If you’re finally ready to dive into the wonderful world of hyaluronic acid (or if you’re one of the millions of curious folks who Google’d “what is hyaluronic acid” in 2018), read on!
If you’ve managed to get this far without adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine, kudos to your ability to ignore trends. But also, sad for you because this all-star ingredient is so much more than a trend or fad or here-today-gone-tomorrow product.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Despite the name, hyaluronic acid isn’t actually acid. Rather, it’s a sugar that occurs naturally in our cells, specifically in body parts that need lubrication and constant hydration. (Think joints, eyes, skin, etc.) Basically, HA helps maintain moisture levels.
How does it work?
Simply put, hyaluronic acid works as a magnet for moisture and helps your cells retain as much moisture as possible so your skin (and, you know, other important body parts) look, feel, and act hydrated, plump, and healthy.
As a moisture magnet, it has the ability to absorb up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Need another impressive visual? One gram of hyaluronic acid can hold 1.5 gallons of water. That’s a lot of liquid and luckily, HA also helps your cells regulate all that moisture so they don’t drown, feeding your body a steady stream of thirst-quenching goodness.
Why should I care?
Sadly, the natural levels of hyaluronic acid our bodies produce take a pretty significant dive as we get older and are exposed to a variety of environmental stressors. That means that if you’re not adding it back to your body, your moisture levels will suffer.
What’s worse, until recently, hyaluronic acid molecules were too big to penetrate to the skin’s deepest layers, meaning only the skin’s surface was benefiting from topical HA. But thanks to science, low molecular weight HA is now available and what most effective skincare products contain. This lower molecular weight means the molecules are smaller and so are able get deep down to those lower layers of skin.
Ok, so how do I use hyaluronic acid?
Well, you can ingest it — leafy greens, animal protein, bone broth, vitamins, elixirs —or you can slather it on your skin. Whether it’s a serum, mask, mist, cream, cleanser, or sheet mask find what works for your skincare routine and add it in ASAP. Your skin will thank you right away and for years to come.
One note: Make sure you’re layering hyaluronic acid serums, mists and moisturizers with an emollient like a heavier cream or oil. To make products more effective, HA is often combined with thin humectants and water, which means your skin gets that water but it also means the HA product is lightweight enough to evaporate quickly. You’ll want to make sure you lock it in with a thicker product on top to keep it on (and in) your skin.