Hyaluronic acid is one of the top dermatologist-recommended ingredients that you’ll want to look for if you’re searching for skin care products that are designed to help achieve a healthy-looking and dewy complexion. So if the main focus of your skin care routine is hydration and anti-aging, you’ll certainly be happy to hear about hyaluronic acid’s benefits.
But if you’re not sure how to incorporate hyaluronic acid into your regimen, we have all the information you’ll need. Keep reading for all the details and skin benefits of hyaluronic acid, and the different over-the-counter formulas you can find the ingredient in so you can easily add it to your routine.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
So, what is hyaluronic acid? Is it actually an acid? The answer is yes, though it isn’t nearly as intimidating as its name suggests. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a molecule made from enzymes — more specifically, a glycosaminoglycan (a long group of carbohydrates) that has the ability to bind and retain water molecules, per the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Your skin naturally produces hyaluronic acid molecules, but as you age, the levels of HA in the body start to deplete. This may be one of the reasons you notice your skin is drier and less plump-looking over time. In addition to being found in the skin, hyaluronic acid is a lubricant that’s naturally found in other bodily tissues and joint fluid, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But we’ll be focusing solely on skin care and the skin care benefits of hyaluronic acid.
As natural levels of HA in the skin decrease over time, skin care products formulated with hyaluronic acid, such as creams, moisturizers, and serums, are able to make up for what we lose with age. The American Academy of Dermatology confirms that hyaluronic acid is often used in formulations meant to help with dry skin and anti-aging because of its ability to give the appearance of ultra-hydrated skin, so wrinkles and fine lines appear less noticeable over time.
The Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
Like we said, as you age, your natural levels of hyaluronic acid drop — which is why replenishing them via skin care products formulated with the ingredient can be so beneficial. Below, find three benefits to take note of.
1. Hyaluronic Acid Adds Moisture to the Skin
Hyaluronic acid boosts your skin’s moisture retention. You’ll want to keep your skin hydrated, because youthful-looking skin maintains its glowing, dewy appearance thanks to moisture, according to research published by the National Institutes of Health. In other words, skin aging has a lot to do with loss of moisture — and remember, oily skin needs moisture, too.
2. Hyaluronic Acid Reduces the Look of Wrinkles
Remember that moisture we mentioned? Well, it can also help with the appearance of wrinkles. Since the key to maintaining youthful skin is hydration, it makes sense that applying products formulated with hyaluronic acid moisturizes and makes wrinkles less noticeable. According to the NCBI, hyaluronic acid is often used in products designed to address fine lines and wrinkles.
3. Hyaluronic Acid Improves the Skin’s Elasticity
Hyaluronic acid helps the skin stretch and flex. Skin elasticity refers to the skin’s ability to stretch and then snap back into shape, and a loss of that elasticity can make your skin look saggy, so hyaluronic acid helps maintain and restore that stretchiness.
What Skin Type Is Hyaluronic Acid Good For?
As you may have already figured by now, hyaluronic acid works well for multiple skin types and everyone can benefit from the ingredient in their topical skin care products.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Dry Skin?
As we stated above, hyaluronic acid is most popular for dry skin, as its hydration retention properties are beneficial for combating dryness and keeping moisture in the skin.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Oily Skin?
While you may think you need to skip hydrating ingredients if you have oily skin, hyaluronic acid is actually a great way to keep oily skin moisturized and balanced. It's lightweight enough to give you hydration, but it's not heavy and won't further clog your pores or add shine to your face.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Good for Sensitive Skin?
If you find your skin reacting to most skin care products, you likely won’t see this when it comes to hyaluronic acid. The ingredient is gentle, and since it's also naturally found in our bodies it's extremely unlikely to irritate sensitive skin.
The Best Hyaluronic Acid Products to Add to Your Routine
After hearing about such great benefits, you’ll likely want to find a way to work hyaluronic acid into your routine — and there are plenty of products to help you do that.
This serum has a lightweight formula that absorbs quickly with no tacky feel or residue left behind. The formula is also free of parabens, mineral oil, synthetic dyes and fragrance, and after just two weeks of regular use, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is visibly reduced.
Apply two to three drops to clean skin on the face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Let the serum dry for a few seconds then follow up with your favorite moisturizer.
Signs of aging are often most prominent around the eye area — so this eye serum has you covered. Containing hyaluronic acid as well as one pure caffeine, this serum can minimize the appearance of crow’s feet, dark circles and puffiness.
This hydrating formula is dispensed through a stainless steel triple roller applicator to massage the eye area, for skin that looks bright and well-rested.
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Micro Hyaluronic Acid + Ceramides Line-Plumping Water Cream
This non-greasy, quick absorbing face moisturizer contains both hyaluronic acid and ceramides to deeply hydrate the skin and visibly replump fine lines. The formula also helps your skin attract and lock in moisture, and in two weeks skin looks bouncier and brighter. Smooth the cream over your face and neck as part of your morning and evening skin care routine.
Formulated with three top derm-recommended ingredients — hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and retinol — this lightweight formula absorbs quickly and leaves skin feeling velvety soft. The moisturizer works instantly to deeply hydrate skin while firming and smoothing texture — and it also reduces the appearance of wrinkles with continued use over time. Apply your hyaluronic acid serum before this moisturizer.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one hydrating and brightening product to add to your morning routine, this day lotion is the perfect choice. The moisturizer contains a combination of hyaluronic acid, pro-retinol, and vitamin C that all work together to defy signs of aging and brighten the complexion — all in one week. Use during the day to both moisturize the skin and protect it from the sun with built-in SPF 30.
Hyaluronic acid is the main active ingredient in this moisturizer, and it works replenish any hydration lost from the skin’s depleting moisture levels. Meant for daily use, this cream uses HA to make skin look fuller and smooth, while vitamin C and pro-retinol help to brighten skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Apply the moisturizer over your face and jawline morning and night.
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn
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