When you hear the term “acid” you might be getting flashbacks to high school chemistry and your teacher’s warning to put on gloves so that you don’t burn yourself. However, when it comes to hyaluronic acid (HA) you don’t have to worry about skin burns. In fact this amazing little molecule actually helps to hydrate and plump up your skin.
Although it doesn’t sound like it, HA is a beneficial chemical to have in your skincare products. This potent beauty booster is a naturally occurring substance found throughout the body. It regulates cell renewal, lubricates the connective tissue and helps to maintain the skin’s elasticity. In fact a person who weighs around 155 pounds will have roughly 15 grams of HA throughout their body, with half of that being found in their skin.
I’m a huge fan of natural beauty and using powerful ingredients like hyaluronic acid! When applied directly to the skin, it helps to create a moisture barrier that makes the skin more smooth and soft. A healthy skin barrier function is everything when it comes to healthy skin.
Since HA is one of the “It” ingredients in beauty and skincare products (you’ll even find it in our Hella Hydrating Serum), I thought it would be the perfect time to share all the incredible skin nourishing benefits of this simple, all-natural compound.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
As mentioned previously, despite its harsh name, hyaluronic acid is anything but! This naturally occurring compound is incredible for skin health, but before we get into that I want to geek out a little bit on this super-powered natural ingredient.
Technically, HA is a really big sugar molecule called a polysaccharide that is found naturally within the skin and connective tissue of the body. It is gooey, slippery, and sticky. It’s a compound that is categorized as a humectant, which means it attracts and holds water, which is great news for your skin.
In fact, HA can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water!
Within the body it essentially acts as a sponge, cushion, and lubricating agent for everything from our skin to our joints, nerves, hair, and eyes. Remember, that over half of the HA found in the body is located within the skin–that’s why it’s such an important ingredient in natural serums and moisturizers!
One of the things I find pretty cool about hyaluronic acid is that it comes in different molecular weight sizes and each of its different weights has specific benefits within the layers of the skin. Using a product that contains multiple molecular weights is going to be the best for your skin since it will be better absorbed, target all the layers, and give you the best results.
Hyaluronic acid has two main molecular weights (high and low) that work on different layers of the skin:
There is another ultra-low-molecular-weight- hyaluronic acid (<50kDa), but the current data doesn’t support this form as a beneficial ingredient for skincare.
Now that I’ve nerded out a bit on the technical side of hyaluronic acid, let's take a deeper look at all the skin-loving benefits of this magical little compound.
Skin Loving Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
As I mentioned above, there are a couple molecular weights of hyaluronic acid and when shopping for skincare products, you want to purchase one that contains multiple weights for best absorption and skin benefits. Our Hella Hydrating Serum contains the perfect balance of multiple molecular weights of hyaluronic acid to ensure you get a plump, dewy glow!
1. Hydrates The Skin
As we know, hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means it looooves to attract and hold onto water molecules. Remember that it can hold 1000x its weight in water, which means ultimate hydration for your skin when you apply it topically.
Depending on the molecular size it can hydrate either the top layer, or epidermis of the skin, or it can penetrate deeper and hydrate those lower layers. It can also act as an osmotic pump, which means it can help water soluble actives from skincare products penetrate into those deeper skin layers.
Hydrated skin looks smooth, soft, supple, and plump! Many people find their skin looks more youthful when they use a product with HA regularly. Hint hint: check out the reviews on our bestselling skincare product, Hella Hydrating.
2. Regulates Cell Renewal
Another key to healthy, happy skin are cells that are able to renew and repair themselves and hyaluronic acid helps support this process. It is a main component of the extracellular matrix (the liquid between our cells) and studies have found it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. These studies found that it plays a key role in the tissue regeneration process. That makes it a great addition to your skincare routine to help keep your cells and skin healthy, happy, and thriving.
3. Creates A Moisture Barrier
I’ve talked before about the importance of the natural skin barrier and adequate moisture and hydration is key to maintaining the health of the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful addition to your skincare routine because it actually helps to create a moisture barrier by trapping and holding water on the surface of your skin.
