Urban You Edu: Hyaluronic Acid
When it comes to holy grail ingredients for skin hydration, hyaluronic acid is at the top of the list. It’s known as a humectant, meaning it acts like a sponge to help skin retain water and keep it hydrated. Hyaluronic acid can be found in everything from sheet masks in your local drug store to expensive serums.
While it’s become an ingredient that is talked about in marketing in the last few years, hyaluronic acid has always been around gracing our faces with more moisture. Despite its popularity, there is still a little bit of mystery around what it is and how it should be used for most consumers. Below is our break down of everything you need to know about hyaluronic acid.
What is hyaluronic acid?
While it is an acid, it’s not an acid in the same sense as popular ones like salicylic acid or glycolic, which exfoliate dead skin.
HA is a clear gooey substance that is naturally produced in our bodies. The largest amounts of it is found in our skin, connective tissue, and eyes.
Why is hyaluronic acid a popular moisturizing ingredient?
HA can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water, which equates to LOTS of moisture locked in your skin! It works as a humectant and holds water molecules into the surface of your skin to to promote healthier, more supple skin. Hyaluronic acid keeps your skin hydrated by making sure that water evaporates at a slower pace from your skin.
Why is hyaluronic acid an important ingredient?
Just like collagen, over time our body stops producing as much hyaluronic acid which means our skin needs assistance to help lock in the moisture. When our skin isn’t hydrated, it can have a dull appearance and make our fine lines look more noticeable. Hydrated skin = healthy, young looking skin.
What are the benefits of using hyaluronic acid topically?
Increases skin elasticity
Can treat facial redness
How should hyaluronic acid be used?
A HA serum should be applied early in the skincare routine. Since hyaluronic acid is water based, if you don’t have help with an oil based product it’ll evaporate out of the skin. So using an oil or cream at the end of your routine will help lock that moisture in all👏🏻day👏🏻long👏🏻.
Does weight and molecular size matter?
Yes. First, let’s provide some background information.
Benefits of hyaluronic acid on the skin has to do with molecular weight and concentration. The molecular weight refers to how big the HA molecule is. It’s measured in something called unified atomic mass units- daltons, or kDa for short.
HA between 50 - 1000 kDa is most beneficial for the skin, with approximately 130 dKa being the best according to recent human studies. Anything more than that won’t do anything and anything less could be irritating to the skin.
How should you be applying hyaluronic acid?
Since HA doesn’t have any water, it needs to be applied to damp skin in order to work! When you apply it to dry skin it could actually leave skin looking more dehydrated. This is because when it’s applied to dry skin, its pulling moisture from the deeper layers of the skin to hydrate the surface. If you’re using a hyaluronic acid serum in your routine, apply it in these steps:
Mist skin with water or face spray
Apply hyaluronic acid serum
Apply the rest of skin care
Be sure to lock in HA with heavy cream or oil
Where else can I use hyaluronic acid?
Brands are now coming out with lip products with hyaluronic acid for those who don’t want to resort to filler just yet. Dr. Dennis Gross has a lip product (that we have available at both Urban You locations!) and injectable filler is hyaluronic acid, too!
Hyaluronic acid also helps wounds heal quicker by regulating inflammation levels and signaling the body to build more blood vessels in the damaged area.
Hyaluronic Acid Products at Urban You
Dr. Dennis Gross
A serum that delivers deep hydration to your skin with a blend of concentrated ingredients, resulting in silky-soft, supple skin.
Provides immediate smoothing in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and supports the skin’s natural ability to replenish its own hyaluronic acid for overall skin health.
A no-needle, hyaluronic acid solution that improves the appearance of lines and wrinkles.