Hyaluronic acid is the most popular and well-known moisturizing ingredient in cosmetics. From serums to moisturizers, it's found in almost every skincare product. Its multiple benefits, ranging from hydrating the skin to reducing the appearance of wrinkles, have earned it its unparalleled popularity.
Here's everything you need to know about hyaluronic acid and its multiple skin benefits. And who knows, maybe you'll want to add it to your skincare routine!
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is like a sponge. It captures water and retains it in the skin. Specifically, this ingredient is able to retain up to 1000 times its weight in water.
Its ability to retain water allows it to maintain an optimal level of hydration in the skin. Moreover, HA is naturally present in the skin. It plays an essential role in maintaining the hydration and elasticity of the skin.
In short, the main benefits of hyaluronic acid for the skin (1) are :
- Keeps the skin well hydrated
- Improves skin suppleness
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles
- Aids in wound healing
Despite its weird name, hyaluronic acid is actually a sugar! At the molecular level, HA is a polysaccharide, a long chain of linked sugar units. It is possible to cut this chain into smaller pieces of chain to improve its penetration into the skin (2). This is what we refer to when we talk about hyaluronic acid of different molecular weights.
Thus, the high molecular weight HA tends to remain on the surface of the skin and create a layer of hydration. Lower molecular weights penetrate deeper into the skin and can influence various skin phenomena such as wound healing (3).
HA: For Whom and What For?
Hyaluronic acid is everyone's best ally, regardless of age or skin type. It is not for nothing that it is so popular!
This hydrating ingredient is beneficial for all skin types, ranging from dry to oily skin to dehydrated skin. Because regardless of your skin type, your skin first and foremost needs to be well hydrated to be healthy. HA is therefore the ideal ingredient to ensure a good level of hydration in your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is also your best ally during seasonal changes and the harsh winter months. It ensure that your skin is well hydrated, regardless of the weather!
In addition, hyaluronic acid is well tolerated by sensitive skin and is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding since it is naturally present in the skin.
Skin aging leads to a decrease in the HA naturally present in the upper layer of the skin, which leads to a significant loss of hydration (4). In cosmetics, HA can restore hydration in the skin and improve its elasticity (1). HA is therefore beneficial for both young and mature skin.
How to Integrate it in Your Skincare Routine?
A hyaluronic acid serum is a great option for adding this ingredient to your routine. It is recommended to apply the serum to slightly damp skin, for example after applying thermal water or when getting out of the shower. This maximizes the moisturizing effect of HA.
You can then follow up your routine with a rich moisturizer to seal moisture into your skin. To maximize your hydration routine, you can select a moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid.
HA is so popular that it is even found in eye creams! To complete your hydration routine, select an eye cream containing hyaluronic acid.
How to Find Hyaluronic Acid on an Ingredients List?
Before making any purchase, it is a good idea to check if your current cosmetics already contain this ingredient! On the ingredient list, hyaluronic acid is usually listed as sodium hyaluronate. Sodium hyaluronate is actually hyaluronic acid, but in the form of a salt. Just like HA, it traps water to keep skin hydrated.
Finally, hyaluronic acid also exists in injectable form. Hyaluronic acid injections, also referred to as dermal fillers, inject HA deep into the skin. These injections mainly help to give volume to the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. However, hyaluronic acid in cosmetics remains an excellent alternative to injections if you do not wish to resort to this type of procedure.