If you’re on the lookout for something that moisturizes, smoothes, and plumps your skin, Hyaluronic acid may just be the thing for you. This ingredient is taking the beauty industry by storm!
Here’s the deal - hyaluronic acid is a great addition to your daily skincare routine. Let us explain why.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid (HA)?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural moisturizing molecule found in your skin especially around your eyes. This is also found in your joints as a natural lubricant. HA molecules bind water to your skin cells, thereby increasing the production of collagen, and encouraging cell turnover. This property helps fight the effects of sun damage, pollution, and aging.
The science behind it is simple. This glycosaminoglycan – a type of sugar molecule – is a humectant, which means that it draws moisture from the environment. A single gram of HA can hold upto a thousand times its weight in water and attach it to your skin. This in turn keeps skin smooth and hydrated. In addition, this elastic gel-like agent increases the production of collagen, making your skin soft and supple.
Why Should I Use Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid has a number of benefits that scientists and dermatologists attest to.
- Hydrating properties: HA molecules sit on top of the skin and absorb moisture from the air. This hygroscopic nature creates a natural, long-lasting moisture cushion. This makes your skin radiant and plump.
- Anti-aging action: Hyaluronic acid has been proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, redness, and scars. This is because it encourages cell turnover. As cells are nourished, more collagen is produced. Over time, this reverses aging and makes your skin look smooth and youthful.
- Wound healing potential: HA secretion is a part of the body’s natural healing process. Topical application of HA serum or gel over a wound can speed up healing, reduce inflammation, and minimize pain. In addition, its antibacterial properties reduce infection.
- Alleviating joint pain: HA is a natural lubricating agent found in your joints. HA supplements ease joint pain, especially when it comes to osteoarthritis, a disease that affects knees and other joints. This study published in the Scientific World Journal demonstrates that “oral administration alleviates symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.”
- Soothing dry eyes: HA eye drops have been shown to reduce discomfort due to dry eyes. It can be used to treat chronic dry eyes and pain. Further, HA is also used in eye surgery.
Acid Is Not Scary!
Don’t let the word ‘acid’ scare you. An acid is merely a chemical classification and does imply a harsh ingredient. Not all acids are bad for your skin – vitamin C is actually ascorbic acid. For example, alpha and beta hydroxy acids are common skincare ingredients – salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid are all skin-loving essentials.
Popularly called the ‘moisturizing acid,’ HA is gentle and recommended even for sensitive skin types. Besides, HA is naturally produced by your body. This means that there is a low risk of an allergic reaction. Side effects, if any, are minimal.
Start off slowly, with an HA-infused cream on your face. Once your skin gets used to HA, you can move on to concentrated serums and gels.
A Key Molecule In Natural Anti-Aging
HA molecules “exhibit a distinct profile in intrinsic skin aging,” according to this study published in the Dermato Endocrinology Journal of the National Institute of Health. This means that additional HA doses can be used as anti-aging agents. HA injectables and serums are effective anti-aging tools because they form cellular structures that hold moisture. In addition, they boost collagen production by providing your skin with adequate nourishment and water. They attach themselves to crevices and wrinkles, giving your skin a smooth, flawless look.
Hyaluronic acid skin diagram source
Hyaluronic Acid Skin Products - Many To Choose From!
You can use hyaluronic acid in various forms. Here are a few to get you started.
Pure Hyaluronic Acid Powder
HA powder, like Pure Nature’s Hyaluronic Acid Powder, integrates HA crystals into the skin’s superficial layer and forms a protective barrier. This increases elasticity and locks in moisture. HA powder is a great addition to your daily face makeup routine. Add 1 tsp of HA powder to 7 tbsp water to make pure HA gel, and apply on your face.
Hyaluronic Acid Nutritional Supplements
HA oral supplements – like Good Health capsules – infuse higher concentrations of HA – between 150-250 milligrams - for ingestion. Oral supplements are mainly used to relieve joint pain in patients suffering from osteoarthritis. A 2014 study published in the Nutrition Journal also showed that “ingested hyaluronan moisturizes dry skin.”
