Hyaluronic acid is a skin plumping, complexion hydrating hero that’s known to be one of the most renowned anti-ageing and moisturising ingredients around. Naturally produced by the body, this potent ingredient is a key component in moisturisers, serums, and even facial fillers. Here’s why.
What is hyaluronic acid?
The human body naturally produces hyaluronic acid, which not only keeps our skin hydrated and youthful, but also lubricates our eyes and joints. As we age, our ability to produce hyaluronic acid begins to slow and break down, contributing to those fine lines and wrinkles that reveal our age.
Why is hyaluronic acid so great for our skin?
The less moisturised and hydrated your skin is, the more it tends to sag and lose its structure. Hyaluronic acid is unique in that it holds an impressive amount of moisture — literally 1,000 times its weight in water.
This amazing water-retaining property means hyaluronic acid can easily and effectively provide hydration, helping our skin remain supple and glowing.
When that water gets delivered into your skin, it releases and expands, helping to plump your complexion and give off that renowned glow. One of the most impressive things to note about HA is that it hydrates without over hydrating. When the skin becomes too moisturized, it no longer retains all of the key substances it requires.
It’s notable, too, that hyaluronic acid is such a gentle ingredient it can be used on any type of skin, no matter its sensitivities or conditions, and is effective at calming inflamed blemishes and red complexions.
Where can you find hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is available in topical skincare — typically moisturisers and serums — as well as in-office in the form of injectable dermal fillers. The simplest, most affordable and effective way to get a boost of hyaluronic acid is in a serum — a formula of tiny molecules that deeply penetrate the skin. Find it in SLMD Skincare Skin Drink, formulated with squalane, an oil-based moisturiser that mimics skin’s own sebum.
Hyaluronic acid is a key component of many aesthetic facial fillers. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons inject these dermal fillers to treat fine lines and wrinkles and to plump features like lips.
How do you incorporate hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine?
Hyaluronic acid serums should be layered on after cleansing and before moisturising. If you have dry or ageing skin, adding a product that’s rich in hyaluronic acid is a great way to plump and hydrate the skin.
Hyaluronic acid also pairs perfectly with powerful anti-agers like retinol, alpha, and beta hydroxy acids. Prepping skin with a layer of hyaluronic acid prior to applying strong treatments, then adding another layer post-product — aka “sandwiching” — helps protect skin from potential irritation and maintains skin’s delicate balance.
Do you need to use moisturiser with hyaluronic acid?
This is where the difference between hydrating and moisturising comes into play:
- Hydrating: adding water to the skin
- Moisturising: adding oil to the skin
Hydrators like hyaluronic acid pull moisture directly into the skin. Sealing in that hydration with moisturiser is equally important. Some formulas, like Skin Drink, combine hyaluronic acid with a moisturising ingredient such as squalane. If your hyaluronic acid product doesn’t contain moisturising ingredients, layer one on after you apply your serum.
Dr. Lee’s last word
Hyaluronic acid is an extraordinary hydrator, capable of plumping up skin when applied topically, as well as filling in those fine lines and boosting facial contours when injected by your dermatologist. I use hyaluronic acid serum when my skin is feeling particularly parched, as it leaves my skin feeling youthful and renewed.
—Dr. Sandra Lee