The beauty industry can seem a fickle place, with ‘wonder ingredient’ after ‘wonder ingredient’ promising us our best skin yet. But if there’s one skincare hero that’s never let us down, it’s hyaluronic acid.
As far from a skincare fad as it’s possible to be, don’t let the word ‘acid’ steer you away from hyaluronic acid. Unlike the chemical exfoliant kind of acids, this is a hero hydrator. With just one molecule able to hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water.
What does hyaluronic acid do?
Occurring naturally in the skin to keep it soft and supple, supplies of hyaluronic acid deplete as we age, with pesky pollution and environmental aggressors speeding up the process. Without this skin-plumping scaffolding, skin becomes looser, with fine lines and wrinkles more pronounced. That’s not forgetting increasing the chances of dryness, dullness and sensitivity too.
The only sticking point is that as hyaluronic acid sits on the surface of skin, drawing its water from the atmosphere. If there’s less water in the atmosphere, it won’t work as effectively. Especially important if you’re lucky enough to be jetting off on holiday, as there’s little water to be drawn from a stuffy aeroplane cabin.
Who needs hyaluronic acid?
Thanks to its softly-softly approach to hydration, hyaluronic acid is suitable for all skin types. Even the sensitive and easily-irked. Incorporate it into your routine, preferably under a moisturiser, to comfort dry, flaking complexions.
It plays nicely with others too, working well in conjunction with punchier actives like glycolic acid and retinol to counteract dryness and reduce the chance of a reaction.
How can I incorporate hyaluronic acid into my routine?
Look for products which have hyaluronic acid towards the top of their ingredients list. The lower down the list it is, the lower the concentration. ‘Make sure you look for a product that uses a pure form of hyaluronic acid too,’ explains Dimitra Davidson, president and COO of Indeed Labs. ‘We also recommend looking at the molecular weight of the HA you are using to ensure it fits with your skin needs. Low molecular weight HA penetrates deeper into the skin, while high molecular weight HA will help to hydrate the top layer of the skin.’
These tried and tested buys are worth investing in…
As fake-tan obsessives will know, slathering on the dark stuff can leave skin dry. Packed full of skincare worthy ingredients, including hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and D, this leaves skin glowing.
Creating a smooth base for make-up, this cooling cream delivers instant hydration that lasts. It’s formulated with probiotics too, strengthening the skin’s barrier to lock in moisture.
Worth the splurge, the clinical trials are seriously impressive, proven to amplify skin’s own hyaluronic acid levels by 30% in just four weeks. Skin is left plumper, smoother and softer with continued use.
Skin is thinnest around our eyes, making fine lines and dark, sleepy circles more prominent. This lightweight mask targets both, using hyaluronic acid to plump crepey skin and banish tiredness.
The high molecular weight of the HA in this silky jelly helps it to form a protective layer on your skin – locking in hydration and keeping aggressors out. Use as an extra step between cleansing and serum to soothe extremly dry complexions.