Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a naturally occurring sugar in our skin that holds water and helps to keep our skin hydrated and plump. Our natural HA can hold a thousand times its weight in water (!) in our skin and joints AND prevents the moisture from evaporating into the air. Similarly to the collagen and elastin in our skin, the natural HA in our skin begins to decrease as we age. There are multiple ways to naturally boost the HA in our skin as we get older - diet and skincare are two very important ways!
Where Does it Come From
Fruits and veggies that are high in antioxidants protect the skin from inflammation and help the skin retain HA. You might recognize the word inflammation, because we talk about its effects on the skin all the time. If we can focus on one health goal for the entire body, reducing inflammation would be an incredible target to treat a host of health concerns, but I digress.
HA in Skincare
When used in skincare products, HA brings moisture to the surface of the skin - it has the ability to hold and draw water and keeps the skin moisturized all day long. When HA is applied to the skin in the right formulation, it can make the skin appear dewy and younger due to its ability to boost and improve skin elasticity. HA is so powerful you only need it in one of your skincare products! HA pairs well with almost every other skincare product (peels, oils, retinols) but it doesn’t play so well with glycolic acid (GA can degrade the effectiveness of HA).
There are two key differences that HA can have: a large molecule or a small molecule. The larger molecule HA will sit on the surface of the skin since it is too large to penetrate deeply. This is actually a great thing because it will give the skin the immediate moisture boost, plumping and dewy effect that we love to see right after putting a product on. Then there’s the small HA molecule that is able to penetrate deeper to the dermis, where it can hydrate and repair over a long period of time and will eventually reveal deeply hydrated and healthy skin. Combining these two might make the perfect product… *hint hint*.
How to Use It
HA products are best worn day and night - during the day it provides the perfect smooth base for your makeup, and at night it gives the whole evening for your skin to absorb it. Hyaluronic serums are also beautiful to wear on their own as they provide so much hydration you likely won’t also need a moisturizer.
Here are some of our favourite HA products currently available 😉
Josh Rosebrook Hydration Boost Concentrate
Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster
Skin Ceuticals H.A. Intensifier