Hyaluronic acid is an increasingly popular ingredient in skincare products, but how much do you really know about it? Read on to learn everything you need to know about this anti-aging substance.
1. What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is found in all humans. It is integral to keeping the skin look refreshed and young, and occurs naturally in the body. Unfortunately, as we age, our levels of hyaluronic acid decrease.
2. What kind of molecule is it?
It is a carbohydrate molecule, and more specifically, is an anionic, nonsulfated glycosaminoglycan. It is unique among glycosaminoglycans for a number of reasons, including the fact that it is nonsulfated.
3. It is found in multiple places in our bodies
While hyaluronic acid is very important in our skin, it is also found in the connective tissues of the joints to keep them moving smoothly. It is also present in the eyes, internal fluids; however, 50% of the body’s hyaluronic acid is found in the skin.
4. How is it made commercially?
There are two ways of sourcing hyaluronic acid: harvesting it from animals or producing it synthetically. If harvested from animals, it is usually taken from the combs of rooster. When made synthetically, it is produced in a lab through a process of biofermentation.
5. What does hyaluronic acid do?
Hyaluronic acid binds with water and holds onto moisture, making it a humectant. This contributes to keeping the skin looking plump and hydrated. If you want to see hyaluronic acid at work, just look at babies—their skin is so soft because they still have a lot of hyaluronic acid in their skin.
6. It’s effective
Studies have shown its effectiveness as an anti-aging agent. In a recent study, women who used topical hyaluronic acid products, such as creams or lotions, for 8 weeks reported up to a 40% decrease in wrinkles, up to 96% enhanced hydration, and up to 55% increase in firmness and elasticity in the skin.
7. It’s a super moisturizer
A single molecule can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water!
8. How does it work?
Hyaluronic acid molecules aren’t able to penetrate the top layer of the skin because they are too big. Instead, when using topical products, they hang out on the surface of the skin and grab onto moisture while the skin absorbs it, keeping it hydrated.
9. Anti-aging benefits
The importance of hyaluronic acid becomes very apparent as we age—the formation of lines and wrinkles and the decreased firmness in our skin is due in part to the loss of hyaluronic acid.
10. Smoothes wrinkles
Using it on the skin helps increase volume and plump up the skin, effectively decreasing the appearance of wrinkles.
11. Supports healing
Hyaluronic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that help it heal and repair the skin.
12. Boosts skin health and protection
It is able to strengthen and protect the skin’s barrier by keeping the outer layers of the skins rich with moisture.
13. Is hyaluronic acid an antioxidant?
Yes! In addition to being an anti-inflammatory, hyaluronic acid also has antioxidant properties that help to protect the skin from UV damage and fight off harmful free radicals.
14. How to use hyaluronic acid as skincare
Hyaluronic acid is becoming increasingly popular as a skincare ingredient, and can be found in serums, moisturizers, and creams. It is even being included in cosmetic products like foundation and blushes.
15. How much do we need?
If you’re going to buy a product with hyaluronic acid in it, look for a formula that contains at least 1% of it.
16. Hyaluronic acid injections
For advanced anti-aging benefits, you can even get dermal filler injections with hyaluronic acid. Many of the most popular facial injectables contain hyaluronic acid as their primarily active ingredient.
17. How long does it last?
When receiving hyaluronic acid in injectable form, the effects can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the dermal filler being used, the area being treated, and the condition of the skin.
18. Hyaluronic acid serum
Hyaluronic acid is particularly helpful for dry skin when applied in serum form. They are thinner in consistency and have a higher concentration of ingredients for optimal results.
19. How long does it take?
If you’re using a serum, you’ll get the best result with a little bit of patience. After application, wait at least 15 minutes for it to fully absorb into the skin.
20. Can it be used in combination with other ingredients?
Absolutely! Hyaluronic acid can be even more effective in your anti-aging routine if its combined with vitamin C. Together, these two ingredients can diminish the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots and increase collagen production.
21. Hyaluronic acid moisturizer
It is also a great addition to any moisturizer, as we’ve already elaborated on its incredibly effective hydrating properties.
22. Is it safe?
Yes, it is! Because it is a natural substance in our bodies, there is even a very low risk of suffering an allergic reaction or any other irritation due to use. The worst reaction someone is likely to experience, as long as they are not allergic to it, is not getting the desired effects—ironically, some people have reported that it dries their skin out.
23. Is Hyaluronic acid worth using?
Yes! There are very few people for whom the effects of hyaluronic acid will not be felt, and it is a gentle and lightweight addition to any good skincare routine.
24. It can be used year-round
Whether your skin is being dried out from the cold, dry air in the winter months or from the heat and constant sun exposure in the summer, hyaluronic acid can help you out!
25. Is it good for acne?
While it may not be able to combat acne all on its own, it can certainly help! Most acne creams and lotions dry the skin out, which can actually result in more oil production. Hyaluronic acid will keep the skin moisturized while fighting blemishes and keeping a good balance in the skin while fighting acne.
26. Is it the same as sodium hyaluronate?
There is a slight difference between sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid, though they are often used interchangeably. Sodium hyaluronic is a smaller molecule and is actually the salt of hyaluronic acid.
27. Other uses of hyaluronic acid
In addition to its use as a moisturizing, anti-aging ingredient in skincare products and dermal injectables, hyaluronic acid-based injections are also a great treatment for knee pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis.
28. Can hyaluronic acid be taken orally?
It can! Some individuals who suffer from joint pain and osteoarthritis take hyaluronic acid supplements instead of receiving injections. It is also suggested that oral supplements can help prevent osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and even help manage chronic fatigue.
29. It was first used in bakery products
It is obviously safe to be taken orally, as this was actually a key aspect of its first use! Hyaluronic acid was first available commercially in 1942 as a substitute for egg whites in bakery products.
30. You won’t regret using it!
Hyaluronic acid is suitable for all skin types, whether dry, oily, or sensitive. And while it is often touted for its anti-aging abilities, there is no harm to using hyaluronic acid at any age. Even if diminishing wrinkles is not your number 1 concern right now, everyone can benefit from the hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of hyaluronic acid.