Everything You Need To Know About Hyaluronic Acid!

Do you struggle with dry and flaky skin? Excessive hot and cold air can dry out your skin and make it look dull and lifeless. Thus, whether it is a breezy summer or chilly winter, your skin needs proper hydration all the year-round. Only applying regular creams and lotions might not be enough to well moisturize your skin.

Most creams are occlusives that only create a thin film on the top of your skin temporarily. As a result, it prevents the moisture present in the skin from escaping and prevents it from drying out. But, those creams do not meet the hydration needs of your skin cells.

Read More: Benefits of including Vitamin C in your skincare routine

Researchers in the skincare industry has been looking for the perfect solution that can help hydrate your skin cells. They found that Hyaluronic acid is the best match for all your skin hydration needs. Let’s dig deeper into the science of Hyaluronic Acid and explore what makes the ingredient a must-have in your skincare regime.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a glycosamine that is found in the body, especially in our eyes and joints. Glycosamines are long chains of polysaccharides that form a viscous, gooey substance. You can find Hyaluronic acid throughout our connective tissues. It is the substance that keeps our eyes lubricated. In the joints, hyaluronic acid acts as a cushion that lubricates and protects the joints from wear and tear.

Hyaluronic acid is also present in the collagen of our dermal cells. It handles the plumpness and suppleness of our skin. Hyaluronic acid also plays a crucial role in maintaining the immunity of our skin. It facilitates the wound-healing process. But, the natural Hyaluronic Acid of our skin diminishes with advancing age.

When you reach your mid-20s, the HA level in your skin significantly drops. As a result, it initiates the onset of signs of aging. As you progress to your thirties, you may find fine lines and wrinkles appear on your skin. It also makes your skin more susceptible to sagging. This is when external administration of Hyaluronic acid becomes necessary for your skin.

Different Types of Hyaluronic Acid Used in the Skincare Industry:

You can find hyaluronic acid in a lot of things nowadays. It is found in eye drops, moisturizers, serums, face washes, cleansers, soaps, etc. But, all Hyaluronic acids do not hold the same chemical structure. Chemically speaking, there are three different forms of Hyaluronic acid, namely:

  • Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic acid
  • Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate
  • Sodium Hyaluronate

You may either find one of these in your skincare ingredients or a combination of them. All these forms of Hyaluronic acid share the same hydrating power but differ in their molecular structure. But, if you ask which one of these ingredients is the best, you might not get a clear answer.

According to chemists, the three forms of Hyaluronic acid work best when mixed with no more than 4% Sodium Hyaluronate. Nonetheless, Sodium Hyaluronate is the most stable one among the three. It is the salt form of HA and has a smaller molecular size. It penetrates your skin layers more easily and can retain up to 1000x water.

What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do to Your Skin?

Now that we have some idea about Hyaluronic acid, let’s see what makes it so popular among skincare enthusiasts.

1. It Helps Hydrate the Skin

Hyaluronic acid is a potent humectant. When applied to the skin, it helps draw moisture from the environment and hydrate the skin cells. Increased water content in the skin, makes the skin softer and more supple. Regular use of Hyaluronic acid can give your skin a year-round plump look. It prevents your skin from drying up. It is not only beneficial for people with dry skin but also for those who have oily or combination skin.

2. It Facilitates Faster Wound Healing

Hyaluronic acid plays a pivotal role in promoting cell regeneration and helps speed up wound healing. Higher moisture in the dermal cells also makes the skin look bright and radiant. Hyaluronic acid also has antioxidative properties. It helps combat the free radicals in the skin and relieves oxidative stress on the skin. HA also helps soothe skin inflammation. It is particularly beneficial for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

3. It Promotes Overall Skin Health

Some studies suggest hyaluronic acid helps promote skin immunity. The higher moisture content of the skin cells makes them stronger and enables them to fight against infectious agents. It helps promote protein synthesis in the skin and increases the firmness and resilience of the skin. Hyaluronic acid helps soothe symptoms of eczema or atopic dermatitis. A 2011 study indicated that foam infused with HA is more effective in treating eczema than ceramide emulsions.

