“It’s a hero ingredient in skin care right now — the ultimate multitasker.”
Hyaluronic acid is one of those skin-care ingredients you’ve probably been hearing a lot about lately. While it’s not exactly new, its popularity and buzz are absolutely warranted — especially for those looking to get moisturized, supple skin but are also prone to breakouts or hate the feel of heavy, greasy ingredients. This skincare hero is not heavy, and greasy which makes it the most coveted in the market right now.
“Hyaluronic acid is a hero ingredient in skin care right now — the ultimate multitasker,” says Dr. Joshnua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai in New York City. He’s a big fan of the ingredient because it’s one of the best hydrators available. “Think of hyaluronic acid like a sponge that can bind to 1,000 times its weight in water,” explains Dr. Zeichner, noting that as a humectant, it draws moisture into skin and traps it there to keep skin dewy, plump and hydrated.
All of those aforementioned benefits are why HA has been used in moisturizers for decades, but more recent research has also revealed other attributes of the ingredient. “What we now know is that it can also help stimulate the production of the body’s own natural hyaluronic acid as well,” explains Dr. Zeichner. That means it helps skin do a better job of maintaining its own moisture levels over time, and it can prevent signs of aging like premature fine lines that result from dehydration. . Hyaluronic acid is a chemical element that occurs naturally in the body which promotes collagen production and cell interaction which delays wrinkling in the skin. As we age, the production of hylauronic acid decreases which can be made up for by the injecting it into the skin as a derma filler or application on the skin topically. When injected into the skin or applied topically, both can add volume to the skin and delay signs of aging. Apart from injecting and applying topically, you can also increase the level of hylauronic in your body through your diet and can be found in food like:
- Bone Broth – Can be found in many dishes, particularly soups, stews and sauces. Making bone broth involves simmering animal bones, meat, seafood, or vegetables in water or wine, often for a long period of time.
- Soy-Based Foods like tofu, tempeh and edamame which can be added to your salad
- Starchy Root Vegetables – can be found in potatoes, sweet potatoes and other tubers such as jicama and Jerusalem artichoke.
- Citrus Fruits- fruits like oranges and grapefruits, tomatoes and bananas
- Leafy Greens – can be found in green juice and smoothie. Leafy greens are high in magnesium and can also be found in avocado, nuts, fruits and seeds.
When it comes to seeking out the most effective hyaluronic acid-based products, it’s all about finding a variety of molecular weights. If the very mention of the word “molecular” caused a record scratch in your mind and subsequently had you craning your neck, looking for Bill Nye, fear not. It’s actually a pretty simple principle: “Just like pasta, HA can have many different shapes, and that affects its function,” says Dr. Zeichner. “Large strands have a high molecular weight and sit on the surface of the skin to hydrate and soften it. Small strands have a low molecular weight and can penetrate into the skin to help plump it.” Nothing like a good pasta comparison to make science infinitely easier to… digest.
One of my favorite hyaluronic products the market include Neutrogena Hydro Boost Express Hydrating Spray, which is known to offer hydration as well as environmental protection since it includes antioxidants. A verified buyer reviewed this product and said “Amazing! This is my third bottle. My skin has benefitted so much using this. It’s smoother, plumper and looks healthier. Will always use. Highly recommend!! Your skin will love you for it!” L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Filler with 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Wrinkle Dropper Serum, which incorporates the aforementioned low and high molecular weight HAs for an all-around plumping effect; and another best in market is The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 which boasts an impressive three different molecular sizes of HA.
See 15 of our favorite hyaluronic acid serums below: