The beauty industry is always awash with new buzz words and ingredients promising to turn back the clock on ageing skin and perform out of this world miracles. We will all put our hands up and say once or twice; we may have fallen for the hype in our time! However, once in a while an ingredient is thrust into the spotlight which comes through and deserves its place on every dressing table and in every bathroom cupboard. Hyaluronic acid is just that, by no means is it a new ingredient but recently it has been gaining well-deserved attention across the beauty industry, and we hope it is here to stay! We've been looking into just what hyaluronic acid is and breaking down what you need to know.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
In scientific terms, hyaluronic acid is a type of polysaccharide called a glycosaminoglycan, a large and complex sugar molecule which is used to keep our bodies healthy and our joints lubricated. Hyaluronic acid can already be found naturally occurring in the body, most notably it is located in the connective tissues which make up the matrix in which our skin cells sit.
It has astounding properties, such as being able to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, making it super moisturising, this is what makes it ideal for use in skin care and anti-ageing products.
How does it work?
When hyaluronic acid is added to skincare such as a moisturiser or serum, the molecule acts like a sponge and soaks up incredible amounts of water which it then uses to keep the skin hydrated. The hyaluronic acid molecules are too large to be absorbed into the skin, so it sits on the skin's surface and doesn't go anywhere for a long time. This allows the water to dissolve into the skin, keeping us hydrated.
What are the benefits?
As already mentioned, one of its main advantages is to keep the skin hydrated, but it also increases the plumpness of the skin as well as diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is, however, only a temporary fix for the appearance of wrinkles but what it lacks in long-term effects it makes up for in keeping the skin looking softer, smoother and healthier for longer.
It also helps protect your skin by providing a barrier on top of your skin from factors which weaken the skin's surface, such as daily sun exposure, harsh skincare ingredients (boo!) and environmental factors such as free radicals and pollution.
Good news, hyaluronic acid is suitable for all skin types! The lightweight texture of the fluid is ideal for those who have oily skin as it feels weightless on the skin and the long lasting hydration provided makes it perfect for those with sensitive or acne prone skin as it shouldn't cause irritation.
What is it otherwise known as?
If you are scouring the ingredients list of your favourite products looking for hyaluronic acid, it may be listed as something else. It has a few other names, and you may find it under including hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, sodium acetyl hyaluronic and sodium hyaluronate. If you can find this and hyaluronic acid listed in a product, even better as they have the same benefits, but sodium hyaluronate is even more absorbent).
Worth the hype?
Absolutely! There is no getting away from the fact that as we age, our skin is going to age too. By adding a product with hyaluronic acid in it, we are giving our skin the chance to retain its firmness and health for as long as possible. It's found in so many beauty products that it's easy to slip into your regular skincare regime. We've taken a look at a few products below which contain this moisture replenishing ingredient. Top tip: the higher the ingredient is listed on the product, the more there will be, so look for it as high up as possible.
Which products can I find it in?
When looking for hyaluronic in skincare, you are looking for products which remain on the skin such as moisturisers and serums (as opposed to cleansers which are washed off the face), such as in the Balance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser or the Luzern Force de Vie Pure Oxygen Lotion.
Hyaluronic acid is not only found in moisturisers or serums. Inika uses it as a primary ingredient in their Hyaluronic Acid Pure Primer to improve the skin's elasticity and hydration before applying makeup. Borlind has created an innovative, light textured formula using hyaluronic acid in their Borlind Moisturizing Make-Up Foundation, resulting in a complexion that stays hydrated all day long while protecting from environmental related skin ageing.
Dramatically increase your chances of adding moisture to your skin with hyaluronic acid supplements. The Viridian Hyaluronic Acid 50mg attracts moisture into the skin, leaving you with a plumper, smoother finish.