The Hydrating Acid That Just About Everyone Can Use
By Michael Pollak
Hyaluronic acid might be the closest thing that we have to a fountain of youth. We say this because like a fountain, our skin needs water to remain happy. Hyaluronic acid is great for post-travel when the plane has taken your skin for a ride. It’s great for the summer when your skin might be unhappy with a rich moisturizer. It’s even great during the winter when that radiator you don't control zaps your skin of life. “Everyone should be using it! There are benefits for all ages and skin types because we all can get dehydrated,” our Skin Therapist, Wanda says.
What is hyaluronic acid? Is it an acid?
If we were in charge of naming things in skincare, we'd probably rename hyaluronic acid. Acid is a bit scary of a word for something that is so beneficial to our skin, and not to mention, naturally occurring in it. You can find hyaluronic acid in your joints, in your eyes, and in the dermis layer of the skin. Unlike AHAs and BHAs, which act as exfoliants for your skin by breaking up the glue that holds dead skin cells together, hyaluronic acid is all about bringing hydration in. It does so by absorbing moisture. In fact, legend has it that it can hold over 1,000 times its weight in water! It’s like those little ants that run away with your whole picnic.
Okay, so if we already have it then why do we need it?
As we age, or face certain skin situations, our skin can lose the ability to hold moisture optimally. This can result in a lack of firmness, like a dehydrated apricot. (Although not that extreme, we promise!) A topical like hyaluronic acid, acts as a humectant, which is a fancy word for something that pulls water from the environment around it and retains it — in this case, in your skin. This makes the outer layers of our skin appear more supple, smooth, and feel softer. It also plumps up the fine lines and wrinkles in our skin. It can even help with redness and irritated skin that has dried out. It’s quite a wonder and there’s little fine print. That’s it!
Great, sold. Can anyone use it and how do I get it?
Hyaluronic acid can often be found in products like moisturizers and serums, as they help your skin absorb those ingredients and add an extra hydrating boost. In it's purest and most concentrated form our shelves, we use the Ageless Total Pure Hyaluronic Filler from Image. "Some hyaluronic are diluted, and I know because I've tried them ALL. Not this guy. It really plumps and hydrates the skin before any other products are applied. It helps enhance anything you layer on top of it,” our Skin Therapist, Kristen, says. This serum can go on by itself or be added to a moisturizer to help seal in its benefits. You can also add it to most other serums, or even masks, for an extra boost.
Our Skin Therapist, Ramnit, recommends starting on the lighter side and working your way up. “Everyone penetrates on the different level, so you have to have use different amounts of it depending. Some people can handle heavy, and some people are better off just with lighter amounts.” But this acid is not oily or irritative so even those who are rosacea or eczema-prone can handle it. It is just important to check any of the other ingredients in the serum or moisturizer that you pick to make sure that they work for your skin type.
Hyaluronic acid is one of our team’s favorite topics, so talk about it at your next facial. We’d be happy to help you shop.
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