What's All the Fuss with Hyaluronic Acid?
You've probably heard of the ingredient “hyaluronic acid” before, and maybe you are wondering why this term has been popping up all over the place.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a substance that occurs naturally in our bodies and keeps us healthy. It's found in high concentrations in the skin, joints, eyes, and connective tissue. HA is one of the most important elements for maintaining collagen production — our body's main structural protein that keeps our skin firm and looking young as we age.
So what can you do with this miracle substance? Let's dive into why everyone's talking about it!
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the skin and body, found in the fluid around joints, but also in connective tissue like cartilage and ligaments. This makes it an ingredient you might want to look out for if you're prone to joint pain or frequent dislocations. Hyaluronic acid can't be created by your body, so it's important to get enough from your diet — you can find it in foods like raw onions, garlic, asparagus, cucumbers and zucchini.
As a humectant (which means that it attracts water), hyaluronic acid helps fight dehydration by drawing moisture from the air into itself.
Why is HA so Popular?
HA is a natural ingredient that has been used for thousands of years. The first record of HA use was in China, where it was used in medicines and cosmetic products like lip balm and skin lotions. Since then, scientists have continued to study the benefits of hyaluronic acid on skin health and its appearance.
In fact, many moisturisers today contain this ingredient because it helps your skin retain moisture without causing irritation or other side effects — which means you can use hyaluronic acid even if you have sensitive skin.
HA is also used as an injectable filler to plump up wrinkles or add volume to other areas of the face.
It's a Hydrator
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that retains moisture to the skin. This makes it a great moisturiser for dry skin types –- which are one of many reasons why lots of skincare products contain this nourishing ingredient.
Some people like to use hyaluronic acid as an alternative to retinol or vitamin C because it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin types (but still packs a punch with its anti-aging power).
It’s also a great ingredient for acne-prone skin types because it has the ability to moisturise and reduce inflammation at the same time. If you have oily skin, it can help balance out your sebum production.
It's an Anti-ager
As HA has the ability to increase collagen production, it is also an essential anti-aging ingredient. Since HA hydrates the skin, it gives you firmer, plumper and more hydrated skin. In fact, HA can help reverse signs of ageing by reducing fine lines and wrinkles as well as improving elasticity and firmness. It's also an antioxidant that neutralises free radicals which causes premature ageing or oxidation damage on your skin.
It's Safe for Everyone
HA is safe for all skin types. From melanin rich to pale skin, young or old, HA has been proven to offer substantial skin benefits to everyone.
Hyaluronic acid is known to be non-irritating, non-sensitizing, and non-toxic. It also has a low comedogenic rating (meaning it won’t clog your pores). To top it all off, many HA products are formulated without fragrance or parabens (which you may have heard can cause irritation) and are often alcohol, PEG and chemical-free as well!
So How Does HA Help Me?
So how do all of these benefits translate into actual results? Let’s recap a few different ways that hyaluronic acid are used in skincare products today:
- Skin hydration and moisturization: Hyaluronic acid increases the amount of water held in skin cells, keeping your complexion looking plump and hydrated even when you aren't using a moisturiser or other hydrating product.
- Improved texture and appearance: Hyaluronic acid binds moisture to the outermost layer of your skin, which reduces signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of firmness. It also helps keep acne under control by reducing inflammation from breakouts.
- Skin healing: HA is a powerful tool for healing wounds by keeping the tissue hydrated while it's repairing itself. It can be used to treat skin conditions like rosacea, acne and eczema.
HA is a great moisturising ingredient because it's able to hold up to 1000x its weight in water molecules. This also makes HA an essential anti-aging ingredient since it helps fill in fine lines and wrinkles by plumping and adding moisture back into the skin.
Hopefully this article has helped you to understand the hype around hyaluronic acid, and how it can be a great tool for skincare. It’s important to remember that there is no one product or ingredient that will magically fix all your skin concerns, but by using HA in conjunction with other products (and a good old fashion skincare routine), we can all achieve youthful, radiant skin!