What Is Hyaluronic Acid? The Comprehensive Guide

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In the past, finding skincare moisturizing products to keep your skin hydrated while balancing between hydration and greasy was difficult, but today, the story is no longer the same, as hyaluronic acid has changed the game.

Hyaluronic acid has scientifically proven to Intensively hydrate the skin (without a greasy feeling)  and plump it up thereby serving as an anti-aging ingredient which reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and improve overall skintone and texture.

To know more about hyaluronic acid, you have to know its benefits and how it works.

When it comes to hydrating and retaining moisture in the skin and also fighting skin aging signs count hyaluronic acid as the star ingredient. Infact, if you have an extreme dry skin, or battling with skin dryness, – hyaluronic acid is the game changer. Not only does hyaluronic acid do a killer job when it comes to moisturizing the skin, but it has an anti-aging effect because it plumps and hydrates the skin makes fine lines and wrinkles less visible.

Keep reading to know more about Hyaluronic acid.

What is Hyaluronic acid by the way?

Hyaluronic acid is naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan (carbohydrates) found in our body. The largest amounts of it are found in your skin, connective tissue and eyes. Its main function is to retain water to keep your tissues well lubricated, hydrated and moist.

According to Dr. Lily Talakoub, a dermatologist at the McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center. – “Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a substance found naturally in our skin that holds water and helps keep it hydrated and plump. The molecule holds a thousand times its weight in water to not only retain all that moisture in our skin, but also prevent all that moisture from evaporating into the air”

HA is the main component of what gives your skin structure, and is responsible for that plump and hydrated look. That’s the reason why as we age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in our skin starts to depletes, which triggers wrinkles and fine lines. (The bad news)

The good news is. Topical products containing hyaluronic acid whether as part of an ingredient in moisturizers, or serums can help rebuild the skin’s structure by retaining moisture in to the skin, which plumps and adds volume to your skin cells to make your skin more radiant and smooth.

How does Hyaluronic acid works by the way?

Hyaluronic acid serves as a big drink of water for your skin, softening fine lines, making skin look firmer, and smoothing out even the roughest dry patches.

Think of hyaluronic acid as a sponge in your skin that holds on to moisture and keeps your face looking plump and dewy.

According to Joanna Vargas, a celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Skincare Collection, – “When you apply an H.A. product, it works as a humectant. “Humectants basically pull water from the environment into your skin and are very hydrating”. 

“Hyaluronic acid attracts and binds to water molecules and increases the water content of the skin,” It can absorb more than 1,000 times its weight in water,” – says Shari Marchbein, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Downtown Dermatology in New York City.

What are the Skin Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?

1. Hydrates and Plumps the Skin.

Hyaluronic acid is just like the water the skin drinks, It can absorb more than 1,000 times its weight in water. It penetrates the skin and binds water to skin cells, infusing all layers of the skin with valuable, rejuvenating moisture, leaving the skin well hydrated supple and plumped.

2. Speeds Up Wound Healing Process.

Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the skin, but it’s concentration increases when there is a cut or damage it needs to repair.
Hyaluronic acid helps fasten the healing process of wounds by regulating inflammation levels and signaling the body to build more blood vessels in the damaged area.

This study has shown that applying hyaluronic acid to skin wounds reduces the size of wounds and decrease pain faster.
Hyaluronic acid also has antibacterial properties, so it can help reduce the risk of infection when applied directly to open wounds.

3. Enhances Lipid Barrier.

Hyaluronic Acid fortifies the skin’s natural barriers to help lock moisture in for an even more dramatic hydrating effect. Over time, this can help slow down the the deterioration of the lipid barrier and help protect and fortify it.

4. Increased Resilience.

When the lipid barrier is further enhanced and protected by hyaluronic acid, the skin is better able to defend itself against environmental age-factors and pollutants. When it’s not fighting these toxins, the skin remains less wrinkled, brighter, and bouncier longer.

5. Stimulates Elasticity, Smoothness and Improves Skintone.

As we age, hyaluronic acid depletes in our skin, which triggers tired and saggy skin, accompanied with wrinkles and fine lines. Ofcourse no one wants that.
But the good news is, topical application of hyaluronic acid products such as serums and moisturizers will help with the appearance of tightness in the skin. As it fills the skin with moisture, smoothens wrinkles, fine lines, and improve overall texture of the skin. This results in a silky smooth finish which enhances youthful appearance.

Is There a Way To Correctly Apply Hyaluronic Acid Products?