Having a healthy moisture barrier on the skin is an important component to a vibrant glow, thank you HA!
The moisture barrier can also help protect your skin. Since we come into contact with so many environmental toxins, chemicals, and other skin irritants in our daily lives, having skin that is moisturized and protected can help us maintain a healthy glow. This is key in preventing skin conditions like rosacea and eczema.
4. Improves Skin Elasticity
You might notice a theme within all these skin-loving benefits of hyaluronic acid- hydration and moisture! Thanks to the incredibly hydrating power of this little molecule, it helps maintain skin elasticity for a supple, smooth appearance. If you want to add a little synergy to your skincare routine, try supporting your skin elasticity from the inside by taking collagen [read more here]. I love Genuine Health’s Clean Collagen. Use code GHJoyous20 to save 20% sitewide!
5. Reduces Appearance of Fine Lines & Wrinkles
As a humectant that attracts and holds water, hyaluronic acid increases the hydration of the skin. Hydrated skin naturally looks plumper and smoother, helping to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. For best results, pair with other clinically proven wrinkle-fighting ingredients such as organic cold-pressed rosehip oil. Learn the benefits of rosehip oil here.
6. Can Speed Up Wound Healing
When we’re injured, the body naturally sends higher levels of hyaluronic acid to the area to help speed up the healing process. In fact, studies have shown that applying HA topically to wounds can help reduce their size and decrease pain. As a bonus, some studies have also found that higher weight hyaluronic acid may also have antibacterial effects, which makes it great for people who struggle with acne.
7. A Non-Irritating Skincare Ingredient
As you know, I struggled with moderate to severe rosacea for several years, which means my skin was incredibly sensitive. As an all-natural ingredient that locks in moisture, hyaluronic acid is a wonderful compound that doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. If you struggle with acne, eczema, or rosacea, it can make a soothing and healing addition to your skincare routine, without causing any harmful reactions.
Who Should Use Hyaluronic Acid?
As we age our bodies stop producing certain compounds, such as collagen and hyaluronic acid, which help keep our skin looking plump and hydrated. That’s why pretty much everyone would benefit from adding this skincare ingredient to their routine. The sooner you start using hyaluronic acid, the better. It’s much harder to repair damage that has already been done than it is to maintain your skin health and hydration. But don’t worry if you haven’t used this magic molecule yet–the best time to get started is today! Once you get started with hyaluronic acid it won’t take too long to keep skin hydrated all day long.
By giving your skin a little helping hand by applying products that contain hyaluronic acid, you can prevent some of the signs of aging and keep your skin looking happy, hydrated, and glowing!
How Should You Use Hyaluronic Acid?
When it comes to achieving the best results from your skincare products, I have a couple of suggestions for you. I’ve always been a beauty junkie and I love reading about skincare ingredients and routines and sharing all that I learn with you! Follow these steps to get the most out of your hyaluronic acid:
As you can see, this tiny little molecule has some superpowered skin benefits! And luckily, you don’t have to break the bank to find high quality products that contain it. We formulated our Hella Hydrating Serum using only 2 ingredients: hyaluronic acid and organic cold-pressed rosehip oil.
This power duo helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, provides ultra hydration to the skin, and seals in moisture for smoother, softer skin. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich nutrients in this serum will calm irritation, reduce fine lines and help your skin glow, not to mention, make your skin feel hella hydrated! Hydrated skin is skin that looks naturally youthful, healthy and vibrant.
In addition to all the amazing benefits of hyaluronic acid mentioned above, the cold-pressed rosehip oil takes our Hella Hydrating Serum to the next level. Research has shown after 8 weeks of using rosehip oil, the skin's moisture level and elasticity is increased, reducing fine lines around the eyes. It’s also an amazing source of vitamin E and anthocyanins, two ingredients that soothe and calm irritation, making it beneficial for those dealing with rosacea, eczema and acne-prone skin.
I hope this information inspires you to take the best care of your skin!