The Secret of Hyaluronic Acid - Is It The One For You?
- By Rhea Kharge
Wondering how come an acid has become a holy grail in almost everyone's skincare routine? This read is to prove to you the fact that Hyaluronic acid is not a gimmick but one of the best skincare ingredients out there to replenish your skin with hydration, moisture and elasticity.
Before we get to the good stuff, let’s understand what Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is and why it is great for your skin -
HA is a chemical/ molecule that is found naturally in the skin. Glycosaminoglycan, a vital substance of the skin's youth-supporting matrix, is a fancier term for it. Hyaluronic acid, the most abundant glycosaminoglycan in the skin, aids in its stability, hydration, and regeneration.
It might sound crazy but we kid you not, Hyaluronic acid is integral to skin as it has a stunning capacity to attract, draw and sustain moisture up to 1000x its weight. It acts as a humectant, attracting water molecules to the surface of your skin to keep it moisturised. Because of their capacity to enhance moisture for all skin types, humectants are commonly found in water-based skincare products.
Researchers believe that this synergy with skin is the reason using Hyaluronic acid leads to healthy refined skin. It helps strengthen & preserve the unique microbiome on your skin.
At this point you must be wondering, how does this magic happen, to which here’s the answer -
The science behind it lies in the ability of HA to hold an incredible amount of moisture. For instance, One gram or 0.03 ounces of Hyaluronic Acid can replenish up to six litres of water. Is your mind blown? To top this off, what’s more impressive is that HA can do that without scaling or giving skin too much water which can have an adverse effect as HA is smart enough to quench your skin’s thirst and stop when the required amount of moisture is locked.
As we start to age, our skin's ability to hold water reduces. As a result, there is an apparent loss of skin's firmness & suppleness. HA’s ability to multiply moisture content in the skin helps to revitalise and hydrate the outer layers, making them softer, smoother, and plumper. It also helps improve skin elasticity while simultaneously reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
To sum up the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for you, it helps in -
- Increases skin moisture
- Boosts collagen production
- Reduces scarring
- Boosts elasticity
- Improves skin tone
Having said that, HA is also suitable for all skin types because it is a naturally occurring substance in the skin. Anyone and everyone can benefit from introducing HA into their skincare routine. However, it is always advisable to perform a patch test before using any skincare or beauty product, and the same should be the case when incorporating or trying HA for the first time.
Moving on to how to use this gem ingredient to its fullest -
Hyaluronic Acid is pretty much gentle on the skin, thus there is no harm in incorporating it into your skincare regime twice a day. Keeping HA’s abilities aside, it’s also important to use it correctly or you could end up with even drier skin than before.
As HA is buzzing in the skincare world right now, you can find it in almost everything from face wash to moisturisers to oral supplements and even injections. However, not all products contain the same amount of HA or provide the same benefits. There are various acid concentrations.
Some products, for example, feature the acid or its salt form, sodium hyaluronate. They have a higher acid concentration because their primary goal is to provide hydration and anti-aging support. Others contain a lower concentration of humectant to aid in a specific goal, such as treating acne or evening out skin tone.
While most HA products are suitable for all skin types, some are designed to address specific issues such as acne, dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles, redness, hyperpigmentation, and so on.
You’ll have to understand what your personal skincare requirements are and accordingly look for HA-infused products that suit you best. You may also notice various molecular weights on serum and cream labels.
Despite that fact, the application of HA remains more or less the same - to hydrate and replenish! There isn’t necessarily a correct amount, but when in doubt always read the directions.
Here are our three key tips that can be easily followed to keep your skin hydrated all day long -
1. Serums - A serum containing only HA as an ingredient has a somewhat different application process in comparison with a serum containing two or three different actives and HA being one of them. Apply a few drops of HA serum to your face with your palms after cleansing, while your skin is slightly damp, and a mix serum (2 or more actives in one) while your skin is clean and dry. Don't forget to follow up with a moisturiser to lock in all that hydration.
Tip: Use activities that work together such as Hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C to achieve bright, smooth and balanced skin.
2. Moisturisers - Use a Hyaluronic acid-infused moisturiser at the same time you would normally moisturise. This should ideally be done twice a day, always after cleansing, exfoliating, and applying serums.
Tip: Try combining HA with Bakuchiol to help balance skin & minimise fine lines. HA & Squalane as a duo helps increase & lock in water by the ingredients collectively acting as a mega hydrator and barrier shield for the skin.
3. SPF - Lastly, always make sure to wear sunscreen, to protect your skin from UV rays & pollution.
That’s how you do it right!
We know the term acid might scare some people, and at this point, you must be thinking what could be the side effects of HA, right?
Hyaluronic acid is exceptionally mild and beneficial to all skin types. As a topical skincare product, it is deemed non-irritating, with no major side effects documented. Its ability to control the microbiota of the skin can even aid with skin redness and irritation. It is also ideal for acne-prone skin due to its natural soothing properties.
Though there have been reports of adverse reactions to Hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers, such as edema and infection, these are rare occurrences that are unrelated to the topical use of skincare products containing hyaluronic acid or its derivatives.
To summarise, Hyaluronic Acid is one of the most simple ways to keep skin hydrated, rejuvenated, and youthful. It's easy to use, suitable for all skin types, has very few side effects, and is available in a variety of product formats. This skincare component is appropriate for all skin types.
Now, would you leverage this gem ingredient?