You’d be forgiven for being daunted about putting anything with ‘acid’ in its name on your skin.
In actual fact, unlike other skincare acids like Alpha Hydroxy Acids that exfoliate the surface of skin, hyaluronic acid is a hydrating, nourishing ingredient that’s safe even for sensitive skin.
That’s because the molecule, also naturally found in the connective tissue of the body, is a humectant, which means it has hydration-boosting properties.
Applied topically, hyaluronic acid is a wonder ingredient for keeping skin in great shape, adding hydration and increasing skin’s ability to hold on to moisture. In recent years it has become incredibly popular in skincare, particularly serums, as well as makeup, for the fact it can hold to up to 1,000 times its weight in water. This means it’s perfect to keep our skin hydrated and plump.
Similar to collagen and elastin, the amount of naturally-occurring hyaluronic acid in our bodies decreases as we get older. This loss can contribute to skin’s dehydration, dullness, more prominent fine lines and flaky surface texture.
How to use
Though it is found in plenty of other skincare products, using a well-formulated serum is a good idea if you want to reap its benefits. This is because hyaluronic acid comes in different molecular sizes. Larger molecules help deliver surface moisture while a smaller molecular weight can better penetrate the skin and work effectively, delivering its hydrating goodness where it is needed. While larger molecules are often used in products like moisturiser, in many serums you will find a mix of hyaluronic acid molecules in different sizes to ensure skin is well served in different ways.
To use, apply to damp skin after cleansing in the morning and evening, before applying moisturiser.
Usefully, hyaluronic acid also plays well with most other skincare actives, making it easy to pair with exfoliating acids retinols, vitamins, and other skin-boosting ingredients.
While Lancôme’s famous serum delivers a raft of skin benefits, in particular prebiotics and probiotics fractions beneficial to skin’s appearance, it’s the silky hydrating and plumping results we keep coming back to, bottle after bottle. It works beautifully under makeup and you can even add a couple of drops to a full-coverage foundation to make it slightly more sheer and dewy.
Not only containing hyaluronic acid – and an advanced form that penetrates deeply at that – but this serum contains a number of the latest hydrating ingredients. This includes an algae extract, polyglutamic acid from fermented soy and plant-derived sugars and a blend of amino to acids trap water on skin’s surface.
A win for sensitive skin, La Roche-Posay’s gel-serum combines hyaluronic acid with B5 to moisturise and soothe and Centella Asiatica to calm and repair skin and its protective barrier.
Another Hyaluronic serum than also includes skin-softening B5. This is an advanced option that makes the most of multiple hyaluronic acid weights to ensure skin is seriously moisturised from the deepest layers right up to the surface.
Cutesy packaging and fragrance aside, this is option still has a respectably heavy hitting ingredients list. Five molecular weights of hyaluronic acid joinvegan collagen and silk protein to support skin barrier function while plum extracts fend off free radicals to help support youthful and healthy-looking skin.