If you want the most out of hyaluronic acid as an anti-aging ingredient, use it in the form of serum especially if you have a dry skin.

Hyaluronic acid insanely hydrates and retains moisture into the skin. But when applied wrongly it becomes the opposite.

Once you’ve cleansed your skin avoid toweling off completely. While it’s still slightly wet, your skin acts like a sponge, according to Jen Kramer, a paramedical esthetician and founder of Corrective Skincare LA. ”You’re trapping the moisture on your skin and getting it to sink in rather than letting it evaporate. If you wait until it’s dry, you’ve missed your chance to lock it in,” she explains. 

According to the experts, hyaluronic acid products (serums, moisturizers etc) actually needs to be applied to damp or moist skin in order to work. In fact, applying it to a dry face can have the opposite effect of what is intended, and actually leave skin more dehydrated.

According to Allies of skin, founder Nicolas Travis – “Hyaluronic acid is a moisture magnet,”

This means, if you should apply hyaluronic acid treatment on a dry skin, it pulls any residual moisture from the deeper layers of the skin to hydrate the surface. This is the reason why you need to apply it to moist skin — which is why you should mist first and then apply a hyaluronic acid treatment afterwards. Once hyaluronic acid comes in contact with water, it knows what it’s doing and your skin will end up supremely hydrated and plumped.

Does Hyaluronic Acid Have Any Side Effects?

Hyaluronic acid is generally safe for all skin types and doesn’t typically lead to any adverse reactions when applied topically, Marchbein says.

According to Dr. Rothaus – “Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance in our skin, and as a result one should not expect any problems,”. He further said “When patients complain of rashes or other problems related to hyaluronic acid-containing products, it is often a result of a problem with another ingredient, such as one of the preservatives.”

Preservatives helps extend the shelf-life of a product, but some, like, parabens, formaldehyde-releasers, isothiazolinones, and methylisothiazolinone can lead to irritation, According to DermNet NZ

What are Things i should look out for before purchasing Hyaluronic acid Products?

1. Check for Allergens.

You’ll find Hyaluronic acid in Products like:

  • Cleansers.
  • Serums.
  • Eye creams.
  • Sheet masks.
  • Moisturizers.
  • Lip treatments.

Before Purchasing any hyaluronic acid product, ensure it doesn’t contain ingredients you’re allergic to or that have caused you irritation in the past. However choosing hyaluronic acid products with vitamin C such as (Tree of Life hyaluronic acid serum) is a good choice. Research has proven that both ingredients works to boost effectiveness. 

2. Check it’s Molecular Weight.

When searching for an hyaluronic product, check to see if its molecular weight is listed. Sadly it’s not always listed. But it worth looking for because it can give you a clue as to how effective the product will be.

According to this study – “Acids with lower molecular weights (50 kilodaltons versus 2,000, for instance) can more easily penetrate the skin and have been shown to be more effective at fighting wrinkles” This study also found that even a 0.1 percent concentration of hyaluronic acid led to increased hydration and elasticity. 

3. Check out for Alcohol.

According to Gasquet“Alcohol can counteract the ingredient’s moisturizing benefits. Isopropyl alcohol is very drying and can leave skin vulnerable to cracking, allowing skin break and possibly irritants and bacteria to enter where they do not belong”
“In addition, the ‘drying effect’ can cause the cells to become less plump, the complete reverse effect of what we want”

She further says – look at where alcohol appears on the ingredient list. Ingredients are listed in order of concentration, so if it’s one of the first six ingredients, the product may be drying.

4. Avoid Fragrance.

Fragrance can cause irritation or breakouts for people with sensitive skin, so it’s best to steer clear. Says Nazanin Saedi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

According to Cleveland Clinic. Fragrance can also lead to contact dermatitis, which is a skin rash that can appear immediately.

5. Don’t Avoid Hyaluronic Acid Products with Water.

Water comes first in most hyaluronic acid products. This may force you to believe that the product is ineffective, as it’s diluted with water. But that’s not true. Water actually helps make the hyaluronic acid more effective. According to Gasquet“Having a more water-based product, rather than a cream, oil, or gel, will allow the product to penetrate the skin easier”.

What are the types of Hyaluronic Acid?

Actually there are 3 main types of hyaluronic acid. They are:

  • Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid.
  • Sodium hyaluronate.
  • Sodium acetylated hyaluronate.

Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid: This is a type of hyaluronic acid that has been broken down into elements small enough to penetrate the skin, Gasquet says. 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 has the ability to easily penetrate deeper into the skin, and delivers even better results because it has smaller molecule. Though the effects aren’t very long lasting, Gasquet says. “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 are hyaluronic acid products out there which combines multiple hyaluronic acid molecules for maximum effectiveness.

