When we think about it and try to define some of the best, lesser-known skincare ingredients out there, we don’t usually come up with the words “clear and gooey” to describe one of our favorites. However, as unglamorous as it may seem, when it comes to hyaluronic acid… well, that’s exactly what it is.
But despite its questionable appearance, we do have to admit that we love what this polymer is and what it can do for your skin. When it comes to giving you soft, supple, and moist (yes, we used that word, and we’re not sorry!) skin, nothing compares to hyaluronic acid.
Let’s go ahead and break down what exactly it is and how it can help you maintain the beauty and health of your skin together, shall we? By the time we’re done exploring all the many known benefits of hyaluronic acid for skin, we’re absolutely convinced you’re going to love it just as much as we do!
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
To really understand what hyaluronic acid does for your skin, you first need to know what it is. Like we hinted at a moment ago, hyaluronic acid is a type of polymer (which is just a sciency way of saying that it’s a chain of molecules strung together) found all throughout your body.
In fact, you have high levels of it naturally occurring in your eyes, your skin, and even your connective tissue. What makes it so impressive, though, is how dang thirsty it is. A single quarter-teaspoon of it can hold up to a gallon and a half of water – an incredibly impressive feat, if you think about it! (1 & 2)
What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do for Skin?
Now that we know what hyaluronic acid is, let’s dive deeper into what it can do for your skin. Hint: its water-holding properties come into play, and by incorporating it into your skincare regimen, you’ll start to notice both immediate and long-lasting results!
It Can Moisturize Your Skin
So, remember how we mentioned that hyaluronic acid can hold several times its weight in water? This means that if you dab a tiny bit of it onto your face, it can draw any ambient moisture from the air and infuse it into your skin.
We do need to add a small caveat here, though. Hyaluronic acid is very, well, greedy when it comes to its water-grabbing abilities. If the air around you is dry, or if your face isn’t properly moisturized before applying it, it can actually wind up backfiring and drying you out more.
It Can Shave Years Off Your Face
There are a lot of reasons why fine lines and wrinkles can form on your face, such as photoaging and loss of collagen as we grow older. That said, one of the more common causes of these wrinkles is actually dehydration. Dry skin tends to hold creases easier, making it look much older than it really is.
Applying a serum with hyaluronic acid in it, though, can help restore that moisture balance in your face. By incorporating it into your beauty routine morning and night, you’ll notice your face looking more supple and your fine lines fading significantly in appearance, too. (3)
It Can Protect Against Oxidative Stress
Another cause of aging is due to something called oxidative stress. When free radicals are allowed to ping-pong around inside your body, it can cause serious damage to your inner workings. This can lead to both an aged appearance, as well as feeling more tired and worn out.
Antioxidants, as the name suggests, can help block that free radical damage and oxidative stress. And if you’re wondering what this has to do with hyaluronic acid, well, it’s actually a pretty powerful antioxidant. Using it can help keep you looking and feeling younger overall! (4)
It Can Increase Skin Elasticity
Having dry skin can be your worst enemy, but using hyaluronic acid has been shown to help make skin look firmer and more taut, thanks to its moisture-retaining benefits. Because it holds so much water, it can help draw that water into your epidermis, making it plumper and more healthy.
It Can Promote Wound Healing
If your skin is prone to breakouts, then you’ll definitely want to start using hyaluronic acid in your routine, stat. This antioxidant polymer has been shown to help accelerate wound healing and reduce inflammation, which means that using it on any stubborn breakouts will make them vanish before you can utter, “Begone, blemish!” (5)
It Can Help Improve Eczema
For those of you who have struggled with eczema in your life, you likely already know how frustrating this skin condition can be. Characterized by scaly, red, and painful patches on your body (and face!), atopic dermatitis can be a major bummer and take its toll on your self-esteem.
However, studies have shown that the application of topical hyaluronic acid can help treat any existing eczema flare-ups. This means that when you use it, your skin will be less irritated, and – thanks to its healing properties – those painful patches will pack up and go away in no time. (6)
It Can Reduce Redness and Irritation
Finally, last but not least, hyaluronic acid can be amazing for red and irritated skin. We’ve already touched on its other benefits, but we’re going to repeat them here, as they’re that important. Because it can help reduce irritation and promote healing, those signs of inflammation on your skin won’t stand a chance once you start using hyaluronic acid.
What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do for Acne?
If you’re wondering what hyaluronic acid does for acne breakouts, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that yes, it’s actually a wonderchild for helping this skin condition. You see, acne is usually triggered by a number of factors including inflammation, hormones, and bacteria.
While hyaluronic acid won’t affect your hormones (which means that it’s totally safe to use during pregnancy!), it can help reduce the systemic inflammation that’s leading to your blemishes and prevent them from forming. And because it does help treat any existing wounds, your existing breakouts will heal all that much faster.
