Hyaluronic Acid: Definition and Benefits
Hyaluronic acid is currently a very popular skincare ingredient. It’s not new, it’s been around for a very long time. In fact, it is produced naturally by our bodies, in our skin, joints, and eye fluids.
If you’ve been wondering about it, maybe because you’ve heard or read about it, or you’re diligent at checking your ingredients, you don’t have to anymore.
There is no debate that hyaluronic acid is great for the skin, what it does is very essential for the overall health of our body, especially our skin.
This article’s purpose is to answer all your basic questions about hyaluronic acid and familiarize you with its benefits. Why is it featured in a lot of skincare products like moisturizers, toners, serums, etc?
What is Hyaluronic Acid
Also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, hyaluronic acid is a group of sugar molecules produced naturally in the body and is also used in topical skincare products.
Why is Hyaluronic Acid Important?
In the body, hyaluronic acid works to cushion and lubricate, it is found naturally in the body's connective tissues.
In skincare, hyaluronic acts like a water magnet, it draws and locks water in place. If you recognize the importance of hydration to the skin, you can already see why hyaluronic is great and found in a lot of skincare products.
Hyaluronic acid attracts and binds to water molecules, increasing the water content of the skin. Hyaluronic acid can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water. It works as a humectant, holding water molecules on the surface of the skin to keep it hydrated.
Over time, with age and other accelerating factors like pollution and smoking, the body’s store and production of hyaluronic acid can decline.
Topical skincare products like moisturizers and serums infused with hyaluronic acid can help rebuild the body’s depleted hyaluronic acid and outright help better moisturize the skin and keep it hydrated.
To put it simply, hyaluronic acid is great for keeping the skin hydrated and healthy.
Who Should Use Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid can be used by people with any skin type. Its effectiveness is not native to a particular skin type. If you want super hydrated and healthy skin, then you can add hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine by using it by itself or using products with hyaluronic acid.
Does Hyaluronic Acid Have Harmful Effects?
It’s easy to see the word “acid” and think hyaluronic acid will be bad or harmful to you. But that’s not the case. Hyaluronic acid is already a natural part of your skin, allergic or harmful reactions to it are rare.
Skincare Products Featuring Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is used in a wide range of skincare and cosmetic products:
Hyaluronic acid is found in:
- Toners (like our hyaluronic acid white tea tree toner)
- Sheet masks
- Eye creams
- Lip treatments
Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
1. It hydrates the skin.
As stated earlier, hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the body. Around half of the hyaluronic acid found in the body is present in the skin, where it binds to water to retain moisture.
Ultraviolet radiation, smoking, and the natural aging process can reduce the amount of hyaluronic acid in the body. This makes products containing hyaluronic acid essential for adequate and consistent hydration of the skin.
2. It is an effective humectant.
Humectants draw and hold on to moisture.
They facilitate hydrogen bonding and attract water molecules. Hyaluronic acid is a very effective humectant, this means when used in skin care products it helps the skin to retain moisture, thereby keeping it hydrated and healthy.
3. It tightens skin tone.
The elastin in our skin keeps it firm and prevents it from sagging. Unfortunately, as we grow old the elastin in our skin starts to break down.
Now, hyaluronic acid won’t magically fill your skin with brand new elastin-like magic, but it will help with the appearance of tightness in the skin because it fills the skin with moisture, thereby tightening the overall complexion of the skin.
4. Heals breakouts.
Hyaluronic acid plays a key role in the healing of wounds. The concentration of hyaluronic acid increases where there is damage and there is a need for repair.
Hyaluronic acid regulates inflammation levels which helps wounds heal faster. It also has antibacterial properties which reduce the risk of infection. Applying products with hyaluronic acid to breakouts can help them heal faster.
5. Less visible fine lines and wrinkles.
One of the major reasons why fine lines and wrinkles are visible and pronounced is poor skin hydration.
Hyaluronic acid serums and toners can reduce wrinkles, redness, and dermatitis. When the skin is well hydrated and protected, there will be increased cell production because the skin isn’t busy struggling to get hydrated or retain moisture.
Hyaluronic acid is great for developing clarity in oily skin by promoting proper moisture balance. Oily skin tends to produce more oil when the skin is dehydrated in an attempt to hydrate the skin.
By keeping the skin adequately moisturized, hyaluronic acid prevents oily skin from producing too much oil that can clog pores and cause breakouts.