Hyaluronic acid serum is a substance naturally produced by the body to maintain moisture levels in the skin, connective tissue, joints, and other areas.
Both topical and oral hyaluronic acid can offer serious benefits to your skin, including improving skin moisture and elasticity, reducing inflammation, preventing sun damage, and giving a boost to your overall skincare routine.
5 Hyaluronic Acid Benefits for Your Skin
One of the first pieces of advice you'll hear from skincare product professionals for how to get healthier, glowing skin is “Drink more water.” But for your skin to actually hold on to that water, it needs a partner in crime: hyaluronic acid. Wondering how to prevent acne scars? HA could help to prevent the formation of acne scars by promoting healthy, hydrated skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a hydrophilic (water-loving) substance used in skincare products that binds to water molecules and helps your body—especially your skin—retain moisture. It’s naturally produced by your body, but it can also be applied topically, through injections, or taken in pill form.
Whether you’re tussling with acne outbreaks or looking to minimize fine lines on your sensitive skin, integrating this substance into your skincare routine brings a suite of benefits to your skin, no matter what skin type you have.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid, or HA, is quite literally a heavyweight hydration agent.
HA is an organic substance that is a part of our bodies’ natural chemistry. Hyaluronic acid absorbs and retains water, locking in as much as 1,000 times its own weight in moisture. It has a high molecular weight that forms a water-dense network underpinning the body’s connective tissues.
HA is primarily found in:
HA is densely packed into these areas of the body—in fact, almost every one of your cells is primed to process HA within its life cycle. This indicates that HA is integral for a host of physiological processes, including:
Suffice to say, HA is a dynamic substance for every system of the body. However, the molecular size and overall content of our HA decreases as we get older.
Fortunately, with a little help from the skincare world, you can integrate this powerhouse substance into your skincare product regimen for the good of your skin.
What Does Hyaluronic Acid Do for Skin? 5 Benefits
Our skin loves hyaluronic acid and for good reason. With our bodies natural production of hyaluronic acid, about half of our bodies’ entire HA content resides in the skin, in the dermis and epidermis.
Treating your skin with an extra dose of hyaluronic acid isn’t just about boosting your glow. HA has been used as a key therapeutic ingredient for a host of concerns, from alleviating eye and vaginal dryness to joint pain.
Dermatologists have enlisted HA as a powerful treatment for promoting healthier skin in both function and appearance. There are 5 promising benefits you can expect from this skincare ingredient:
1. More Hydration
Keeping your skin nourished and hydrated is a top-shelf solution for a host of skin concerns, from premature aging to the acne flare-ups that can arise around your period. It also provides health benefits for oily skin or dry skin.
By turbo-boosting your skin’s moisture levels, oral or injectable hyaluronic acid products may help to minimize wrinkles, smooth out skin texture, and nourish your dehydrated skin with the moisture it needs to function as a barrier (and look radiant doing it).
2. Wound Healing
As an anti-inflammatory agent, HA may be used to promote wound healing by reducing swelling in the skin, eyes, cartilage, and other areas of the body.
Acne is one of the most common inflammatory skin diseases—the result of skin’s hyperreactivity to oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria clogging the pores. By including hyaluronic acid products in your skincare routine, you may add an extra line of defense for your skin's surface against the inflammatory response that leads to bumps and blemishes (especially around that time of the month!).
3. Smoother, More Elastic Skin
Youthful-looking skin has less to do with age, and more to do with our skin’s water content. As the natural hyaluronic acid molecule levels of our skin deplete with time, the elasticity of our skin decreases, leading to fine lines and wrinkles. Serums, creams, and lotions containing HA boost skin’s moisture levels, which may help to improve skin elasticity and make wrinkles appear less noticeable.
4. Sun Damage Protection
UV radiation is one of the primary culprits for premature aging, causing molecules known as free radicals to damage our bodies’ cells. HA can have antioxidative properties, which means it hunts down free radicals caused by sun damage and buffers the damage they cause to our bodies’ skin cells. In doing so, HA may improve skin firmness and texture.
5. Skincare Routine Turbocharge
HA is a team player. It can be used on its own to boost hydration, or as a carrier that allows other active ingredients to seep below the superficial layers of your skin. Whether you’re treating your skin for hormonal acne or other skin concerns like eczema, using topical HA may have a calming effect that can quell inflammation on a deeper level.
Different Forms of Hyaluronic Acid
Because of the myriad clinical and cosmetic applications of hyaluronic acid, there are several ways to use it in practice. In the world of skincare, there are 3 types of products that put HA to work:
Supplements – Because your body’s HA content diminishes with age, taking this substance orally may help to boost your body’s internal supply. In pill form, HA is primarily used to relieve knee joint pain, while a small amount from the supplement may reach the skin. For this reason, hyaluronic acid supplements may be better suited to assist with bone or joint distress rather than relieving exclusively cosmetic skin complaints.
Topically – One of the most comprehensive ways to use HA is by incorporating it into your skincare routine from the outside in. HA may be formulated as a serum, gel, or emulsion (a water-based moisturizer) to be used topically in harmony with your other products.
With filler injections – HA may also be directly injected into the skin to soften, smooth, and promote elasticity below the surface. While this method is more invasive than the topical route, HA injections are the most targeted means of combating common complaints like fine lines, crows feet, and smile lines (nasolabial folds).
How to Use and Apply Hyaluronic Acid?
If you’re sold on integrating HA into your skincare routine by going the topical route, there are a couple of tips for getting the most out of your product of choice:
Choose the right product – Molecular weight dictates what types of actions HA has in the skin. While larger HA molecules are best at retaining water, smaller ones more easily penetrate the skin, rather than stopping short at the skin’s surface. Because of this, you’ll want to look for a product that contains multiple HA molecule sizes to ensure it works as an effective hydration-booster.
Know when to use it – Creating an effective skincare routine means sticking to an order of operations, and products with HA are no exception. If you opt for HA in serum form, be sure to allow it to sink in before layering your final lotions or creams over it. Moisturizers containing HA should be applied as the final step in your skincare routine. By doing so, your skin will be better primed to receive the water contained in your moisturizer, resulting in nourished, dewier-looking skin.
Side Effects of Hyaluronic Acid
Skin researchers agree that HA is one of the safest ingredients you can use in the world of skincare and cosmetics. There are virtually no adverse hyaluronic acid side effects when used as instructed, even when applied during pregnancy or while you’re breastfeeding.
In fact, HA is renowned for:
Although HA poses virtually no risks to the people who use it, it bears mentioning that this ingredient has a brief half-life. This means that its effects can become less noticeable within a relatively brief period of time. HA filler injections, for instance, typically only last between 4 and 6 months, depending on where they are placed in the skin.
That said, topical treatments may just be the solution to locking in all of the benefits HA has to offer in its brief but glorious life. With consistent, daily application, you may notice an immediate radiance boost in the mirror and a marked improvement in your skin’s quality for the long haul.
Put Hyaluronic Acid to the Test with Favor
From putting the kabosh on acne to helping your skin stay hydrated year round, there are myriad hyaluronic acid benefits for skin. And whether you’re a skincare minimalist or a skincare maven with 14 steps in your routine, Favor delivers affordable health care products from birth control pills to the medicines you use to achieve a glowing complexion.
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