Hyaluronic Acid: What It Is And Why You Want It
Hyaluronic acid (HA), also known as hyaluronan, is a buzzword in the skincare industry right now that’s become synonymous with dewy, youthful-looking skin. Hyaluronic acid can retain over 1,000 times its weight in water – its plumping properties have made it a go-to ingredient for flawless skin. From imperfection-minimising creams to glow-enhancing toners, we’re obsessed.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Skin cells naturally produce hyaluronic acid to maintain moisture levels. But skin ageing and environmental aggressors, like UV rays and pollution, can cause the natural levels of hyaluronic acid to decrease. The naturally-occurring gel-like substance causes cells to retain as much moisture as possible, in fact, just one gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six litres of water. It’s sometimes listed under the name of sodium hyaluronate on ingredients labels, which is the sodium salt of the acid.
What does hyaluronic acid do to the skin?
Super-hydrated skin has a naturally plump and healthy appearance. Fine lines and wrinkles are smoothed, pores appear minimised and sagging skin looks tighter. Think of hyaluronic acid as the air pump for a beach ball that’s gone flat. Scientific studies have shown that hyaluronan helps to improve hydration, encourage the production of collagen, fight free radicals and maintain elasticity in the skin. Hyaluronic acid has also been shown to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. What more could you ask for in a skincare ingredient?
How do you use hyaluronic acid?
Cosmetic doctors can inject hyaluronic acid into the skin to plump up sunken areas, but for a safer way to use this wonder ingredient, applying it topically is best. Hyaluronic acid can be included in your normal cleansing routine – try Balance Me Flash Cleanse Micellar Water or try sweeping on a glow-enhancing toner, such as Pixi Rose Tonic, after cleansing. Alternatively, try a night cream or overnight serum that’s rich in it, to deeply hydrate and reduce the appearance of fine lines, such as Balance Me Restore and Replenish Overnight Repair Mask.
Which skin type is hyaluronic acid good for?
Hyaluronan is suitable for all skin types, from combination and oily skin types to those with very dry skin. As we naturally produce less hyaluronic acid as we get older, many anti-ageing creams feature it as a key ingredient to delay the signs of ageing and fight wrinkles. If you have oily skin and you want a lighter moisturiser that features this must-have ingredient, try Sebamed Clear Face Mattifying Face Cream.
Can I use it on eyes and lips?
Some eye creams and eye serums use hyaluronic acid to target fine lines and sallow-looking skin around the delicate eye area. Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream is a good one to start with, that contains cucumber oil and witch hazel, as well as hyaluronic acid, for some seriously eye-opening results. There are also lip plumpers, which hydrate parched lips and smooth fine lines, for a naturally fuller looking pout – Skinchemists Rose Quartz Lip Plump contains Volulip™ to stimulate hyaluronic acid synthesis, for a naturally fuller pout.