How Does Hyaluronic Acid Work?
Settle in, friends, as we’re about to get a little bit scientific on you. We’re so in love with all of the benefits of using hyaluronic acid for skin health and beauty that it justifies a brief foray into its exact mechanism of action.
So, before we begin, let’s revisit a few key points that we’ve already touched on already:
- One, hyaluronic acid is a type of polymer (a chain of molecules).
- Two, it can hold up to a thousand times its weight in water.
- Three, it’s naturally occurring in your body.
The third point is worth mentioning here, as some people may be understandably wary about introducing a new product into their skincare regimen. However, your body not only likes hyaluronic acid, but it actually needs it too – so much that it actually creates it on its own.
Now that we’ve established that, let’s go ahead and pick apart the other two points that we’ve included here. So those little molecules on the polymer chain work by drawing moisture from the air, right? And even a tiny amount of it can grab and hold onto a significant amount of water.
When it’s applied topically to your face, hyaluronic acid can start transporting that existing water from the air and allow it to douse your epidermis with a refreshing splash of moisture. This can increase structure and volume, reducing that “gaunt” appearance that can happen to some of us as we get more mature. (1)
What does this mean for you? If your skin is starting to look older, and you’re starting to see more fine lines and sagging when you look into the mirror, then you need to start including hyaluronic acid in your skincare routine yesterday. In doing so, you’ll shave off years, leading to a more glowing, radiant appearance.
How Should I Incorporate Hyaluronic Acid Into My Skincare Routine?
Now that you know what does hyaluronic acid do for your skin and why you need it in your skincare routine, your next step is to actually start using it in the first place. It’s important, though, to remember that you can’t just start using straight hyaluronic acid all haphazardly on your skin. Doing so can backfire, making things worse.
Are you feeling curious about how to get started, but you’re not sure where to start? Don’t worry, it’s totally a breeze, and you don’t even have to shake up your existing regimen that much. Here’s the steps for including it into your beauty routine:
- First and foremost, wash your face. Washing your face not only rinses off all the day’s grime and sebum, but it also gives you a clean slate when it comes to using products. A gentle cleanser is more than sufficient, as long as it doesn’t contain any harsh surfactants like SLS (sodium laureth sulfate).
- Next, reach for your favorite serums. If you’re wondering how to layer skincare products, then we want to let you know that you should apply your serums first, as they tend to be a bit more lightweight. Our stem cell serum contains not only hyaluronic acid, but other key ingredients like stem cells (as the name suggests!) and collagen peptides.
- Your third step is to moisturize your skin. Once you’ve allowed for your serum to absorb fully into your skin, you’ll want to add your moisturizer. Serums aren’t a replacement for a good moisturizer, and even if you have oily skin, our stem cell moisturizer can help reduce greasiness and improve skin elasticity.
- Finally, don’t forget your sunscreen. Hands down, this is a must for all skin types. Even if you have a deeper skin tone, you don’t want to overlook adding a nice layer of tinted mineral sunscreen to your face. If doing your routine at night, though, you can skip this step and just add in the next morning.
Using hyaluronic acid in your beauty routine is easy peasy and there’s no reason you shouldn’t start using it on the daily. Of course, adding additional steps is entirely up to you, and if you’re into a more intensive and multi-step skincare routine, that’s totally up to you and your personal preferences. We won’t judge you, we promise!
When it comes to keeping your skin looking its very best, there are a lot of things you can do to accomplish it. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough rest at night, and avoiding ultraviolet photodamage can go a long way in preventing issues and keeping your skin looking amazing.
Nevertheless, these are just smaller pieces of a much bigger skincare puzzle, and adding hyaluronic acid into your beauty regimen can make a world of difference in both your appearance and your skin’s health. Natural, safe, and very much needed by your body, it can make a considerable difference in your reflection and your self-esteem.
Remember, though, to follow our guidelines and always use it with a good moisturizer. But once you do start incorporating hyaluronic acid into your daily routine, you’ll start to notice the benefits right away. And what better motivation is there to keep using it than loving the skin you’re in today, tomorrow, and in the years to come?
Source 1: Hyaluronic Acid - StatPearls https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482440/
Source 2: Perspectives in the selection of hyaluronic acid fillers for facial wrinkles and aging skin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2778417/
Source 3: Efficacy Evaluation of a Topical Hyaluronic Acid Serum in Facial Photoaging https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8322246/
Source 4: Beneficial effects of hyaluronic acid https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25081082/
Source 5: Exogenous hyaluronic acid and wound healing: an updated vision https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22525567/
Source 6: A clinical evaluation of the comparable efficacy of hyaluronic acid-based foam and ceramide-containing emulsion cream in the treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21896129/