What is it?
Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan, meaning that it is a molecule composed partly of sugars. Found naturally in the human body and as a structural component of skin, it is also produced synthetically for use in skincare.
What is it used for?
Hyaluronic acid is renowned for its ability to retain moisture, making it a common ingredient in hydrating serums and moisturisers. Since it can absorb up to a thousand times its own weight in water it has the ability to instantly plump skin and smooth wrinkles, as well as helping skin to repair itself more quickly. Hyaluronic acid is also used widely in dermal fillers due to its compatibility with the human body, where it is directly injected into the skin to plump and firm.
What are the pros and cons of using it?
In general, hyaluronic acid is compatible with most skin types. Its lightweight, gel-like texture means that it is a great way to hydrate oily skin without clogging pores, whilst it is gentle enough for sensitive skin types. When skin needs a moisture boost it makes an excellent quick fix, as well as being a great everyday product for achieving smooth, plumped, hydrated skin. On top of that its barrier-repairing function means that it can help skin to protect itself against sun damage, superficial wounds and inflammation. One negative aspect of hyaluronic acid is that it's high molecular weight means that in some cases molecules aren't able to penetrate the skin. For that reason, do your research and choose products that state that they have varying or lower molecular weights where possible. None should have adverse effects, but the deeper the molecules can penetrate, the better the results.
Which products can I find it in?
Hyaluronic acid is best applied as a serum or a hydrating cream, left on the skin to penetrate and plump. Try Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex, Kerstin Florian Correcting Hyaluronic Serum or Dr Sebagh Serum Repair.