It seems like everyone can’t get enough of hyaluronic acid these days. Hyaluronic acid can be used to treat your dry skin and is found in just about everything, from serums to sheet masks, in moisturizers and toners, and all sorts of products in between. As an active ingredient it can be misleading, since we usually associate the word ‘acid’ with harsh chemicals—but hyaluronic acid is anything but harsh, in fact it is the opposite.
While hyaluronic acid is nothing new, this gentle hydrator is an essential part of a good skin care routine. In fact, your body naturally produces it. Here’s everything you need to know about this wonderful hydrating ingredient.
Firstly, Hyaluronic Acid Is A Humectant
Which is just a fancy way of saying it is a molecule that helps water bind to the skin. Hyaluronic acid is essentially an ingredient that helps your skin take, and absorb, a big drink of water. It acts as a sponge, absorbing water molecules as they bind to your skin, helping them absorb moisture and hydrate. Just one gram of hyaluronic acid can absorb up to six liters of water—now imagine the hydration magic that can do for you skin!
Humectant ingredients help absorb water and transfer it to something else, depending on what they are an ingredient in. Most commonly, you will see the term in reference to hyaluronic acid, but it’s not uncommon to see it on labels for hair care products, lotions, and other skincare products that are water-based.
Where humectant ingredients really shine is in their ability to draw in moisture from the air, continuously providing hydration throughout the day. Hydration--which is different from moisture in the skin care world--is the key to helping all skin types, especially since the body needs water to survive. Dry skin, however, is often dehydrated which in turn increases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Properly hydrating and moisturizing your dry skin will give it a more supple appearance, naturally smoothing over fine lines and wrinkles without the need for harsh active ingredients like retinol. However, hyaluronic is not actually an anti-aging product, but should be used in conjunction with anti-aging products for a well rounded skin care routine.
Hyaluronic Acid Enhances Your Skin’s Natural Lipid Barrier
While hyaluronic acid may not act as an antioxidant on its own, it has one key benefit that helps your body naturally fight against harmful free radicals and environmental toxins. Your skin is your body’s powerful protector, your barrier against the outside world. Your skin is not only the glue that holds everything together, but more importantly it protects what is inside against things like pollution, heat, and sun damage.
The top layer of your skin, the epidermis, is the part of your skin that provides the most protection—but it is also the most prone to getting damaged from external forces. Its protective layer, the lipid barrier, is an invisible barrier of fatty acids that bind water to the skin and prevent toxins from entering. However, as we age the production of that barrier slows down and toxins are able to penetrate easier.
Things like smoking, sun exposure, and even spending time in polluted areas will begin to affect the skin once the lipid barrier slows production as you age. Fortunately, hyaluronic acid can give your skin the necessary boost to stay healthy as you age. Hyaluronic acid boosts the lipid barrier by helping water molecules bind to the skin, fortifying its external layer to prevent toxins from being able to penetrate.
Integrating Hyaluronic Acid Into Your Skin Care Routine
Your skin can always benefit from adding hyaluronic acid into your skin care routine, no matter your skin type or current routine. Depending on your specific needs and skin type, there are certain hyaluronic acid products that your skin will respond to better than others. Consulting with one of our skin care specialists (which you can do here, for free!) is the easiest and most convenient way to get specialized recommendations on hyaluronic acid products that will help target specific areas you are looking to change.
To use hyaluronic acid, you can simply add it into any part of your skin care routine. There is really no wrong way to do it since this gentle ingredient will not irritate sensitive skin and, odds are, your skin can always use a little boost of hydration. In the morning, look for hyaluronic acid as an active ingredient in hydrating serums like SkinMedica’s HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator or iS Clinical's Hydra Cool Serum. Apply it again at night to hydrate as you rest so you can wake up to glowing, soft, and supple skin.
As a serum, hyaluronic acid acts as an emergency hydrator when you’re in need of some extra nourishment. Apply it to a fresh face, while you’re applying other serums but before you apply any richer creme’s and cosmetics. We are really digging Caudalie’s Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum.
So what are you waiting for? Incorporate hyaluronic acid into your skin care routine today and see what all the fuss is about. You can thank us later.