them? They are an excellent combination since salicylic acid is great at penetrating into your pores to remove dead skin buildups, HA can reduce irritation that may be caused by salicylic acid.
WHAT SKIN TYPES BENEFIT FROM USING HYALURONIC ACID?
Anyone can use hyaluronate as it’s a component that naturally occurs in the skin. Even if you have oily skin, you still need moisture and hydration.
You shouldn’t let the word ‘acid’ put you off from using this product. If you notice any side effects from your hyaluronic acid, it’s likely to be from other products that you’re mixing or matching with your HA.
It’s worthwhile starting with a lower concentration of hyaluronic acid when you’re starting with the ingredient, instead of rushing into using a higher level. You can even use hyaluronic acid while pregnant or breastfeeding, meaning it’s also suitable for those with sensitive skin.
As hyaluronate comes in different products – from moisturizers to serums – you’re guaranteed to be able to find a product that works for you and your skincare routine. You can use hyaluronic acid as part of your morning and night-time routine.
If you’re starting your skincare routine or want to give your skin some extra TLC, you can never go wrong with hyaluronic acid. This active ingredient has something to offer everyone, whether its hydration, tackling hyperpigmentation, or its anti-aging properties.