What is Hyaluronic Acid and its benefits?
Hyaluronic Acid is a molecule that is present in all our connective tissues, skin, hair, eyes, joints, nerves. So pretty much everywhere. Hyaluronic Acid plays an important part in maintaining the skin barrier. It can hold moisture worth 1000 times its weight. It makes sense that it acts as a lubricant and cushion for our muscles to function optimally. The mechanism behind Hyaluronic Acid moisturising your skin is that it binds to Collagen and draws moisture from the surrounding just like any humectant. This gives you that dewy look you’ve been aiming for. As you age, the amount of Hyaluronic Acid produced naturally by your body will decrease. This is why you need an external source of Hyaluronic Acid from your mid-twenties. Let’s look at some of the key benefits that this ingredient offers.
1) Helps to slow down ageing process
2) Strengthen your skin barrier
3) Heal wounds
4) Plumps your skin
Learn more about how it benefits you here.
What’s the difference between Hyaluronic Acid and Sodium Hyaluronate?
This is an interesting fact. Hyaluronic Acid is a large molecule and so when applied topically, it will sit on your skin and hydrate your uppermost layer without penetrating deep into your skin layers and moisturising them. So the versions of this ingredient that you find in the market are Hydrolysed Hyaluronic Acid or Sodium Hyaluronate.
Hydrolysed Hyaluronic Acid is where the pure Hyaluronic Acid molecules are broken down with a chemical reaction with water. It is just because the original molecule is too large for your skin to be absorbed and benefit all your skin layers.
Sodium Hyaluronate on the other hand is the extracted sodium salt from pure Hyaluronic Acid. The molecular size is small and they are easily absorbed by your skin. Another plus is that they are much more stable and less prone to oxidation. Sodium Hyaluronate is more suitable for those with sensitive skin.
Why does it dry out your skin sometimes?
There are two reasons for it. Number one is you’re using a higher concentration product. Imagine Hyaluronic Acid as salt and your skin as a sponge. When you put too much salt on the sponge, the sponge will turn dry and in fact repel water. This is exactly what happens to your skin. When you use a strong concentration, and by that we mean anything higher than 2%, your skin will dehydrate and won’t be able to absorb any moisture.
The other reason is that you’re applying it in a dry environment. As we mentioned earlier, Hyaluronic Acid works like a humectant. It will absorb moisture from the surrounding air. When there is no moisture in your surrounding, it will pull out moisture from deep within your skin and onto your uppermost skin layer.
What are the mistakes you’re making?
Mistake 1: You’re applying it on dry skin
You cannot control the weather but you can definitely control the way you apply skin care on your skin. It is always better to apply Hyaluronic Acid on a damp face. As we explained earlier, Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant that pulls moisture from the surrounding to your skin. When you're in a dry environment, it will start pulling moisture from deep within your skin layers, leaving the skin feeling dry. To avoid this, it is better to seal in a bit of moisture before applying Hyaluronic Acid. This way, when it tries pulling moisture from your skin layers, the skin will still have enough moisture to keep it from drying. P.S: Remember, damp face and not wet face dripping with water!
You can use a refreshing mist to make sure your face is damp. Try Dear, Klairs Fundamental Ampule Mist that has Green Tea Water mixed with Rice, Okra, Cucumber, and Mugworts to hydrate and calm your skin.
Mistake 2: You’re applying it as a moisturiser
It is a common misconception that Hyaluronic Acid is a moisturiser and so you can skip moisturiser when you’ve applied Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid is, in fact, those potent drops that pull moisture into your skin and so you must provide it with some moisture that it can pull in your skin layers to plump up your skin. This is the reason why you must apply a good moisturiser suitable to your skin type right after applying Hyaluronic Acid. The one that we swear by is Coccoon Restoring Day Cream which has Vitamin C, Witch Hazel, Kakadu Plum to fight blemishes along with moisturising your skin. Not to forget it has SPF 15 too!
Mistake 3: You did not patch test
Yepp, it’s important to test your Hyaluronic Acid product before going bananas with it. It is because every product will have a different form of Hyaluronic Acid. The one with a smaller molecular size i.e. Sodium Hyaluronate can penetrate deep within your skin but then that also means that it could inflame your skin unlike the products with larger molecular size. For the ones with sensitive skin type, it is better to pick a product that has a larger molecular size. A great product to test would be Deconstruct Hydrating Serum-2% Hyaluronic Acid 1% Niacinamide which has three different sizes of Hyaluronic Acid along with Niacinamide to plump your skin and ban blemishes.
Learn how to conduct a patch test here.
What is the best way to use Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic Acid can be used in the AM or PM routine. The plus point is it sits well with any active ingredients but we’d advise you not to overload your skin with too many active ingredients at the same point. The best way to use this ingredient is after washing your face and when your face is damp. In the morning when you want to reduce the steps of your skincare, you can use Neemli Naturals Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin C Brightening Serum that is paired with Vitamin C, Niacinamide and Witch Hazel Extract to fight pollution and blemishes as you take on the day. For night time, we’d recommend you to use a sleeping mask that has Hyaluronic Acid like Dr Sheth's Haldi & Hyaluronic Acid Sleeping Mask to nourish and maintain your skin barrier.
Don’t forget to top a Hyaluronic Acid-based serum or cream with a layer of moisturiser.
Hyaluronic Acid is a potent ingredient to get your hands on by your mid-twenties to plump your skin. However, every star has their way to be handled and so does Hyaluronic Acid. If used without complete information, it can shake up your skin with dryness. One of the important reasons is your surrounding which you can’t control but with an extra layer of moisturiser and applying it on damp skin could help you prevent dryness. If done rightly, this ingredient can light up your skin.