To help you make the best selection we have chosen 2 Best hyaluronic acid products containing multiple types of hyaluronic acid combined.

2 Best Hyaluronic Acid Products containing multiple types of hyaluronic acid combined together for maximum effectiveness.

Our best picks.

1. Rovectin Activating Treatment Lotion.

Types of hyaluronic acid - beautysparkreview

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This Hyaluronic acid lotion, which also serves as a toner contains 7 different types of hyaluronic acids, including hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, sodium acetylated hyaluronate, and sodium hyaluronate and in combination with Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and Panthenol (Vitamin B5), to deeply penetrate and hydrate skin from surface to inner skin layers to lock, store and replenish moisture for soft and supple, healthy beautiful skin.

This hyaluronic acid lotion is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, it’s carcinogen free, paraben free, fragrance free and artificial colors free, and suitable for all skin types (including sensitive skin) So you don’t have to worry about skin irritations and clogged pores.

Pros

  • Contains 7 different types of HA.
  • Deeply hydrates the skin.
  • Suitable for all skin type.
  • Oil-free, non-greasy & non-comedogenic.
  • Absorbs quickly (with matte finish).
    Fragrance free, paraben-free, mineral-oil free, cruelty-free No synthetic dyes & unsafe preservatives.

Cons

  • None.

Ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Ethyl Gluceth-20, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Sorbitan Oleate Decylglucoside, Crosspolymer, Trehalose, Allantoin, Tocopherol, Protease, Sodium PCA, Aminopeptidase, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phospholipids, Caffeine, Pullulan, Sucrose, Arginine, Levulinic Acid, Hydroxyethylcellose, Sodium Levulinate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Linoleic Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract.

2. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5.

Types of hyaluronic acid - beautysparkreview

 

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A very reputable brand with so many awesome products. The ordinary hyaluronic acid serum contains three different forms of hyaluronic acids which combines low-, medium- and high-molecular weight HA, as well as a next-generation HA crosspolymer at a combined concentration of 2% for deeper penetration and multi-depth hydration.
It also contains Vitamin B5 which also enhances surface hydration.

Pros

  • Contains 3 different types of HA.
  • Deeply hydrates the skin.
  • Suitable for all skin type.
  • Oil-free, non-greasy & non-comedogenic.
  • Absorbs quickly (with matte finish).
  • Fragrance free, paraben-free, mineral-oil free, cruelty-free No synthetic dyes & unsafe preservatives.

Cons

  • None.

Ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Sodium Hyaluronate, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Glycerin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.

We’ve also reviewed and handpicked 5 best oil-free facial moisturizers which contains hyaluronic acid, for skin hydration. You can combine these moisturizers with hyaluronic acid serum for more skin hydration.

You can also check out our review on 6 best hyaluronic acid serums (with Sodium Hyaluronate type of hyaluronic acid). These serums are suitable for all skin types (including sensitive skin), hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, fragrance free, paraben-free, mineral-oil free, cruelty-free and contains no synthetic dyes and unsafe preservatives.

Possible Questions and Answers.

Q. Does using an hyaluronic acid product with multiple types of hyaluronic acid have any side effects?

A. No. Hyaluronic acids are naturally found in our body. They are generally safe for all skin types (including pregnant women) and doesn’t typically lead to any adverse reactions when applied topically.

Q. I have psoriasis, can I use hyaluronic acid products?

A. Good question. Moisturizers with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and lipids helps keep the upper layer of the epidermis well hydrated which is very beneficial for individuals with psoriasis.

Q. Can applying hyaluronic acid products help fade stretch marks?

A. In two large studies, applying hyaluronic acid to early stretch marks made the stretch marks less noticeable.

When hyaluronic acid gets into the skin, it stimulates collagen production, (which is a protein in your skin that allows it to stay in shape and appear healthy). This helps lessen the appearance of stretch marks.

In an old study in 1996, researchers discovered retinoids helped with the appearance of stretch, making them appear less visible. (Tretinion 0.1% was used in that research).

Just like retinol, Tretinion is also a derivative of vitamin A used to treat acne and sun-damaged skin. It can help improve the appearance of surface wrinkles, fine lines, and darks spots.

Retinoids generally helps make skin appear smoother and more youthful. According to research, combination of hyaluronic acid and retinoids will help lessen the appearance of stretch marks, wrinkles and fine less by stimulating collagen production.

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