Hyaluronic acid, what is it and what does it do?
A quick Google search of the word “hyaluronic acid” yields more than 1.3 million search results, and its name is everywhere from skincare shelves to TV adverts, but what exactly is hyaluronic acid?
There is good reason for the increased popularity of hyaluronic acid, it is a substance found in the body, in our joints and blood vessels but it is mostly found in the skin. Its greatest strength is attracting and binding water for skin hydration with a single gram of hyaluronic acid holding up to six litres of water. It plays an important role in maintaining skin elasticity and wound healing while also regulating and binding moisture in the cells. It ensures skin is supple, resilient and gives it a youthful glow. As we age, the cell renewal process in our body slows down, collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid levels also decrease. As a result, ageing skin not only produces less hyaluronic acid but also slowly loses its stores, making the skin less able to retain moisture.
However, hyaluronic acid can increase hydration and plump fine lines when added to skincare products. It is the most well-known ingredient for helping dry skin, but it can be of benefit to all skin types, including oily skin. This makes it an essential part of your daily routine to ensure your skin barrier is in optimal condition.
Your skin consists of three layers. The epidermis is the layer of skin visible on the outside. Underneath this is the dermis which makes your skin firm and strong and finally the hypodermis is the bottom or fatty layer. A healthy skin barrier prevents excessive moisture loss and is more resistant to bacteria, fungi and viruses. If your skin is red, rough and irritated, it could mean your skin barrier is damaged and allowing moisture to escape. This leads to your skin drying out and being less protected. While hyaluronic acid cannot speed up the cell renewal process, it does promote skin cell repair by providing extra hydration and barrier protection to the skin.
There are two types of hyaluronic acid. In its original state, a hyaluronic acid molecule is too large to penetrate the outer layer of the skin. Therefore, the best hyaluronic acid serums are broken down into shorter chains using scientific techniques. Hyaluronic acid molecules with low weight have a shorter chain, they are smaller which allows them to penetrate deeper into the skin. High weight hyaluronic acid molecules have a longer chain and are good for moisturising the skin’s surface. It is important to apply hyaluronic acid to slightly damp skin either by using a face mist or by not patting your face dry to ensure there is enough water to absorb. Then apply the hyaluronic acid serum to ensure the hydration remains in the skin and cannot evaporate through the air.
Is hyaluronic acid the holy grail ingredient for a wrinkle-free, youthful and hydrated look? While no hyaluronic acid serum or cream will work on the deepest layers of the dermis, it can make the wrinkle depth decrease and leave you with hydrated skin and a beautiful skin glow. Who wouldn’t want that?
Shop our range of hyaluronic acid-based products here.