This is an ingredient that knows no introduction and seems to be the word on all skincare brands lips (And packaging). But are you still scratching your head over what it’s all about, why everyone is swooning over it and where to start when looking to try this ingredient out? Here’s some help on breaking it down for you.
What is it?
- Hyaluronic acid (HA), also known as hyaluronan is a carbon molecule that is already naturally occurring in our bodies.
- It is also known as a glycosaminoglycan, a vital natural substance that keeps the skin stable and renewed.
- Another name for it is Sodium hyaluronate, which is a water-soluble salt form of hyaluronic acid created by scientists to increase stability and lessen the likelihood of oxidization. The two names (hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate) are used interchangeably in the beauty industry, but they do have their differences.
What it does – Inner Beauty
- In our bodies, it provides lubrication to the connective tissues of our joints and skin – it’s an important part of our skin’s overall health. Although it’s present in many areas of your body including your eyes, internal fluids and connective tissues, 50% of the total amount in your body is found in your skin.
What it does – Outer Beauty
- Hyaluronic Acid is a mega moisturiser. It’s known as a humectant – which means it grabs onto moisture so your skin can absorb it. It can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water so this product will help you get more hydrated skin which is plumper and firmer.
- The HA molecule is too large to penetrate the top layer of the skin, so it gets to work grabbing and holding onto any moisture so you skin can then absorb it.
- One note – when using pure Hyaluronic acid on dry skin in particular, layer it with a good cream / serum on top as you could end up drying your skin out more if it doesn’t have any moisture to pull in.
Who can use it?
- All skins can use it, even the most sensitive. But it’s great for dry/dehydrated skins that really need the extra boost of moisture.
- As you age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in your skin depletes, meaning your skin loses its suppleness and starts to sag. Hyaluronic acid plumps up the skin, smoothing out he fine lines and wrinkles!
- It will give you plumped, glowing skin with the appearance of lines reduced.
- Dry skin is more vulnerable to damage and infection getting through, so keeping it moisturised improves the protective barrier – it’s like repairing your skin’s armour! It also supports your skins repairing and healing ability through its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
- As it acts as a lubricant in the body, it can also help to reduce joint pain and help you to retain collagen.
- Its healing abilities mean it can be used on wounds such as mouth ulcers and sunburn relief.
- It is because of these water attraction qualities that this simple but powerful molecule has developed cult status in the skincare and increasingly in the make-up world. Not only are we applying it to our skin topically using it in facemasks serums creams, we’re taking hyaluronic supplements plus we’re also injecting it into our faces to plump up those areas that need a volume boost. Wow!
I’m not going to try and say this is a comprehensive list of products that harness the power of Hyaluronic Acid… but instead, these are just a few of our favourites at the moment for each step in your routine.
Cleansing with Hyaluronic Acid
This cleanser from Superfacialist utlises Hyaluronic Acid to plump and keep the skin hydrated while cleaning the skin effectively. It is a foaming cleanser, so the Hyaluronic Acid in this product helps to keep the skin hydrated against the sometimes more drying effects of a foaming cleanser.
Using it in an eye cream
Due to it’s plumping abilities – Hyaluronic Acid is amazing to treat that delicate under eye area – it’s something already found in the body so it’s most likely not going to cause any irritation in that sensitive area.
The Renew Eye Cream from S5 Skincare contains Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid: which hydrates, soothes and plumps up the appearance of wrinkles.
The Katherine Daniels Instant Effect Eye masks has combined a concentration of Sea Kelp and a Mineral Complex, saturated with hydra-boosting Hyaluronic Acid to give the eyes an instant boost! Great for a quick drench of hydration.
For a rejuvanted glow, the Institut Esthederm eye contour is a great boost of hydration for the delicate eye area.
Using it in a serum
Using Hyalronic Acid in a serum is a match made in heaven. There are some seriously great formulas out there that ultilise all the different sized HA molecules to penetrate different layers of the skin, delivering intense hydration!
What makes the Alpha H hyaluronic 8 quite amazing is that it combines 8 types of hyaluronic acid! A mixture of weights means that it penetrates mulitple layers of the skin effectively.
We also like the Image Skincare Hyaluronic Filler – which has 6 forms and is Physician-formulated.
Love the Niod MMHC2 – this combines a massive 15 hyaluronic compounds, hyaluronic precursors and a hyaluronic support technology in a peptide-charged delivery system. It’s a water based formula to improve the appearance on the skin. The Neostrata Tri-Therapy serum utlises very low molecular weight HA to penetrate the skin deeply. Vichy keeps the ingredients simple – only 11 ingredients aiming to work on sensitive skin. It has a nice gel-like texture, less jelly-like compared to some Hyaluronic Acid’s and also combines Vichy Thermal Mineralizing Water to plump the skin.
Buy the Alpha H product for £38 from Look Fantastic
The Image Skincare AGELESS Total Pure Hyaluronic Filler for £80 from Image Skincare
The Niod MMHC2 is £25 from Niod
The Neostrata Skin Active Tri-Therapy Lifting Serum is £79 from dermacaredirect
The Vichy MINÉRAL 89 HYALURONIC ACID BOOSTER is £25 from Vichy
Using it in a face cream
The Hidraderm Hyal Facial Cream is a lovely cream enriched with Hyaluronic Acid to promote water retention in the skin – it has 3 different types in it to really get into the skin.
Using it in a Mist
Mists are a great way to deliver hydration throughout the day and these mists contain a beautiful array of ingredients to nourish the skin and keep that moisture locked in. As it’s recommended that you should always apply something on top of HA in order to seal it in, mists are a great option on the go as they contain a mixture of gorgeous ingredients, not just pure HA in order to nourish and pep up the skin.
The Bybi Mega mist is a firm favourite – it has an array of gorgeous ingredients that work alongside the HA to really make the skin glow immediately on application.
Okay – this isn’t technically a mist but an essence but it’s so lush we had to include it – here’s the Omorovicza Essence. Our full review is here. Well apart from the hydration etc, essences are said to help to improve the skin barrier, as well as amplifying the effects of your serums, face oils and moisturisers that you apply afterwards. Love this as a first step!
Love the idea of this mist from Pretty Athletic – if you want to cool down after going for a workout, this mist is a fab option to actually hydrate your skin, rather than just spraying it with water and actually drying your skin out more. Also contains rose water – love it!
Using it in a Mask
Oh yes – if you need a deeper shot of hydration, a mask infused with HA is the way to go.
This super cool mask from Dr Dennis Gross comes with a little pot and you mix them together to activate the ingredients – it’s like an at home spa! You mix together the Hyaluronic Cushion Gel (Step 1) with Activating Powder (Step 2) in a bowl and apply to your skin – leaving you radiant and glowing.
Hyaluronic Acid and fine bio-cellulose tissue masks are a match made in heaven! The mask fits on your face like a second skin to deeply hydrate.
You can also find it in a Primer
This Photo Finish Primerizer from Smashbox has a thin consistency, but it does make the skin feel very hydrated and ready for makeup.
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