Could Your Hyaluronic Acid Be Making Your Skin Drier?

Hyaluronic Acid Skin Drier
Could Your Hyaluronic Acid Be Making Your Skin Drier? Photo by SabOlga

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…


Hyaluronic acid is a humectant – a substance that binds and retains water molecules, enabling it to deeply hydrate the skin.

The background:

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.

The argument:

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.


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 background:

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.

The argument:

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.


  • 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 rich in EFAs (essential fatty acids) 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.



We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!


  1. Amy
    09/11/2021 / 03:49

    Read all about CeraVe hyaluronic cleanser and day cream/sunscreen, so jumped in. My face, especially my chin (exacerbated by masking and airplane cabins?) has been peeling nonstop since I started. Wrinkles can be forgiven but flaky skin cannot.
    Suggestions for something to pick up now? Used Aveeno for years with no issues.

  2. Helen
    10/10/2021 / 17:30

    I have been using a product (for sensitive skin), with this acid as an ingredient and I thought it was helping until recently. Now my face feels as described above, drier and tighter. Is Cetaphil, which seems to come up as pretty benign, a good neutral moisturizer until the tightening recedes a little bit, or can you suggest something else over the counter that is neutral, so to speak? I appreciate your thoughts, thank you in advance.

    • Sofia
      22/11/2021 / 15:24

      Hi Helen, I am sorry to hear that your skin is feeling tight. I would recommend using an oil after you have moisturised to help seal in moisture until your skin is back to normal again. A neutral oil such as grapeseed oil is good to use on its own or a facial oil will help too. Ours is one to consider to be used at night to bring skin back to health – it is more suited to drier skins.

  3. Kaj
    14/04/2021 / 08:10

    When hyaluronic acid (HA intensifier by skinceuticals) dehydrates the skin on the face, especially the skin near the eyes, and causes creases, lines, wrinkles, cracks and open wounds due to dehydration, what are the best products to hydrate the skin around the eyes?

    It seems many hydrating products have HA in them.

    Aloe Vera gel made by honeyskin, First Aid Beauty (FAB) rescue cream with arnica, FAB hydrating repair cream with oatmeal and La Roche Posey (sp?) hydrating/smoothing? eye cream for sensitive skin with thermal spring water and niacin? also do not help.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Sofia
      16/04/2021 / 07:45

      Hello Kaj, it sounds like you have eczema or psoriasis around your eyes, but without me seeing your skin, I cannot offer a solution. My advice is to go to see a dermatologist to diagnose what it is. You will need to heal skin first before you start using the products you have been using. Then slowly start introducing products back into your routine until you work out which has irritated it. But please see a dermatologist as your first step. Thanks, Sofia x

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