Hyaluronic acid is a top dermatologist-recommended ingredient that you’ll want to look for if you’re searching for skin care products that are designed to help achieve a healthy-looking, hydrated, and dewy complexion. When it comes to sticking to a skin care routine, most of us probably have that same end goal: incorporating products with hydration and anti-aging benefits. If those are what you’re after, you’ll certainly be happy to hear about the skin care benefits of hyaluronic acid.
Not sure how to incorporate hyaluronic acid into your skin care regimen? Keep reading for all the details on this ingredient, such as its known benefits and the different formulas you can find it in (including our best hyaluronic acid serum and hyaluronic acid moisturizers).
WHAT IS HYALURONIC ACID?
So, what is hyaluronic acid? Is it actually an acid? As it turns out, hyaluronic acid (HA) is an acid, though it isn’t nearly as intimidating as its name suggests. HA is a molecule made from enzymes—more specifically, a glycosaminoglycan that has the ability to bind and retain water molecules, per the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
If you’ve heard one thing about hyaluronic acid, it’s probably that it’s capable of holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Yep, it’s true! In fact, 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 for this article, we’ll focus solely on skin care and the skin care benefits of hyaluronic acid.
As natural levels of HA in the skin deplete over time, skin care products formulated with hyaluronic acid, including hyaluronic acid cream, serum, and moisturizer, come through in the clutch, making 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 products because of its ability to plump up the appearance of skin with hydration, so wrinkles and fine lines appear less noticeable over time. Which brings us to…
THE SKIN CARE BENEFITS OF HYALURONIC ACID
Like we said, as you age, your natural levels of hyaluronic acid deplete—which is why replenishing them, via skin care products formulated with the ingredient, can be so beneficial. So, let’s talk about those benefits. Below, find three benefits to take note of!
Benefit #1: Moisture. Like we said earlier, 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 skin moisture—and remember, oily skin needs moisture, too!
Benefit #2: Wrinkles. That moisture we mentioned? Well, it can also help with the appearance of wrinkles. After all, the key to maintaining healthy-looking and youthful skin is hydration, so it makes sense that applying products formulated with hyaluronic acid helps plump up the skin's appearance, moisturize, and make wrinkles less noticeable. According to the NCBI, hyaluronic acid is often used in products designed to address visible wrinkles and improve skin elasticity.
Benefit #3: Brighten. Products formulated with hyaluronic acid can also brighten skin’s appearance. Skin will appear smoother and plumped with hydration after using.
HOW TO INTRODUCE HYALURONIC ACID 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. Three options you can consider? Serums, ampoules, and moisturizers formulated with hyaluronic acid. Let’s dig into a few product recommendations.
OUR BEST HYALURONIC ACID SERUM
One of the best ways to introduce hyaluronic acid into your life is with a hyaluronic acid serum. And we have just the thing! The L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a dermatologist-validated, intensively hydrating 1.5% pure hyaluronic acid serum that helps replenish moisture for plumped, youthful-looking skin with bounce. This 1.9% concentration is key since, according to the NCBI, only a very low molecular weight of hyaluronic acid is able to penetrate the outermost layers of skin.
Part of our Derm Intensives line, this serum has a lightweight formula that absorbs quickly with no tacky feel or residue left behind. Not only that, but the formula is also free of parabens, mineral oil, synthetic dyes, and fragrance. After just two weeks of regular use, fine lines and wrinkles are visibly reduced.
How to use it: Every morning and evening, apply two to three drops to clean skin on the face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Let dry for a few seconds then follow up with your favorite moisturizer.
OUR BEST HYALURONIC ACID AMPOULES
Used for decades in European pharmacies, serum ampoules have been a staple for concentrated skin care treatments. The L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.9% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Replumping Ampoules are dermatologist-validated and provide a total of seven doses of pure hyaluronic acid. Each individual ampoule contains 1.9% pure hyaluronic acid to revive and hydrate your skin. After one ampoule, skin looks visibly smoother and instantly feels hydrated. After just seven ampoules, skin looks healthier, re-plumped, and wrinkles are visibly reduced.
How to use it: Use half of one ampoule in the morning and the other half in the evening. After cleansing, tap the top of the ampoule and crack it off. Apply onto damp skin on your face, neck, and décolleté, massaging upward. Use the top as a plug to store for a second use. Easy!
OUR BEST MOISTURIZERS AND CREAM WITH HYALURONIC ACID
There’s no harm in adding more than one product with hyaluronic acid to your skin care routine. In fact, it could be just what your complexion needs! Below, find our best moisturizers and cream made with hyaluronic acid.
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Moisturizer: Formulated with the three of the top derm-proven ingredients: hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and Pro-Retinol, this lightweight yet intensely moisturizing formula absorbs quickly and leaves skin feeling velvety soft.
Immediately, skin is deeply hydrated, while skin texture looks smoother, skin feels firmer, and the appearance of wrinkles is reduced with continued use over time. This beloved moisturizer is trusted by women across the United States—as evidenced by the #RevitaliftChallenge where 14,000 women were polled after using a complimentary sample of the product 2x a day for 14 days. At the end of the challenge, those same women said they saw results in just one week and shared that they trusted the product and would continue to use it.
How to use it: Every morning and evening, smooth the moisturizer over your face, neck, and jawline until thoroughly absorbed. If you like to layer skin care products, apply your hyaluronic acid serum before this moisturizer.
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal to Oily Skin: In normal and oily skin, external factors such as pollution, UV rays, and excessive cleansing can damage skin’s moisture barrier, causing loss of moisture and an increase in oil production. As a result, your complexion can start to look overly shiny. This water-based moisturizer formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water helps reduce the appearance of excess shine and leave skin with a matte finish.
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal to Dry Skin: Normal and dry skin faces external factors such as pollution and UV rays that can damage the skin’s moisture barrier, increasing loss of moisture and causing it to become drier. As a result, skin’s surface loses its glow, becoming dull-looking. This water-based moisturizer formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water envelops skin with moisture, improving the look of radiance.
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Extra Dry Skin: Your skin has a very fragile moisture barrier that can easily be damaged by external factors such as pollution and UV rays. Skin consequently loses its ability to retain moisture, becoming easily dehydrated, feeling tight and uncomfortable. This water-based moisturizer formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water envelops skin with moisture, providing comfort.
How to use them: Apply your Hydra Genius moisturizer of choice to clean, damp skin (this can help lock in hydration!) every morning under makeup and every night after cleansing, gently smoothing it over your face and neck.
OK, now you’re officially a hyaluronic acid expert! Next, it’s time for your crash course in vitamin C. Because guess what? Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C can pair amazingly with one another! To learn more, read our article, What Can Vitamin C Do for the Skin?