4. It Delays the Signs of Aging

Another beneficial effect of Hyaluronic acid is its ability to reduce signs of aging. Free radicals in the skin are one of the contributing factors to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid acts as an antioxidant that counterbalances free radicals and reduces the risk of the appearance of wrinkles.

Hydration with HA also helps delay the onset of aging. A 2014 study indicates that women using topical Hyaluronic acid experienced a significant increase in reduction in wrinkles. 55% of the subjects of the study also found improvement in the firmness and resilience of the skin. Hyaluronic acid is also included in under-eye creams.

It helps brighten the under-eye skin and helps you get rid of dark circles when used with other active ingredients. It delays the appearance of fine lines and crow’s feet on the thin skin around your eyes.

Does Hyaluronic Acid Have Other Health Benefits?

Besides having multiple skin benefits, Hyaluronic acid also has several other therapeutic benefits. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Hyaluronic acid, also known as Hyaluronan, helps lubricate your joints and prevent joint pain, especially in people with osteoarthritis.
  • It can also help relieve symptoms of acid reflux by soothing the damaged esophageal lining.
  • It helps relieve dry eyes and reduce inflammation.
  • Hyaluronic acid might also help preserve bone strength.
  • It also helps prevent urinary bladder pain associated with Interstitial cystitis.
  • It might also help treat vaginal dryness.

Using Hyaluronic Acid in Your Skincare Regime:

Before we talk about how to use Hyaluronic acid for your skin, let’s discuss how to pick the right HA Serum for your skin. According to experts, formulations with Hyaluronic acid of smaller molecular size are best because they seep down your skin and hydrate the deepest dermal layers. Bigger HA molecules cannot penetrate the skin efficiently and only provide superficial moisturization.

Reading the ingredient label of your skin care products would help you understand the molecular size of Hyaluronic acid in the products. Though the benefits of Hyaluronic acid sound intriguing, it only works well when used in low concentrations. Ideally, serum or gel should have 1-2% of Hyaluronic acid.

Sometimes, Hyaluronic acid is combined with Vitamin B5 to make it more potent. Experts recommend using Hyaluronic acid twice daily, in your AM and PM skincare regime.

Here’s How to Use Hyaluronic Acid Serum:

Hyaluronic acid works wonderfully when your skin is already wet. Thus, start by cleansing and washing your face. Apply a toner. Then, take a few drops of Hyaluronic acid on your palm and apply it to your skin evenly. It will help trap the existing moisture in your skin and also draw in moisture from the environment to keep your skin hydrated.

The hyaluronic acid serum is a lightweight, water-based formulation. Thus, you must use it before applying heavier, oil-based products. You may use emollients or occlusives after applying HA to help seal the water in your skin.

Hyaluronic Acid filler:

Hyaluronic acid is also injected into the skin layers directly to reduce wrinkles. It is an in-office procedure that is only done by professionals. HA fillers also help rejuvenate your skin cells and make your skin more youthful and radiant. However, this process may also have some side effects like bruising and swelling that subsides within some time.

Is There Any Downside of Using Hyaluronic Acid?

“Acid” might sound scary to some people, but when it comes to Hyaluronic acid you have nothing to be worried about. It is usually safe on the skin when used appropriately. As HA is naturally found in the body, it does not cause any side effects usually. However, rarely, it might cause allergic reactions in some people.

As of now, scientists do not have enough information about the effects of Hyaluronic acid during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Thus, if possible, we recommend avoiding Hyaluronic acid when you are pregnant or lactating. Evidence has also shown that applying Hyaluronic acid might worsen skin ulcers in people with scleroderma.

A few reports also indicate that Hyaluronic acid might also be responsible for triggering psoriasis on rare occasions. Using high concentrations of Hyaluronic acid can also delay wound healing, and make your skin appear soggy. We recommend consulting your dermatologists before including hyaluronic acid products in your skincare regime. Click here for professional tips from renowned dermatologists.

Take Away:

Hyaluronic acid is an excellent humectant that helps keep your skin hydrated throughout the year. It also helps ease faster wound healing, Hyaluronic acid makes your skin appear soft and supple and gives an instant plump look. It promotes collagen synthesis and delays the appearance of the signs of aging. It is also beneficial for certain skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis. Besides, Hyaluronic acid is safe to use and rarely causes any adverse reaction.