Hyaluronic acid is one of the most well-known skincare ingredients and is often found in the best moisturizing products.
However, just because an ingredient is popular doesn’t mean it’s effective.
So is hyaluronic acid worth the hype? Let’s find out!
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in our body’s connective tissue. It’s a glycosaminoglycan, which is a carbohydrate or sugar called a polysaccharide.
It’s what gives your skin its structure and its plump, hydrated look. And with all the buzz around anti-aging recently, it’s time to explore hyaluronic acid and its benefits for our skin.
Hyaluronic acid is more than a fad ingredient—when our levels decrease as we age, it makes us susceptible to wrinkles and sagging skin. So let’s talk about why hyaluronic acid should be a staple in your skincare routine.
Is It Safe?
Yes! Adverse effects and reactions from hyaluronic acid are extremely rare.
Over-the-counter products containing hyaluronic acid—like creams, serums, lotions, and eye care products—are generally considered safe. Supplements containing hyaluronic acid are also typically safe to take.
There are some prescription hyaluronic acid products available, but you should always take them as instructed by your dermatologist or healthcare provider.
Finally, some injections containing hyaluronic acid are safe, but should only be administered by licensed medical professionals.
How Is Hyaluronic Acid Made?
Hyaluronic acid can come from three sources:
- Internal: Our bodies naturally produce hyaluronic acid, which is synthesized by the enzyme hyaluronic acid synthase. That enzyme combines two sugars (N-acetyl Acetylglucosamine and D-glucuronic acid), which turn into hyaluronic acid.
- Natural: When sold as a nutritional supplement, hyaluronic acid is considered natural if it’s extracted from an animal source. It’s typically obtained from rooster combs.
- Artificial: Laboratories can also produce hyaluronic acid through a process called biosynthesis, using specific strains of bacteria.
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Skincare
What makes hyaluronic acid such a magical ingredient? It has many benefits:
- Wound healing
- Increasing skin elasticity
- Treating facial redness
- Eliminating wrinkles
- Treating eczema
- Balancing pH levels
Let’s look a little closer at its benefits.
What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do for Skin?
The long-term use of hyaluronic acid on your skin (or as a supplement) can help improve overall skin health, increase elasticity and flexibility, improve wrinkles, enhance hydration, balance your pH, and more.
Hyaluronic acid is a remarkable substance that does a lot for your skin, including:
- Hyaluronic acid makes your skin flexible. It helps your skin flex and stretch, reducing skin lines and wrinkles.
- Hyaluronic acid can also help reduce scarring and heal wounds faster.
- Hyaluronic acid keeps your skin hydrated. The substance is extremely good at retaining water. It’s often used to treat dry eyes and skin, which is why you’ll find hyaluronic acid in many of the best moisturizing products.
Keeps Skin Hydrated
Hyaluronic acid can bind 1000x its weight in water—that means it holds water molecules on your skin’s surface to keep skin hydrated.
Related: How to Fix Dry Skin
Well-moisturized skin refers to skin with lots of water content. Hyaluronic acid prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL) to keep your skin hydrated by ensuring water doesn’t escape from skin’s surface.
Hyaluronic acid slows the rate water evaporates from your skin—it’s a highly effective hydrator!
Helps Maintain a Healthy pH Balance
Great—but what does that have to do with hyaluronic acid?
We’re glad you asked.
When using a skincare product, it’s important to maintain the skin’s natural pH level, which is slightly acidic—around 4.7, on average.
Hyaluronic acid has a low pH—hence the name hyaluronic acid—making it more effective than similar ingredients. With its ideal pH level, hyaluronic acid can actually help your body promote collagen production and hyaluronic acid synthesis.
Does Hyaluronic Acid Interact with Other Skincare Products?
While hyaluronic acid is generally safe to use, there’s a small possibility that it could interact with other compounds or medications you take, leading to unwanted side effects.
However, the best way to identify any potential concerns is by telling your dermatologist or healthcare provider about any supplements, vitamins, medications, etc., that you take before changing your skincare routine and adding new ingredients.
How Can You Take Hyaluronic Acid?
There are various ways to incorporate hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine. Many products are available over the counter, while a few require a prescription.
Some of the most common ways to take hyaluronic acid include:
- Dietary supplements and pills—many of these products contain hyaluronic acid. In addition, you can find it in liquid form to mix with water. Taking hyaluronic acid in supplements can improve skin health and even help reduce arthritis pain!
- Lotions, serums, and creams—many high-quality skincare products contain hyaluronic acid because of its benefits. It’s especially useful to help reduce the appearance of age lines and wrinkles while keeping your skin hydrated.
- Filler injections—dermatologists and doctors can prescribe a filler injection that typically contains collagen and hyaluronic acid to help restore your skin’s natural shape and appearance. These injections can also add volume to lips and treat acne scars.
Related: Remedies for Dry Skin
The easiest (and often most effective) way to take hyaluronic acid for its skincare benefits is by using topical products, like creams, that contain the ingredient. Adding a daily moisturizer with hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine can do amazing things for your skin’s health.
Look for skincare products that contain sodium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, or sodium acetylated hyaluronate—like our BALANCING ACT daily cream—to take advantage of its benefits.
Hyaluronic acid has many benefits and uses for skin care—it might be the skincare soulmate you’ve been searching for.
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