Buzzword skincare ingredients come and go, but hyaluronic acid is one whose fame is well-earned. It offers multiple benefits for any skin type and comes packed with anti-aging properties.
How Hyaluronic Acid Benefits Skin
The magic of this ingredient lies in its ability to retain moisture. This is important with regard to aging because one of the hallmarks of youthful skin is its moisture content. As we age, our skin loses moisture, resulting in a loss of firmness and elasticity.
This does not mean that everyone’s skin becomes dry with age; it simply means that skin lacks the amount of moisture it had in its youth due to sun damage and/or other factors. This ingredient can improve your skin’s moisture content and at the same time strengthen skin’s barrier, which is the outer layers of your skin. A healthy barrier looks and feels softer, smoother, and plumper-all hallmarks of younger-looking skin.
Many things can lead to a damaged skin barrier including, sun damage, acne, sensitive skin, and rosacea. So repairing skin’s barrier with skin-identical ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, can go a long way toward fixing those issues, which means it’s helpful for all skin types. It also provides antioxidant defense against free-radical damage, and reduces inflammation.
Sodium Hyaluronate — a Novel Derivative
In addition to seeing hyaluronic acid listed as an ingredient in skincare products, you’ve probably also seen the similarly named sodium hyaluronate, a derivative, which also has unique advantages for skin.
Sodium hyaluronate is an asset in skincare because of its small molecular size which allows it to penetrate the skin more easily. For hyaluronic acid to penetrate beneath skin’s surface, it must be bioengineered to have a much lower molecular weight. Some brands do this; others don’t; and still others won’t tell you if they do or not.
Adding Hyaluronic Acid to Your Routine
Now that you know how hyaluronic acid benefits skin, as well as sodium hyaluronate, you might be wondering how to add these ingredients to your skincare routine. The great part is that doing so is very simple.
More and more brands are using this ingredient and its derivatives in their products. Checking out the ingredients on the label to see what’s included-and making sure they’re not listed near the very end of the list, in which case it means the product doesn’t contain much, and so you may not see much benefit. Keep in mind that even if a product does contain one or both of these ingredients, you must pay attention to the other ingredients as well. Steer clear of irritating fragrance ingredients, and drying alcohols that could undo the hyaluronic acid benefits for your skin.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to skincare, hyaluronic acid benefits your skin by reducing the appearance of fine lines, promoting younger-looking skin, and helping create a healthier barrier. When these ingredients are combined with an anti-aging routine that includes gentle products and daily broad-spectrum sun protection, you’re stacking the deck in your favor for younger, supple looking skin.