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"There’s a reason that Hyaluronic Acid has become a household word – at least under the roof of any skincare enthusiast," says BEAUTY PIE Founder (and professional skincare enthusiast) Marcia Kilgore.
"It delivers an instant hydration hit, helps barrier-repairing function, protects skin against inflammation (which experts now say is responsible for ageing), is compatible with all skin types, is non-comedogenic – and makes your face look dewier and younger."
Hyaluronic Acid, along with AHAs, BHAs, Vitamins A and C, and SPF, make up the core ingredients in some of the most effective skincare routines. Hyaluronic Acid won't interfere with other potent skincare ingredients, leaving you free to layer it and optimise it – AM or PM – at your leisure. To find out more, read our guide to hyaluronic acid and its benefits.
So, how do we layer Hyaluronic Acid serums for the best results? We put your FAQs to Consultant Dermatologist Dr Andrew C Markey MD FRCP, below:
You most likely know the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid in skincare. You probably know when to use Hyaluronic Acid serum – how often, and how much – but layering in other ingredients can confuse even the most bountiful of beauty brains. Here’s how to feed your skin (exactly) what it needs:
"Yes. It’s well documented that Retinoids, Retinols and other Vitamin A derivatives can cause irritation and dryness to skin. Which is why some dermatologists actively encourage the use of Hyaluronic Acid alongside the right Retinol regime for your skin type. Hyaluronic Acid will hydrate and soothe skin, without negating the efficacy of Retinoids (and PS: Retinoids really do work)." –Dr. Andrew Markey.
In what order? It depends on the formulation. Always apply serums before moisturisers and creams – layering from thinnest to thickest. Try to allow skin to dry in between. Super Retinol Anti-Aging Face Serum takes the fuss out of face care, containing encapsulated Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid in one.
"Yes. Antioxidant Niacinamide is commonly used for patients with inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea and acne, though studies show it can soften fine lines and reduce hyperpigmentation, particularly for those with oily skin." –Dr. Andrew Markey.
"Yes. Antioxidant Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid are both repairing ingredients, and both are proven to have anti-aging benefits, particularly in reducing signs of wrinkles (plumping up skin – thank you HA) and reducing the appearance of dark spots." –Dr. Andrew Markey.
In what order? Apply Vitamin C serum first, after cleansing and toning – then add in your Hyaluronic Acid serum/moisturiser or follow with your usual moisturiser. The Triple Hyaluronic Acid Deep Moisture Miracle Cream works particularly well over a serum.
"Yes. Unlike Retinoids, Hyaluronic Acid can be used just before and just after to increase absorption," –Dr. Andrew Markey.
Yes. Hyaluronic Acid is safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Did you know? Our body’s natural levels of HA fall by almost 50% as we age – this loss is accelerated by habits like smoking, as well as stressors such as UV exposure and pollution. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day (and wear sunscreen).
EXFOLIATE – regular exfoliation is key for getting the most out of your products. The action of exfoliating with AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids like Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid) and BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids such as Salicylic Acid) also increases levels of Hyaluronic Acid in the skin, while exfoliation itself will help to further smooth the appearance of fine lines.
MOISTURE – some experts recommend applying Hyaluronic Acid serum directly onto fresh, damp skin, then layering a cream or oil on top to lock moisture in. But...
REGULATE – Don't smother your skin with Hyaluronic Acid just because you can. Select small amounts of high quality, high molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid where possible. It is not an ingredient that needs to be at a super high concentration. And don’t use it in too many products – particularly if you have very sensitive skin.
FEED YOUR SKIN FROM WITHIN – Do boost your naturally-occurring Hyaluronic Acid levels via food, such as sweet potatoes, celery, cucumber and bone broth.
HYDRATE - Try to drink between 1.2 and 1.5 litres (2.5 - 3 pints) per day
Reviewed by Consultant Dermatologist Dr Andrew C Markey MD FRCP.