Hyaluronic acid has been a popular ingredient in skincare products for quite a few years now. It is a well-deserved buzz though – hyaluronic acid works! Not only that but it’s easy to incorporate into your routine and it suits pretty much everyone, so there are no excuses not to use it.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
First of all, yes, it is an acid but not as you probably understand an acid. Unlike glycolic acid, lactic acid or salicylic acid that exfoliate the skin, it does not have these kinds of properties. It’s a humectant – this fancy term means that it attracts water or moisture. In fact, hyaluronic acid is a magnet for moisture and holds 1000 times its weight in water!
Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of skin. It is produced in our bodies and is also found in our connective tissue and eyes. It’s involved in skin hydration, cushioning and lubrication of our joints, and is an important part of the wound healing process.
Previously, hyaluronic acid was extracted from rooster combs but today it pretty much all comes from a vegan friendly bio fermentation process! For example, wheat is fermented with lactic acid bacteria, hyaluronic acid is produced, collected, purified and dehydrated into a powder ready to be used – thank you yet again to those helpful bacteria!
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
When we use it in skincare it gets into the upper layers of our skin’s epidermis to keep our skin hydrated. Inside our skin it attracts water molecules to itself to give us hydrated skin with that plumped and youthful look.
As we get older, we have lower levels of hyaluronic acid in the upper layers of skin. Additionally, as we age there is a reduction in size of the hyaluronic acid molecule we produce. So unfortunately, there is less of this wonderful moisture creating molecule available in our top layer of skin.
Topical hyaluronic acid application through skincare won’t replenish our natural stores but it will increase hyaluronic acid levels in the upper layers of our skin where it can really make a difference to the look and feel of our skin.
Not All Hyaluronic Acid Is Equal
There are many forms of hyaluronic acid skincare products available.
If you see hyaluronic acid on an ingredients list, the product will contain the larger molecular size hyaluronic acid – it won’t be able to reach deeper levels of your skin, but it will sit at the very top layer of your epidermis, increasing moisture levels at the skin surface.
Sodium hyaluronate on a label means the hyaluronic hit is from a lower molecular weight hyaluronic acid. The effects of hyaluronic acid reach further as it has been chopped into smaller fragments that can penetrate to a deeper layer of the skin. This means this form of hyaluronic acid is able to provide deeper hydration.
Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer is a crosslinked hyaluronic acid – hyaluronic acid pieces are chemically bound together to create a big mesh. It has an even better water binding ability, a long-lasting effect and is more resistant to enzymes that break down hyaluronic acid.
These are just some of the most popular versions of hyaluronic acid found in skincare products. There are even more types available and they can come in various combinations within products, for example 4D hyaluronic acid! Some brands are getting wonderfully innovative in their use of various hyaluronic acid together so check those ingredients lists, to understand exactly what kind of hyaluronic acid you are getting in your skincare.
So how do you get this wonder material into your routine? Hyaluronic acid is so popular that it is now a common ingredient in skincare.
We recommend opting for concentrated topical hyaluronic acid products with different sizes of hyaluronic acid molecules for multi-depth hydration, especially if you have dehydrated skin. This is especially important during the winter months but hyaluronic acid should be used all year round if you have dry skin. A light gel-based serum or a spritz is the best format for getting it into your routine. Use it after your cleanser in the morning on damp skin, just before your moisturiser. And at night use it again just after your cleansing step and before your treatments and night cream.
Combining hyaluronic acid with damp skin and a good moisturiser is key for reducing moisture loss and maximising results.
Building Your Personalised Skincare Routine
Your skin microbiome consists of trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms on your skin – many of which are beneficial to your skin health! The unique composition of your microbiome determines your skin type and needs.
We are on a mission to empower people to understand their skin better so that they can look and feel their best. Through our Skin Trust Club plans, you can book recurring at-home skin microbiome tests, learn about the changes in your skin, and receive science-backed tailored skincare suggestions.
For a limited time, we are offering a free trial of our microbiome test kit, analysis of your unique skin microbiome at our lab, a skin report with personalised skincare recommendations, and access to our skin health tracking app!
Sign up for your free trial here: https://www.skintrustclub.com/skin-microbiome-kit-offer/