Hyaluronic acid (HA) has been hitting the shelves in a variety of skin care products in recent years. From serums to moisturisers, night creams and lip products, it has fast developed cult beauty status.

What is hyaluronic acid?

HA is a humectant – a substance that retains moisture and is capable of binding over 1000 times its weight in water. A substance which is naturally produced in our bodies, as we age, the production of hyaluronic acid, along with collagen and elastin, decreases. As a result, our skin loses volume, hydration & plumpness.

What makes it a hydration hero?

Hyaluronic acid has many positive benefits. It’s usually well tolerated amongst different skin types, can be paired seamlessly with other products such as peels, retinols, vitamins and various high pH level acids, rarely causes an allergic reaction and is safe to use when pregnant or breastfeeding.

For those with dry skin and looking for a dewy complexion, a serum or moisturiser containing HA can be a great choice. It penetrates within the skin to hold water and keep it hydrated for a supple, youthful glow.

The Hype on Hyaluronic Acid

How does it work?

HA is a group of sugar molecules which work to cushion and lubricate the skin. It is found naturally occurring in the body. Over time, the body stores of hyaluronic acid decline due to age or environmental factors. Topical products help restore the lost HA and rebuild those depleted stores. Hyaluronic acid works by attracting and binding water molecules and increases the water content of the skin. With its ability to absorb more than 1,000 times its weight in water, it’s easy to see why it’s a hydration favourite, and due to its ability to retain water, the benefits can be amazing. Moisture is vital for the skin and when the top layer of skin doesn’t have enough water, it can appear dry, rough and flaky. Poor hydration also makes skin more vulnerable from the effects of internal and external factors. Therefore, HA is a key ingredient to help combat or reduce effects such as ageing, fine lines, wrinkles and even dermatitis. Results include plump, healthy and more vibrant skin.

Is it right for me?

Hyaluronic acid is generally safe for all skin types and doesn’t typically lead to any adverse reactions when applied topically. With products such as serums, sheet masks, eye creams, moisturisers and cleansers, there is something for everyone. HA with a lower molecular weight (such as 50 kilodaltons) can more easily penetrate into the skin and have been shown to be most effective at fighting wrinkles, increase hydration and elasticity.

How do I choose the right product?

Choosing the right product can be tricky, but there are plenty of brilliant brands offering a range of HA items, which will fast become a skincare staple in your collection.

If you’re new to HA, look out for a Hyaluronic Tonic – a great item to start with – just sweep it over the skin after cleansing. Or if you prefer a cream, there are lots of gorgeous lightweight moisturisers out there, perfect for everyday use.

Why not pamper yourself with a cooling eye mask containing HA at the end of a tough week?