Over the years, the skincare and beauty industry has introduced hundreds of hero ingredients and their benefits, however, a few have skyrocketed to centre stage of our beauty regimens, becoming so well-known that it’s almost impossible to consider a routine without them. In recent years, hyaluronic acid (HA), or hyaluronan, has become a ubiquitous humectant and beauty buzzword. A focus subject of many beauty conversations and part of numerous cosmetic formulations and treatments ranging from serums and moisturisers to sheet masks, night creams, and lip products. HA is also used in dermal fillers (Restylane® and Juvéderm®), many of which are composed of HA in an injectable gel form. So what is HA? What benefits does it offer? And what are the most effective ways of using this ingredient?
HA is a humectant, in other words, a substance that retains moisture. It is capable of binding over 1000x its weight in water and is naturally found in many areas of the human body, including the skin, eyes, and synovial fluid of the joints. However, as we age, the production of hyaluronic acid (along with collagen and elastin) in our skin decreases and as a result, our skin loses volume, hydration, and plumpness.
Benefits of HA:
- Helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines
- Helps with wound healing
- Can help reduce redness
- Improve skin texture and tone
Did You Know? The efficacy of HA in skincare products has a lot to do with climate and your skintype! HA works best in humid climates so that it can pull moisture from the air. If you live in an environment with low humidity, it is important to apply your HA serum (or other skincare products) to damp skin so it has a base to work with, then follow it up with a moisturiser to seal it in. For individuals who have oily skin, your sebum should have enough occlusive properties to lock in that moisture and so you can use HA products as you normally would, after your cleansing regime.