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H Y A L U R O N I C   A C I D 

Hyaluronic acid supercharges the skin with moisture, giving you a dewy, healthy glow.

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Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a humectant with excellent hydrating qualities that protects our skin cells and helps maintain the structural integrity of the tissues. When applied topically, it binds and retains water molecules to plump and hydrate dehydrated, dull skin.

How it Works
Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in our bodies, distributed throughout our skin, tissues, and joints. In our skin, it’s located in the basal layer of the epidermis, where it hydrates and repairs tissues.

Hyaluronic acid also works as a joint lubricant to prevent friction, and as a hydrator that maintains the structure of our eyeballs. In terms of its composition, hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it binds and attracts moisture.

As we age, it becomes harder to hold moisture in the skin, so it’s important to add it back. HA can hold up to 1,000x its own weight in water.

Make it Routine

Hyaluronic acid can be found in any skincare product, but I prefer smaller, lower-weight hyaluronan molecules which can actually penetrate deep into our skin’s structure via topical application. Therefore, it’s likely most effective when concentrated in a potent serum or found as sodium hyaluronate, and applied before moisturisers and facial oils to really supplement and lock in hydration.

One More Thing

The most important thing to remember about this ingredient is its humectant nature. Because it binds and attracts moisture, hyaluronic acid will pull moisture from wherever it can find it. If you live in a dry or arid climate, there might not be much moisture in the air to draw from, so it'll resort to pulling hydration from other places in your skin. To combat this and allow HA to act as the super hydrator it’s touted as, never apply it to dry skin. Always applying a toner or hydrating mist right before applying HA, and seal it off with moisturizer once it’s had a moment to absorb.

The 3 Types of Hyaluronic Acid: How They Differ

Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid is hyaluronic acid that has been broken down into elements small enough to penetrate the skin. It’s moisturizing, but not the most moisturizing option, so it’s best for people who have oily or combination skin, since these skin types want to avoid over-moisturizing.

Sodium hyaluronate goes deeper into the skin and delivers even better results, though the effects aren’t very long lasting. Sodium hyaluronate is best for people who have normal skin, because it will allow moisture to seep in, but you don’t really need a heavy-duty, long-lasting effect. This is the ingredient you’ll likely find in serums.

Sodium acetylated hyaluronate has the benefits of sodium hyaluronate but with longer-lasting results. It’s best for people who need moisture, such as those with dry skin, those who live in dry climates, or those looking for a product for the dry winter months.

There’s also ingestible hyaluronic acid, which is a capsule filled with the active ingredient. The idea is that by taking a supplement, levels of the hyaluronic acid will be steady and the effects will last and it appears to work.

How to layer retinol and hyaluronic acid

I recommend using hyaluronic acid in the morning and night after cleansing when the skin is still damp and to leave your retinol application for just once a day at night. In the evening, cleanse, apply retinol on completely dry skin and then your hyaluronic acid moisturiser to lock in moisture. If you are looking for a hyaluronic acid serum rather than a moisturiser, you can apply it right before you moisturize.

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