What is hyaluronic acid anyway?
Posted by PR Neom
Even if you’re no beauty junkie or already into naturals, you’ve probably heard hyaluronic acid being talked about (or seen it on a label or two). It’s an acid, yes, but it’s not the scary kind. Rather than stripping the skin of something, it’s naturally-occurring in our own bodies and its main job is to retain water. See where we’re going yet? Here’s your cheat sheet on hyaluronic acid and what it can do for you.
Where does it come from?
Hyaluronic acid is in all of our bodies, all the time. It’s mainly found in the joints and connective tissue, and its main function is to keep things lubricated and moving. It’s specifically designed by our (very clever) bodies to attract or bind water, and lock it in, which makes it an incredibly useful hydrator for your skin, as long as it’s used correctly. It can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water in fact, so a little goes a long way!
Why do we add it to moisturiser?
About half the naturally-occurring hyaluronic acid in our bodies is found in the skin, and over time, its levels can be depleted by those skin woes we know so well: UV rays, pollution and smoking. So we need to put it back! While it’s not anti ageing per se, if your skin is hydrated and plump you are less likely to have fine lines and wrinkles and more likely to feel plump and smooth, so even if you don’t suffer from dry skin, hyaluronic acid is a good idea.
It’s naturally antimicrobial, so can help you clear up and prevent acne. But hyaluronic acid also goes one step further, acting as a postbiotic and working with your skin’s natural microbiome (i.e. the delicate balance of good and bad bacteria). And when your microbiome is happy, your skin’s happy, and better able to protect itself from those outside stresses that cause signs of ageing.
Natural or synthetic?
You can actually eat your way to more hyaluronic acid (potatoes and sweet potatoes are great) or take it as a supplement, but the stuff that’s used in beauty products usually comes from a process of natural fermentation, free of animal cruelty or products. Rose oil is thought to have very similar effects, so if powerful hydration is what you’re after, look for that on your label. The hyaluronic acid we use in our products is derived from wheat, corn and yeast.
How to use it
This powerful ingredient attracts water (it’s a humectant, meaning it grabs moisture from its surroundings), so if you were to apply it directly to dry skin, it would take up the moisture already there. It’s much better to use this ingredient as part of a skincare routine where your skin is damp so you can lock in that moisture, or mix it with your moisturising cream so that you add not minus! The molecular weight also needs to be low enough to ensure the ingredient can penetrate your skin, but luckily there are lots of options out there that have this HA present.
Find hyaluronic acid in our Great Day Glow SPF 30 Moisturiser.