Hyaluronic acid is a genius ingredient. For dry skin, it has the power to deeply hydrate and bind moisture to cells, while its light texture makes it just as effective for helping to rebalance oily skin. Derived from plant sources and found naturally in our skin and joints, it’s even gentle on sensitive skin. So it’s little wonder the beauty world is still obsessed with the skin-boosting powers of this clever sugar molecule.
But while HA serums might be a key staple in our skincare routines for our faces, cosmetic scientists are now incorporating this powerfully regenerative ingredient into body care products. Because why should your face get all the good stuff? From leaving your body softer and smoother all over to soothing sun damage, keep scrolling for the lowdown on why incorporating hyaluronic acid into your body care routine is such a brilliant idea.
Ask any beauty editor about hyaluronic acid and you’ll no doubt get an enthusiastic review of various serums and creams, but while these have long been dedicated to plumping and protecting your face, there’s a new breed of HA launches fast filling the shelves. This month alone has seen the UK arrival of cult U.S. drugstore brand CeraVe, which boasts a potent blend of hyaluronic acid and skin-nourishing ceramides, along with the huge Hydro Boost launch from Neutrogena, a hydrating range of body products all centered around the magic of what hyaluronic acid can do for skin below the shoulders.
So why the enduring love for HA? Rebecca Bennett, Johnson & Johnson skincare expert, explains: “Hyaluronic acid is a fantastic ingredient for skin wherever it is—face or body. It holds up to a thousand times its own weight in water and helps replenish dehydrated skin to help it feel smoother, bouncier and more comfortable. Hyaluronic acid draws water into the skin and helps the skin hold onto it, reducing the appearance of fine lines and that dry, crêpe-y effect. It’s popular in facial products because it works so well, and it’s amazing to now have an ingredient of this quality in a body range.”
Hear, hear! But while HA is famed for its dry-skin benefits, Bennet is keen to stress that all skin types can reap rewards from a lotion enriched with hyaluronic acid. “HA is suitable for most skin types, as we can all get dehydrated by heat, sun, cold, central heating, air conditioning, aging and so on,” she explains. “Even oily skin types can get dehydrated, and light products containing hyaluronic acid are perfect for this type of skin. Key signs of dehydration include rough, dull skin that creases and wrinkles easily.”
Speaking of sunshine, a body gel or cream loaded with HA should be essential packing when it comes to your island-getaway beauty kit. As Bennett notes, when your skin is feeling dry, tight or sore after too much sun, the reparative properties of hyaluronic acid are just what your bod needs. “Sunburn and excess sun exposure can be really damaging to the skin, and properly formulated sun protection products are a must. However, body lotions containing hyaluronic acid can really help to soothe and rehydrate the skin, as it increases the moisture levels in the epidermis. A gel formulation like the new Neutrogena Hydro Boost Body Gel Cream can also really provide a cooling effect to help calm skin.”
Check our picks of the best hyaluronic acid products for your body.
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Papakonstantinou E, Roth M, Karakiulakis G. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):253-258. doi:10.4161/derm.21923