What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid is a substance that is naturally found in the human body – mostly in the fluid in your eyes and joints and skin to keep it hydrated, stable and able to renew cells. Hyaluronic Acid is widely used in the medical world to treat things such as joint disorders, including osteoarthritis, cataracts and other eye injuries as well as lip fillers. In these cases, it is often injected.
Hyaluronic Acid can also be used in the treatment of wounds, burns and other skin conditions. Which brings us to how it’s used in the beauty world.
Hyaluronic Acid is lauded for its ability to retain water – and hence its ability to hydrate the skin. As skin ages, it loses its natural ability to retain water – one of the biggest factors in why we get wrinkles and fine lines.
Not only this but Hyaluronic Acid is also packed full of antioxidants which means as well as hydrating your skin its also working hard to protect and nourish.
"It is one of the most beneficial skin care ingredients because it provides immediate and long-lasting hydration with the added benefit of padding out any fine lines that present when there is a lack of water in the complexion," says renowned Sydney skin therapist, Melanie Grant. "It's soothing, nourishing and draws 1000 times its own weight into water into the skin, so pairs well with most other products."
We asked Melanie to give us a rundown of everything we need to know about this wonder product.
Who should be using Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid is suitable for all skin types, especially those who are feeling particularly parched and devitalised. It's an essential for long-haul travel and as a pre-event hero product when your skin needs an especially youthful, quenched glow. It's also a wonderful option for soothing and strengthening the complexion for those presenting with sensitivity or reactivity.
What are the best forms?
Hyaluronic Acid comes in many shapes and sizes. It's commonly referred to as Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycoaminoglycane, Hyaluronan and Sodium PCA. Depending on the individual formulation of your product, some Hyaluronic Acids contain a lower molecular weight meaning that the particles are smaller and can penetrate further into the skin, offering deep hydration. Others are larger, designed to address surface dryness, leaving the skin with a feeling of comfort and moisture.
Are all hyaluronic acid products created equal? What should you be looking for?
Not all Hyaluronic Acids are created equal. I recommend searching for products that contain both hydrating mediums as well as potent antioxidants, as these will work really hard on your behalf. Look for products that also contain B Vitamins as their anti-inflammatory properties really complement the soothing nature of a good Hyaluronic.
Where and how should you apply it?
Hyaluronic Acid is best applied morning and evening as the first step after you cleanse. This will give it the greatest chance of penetration, with the added bonus of it drawing in further moisture from the products you layer on top of it. Dispense a couple of drops of your Hyaluronic Acid into the palms of your hands and gently press it into your face, neck and decolletage in a gentle upward motion.