Hyaluronic Acid | What Is It? How to Use It and What It Will Do For Your Skin

Hyaluronic Acid | What Is It? How to Use It and What It Will Do For Your Skin

We get customers all the time telling us they're using hyaluronic acid but they're not sure why, they've just been told (or marketed to) that they should be using it and so they do. Here we delve deeper into one of the beauty industry's most talked about ingredients to help you decide if you really need to be using it or not. 

What is hyaluronic acid? 

Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance and it's actually produced naturally by our bodies and it's found in our skin, eyes and joints. As with most things in life, the levels of hyaluronic acid naturally present within us diminishes over time as we age and are exposed to environmental stressors like sun damage which then causes dry skin and a lack of firmness.

You will see hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate on your skincare products' INCI (ingredient) lists. Sodium hyaluronate is water soluble and can be produced synthetically to be identical to nature, derived naturally from plants (like corn or soybeans) or from animals like rooster combs or cow eyelashes so it's important to know the source of this ingredient. Look for vegan and cruelty free certified brands like UpCircle Beauty, AD Skin Synergy or Whitfords for plant-derived hyaluronic acid.

image of hyaluronic acid in a clear glass bottle with pipette hovering above it

What will hyaluronic acid do for my skin?

As hyaluronic acid exists to keep moisture levels up in the surface of our skin and prevent transepidermal moisture loss (TEWL), it will help give your skin a moisture surge. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar (polysaccharide) that holds a thousand times its weight in water so applying hyaluronic acid topically can help with moisture levels temporarily, particularly adding hydration to the eye area. It's also been known to help people suffering with dermatitis and eczema, however, be sure to check the INCI list for other ingredients in the formulation to ensure they're compatible with dry, irritated skin conditions. 

You'll find hyaluronic acid in humectant (moisture boosting) skincare products like moisturisers, eye creams and mists.

Benefits of using hyaluronic acid

  • Hydration - hyaluronic helps counteract the signs of dehydration in our skin like fine lines, wrinkles and plumpness
  • Skin protection - hyaluronic acid supports the skin's lipid barrier which is the first line of defence when it comes to fending off toxins, pollution and other skin stressors
  • Smoothing effect - hyaluronic acid gives our skin a soft and silky feeling as well as improving the appearance of uneven texture in the skin, something that may worsen as we age and elastic levels deplete 
  • Reduces inflammation - hyaluronic acid has been studied for wound healing and was found to reduce inflammation 

Can I improve my hyaluronic acid levels naturally? 

The answer is yes! You can help bolster your hyaluronic acid production by eating anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables. You may also want to consider adding skincare containing hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine for a topical approach as well. Hyaluronic supplements and injections are also available in the market but always do your research when assessing the claims being made.

close up of woman with brown skin's eye and cheek area. she is dispensing hyaluronic acid serum onto her face with a pipette. you can see the droplets on her cheekbones waiting to be rubbed in

How to use hyaluronic acid

You can use hyaluronic acid daily as it is produced naturally by the body and there have been minimal side effects reported clinically. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may want to err on the side of caution as not enough research has been conducted to know the effects of hyaluronic acid use during this phase of life. 

Which hyaluronic acid should I buy?

Hyaluronic acid comes in 3 sizes; small, medium and large molecule sizes. When it comes to our skincare we should be using the bigger molecule sized hyaluronic so that it sits on top of the skin and helps deliver benefits on the skins' surface (skin barrier support, minimising moisture loss, plumping and hydrating the skin etc). 

Using the smaller molecule sized hyaluronic acid penetrates deeper into the skin so sends a message to our body that our levels are ok therefore tricking our bodies into thinking we don't need to produce any naturally, or, cause inflammation and therefore premature ageing thus having the opposite effect. 

image showing 3 different sized dollops of hyaluronic acid to illustrate the different molecule sizes available

Hyaluronic acid has plenty of benefits for the surface of our skin so there's no reason why you shouldn't add it to your skincare routine if you want to tackle some of the skin concerns we've listed in the blog. However, we wouldn't rely soley on hyaluronic acid to solve all of your skincare needs. As always we'd recommend taking a holistic approach to your skin health and ensuring you're also using other ingredients as well as feeding your body internally with good diet and a healthy approach to your lifestyle for the best results. 

Our favourite hyaluronic acid products

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