Keep your skin glowing with this naturally-occurring super substance.
When it comes to achieving and maintaining well-hydrated skin, there’s one ingredient that always comes out on top — hyaluronic acid. Found as an active ingredient in a broad range of skincare products, from serums and cleansers to moisturisers, it is loved in the world of beauty for its ability to plump fine lines and make the skin glow.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring sugar molecule found in our bodies. It can hold onto up to a thousand times its own weight in water — as such, it binds water to the skin and boosts hydration. Unfortunately, as we age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in our bodies decreases over time. The good news, however, is that topical products that contain the ingredient can help to rebuild what has been lost. Here’s why you should consider adding this super ingredient to your regime.
Hyaluronic acid plays a key role in helping the skin cells retain water. Think of the ingredient as a magnet for water — it penetrates the skin and binds water to the cells, permeating all the layers of the skin with moisture. This contributes to hydrated, healthy-looking skin. When the skin is hydrated, it feels soft and looks more youthful and radiant. Hyaluronic acid also has a plumping effect on the skin, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The skin’s natural barrier is made up of naturally-occurring fatty acids, which protect the body by trapping water and preventing irritants from entering the skin. As we get older, the lipid barrier that protects the top layer of skin tends to slow down, which means that UV rays and other environmental factors can do more damage. This often leads to fine lines, wrinkles, dryness and pigmentation. Hyaluronic acid can lock in moisture and strengthen the skin’s natural barriers. This helps to protect the lipid barrier and slows down its deterioration over time.
When hyaluronic acid protects and strengthens the lipid barrier, it’s easier for the skin to fight off damaging toxins. This keeps damage at bay and helps maintain brighter, smoother, healthier skin. Interestingly, the preservatives used in many products can harm the lipid barrier by destroying good bacteria in the skin. When choosing skincare products, try to go for those with fewer ingredients and a minimal amount of preservatives.
SUITABLE FOR ANY SKIN TONE
One of the benefits of hyaluronic acid is that it can be used on any skin type and tone. It generally works well on both oily and dry skin, as well as skin that is prone to acne or breakouts. Products that contain hyaluronic acid are typically very easy to add to most skincare routines because the ingredient doesn’t counteract other ingredients, including vitamins, retinols and acids. Plus, the ingredient itself is lightweight and oil-free.
SAFE TO USE
Hyaluronic acid is considered safe and doesn’t generally cause any adverse side effects when applied in its topical form. In fact, the substance is naturally found in the body and doesn’t strip the skin or harm it in any way. Unlike other acids, typically used for their exfoliating properties, hyaluronic acid is used for its moisture-binding abilities and is very gentle on the skin, delivering hydration in the areas that really need it.
HOW TO USE IT + WHAT TO CONSIDER
No matter what your skincare routine looks like, it’s easy to add hyaluronic acid to your daily regime. The ingredient is found in countless products, from serums, eye creams and moisturisers, to cleansers and masks.
Before you choose a product, there are a few things to consider. Look at what other ingredients are in your product of choice, and be sure to avoid anything that has caused you irritation. It’s also best to avoid products that contain alcohol, which can dry out the skin and counteract the moisturising benefits of hyaluronic acid. It’s worth noting that hyaluronic acid and vitamin C work well together, so consider choosing a product that contains both of these ingredients.
If you’re using a hyaluronic acid-rich serum, apply it after you’ve cleansed your face. While the skin is still damp, gently dab a few drops onto your face. To seal in the hydration, don’t forget to complete the process with a moisturiser.
Our fave hyaluronic acid must-haves
Dose & Co Beauty Collagen
Drink your way to beauty from the inside out. This collagen mix is packed with skin-loving ingredients, including hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. It improves skin elasticity, hydration and reduces the appearance of fine lines. 255g | R699
REN Perfect canvas smooth, prep and plump essence REN’s new luxurious essence includes hyaluronic acid and polyglutamic acid. Its focus is on hydrating, plumping and smoothing the skin and moisture barrier. 100ml | R925
dr.dermal Multi Molecular Hygroscopic Plasma
This scientifically formulated hyaluronic acid serum is designed to penetrate deep beneath the skin’s surface and provide lasting hydration. It’s multi-molecular, which means that different size molecules of HA can penetrate different layers of skin. 30ml | R595
Sothys Hydra Hyaluronic Acid4 Sothys latest range, Hydra Hyaluronic Acid4, acts deep within the skin with hyaluronic acid, boletus extract, which is an HA booster amongst other active ingredients to help plump and moisturise the skin. The range includes an intensive hydrating serum (50ml at R1 245), hydrating youth creams (50ml at R1 045), and a hydra-plumping mask (50ml at R750)
Moroccanoil Hand Cream Hyaluronic acid is not just beneficial for the face, its benefits can transcend and permeate anywhere on the body. Moroccanoil Hand Cream is a must-have for an often-neglected area of the body, your hands. Key ingredients include HA, argan oil, shea and cocoa butters and squalene – all of which promote moisture whilst nourishing the skin. 100ml |R420
Exuviance Total Correct Hydrate This rich, anti-ageing cream intensely hydrates and targets visible signs of ageing. Key ingredients, including HA, restores moisture, helps plump the skin and reduces the look of discolouration and dark spots from acne and ageing. It also helps with reducing lines and wrinkles, and enlarged pores. 50ml | R1 400
Litchi & Titch THE Serum – Botanical Infusion Litchi & Titch’s luxurious serum fights skin concerns at a cellular level. It promotes glowing skin through tone-correcting and antioxidant-rich plant extracts. 30ml | R950
Lancôme Rénergie H.C.F. Triple Serum Lancôme’s latest serum concentrates on one radically caring triple dose of hyaluronic acid, C+ niacinamide and ferulic acid. Benefits include plumped skin, wrinkle correction and dark spots correction. 50ml | R2 180
Teaology Matcha Tea Ultra-firming eye cream The importance of eye cream is somewhat overlooked when it absolutely shouldn’t be. This super eye cream brightens, depuffs and lifts the eye area. This soft cream-gel is enriched with HA as well as a triple dose of vitamin C, magnesium and organic match tea. 15ml | R730