Hyaluronic Acid: The Super Hydrator That Can Hold 1,000x Its Weight In Water

Ingredient Investigation

Hyaluronic Acid: The Super Hydrator That Can Hold 1,000x Its Weight In Water

By Hanna Yowell

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Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a humectant with excellent hydrating qualities that protects our skin cells and helps maintain the structural integrity of the tissues. When applied topically, it binds and retains water molecules to plump and hydrate dehydrated, dull skin.
How it Works

Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in our bodies, distributed throughout our skin, tissues, and joints. In our skin, it’s located in the basal layer of the epidermis, where it hydrates and repairs tissues.

Hyaluronic acid also works as a joint lubricant to prevent friction, and as a hydrator that maintains the structure of our eyeballs. In terms of its composition, hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it binds and attracts moisture, thanks to its gooey, gel-like texture.

As we age, it becomes harder to hold moisture in the skin, so it’s important to add it back. HA can hold up to 1,000x its own weight in water.

Make it Routine

Hyaluronic acid can be found in virtually any skincare product, but we prefer smaller, lower-weight hyaluronan molecules which can actually penetrate deep into our skin’s structure via topical application. Therefore, it’s likely most effective when concentrated in a potent serum or found as sodium hyaluronate (the salt form of HA), and applied before moisturizers and facial oils to really supplement and lock in hydration.

Hyaluronic acid is the star of one of our top hydrating serums. Reach for it anytime skin feels dull and dehydrated to boost both glow and hydration.

Sodium hyaluronate hydrates and revitalizes skin texture in this anti-aging serum. It also tackles concerns that come with dehydration, such as free radical damage and hyperpigmentation.

Wait—One More Thing!

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about this ingredient is its humectant nature. Because it binds and attracts moisture, hyaluronic acid will pull moisture from wherever it can find it. If you live in a dry or arid climate, there might not be much moisture in the air to draw from, so it'll resort to pulling hydration from other places in your skin. To combat this and allow HA to act as the super hydrator it’s touted as, never apply it to dry skin. Always applying a toner or hydrating mist right before applying HA, and seal it off with moisturizer once it’s had a moment to absorb.

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