Skincare Ingredients 101 - Hyaluronic acid
Among the ingredients that a skincare professional would recommend, hyaluronic acid is at the top of the list. Almost everyone needs it and can use it in one way or another. It’s like a superhero for your skin. While it’s not all-encompassing (meaning that it can’t do everything), hyaluronic acid can be used with other treatments, ingredients, and products, unlike other results-driven ingredients on the market today. So what is hyaluronic acid, and what can it do for your skin? We’ve got the answers to those questions and then some.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
While there are acids such as glycolic, alpha-hydroxy, etc. that have an exfoliating (and in stronger concentrations, a peeling) action to the skin, hyaluronic acid couldn’t be more different. Our body naturally produces this aqueous substance to help maintain the skin’s moisture levels. Hyaluronic acid is also found in our joints, connective tissues, and eyes. As with losing collagen and elastin, we produce less hyaluronic acid with age, resulting in increased dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles.
While we can’t prevent what happens to our bodies naturally, there are skincare products formulated with hyaluronic acid that’s produced in a lab. This process is called bio-fermentation. Considering hyaluronic acid (a humectant) can hold over 1,000 times its weight in water, it’s regarded as a superior hydrator and skin balancer.
What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do?
Think of hyaluronic acid as the daily water consumption your skin needs to look plump and radiant. This is not to say you should neglect drinking those vital eight glasses (or more) a day, but HA is one of the most hydrating ingredients you can apply topically while still being lightweight at the same time. Note that hydration (water) is not the same as moisture (oil.) Hyaluronic acid is unique because it draws water to the skin by the power of humectants, which remove moisture from the environment, resulting in a balanced, glowing, healthy, and hydrated complexion. HA is also a bit like a protective glove. It bolsters the skin’s natural barriers to help retain moisture, which intensifies its hydrating powers.
Retinol Vs. Hyaluronic Acid: Which is Better for Wrinkles?
Which is better for wrinkles, hyaluronic acid or retinol? The one main thing retinol and HA have in common is that they’re both great for your skin. Other than that, you can’t choose one over the other and expect the same results. But you don’t have to pick because they work great when paired together. Hyaluronic acid can help soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles because it’s capable of retaining large amounts of water, which deeply hydrates the skin. While HA can’t increase cell turnover or stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis like retinol, it can aid in cell regeneration due to elevated hydration and barrier protection.
Is Hyaluronic Acid Safe?
Unlike many other skincare ingredients such as glycolic acid or retinol, hyaluronic acid doesn’t come with a list of potential negative side effects. As mentioned, it can be used with other ingredients without worrying about having a conflicting reaction. Of course, as with any new product that you’re trying, it’s never a bad idea to conduct a patch test first — especially if you have sensitive skin to begin with. At the end of the day, everyone’s skin is susceptible to being dehydrated, so HA is a staple ingredient to have in your beauty routine.
How to Use Hyaluronic Acid
One of the best ways to incorporate hyaluronic acid in your skincare routine is with a serum. Unlike moisturizers or other products, serums are more concentrated and formulated with smaller molecules, which means they can penetrate the skin at a deeper level. SiO Beauty’s Energy Serum is packed with hydrating and anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed collagen peptides, amino acids, green tea, and camellia japonica flower. When used in conjunction with the SiO Cryodrop tool, the serum can penetrate deeper than the surface level of the skin while sculpting facial contours, diminishing puffiness, and re-energizing the skin at the same time.
Just don’t forget to pair your serum with an appropriate moisturizer for your skin type as it will evaporate into the air if not properly sealed in. Remember, hyaluronic acid provides your skin with hydration, not moisture. If you have a dry skin type, HA will pull water from wherever it can — including the innermost layers of your skin. For those with extremely parched skin, apply your serum to damp skin versus dry.