Let’s face it, we all dream of having skin like the Kardashians ¾ smooth, glowing, age-defying. However, their lavish lifestyles of vampire facials and injectables may not be time and economically efficient for most of us out here that don’t own a multi-billion dollar empire. Here’s a two-word solution for that: hyaluronic acid. The name itself may intimidate most of us off, but if you’re looking for plump and soft skin, this peculiar chemical may just be your saving grace.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Though the term “acid” may be associated with abrasion and exfoliants, hyaluronic acid actually does the opposite; it gently hydrates your skin. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a substance that can actually be naturally found in our body, serving to magnetize moisture within our cells that leaves our skin radiant and supple. It’s moisture retaining properties are so potent that just a single gram of HA can hold up to 6 litres of water. In fact, certain injectables such as JUVEDERM utilize a gel form of HA to create volume in sunken areas by drawing water to them, leading to the filler effect.
If our bodies naturally produce HA and are capable of regulating that much moisture on its own, why is there a need to supplement our skincare regime with additional HA? Well for starters, HA is easily degraded by environmental aggressors and poor diet choices. In addition, similar to collagen, the amount of HA that naturally occurs in our bodies drastically reduces as we age. By topically applying HA to our skin, we are consistently providing it with one of the most effective humectants (a substance used to reduce moisture loss) that will guarantee enduring hydration.
What will hyaluronic acid do for my skin?
We’ve established the impressive hydrating abilities of HA, but what exactly will it do for my skin?
As we grow older, our skin loses the ability to maintain its moisture equilibrium, leading to a decline in skin firmness and a rise in fine lines and wrinkles. By supplementing our skin with HA, we are providing it with a moisture-binding and plumping agent (remember how HA is utilized in cosmetic fillers?) capable of mitigating these phenomena.
- Skin tightening
Saggy skin occurs due to the breaking down of elastin in the skin. Whilst HA does not replace elastin, it helps with skin firming and facial contouring by filling hollowed areas of the face with moisture.
- Skin cell regeneration
Apart from hydration, HA also acts as an antioxidant. Applied to skin, HA acts as a shield against free radicals in our environment, leading to radiant and glowing skin.
How can I include Hyaluronic acid into my skincare routine?
Since HA is so gentle, it will work brilliantly on any kind of skin type (be it sensitive or oily), so feel free to start incorporating it immediately. However, though HA generally collaborates well with majority of other ingredients such as retinols and other acids, be careful not to use it in conjunction with acids of low pH levels (eg glycolic acid) as they may render the HA ineffective. For moisture balance, skin renewal, and overall full and smooth Kardashian-like skin, here are our favourite HA products: