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Hyaluronic Acid – your simple guide to this must-have ingredient.

Splash of water, representing hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic Acid is everywhere these days! Everywhere you turn, another skincare company has jumped on the HA bandwagon! And with good reason….this super ingredient is highly beneficial to the skin. And here’s why…

(Disclaimer: while I have over 25 years of experience of beauty and skincare and am fully trained in this field, I have no medical qualifications)

Hyaluronic Acid – The Science

Hyaluronic acid is naturally made in the body. It is found in the greatest amounts in the skin, connective tissue and the eyes. It is a thick gooey substance. The job of hyaluronic acid is to attract and retain moisture, so if we already have it in our skin, then this is great, as it is keeping our skin naturally hydrated.

However, like most good things in our skin, the production of hyaluronic acid depletes as we get older, so, in turn our skin will become more dehydrated and dull looking.

How hyaluronic acid helps our skin

So this is where all the hyaluronic acid creams, serums, lotions and potions come in!

Because it is already present in the skin, it makes an ideal skincare ingredient. The skin will recognise it almost, as ‘one of it’s own’, so allow it to be absorbed into the skin. However, it is worth noting here, that, hyaluronic acid itself is too large to penetrate into the skin, skincare products contain Sodium Hyaluronate which is a sodium salt of hyaluronic acid and a much smaller molecule, so able to penetrate more easily and deeper.

The great news here is that due to this fact, the lower layers of the skin get hydrated. Most skincare products we apply to the skin only sit in the very top layers of the skin, which is literally paper thin – it is a huge benefit when we find an ingredient that absorbs much deeper!

Prevents dehydration

When applied topically to the skin, hyaluronic acid works by drawing water from the lower layers of the skin, up to the surface to give more hydrated, smoother, plumper, skin.  Remember, the more water there is in your body and skin, the more chance it has, to migrate towards the product on the surface, so keep drinking plenty of water to maximise the chances of the product working.

Stimulates collagen production

There is some evidence that hyaluronic acid stimulates the production of collagen in the skin. Collagen is the protein that gives our skin its structure, and keeps our skin firm and plump. As we age the collagen production depletes, so we will be more prone to lines, wrinkles and premature ageing. Anything that we can do to boost collagen production in the skin, is essential in my book!

For more ways to boost collagen in your skin READ HERE.

Retains moisture

It also helps protects the surface of the skin from moisture loss, and helps draw in moisture from the atmosphere, so we get double the protection from moisture loss – from inside and out.

Other sources of hyaluronic acid

Applying it topically is a great way to promote anti-aging, but we can also get hyaluronic acid from our diet and supplements too.  It is naturally found in;

  • Citrus fruits; oranges, lemons, grapefruit
  • Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and artichokes
  • Leafy green vegetables; spinach, kale, cabbage
  • Soy based products

Hyaluronic acid products

(This article may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase a product, I may receive a small commission, but rest assured, it does not cost you anymore)

Hyaluronic acid can be found in a range of products. Moisturisers, should be used morning and evening after cleansing and toning.  Or hyaluronic acids are stand-alone serum products, in which case they should be used underneath your normal moisturiser for maximum benefit. Masks can be used once or twice a week, as needed to give a extra boost.

Serums

These are ideal to use underneath your moisturiser for an added boost of hydration.

The Ordinary hyaluronic acid
La roche posay hyaluronic acid
L'oreal hyaluronic acid

Moisturisers

L'oreal Revitalift moisturiser
Evolve facial cream
Ren moisturiser

Masks

I do love a hydrating mask to add a surge of moisture and these hyaluronic acid ones are brilliant, at adding hydration and giving a glow!

Garnier tissue mask
Garnier tissue eye mask