What is Hyaluronic Acid?
If you’re unfamiliar with Hyaluronic Acid, you may think from its scientific name that it’s been plucked straight from the periodic table. In fact, this skincare ingredient is incredibly gentle - a super-strength moisturiser that holds 1,000 times its weight in water.
But why should you use it and what benefit does it have on the skin? “Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring sugar that’s found in the skin,” says expert dermatologist Anjali Mahto. “The molecule itself is loved by both dermatologists and cosmetic scientists because it has a number of benefits. The main one is that it’s a humectant, so it binds a thousand times its capacity in water and is an incredibly hydrating molecule”.
As Hyaluronic Acid is produced naturally by the body, it’s accepted more readily than an artificial compound. In fact, the human body already carries around 15 grams of Hyaluronic Acid which it recycles each day.
So why do we need to add it topically to the skin if the body already creates it? Put simply, we create less and less as we age which leads to the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin texture. Hyaluronic Acid helps to address this by introducing much-needed moisture to not only the surface of the skin, but the deeper layers beneath it.
But not all types of Hyaluronic Acid are created equal and each can reap different rewards depending on their molecular weight. “They can vary on both their source and their size,” explains Anjali. “You can have low or high molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid. The high molecular weight is very good for smoothing and plumping out the skin as it’s a much larger molecule, whereas the smaller molecule can be broken up or fragmented and is very, very good for targeted or specialised skincare. The good news is that both kinds of Hyaluronic Acid are gentle and safe to use on all skin types”.
Hyaluronic acid serum
If you’re looking to introduce Hyaluronic Acid to your everyday routine, try a serum such as Vichy’s Minéral 89. Its molecular structure allows it to soak into the deeper layers of the epidermis, providing up to 24-hour hydration and protection from urban aggressors such as pollution. It’s also suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, and has a minimal 11 ingredient formula. Simply apply it as the first step in your skincare routine.
Hyaluronic acid face mask
Additionally, a mask such as Vichy’s Hyalu Mask combines high and low-weight Hyaluronic Acid with agave yeast extract in a formula that delivers intense hydration to the skin. It also helps plump the appearance of the skin and restores radiance.