Every skin care product is a unique combination of ingredients formulated in a certain way to bring your skin closer to a specific goal. You might notice, though, that there are certain skin care ingredients that pop up on labels time and time again. One of those frequent flyers is hyaluronic acid, sometimes called HA.
What can HA do for your skin and how do you put it to use in your skin care routine? We’ve got all your top questions answered.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Nobody wants a flashback to chemistry class, so without getting too scientific, hyaluronic acid is a polymer that is naturally found in your body. It’s primarily in your skin, joints, and eyes.
The main function of HA is for hydration. The polymer binds to water molecules easily, so it helps to hold water inside your tissue. In fact, hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000x its weight in water! That’s why it’s essential in keeping your skin hydrated and keeping your joints moving smoothly too.
How to Use Hyaluronic Acid
If you’re looking in the mirror at dry skin and saying, “wow, how can I get some of that hydrating power working for me?” it’s easier than you might think. Essentially, you just have to look for a topical skin care product that contains hyaluronic acid and, well, use it.
Of course, nothing is ever quite that simple. Use these tricks and guides to make sure you’re getting the greatest benefit you can from your HA.
Lock In Moisture While It’s There
Remember, hyaluronic acid works by gripping onto water molecules to keep hydration in your work. As a result, it works best if you use it while your skin is damp.
Your skin care routine should start with a cleanser. Without drying your face after cleansing, apply your hyaluronic acid (or apply your toner first if you use one, then apply HA). This way, you’ll lock in that moisture while it’s there so your skin can stay more hydrated through the day or night.
Use a Hyaluronic Acid Serum
There are many types of skin care products that contain hyaluronic acid - sometimes as the primary active ingredient and sometimes to complement other active ingredients. The most common way you’ll find HA, though, is as a serum.
Serums are designed to penetrate further into your skin than most other skin care products. A hyaluronic acid serum can give you a rich, deep hydration that lasts. If you want to start dabbling in HA to see what it can do for you, a hyaluronic acid serum is an excellent place to begin.
Don’t Worry About Layering
Skin care can get complicated - some products and ingredients don’t play nicely with others. Fortunately, though, hyaluronic acid isn’t much of a troublemaker. It’s generally safe to combine hyaluronic acid serum with other serums.
For example, one popular combination is HA and vitamin C. You can use both serums, one after the other, to give your skin both the hydrating effects of hyaluronic acid and the brightening effects of vitamin C. Or, you could use a serum that contains both of these active ingredients like Revision DEJ Daily Boosting Serum.
There are a few notes to keep in mind, though. First, if you’re using multiple serums, start with the one that you want to be most effective because it will reach deeper into your skin. In other words, if your skin needs hydration more than it needs brightening, apply the hyaluronic acid serum first and then the vitamin C serum. Second, if you’re using HA and another serum and you aren’t sure whether the two serums’ active ingredients will work together well, it’s always better to be safe by doing some research or asking a skin care professional.
Watch for Irritation
Fortunately, irritation, inflammation, and other negative reactions to hyaluronic acid aren’t very common. They do happen sometimes, though, so watch for any changes like this when you start using hyaluronic acid. To lower your risk for a reaction, choose a hyaluronic acid product that has a concentration of 2% or lower and be sure to use it as directed.
Consider a Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer
While hyaluronic acid is very common in serums, you can also get the benefits of hyaluronic acid from a moisturizer that contains HA instead. The effect is typically similar, so it’s just a matter of which product seems to work best for your skin.
Bookend Your Day with Hyaluronic Acid
Like any other skin care ingredient, hyaluronic acid should be used consistently if you really want to see what it can do. Fortunately, HA can (and should) be used twice per day as part of both your morning and your nighttime routine. This is the case whether you use HA serum or HA moisturizer - or you can switch it up and use, for example, a hyaluronic acid serum in the morning and a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid at night or vice versa.
Unleashing the Power of Hyaluronic Acid for Your Skin
Whether you’ve struggled with dry skin all your life or is a more recent development, or you’re just a victim of seasonal dry skin during the fall and winter, hyaluronic acid can become your skin’s new best friend. Use the strategies above to benefit from this powerhouse of hydration.