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Hyaluronic Acid – a staple in every skincare expert’s routine, this cult ingredient is loved and lauded by dermatologists and beauty editors alike.
A solution for anyone looking to add a burst of hydration to their skincare routine, this moisture magnet plumps, replenishes and smooths skin, fast.
But what actually is Hyaluronic Acid, and what will Hyaluronic Acid do for your skin?
We put your most FAQs to Consultant Dermatologist Dr. Andrew C Markey MD FRCP.
"Hyaluronic Acid is a very large molecule naturally found in our skin, as well as the connective tissues in our bodies," says Dr. Andrew Markey. "It can also be produced synthetically for injection into the skin. In a cosmetic, though too big to penetrate the skin, it is hydrophilic (aka attracts water) making it an incredibly powerful moisturiser."
"Hyaluronic Acid binds to moisture brought from the deeper layers of our skin up into the top layers, so ‘plumping’ up skin and helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In humid environments it can also attract water directly from the surrounding air. It is classified as a humectant – a category of skincare ingredients that are hygroscopic – meaning they draw moisture from their surroundings. It is this ability to retain – and attract – moisture that makes it a firm favourite with industry experts."
Hyaluronic Acid is most popularly used as a topical treatment such as a serum or gel lotion in skincare, but it is also used in Hyaluronic Acid capsules, sheet masks, supplements and Hyaluronic filler injections. "The choice is yours as to how and when you use it," says Dr. Markey. "Many patients love the idea of Hyaluronic Acid because they associate it with a dermatologist injecting it under the skin (i.e. Restylane and Juvederm) so it has that 'home clinic' vibe – though there is actually little similarity between the effects when delivered onto the skin versus under the skin by injection."
"Hyaluronic Acid is a fabulous moisturiser, whether applied topically as a serum or a cream," says Dr. Markey. "Published studies show that using a moisturiser on the skin surface can reduce the inflammatory markers in peoples’ blood – it is a myth that products sitting on the surface can’t have distant effects."
The best Hyaluronic Acid serums contain more powerful levels of active ingredients. BEAUTY PIE's Triple Hyaluronic Acid & Lipopeptide Serum has three weights of Hyaluronic Acid, plumping Polysaccharides plus gravity-fighting Super Peptides.
The best Hyaluronic Acid cream moisturisers act as a veil to further lock moisture in. Though most moisture creams contain humectants and emollients (so can be effectively applied alone) most skincare experts would recommend a serum and a moisture lotion or cream, as long as they are applied in the optimum skincare order.
Hyaluronic Acid’s magnificence lies in its ability to boost hydration for all skin types – particularly beneficial for dry, dehydrated skin and anti-ageing. In fact, there’s a Hyaluronic Acid solution for your every skincare routine and scenario.
It is also:
NON-IRRITANT: Hyaluronic Acid is safe for use with all skin types
& ABSORBENT: Hyaluronic Acid is fast absorbing – making it a must-have moisturiser for anyone who has to speed through their skincare routine, stat!
There aren’t any known side effects of topically used Hyaluronic Acid, however everyone's skin is different and UV exposure, chemical exposure and our individual immune systems can all impact our response to Hyaluronic Acid. If in doubt, always check with your dermatologist. Those with very sensitive skin may want to limit usage to ‘as and when required’ rather than daily.
Hyaluronic Acid is safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Hyaluronic Acid is present in hair follicles too. As levels of HA decrease with age, the skin on our scalp can become dryer too – resulting in finer, dryer hairs. Topical Hyaluronic Acid applied to the scalp can help keep your scalp flake-free, improve follicle function and even improve the elasticity of your hair.
Reviewed by Consultant Dermatologist Dr. Andrew C Markey MD FRCP.