Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that has gotten a lot of attention when it comes to skincare. But what is it, what benefits does it provide, and how should you be using it in your skincare routine (or should you be using it at all)? We’ll cover the basics to help you decide.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring group of sugar molecules (polysaccharides) that are already present in your body. It works to provide moisture to your skin, as well as cushioning and moisturizing your joints and other connective tissues. As you age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in your body declines. This can lead to skin that looks dry, or increase the appearance of wrinkles on the skin’s surface. Other lifestyle and environmental factors, like smoking or living in areas with high air pollution, can accelerate the loss of this ingredient in your body.
To prevent the damage that comes from declining hyaluronic acid, you can supplement your body’s natural stores. Many people do that with topical serums and creams (although it’s possible to do it by taking oral supplements as well, but most people prefer the convenience of applying it to skin).
When you use a hyaluronic acid, the sugar molecules bind to water to increase the amount of water present in your skin cells. In fact, the molecules can absorb about 1,000 times their weight in water, making them a super-moisturizer for your skin. Without moisture, your skin will appear dry and flaky, and it can be more vulnerable to damage from the environment, like sun and pollution. With more moisture content, skin is healthier and has a stronger barrier to resist damage. It also looks more plump, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
There are three main types of hyaluronic acid that you will find in most skincare and beauty products:
Depending on your needs, you can look for hyaluronic acid serums, moisturizers, and even cleansers. Check the full ingredient list before you buy to make sure there are no allergens in the product that would irritate your skin. If you can find serums or creams that also have vitamin C, the two can work in tandem to improve moisturizing effectiveness.
If you have sensitive or dry skin, you should avoid any HA products with:
If you’re curious about HA and its benefits, talk to one of our skincare specialists at Skintherapy. We can help you sort through all the different hyaluronic acid options to find the one that’s perfect for you.
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