Hyaluronic serum contains Sodium Hyaluronate, a derivative of HA that penetrates the top layer of skin. With a 1.5 serum dose percent of the active ingredient, this concentrated serum is non-greasy and does not clog pores. This results in long-lasting moisture, leaving your skin looking dewy and fresh in the morning. Over time, this also reduces redness and fine lines.
Topical Creams and Lotions
Daily creams and lotions provide moisture on the go and leave your skin feeling fresh right after a wash. These Sodium Hyaluronate creams can be reapplied during the day as you deem fit. All topical creams penetrate only the superficial layer of the skin and must be used consistently for visible results. However, “cream-based topical application of 0.1% HA formulations lead to significant improvement in skin hydration and elasticity,” according to this study.
Injectable Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers
Fillers and injectables involve minimally invasive procedures that pump HA into deep connective tissue. They repair damaged skin from the inside out and drastically improve skin texture. As a result, your skin becomes firmer and plumper. Dermal fillers provide the quickest results when compared to all other products.
Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid Gel
HA gels infuse Sodium Hyaluronate in an aqueous base to boost moisture. This can be used as a base layer that locks in water. Gels can be used as primers under heavy layers of makeup. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Water Gel is an example.
HA-suspension Eye Drops
HA eye drops typically contain a 0.2-0.4% solution of Sodium Hyaluronate to lubricate your eyes. These suspensions alleviate dry eyes and related discomfort. They may also be used in surgical procedures.
The History Of Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid wasn’t always this well-known. The name ‘hyaluronic’ comes from the Greek hyalos which means ‘glass-like.’ It was discovered in the 1930s within the human eye. Known until the 70s as the ‘goo molecule,’ HA was first used in eye surgery as a moisturizing agent.
Why Is Hyaluronic Acid So Popular Today?
HA’s popularity in recent years soared as more dermatologists realized its importance in hydrating skin. From serums and gels to lotions and even injectables, this versatile ingredient ought to be a staple in your skincare routine. In fact, hyaluronic acid is very popular in Japan’s skincare industry, and is found in most water-based toners and serums.
What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid has been shown to have the following benefits:
- Moisturizes and softens your skin
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
- Treats dry eyes and itching
- Promotes wound healing
- Eases joint pain
What does hyaluronic acid do?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural moisturizing molecule produced by your skin. When applied topically or injected, each molecule of HA can hold a thousand times its weight in water. This hydrates your skin and encourages cell turnover, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles. As a result, your skin looks soft, smooth, and plump.
What is Hyaluronic Acid made of?
Hyaluronic acid is a type of sugar molecule – specifically, a glycosaminoglycan - that is naturally produced by your skin. In cosmetics, they can be derived from both plant and animal sources. This means that there are vegan alternatives as well.
Is it worth using hyaluronic acid?
Yes, hyaluronic acid (HA) is a great moisturizer although you must consider the type of your skin. Studies from the National Library of Medicine have shown that consistent use of HA smoothes skin texture and retains moisture. It also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, making your skin look fresh and smooth. However, the amount of moisture in your environment must also be taken into account - HA may not be suited for extremely dry weather.
What's better retinol or hyaluronic acid?
You can use retinol and hyaluronic acid together for better skin. Topical retinol increases collagen production and promotes skin turnover, making it a great fix for blemishes and pimples. Meanwhile, hyaluronic acid moisturizes your skin, giving it a hydrated, plump tone. HA has minimal, if any, side effects. It can also be used to soothe retinol’s purging process.
How often should I use hyaluronic acid?
Begin with one application of hyaluronic acid serum or cream per day, preferably before bed. Hyaluronic acid is gentle and works well on sensitive skin too. Once your skin gets used to it, you may apply it twice a day. You can also opt for HA injectables and tablets