You may have noticed a lot of talk about hyaluronic acid lately, especially with many parts of the country experiencing a cold and dry winter. So what exactly is it, who needs it, and what does it do? Here’s a rundown.
What is it?
Hyaluronic acid, also called hyaluronan, hyaluronate, or just HA, is a biopolymer that occurs naturally in the human body. Found mostly in joints, eyes, and connective tissue, the substance has the ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water, making it one of the most moisturizing compounds in the world. It’s used medically to keep eyes hydrated during surgery, to replace fluid in joints, and as a filler for lips and wrinkles. You’ll find it in a variety of skincare products, too, both over-the-counter and by prescription. It’s particularly important to use as you get older, since our bodies produce less HA as we age.
What does it do?
When applied topically—most often in the form of serum or lotion—HA enables the skin to hold onto water. In fact, it pulls moisture from the air into the skin. This is beneficial in two way: it immediately plumps fine lines and diminishes dryness, but it also creates an environment for better cell turnover, which creates younger-looking skin over time. Essentially, it’s a miracle product for dry or aging skin.
Who should use it?
Anyone looking to plump fine lines or sooth and moisturize parched skin. Sound like you? Check the label for HA while looking for new skincare products, or just shop our slideshow, we’ve rounded up serums, lotions, and more, all high in HA.
Peter Thomas Roth’s best-selling Viz-1000 75% Hyaluronic Acid Complex ($65) is incredibly potent: their complex is 75 percent pure HA.
Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum ($50) is packed with their signature grape extracts and a dose of HA.
SkinCeuticals’ powerful Hydrating B5 Gel ($75) has vitamin B5, alongside HA, to help the skin repair itself.
Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Eye Cream ($18) is non-greasy and absorbs quickly.
Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Age-Repair Concentrate ($155) has a cocktail of anti-aging ingredients including peptides, vitamins A, C, and E, and, of course, hyaluronic acid.
Have sensitive skin? Try REN’s Keep Young and Beautiful SH2C Serum ($65).
Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum ($20) is packed with an impressive lineup of retinol, a glucose complex, and hyaluronic acid.
HA is just one of the active ingredients in Lancome’s High Resolution Refill-3X Triple Action Renewal Anti Wrinkle Cream ($100): it also has proteins and extracts to brighten and firm skin.
Not ready to trade in your serum and moisturizer? Add Fresh’s Black Tea Age-Delay Instant Infusion Treatment Toner ($50) to your routine for a hit of HA just after cleansing.
Is the skin around your eyes dry and puffy? Try Dermalogica’s Ultrasmoothing Eye Serum ($50), it has brown and red algae, along with golden chamomile to minimize puffiness.
Your body can benefit from Hyaluronic Acid, too! Try CeraVe Renewing SA Lotion ($15).
Rodial’s Glamtox Day SPF 15 ($100) has a dose of HA, SPF 15, and peptides to keep skin looking young.