Why hyaluronic acid needs to be in your skincare routine – stat
Touted by the beauty cognoscenti as the be-all-end-all when it comes to topically-applied skin hydration, including hyaluronic acid in a beauty regime seems like a no-brainer. But before this happens, this ingredient – whose name prompts more thoughts of the periodic table than it does about a skin must-have – needs some deciphering.
What is it?
Natural hyaluronic acid, commonly referred to as HA, is a polysaccharide, a large-sized molecule made up largely of simple sugars, found in your body, especially the eyes and joints. There, it’s responsible for binding water and allowing parts of your body to move freely by lubricating them.
Similarly, in synthetic form it takes on a gel-like texture, becoming both a sponge and a magnet-like beacon for moisture. The takeaway fact: hyaluronic acid is able to hold 1000 times its weight in water. This makes it ideal for use in skincare products, during medical procedures to stop eyes from becoming dry, and as a key ingredient in derma fillers.
Its supreme compatibility with our bodies means that, whether it’s used topically in industry standard amounts (invariably 1% or 2%) or injected into the skin’s dermal layers, there are no adverse side effects to this compound.
Why is it good for your skin?
Its benefits are twofold: One the one hand, its temporary effects include making skin hydrated by pulling in lashings of water from the air, all while aiding in retaining skin’s moisture levels; On the other, it improves skin’s ability to protect itself against pollution, sun damage, inflammation, and even surface wounds in the long term.
Who should use it?
While it can generally be used by all skin types looking to reap its full benefits, here are those who will truly profit:
Those suffering from dehydrated skin will find that this ingredient becomes a skincare mainstay because of its intense moisturising properties.
Those dealing with skin problems
Since it doesn’t clog pores, a hyaluronic serum is a great way for people with acne, blackheads or particularly sensitive, volatile skin to hydrate and brighten without the subsequent breakouts that ensue from heavy moisturisers or oil-based products.
Anyone looking for an anti-aging staple
If the visible signs of ageing are a concern, hyaluronic acid helps fill-in superficial lines and boost skin with an overall-plump.
When should you use it?
To quench thirsty skin, apply once a day to begin with. See how your skin reacts – that is, if it takes well to the product and you feel you’re getting enough moisture from a single application – before using twice daily. Its lightweight texture means it needs to be applied before heavier creams, so use in the morning for a dewy makeup base, or in the evening when you want to treat your skin to some TLC. Pair with a serum or cream rich in vitamin C.
Do you use a product with hyaluronic acid? What has it done for your skin?