For years, hyaluronic acid has been the darling of the beauty industry but more recently, it’s been surrounded by controversy that it could well be causing more harm than good. Today we’re looking at both sides of the debate and sharing our advice on using this popular product…
THE ‘FOR’ ARGUMENT
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant – a substance that binds and retains water molecules, enabling it to deeply hydrate the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally in the body with the highest concentrations found in the skin; the majority of which is found within the deeper layers of the dermis. It is made up of D-glucuronic and N-acetyl glucosamine (two sugars) which bind water molecules in the skin cells to collagen. As a result, a transparent gel is formed which acts as a sponge to draw and hold moisture, providing our skin with the hydration it requires along with a firmer, plumper, brighter complexion. This also helps to fight free radicals, maintain the skin’s elasticity, heal the skin (as it has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties), and benefits our eyes and connective soft tissue function by lubricating and cushioning joints.
As we get older, our levels of hyaluronic acid naturally decrease. As it’s thought hyaluronic acid can hold up to a thousand times its weight in water molecules, by incorporating products rich in this ingredient you can continue to provide your skin with the hydration it requires in a way that your body is less able to naturally and no other products can.
THE ‘AGAINST’ ARGUMENT
Hyaluronic acid can dry out the skin as it draws moisture from its surroundings and leaves skin exposed if the moisture is not sealed in.
The moisture that hyaluronic acid products attract comes from our external environment. It pulls moisture from the air and draws it into the skin to provide the hydration it needs. The downside to this is that when humidity levels are low, (meaning there is a lack of moisture in the air) no matter what your skin type is, it can quickly become very dry and dehydrated under these circumstances.
Applying hyaluronic acid to a dry, dehydrated face can exacerbate skin concerns, especially as the ingredient in skincare products is a synthetic version. In using it, you are drawing up the moisture from the deeper levels of the skin to the surface of the epidermis where it just evaporates, leaving skin feeling drier, tighter and uncomfortable.
THE BEST WAY TO USE HYALURONIC ACID
- Our recommendation with all skincare is to keep things simple. Resist layering on too many products.
- Seal moisture into the skin by using a face oil (such as ours) as the last step in your routine.
- Keep a close eye on your skin’s health as you are using products. If you have concerns, remove products one by one from your routine to work out which is affecting your skin.
- As always, hydrate yourself from within too by drinking plenty of water.
- Where possible, avoid conditions which can further dry out your skin such as air conditioning, central heating and hot showers.
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WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON USING HYALURONIC ACID?
We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!
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