Hyaluronic acid is the key to keeping the skin hydrated and plump. It can be found in everything from serums to moisturisers and even face masks, but what exactly is it? Keep reading for the full rundown on this amazing ingredient and why your skin absolutely needs it.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that is naturally found in the skin and the connective tissue in your body. Its main benefits are keeping the skin moist and lubricated – it’s a moisture binder, meaning it attaches itself to the water in cells to make them plump. Hyaluronic acid can also draw moisture from the air to keep the skin hydrated, holding almost 1000 times its own weight in water. It’s a win-win: not only does it moisturise the skin, but it also has the ability to attract and hold extra moisture.
- Attracts and retains moisture: Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it attracts and holds moisture. This then helps to replenish and hold cell moisture, leading to hydrated, plump skin.
- Easily absorbed by the skin: With relatively small molecules, HA penetrates the skin easily and can be absorbed quickly.
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles: Dehydrated skin is one of the main causes of wrinkles. Since HA keeps the skin hydrated, it can help reduce the appearance of fine lines.
- Non-irritating: Generally, HA is non-irritating and is safe for all skin types.
Why Hyaluronic Acid is a Skincare Essential
No matter what your skin type is, the importance of hydrated skin cannot be understated. Since hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient in retaining moisture in the skin and keeping it hydrated, it’s one of the essential ingredients to add to your daily routine.
From a basic standpoint, a hydrated complexion looks more plump, healthy and youthful. Having hydrated skin will help to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. While it’s obvious why dry skin types would need extra hydration, hydrated skin also helps to combat oiliness. Dehydrated skin produces more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture; by keeping your skin hydrated, you are helping it to regulate oil production.
Hydrated skin is also more resilient to environmental irritants, which is great for sensitive skin types. When skin cells are getting maximum hydration to function at their best, they are able to flush out toxins more effectively.
While there are generally no known side effects of hyaluronic acid, it is important to note that it is best used on damp skin in order to retain water. Using too much HA can also end up drying the skin out. If you use too high a concentration, it will start to pull the moisture out of your skin, rather than drawing water from the air. It’s, therefore, most effective to use it right after cleansing when the face is still damp or to splash your face with some water first.
How to Use It
As mentioned, hyaluronic acid needs water to work well so it’s best to use it on damp skin. You can use it in both your AM and PM routine and it generally pairs well with most active ingredients. If your skin needs extra hydration, a good HA serum can be used as a foundation layer for a thicker moisturiser to lock in the moisture.
This vegan formula offers the hydrating superpowers of hyaluronic acid with an affordable price tag. Enhanced with a boost of vitamin B5 to increase hydration, this oil-free treatment leaves the skin softened and plump.
This ultra-hydrating toner is formulated with 3 different molecular weights. This allows the hyaluronic acid to be absorbed by the skin at different levels for longer. Say goodbye to dehydrated skin!
Due to its super hydrating formula, this serum is a drugstore favourite. This formula is packed with minerals sourced from French volcanoes, gliding on to the skin easily to reveal plump skin with a healthy glow.
This serum is formulated with a triple blend of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to boost moisture and brighten the skin. This is a great two-for-one serum as you get both hydrating and antioxidant benefits from just one product, making it perfect for daytime use.
With key ingredients such as vitamin E, ceramides and prickly pear seed oil, this hyaluronic acid serum is designed to offer full hydration. This is perfect for a hydrating pick-me-up, particularly for those living in drier climates (Gauteng peeps, this is for you!).